Category Archives: Travel

Travel

Neighbourhood Guide: Palm Springs

April 17, 2016

 

lost on the way home palm springs guide

lost on the way home palm springs guide

If you think Palm Springs is just for old people and golfing then you are sorely mistaken. Home to some of the best boutique hotels and architecture, and just a short flight away from Vancouver, this is a place I love visiting every year. Whether you’re heading down for Coachella or just planning a sweet little getaway, I’ve compiled a list of all my favourite spots around town. In addition to a number of great restaurants and places to grab drinks with friends, I’ve also included a list of places to stay, things to do, and places to shop. Scroll down to read my reviews and recommendations and get your vacation planned ASAP.

lost on the way home palm springs guide

The Parker Hotel

Stay

  1. The Parker – Recently renovated and decorated by designer Jonathan Adler, this boutique hotel is the epitome of Palm Springs. Yellow and White striped awnings and umbrellas line the pool filled with ridiculously good-looking people. Another thing really cool about this hotel? Gene Autry, the singing cowboy once lived here and you can now stay at his residence. Also, The Parker’s spa is called the PSYC—Palm Springs Yacht Club. (Why, you ask? I have no idea, but it sounds cool).
  2. The Ace – Now, who doesn’t love a good Ace Hotel? The Palm Springs location does not disappoint as it looks like it’s been modelled after Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom. They even took over an old Denny’s to create their own campground-inspired diner called the King’s Highway and they have a swim club you can get daily access to. Bonus: This place is kid and pet friendly.
  3. The Avalon – A lovely gem of a place situated at the base of the San Jacinto Mountains. The optional private villas and decadent spa makes this is a really great hideaway to get off the grid and treat yourself. Another bonus: Interiors are done by coveted interior designer Kelly Wearstler. I would recommend this spot for a swaggy girl-onlys weekend.

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Do

  1. Hiking – The Bump n’ Grind Trail – Palm Springs is surrounded by mountains and you can even spot a little snow at the top come winter. While there are are a number of trails for all levels, Bump n’ Grind is relatively easy to get to and its an moderate trail that you can do at your own leisure. And, if you’re in need of some electrolytes after you can head over to Whole Foods, which is conveniently across the street.
  2. Architecture Tour – There are so many beautiful homes and architectural monuments in Palm Springs worth checking out. From the likes of Leonardo Di Caprio’s vacation home to Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe’s homes.
  3. Palm Springs Art Museum – It’s no surprise Palm Springs has a pretty awesome art museum filled with modern and contemporary artwork.
  4. Palm Springs Aerial Tramway – Built back in 1963, the tram is a 10-minute ride, in which the tramcar actually rotates so you can get every single breath-taking view of Chino Canyon. At the top you’ll find a restaurant, cafe and lounge, so make yourself at home. I would recommend going around sunset for the best photo-op.
  5. Spa Day – If you’re on vacation, you should defiently carve out a little you time and treat yourself. With a number of lux spas around the area, I would recommend the PSYC at the Parker or the Estrella Spa at the Avalon.
lost on the way home palm springs guide

Norma’s

Eat & Drink

  1. Norma’s – Situated at the Parker Hotel, this is one of two top brunch recommendations in Palm Springs. You can’t go wrong with the nutella pancakes and fresh homemade donut holes.
  2. King’s Highway – As I mentioned above, this is a Denny’s takeover brought to you by the Ace Hotel. Come here for a fuss-free lunch or breakfast with friends. It’s a good one for those mornings when you’re a little worse for wear.
  3. Cheeky’s – The second top brunch recommendation is right in the heart of downtown Palm Springs and it’s a good one for weekend brunch. The menu changes each week, but they always serve up a number of freshly squeezed juices and a series of really great  mashups: Think the Elvis French Toast served with banana, bacon and almond butter or the Squash and Heirloom Tomato scramble on avocado toast.
  4. Workshop – Come here for a night out with friends because their cocktail menu is pretty on point. I’m also obsessed with the minimalist decor. If you’re with a group of people, order the Pisco Punch and for dinner I would recommend the Dive Scallops and Duck Fat Fries to share (or not).
  5. Birba – Brought to you by the people next door at Cheeky’s, Birba is like the friendly next door neighbourhood joint you would go to for dinner rather than breakfast. Go here for some good pizza and cocktails. Be sure to try the Little Miss Sunshine to drink and the San Daniele Pizza and Zucchini Spaghetti to eat.
  6. Bootlegger Tiki Bar – A fun speakeasy located in downtown Palm Springs to grab drinks after dinner. Brought to you by the people who made Earnest coffee (right next door), many of the drinks are rum-based so if you don’t like rum, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
  7. Earnest Coffee – I felt like including a good coffee shop, because it’s important to find your coffee place no matter where you are travelling to. I like to sit on their patio and scroll through magazines while I sip on an iced latte. They serve Stumptown coffee, straight of Portland Oregon, another place that I’ll be making a neighbourhood guide for soon!
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Trina Turk

