When she moved to LA at the age of 49, author and publicity guru Lady Robinson aka; Thérèse, stepped into a world of Malibu beach parties and a whirlwind of social engagements which inspired her novels India's Summer and Letter from Paris. Here she shares her top tips on where to go when you visit LA and even lets you in on a few of her secret hotspots.
"When you live in LA you regularly find yourself hosting friends and family and showing them the highlights of the city. Most of our visitors arrive with a list of 'must sees' - The Hollywood Walk of Fame, Rodeo Drive, Santa Monica Pier, and Beverly Hills. These never disappoint, but I take pride in sharing hidden delights along the way. There are many unexpected and surprising places that make LA so much more than home to the Kardashians or the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills."1.If your budget will stretch to it, then Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica is the place to stay. There are also many other hotels nearby. Hire bikes or skates on the beach and wind your way down to Venice. After braving the boardwalk at Muscle Beach, head to James Beach for a casual brunch and the best margaritas in town. Book ahead to be sure of a table - it's ultra-casual and a pure California vibe - 60. N. Venice Beach.
2. Drive to Malibu early one morning. Be sure to take the California incline down from Ocean to the PCH. The panoramic view is breathtaking. I love Paradise Cove where there is a wonderful casual restaurant with outdoor beach seating, but it has become very popular over the last few years. You may prefer Geoffrey's Malibu. The food is excellent and again the view is spectacular. Drive from there to spend the afternoon at Point Dume where you can walk along the cliffs and get a sense of the wild wilderness of the coastline.
3. Take the pretty route on Sunset Boulevard to Beverly Hills. Start your day at The Beverly Wilshire Hotel with an excellent breakfast or do as the locals and have a breakfast of waffles and endless coffee refills at Nate n'Al's deli best known for its networking crowd. Stroll around Rodeo Drive for a while and then drive towards Hollywood via Santa Monica Blvd. to Melrose Avenue. Grab a coffee at Urth Café or call in to Mauro's Café at Fred Segal on Robertson Blvd.for a light lunch and people watching.4. Check out what's happening at The Hollywood Bowl before you travel. It's popular so plan ahead. The outdoor concerts are wonderful. Book a box (folding chairs and tiny table.) Bring your own picnic and wine then sit beneath the stars. Over the years I've seen world -class musicians here, classical and rock. It's a magical evening.
5. I love shopping, but tend to avoid the chains. Abbott Kinney has wonderfully eclectic stores that are the essence of California Boho chic. Aim for Heist and Guild and then spend many happy hours scouting the neighborhood, which is home to the many artists and celebrities who like to stay below the radar. Try The Tasting Kitchen for locally grown, organic food.
6. You'll know about MOCA, The Museum of Contemporary Art, but Bergamot Station houses some of the best contemporary art galleries in the city. Bergamot Café is a gem. Try their fresh avocado and turkey sandwiches.
7. And so to the cocktail hour. As William Holden famously advised- " If you must get in trouble, do it at Chateau Marmont." It's definitely a landmark not to be missed and can be surprisingly quiet. For rooftop margaritas and a great buzz, then EP&LP, which is also in West Hollywood is well worth a visit and their downstairs restaurant serves great South East Asian food. The Bungalow at The Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica has expansive ocean views and wonderful outdoor bars that really do capture why LA is one of the world's most vibrant and seductive cities.
"I hope you have a wonderful trip. Say ' hello' to me on thereseblogs.com. Shh…Maybe I'll take you to one of the places I'm reluctant to share with too many people."
Read more about Thérèse's adventures at www.thereseblogs.com and pick up her latest novel 'Letter from Paris', published by The Story Plant and available from Amazon $11.71, as well as Kindle.