Shop:

  1. Trina Turk – This store is will bring out your inner Palm Springs, whether you like it or not (When in Rome, amirite?). It carries all your usually clothing, shoes and accessories by the designer plus a number of third party brands in the likes of coffee table books,  Jonathan Adler home decor accessories, Missoni towels, and more.
  2. The Fine Art of Design – A vintage clothing shop in downtown Palm Springs definitely worth checking out. This one is known for their hard-to-find designer pieces, so fingers crossed you’ll get your hands on a silk Saint Laurent dress from the ’70s.
  3. Vintage Oasis – Another place to find unique mid-century modern decor items to take home,  go here to pick up a sunburst chandelier or a kitty neon sign that seams to be lurking on the walls of every shop and restaurant these days.
  4. Desert Hills Premium Outlets – Now, I’m not much of an outlet person, but I have to admit this is one of the best outlet malls I’ve ever been to. From designers like Saint Laurent, Gucci, Helmut Lang, Marni, and Maje, you’re sure to get a good steal.
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Ernest Coffee

Hope you all had fun at Coachella. Let me know in the comments below what your Palm Springs favourites are.

 

-XX

Travel

Get Lost: Your Guide to Shopping in LA

March 29, 2016

 

Lost on the way home blog LA Shopping Guide

The Reformation

Last week I had the luxury of visiting Los Angeles with my mom for a mini shopping venture. We drove up from Palm Springs (about 2.5 hours), and found some of the best shops I have ever come across. Goodies from my trip include a pair of classic-cut A.P.C. denim, a couple of the softest tees you’ll ever find at The Reformation, and a lovely pair of silk Stella McCartney Pajamas I picked up, despite my mom’s opinion on spending that much money on something that only the confines of your house have the privilege of seeing.  Anyway, I’ve put together a list of 10 of my favourite places to shop from DTLA to West Hollywood and a couple in between. I also added some eating spots, because we all know shopping makes a girl hungry.

Lost on the way home blog LA Shopping Guide

TENOVERSIX

Lost on the way home blog LA Shopping Guide

Shop

  1. The Reformation – (8253 Melrose Ave) Home to eco-friendly threads that imbue L.A. cool-girl vibes. Think vintage Levi’s, bodysuits and flowy dresses.
  2. TENOVERSIX – (8425 Melrose Ave)- Damn Daniel, is all I can say. Definitely a store to pop into. They carry everything perfect from Rachel Comey, Maryam Nassir Zadeh shoes (and clothes!), Rodebjer, as well as a series of delicious stationary and little trinkets for the home.
  3. The APARTMENT by The Line (8463 Melrose Pl)- Another drool-worthy shop, The APARTMENT by the Line was created to resemble an actual apartment in order to make your shopping experience feel a little more personal. Everything is curated exquisitely, from the hand-selected designers lining the walk-in closets to the bathroom vanity lotions and perfumes, this is a place for dreamers. If you’re like me and can’t afford a pair of $800 Pierre Hardy shoes, at least go for the ‘gram. 
  4. A.P.C (8420 Melrose Pl) – You can never, never go wrong with French classics from A.P.C. One of my favourite stores from France, this gem situated in West Hollywood does not disappoint.
  5. Violet Grey (8452 Melrose Pl) – Ever walk into Sephora and find yourself overwhelmed by the monumental amount of products (and crowds)?. Violet Grey is your saviour. All products are curated and hand-picked by the celebrity makeup artist herself so you don’t have to wonder if the product is good or not. They all get 5 stars in my books.
  6. Poketo (820 E 3rd St) – If you know me then you know how much I love Poketo. I get most of my notebooks and trinkets from this place, even if it means I have to pay duty and shipping to get it back to Canada.
  7. BNKR (901 S Broadway) – The Australian shop is coming soon to DTLA and it’s a must-see on my shopping list. The shop carries Aussie native labels like C/MEO Collective and Finders Keepers, as well as more well-known favourites, like  Jeffrey Campbell and Sol Sana.
  8. Consort (6918 Melrose Ave) – A home décor shop to add to your holy-shit #apartmentgoals conquest. You’ll find the perfect object or piece to add to your home, as such is the gold middle finger statue that I want front and centre in my living room.
  9. Reservoir (154 South Robertson Blvd) – A wonderfully curated shop in the East LA’s Silver Lake neighbourhood. Carrying the perfect pieces to add to your wardrobe, alongside accessories and home goodies, you should really a lot yourself a minimum of one hour to scope out the entire store.
  10. NastyGal (8115 Melrose Ave) – Girl Boss, Sophia Amruso’s first brick and mortar, this is the place you’ll go to stock up on chokers, cut-offs, and deep V lace up tees (think LA Cool chic). They also carry a pretty sick collection of Vintage clothes and accessories from the likes of Chanel and Louis Vuitton.

Lost on the way home blog LA Shopping Guide

Lost on the way home blog LA Shopping Guide

The Hart & The Hunter

Eat

  1. The Hart & The Hunter (West Hollywood) – A good spot for all-day breakfast and lunch, located inside the ever-cute boutique PaliHotel, I would recommend the avocado toast which is infused with smoked olives and onions or the ricotta pancakes. A good way to start  your shopping trip on Melrose.
  2. Salt’s Cure (West Hollywood) – A laid-back restaurant with locally sourced ingredients, this is a great place to grab lunch. They make a delicious house-smoked ham and braised black kale sandwich and a mean chorizo scramble for those looking to get their breakfast fix.
  3. Sqirl (Silver Lake) – Another all-day breakfast (in case you haven’t noticed my love for brunch), Sqirl is a popular food spot that appeals to both the vegan and bacon-loving crowds. Known for their preserves I would recommend the French Toast stuffed with their ‘Jam Jam,’ as well as the Vegan Brown Rice Porridge with Strawberry Rhubarb Jam.
  4. Trois Familia (Silver Lake) – An interesting Mexican/French-style brunch café in the Silver Lake neighbourhood, I would advise you go early to get your name down. Seating times may be long, but I’d say it’s well worth the wait for the quirky menu that includes ‘Beet’ Tartare and ‘French Nachos.’
  5. Bottega Louis (DTLA) – If you find yourself in downtown LA, then Bottega Louis is a great dinner option if you feel like Italian. If you’re simply passing by, I’d recommend snatching up a few of the bakery’s macarons.
  6. Bar Amá (DTLA) – This is the place to fill all your Mexican cravings. Arrive during “Nacho Super Hour,” for tacos, margaritas, and of course those cheesy-goodness chips that come in a number of variations.
  7. Alfred Coffee (Various Locations) – This is the place that has coined the term, “Bust first, Coffee,” that you’ll see on a number of Blogger’s Instagram accounts. Come here for your midday pick me up—they have locations in Silver Lake and Melrose.

Lost on the way home blog LA Shopping Guide

Lost on the way home blog LA Shopping Guide

The APARTMENT by The Line

-xx

Travel

Get Lost: The Drake Devonshire

December 11, 2015

 

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For those of you who don’t know, I recently moved back to Vancouver from Toronto. While I am definitely going to start posting Vancouver content, I still want to share with you a few of my favourite Ontario spots. The first topic at hand I wanted to blog about is the Drake Devonshire, sister hotel to one of my personal favourite brunch spots in Toronto, The Drake Hotel.

Situated in Prince Edward County (Ontario’s second wine region! LOL), the Drake Dev sits on the shoreline of Lake Ontario and is the perfect 2-hour getaway from the city. My boyfriend and I decided to spend one of my last weekends in Ontario there to just relax and do what we do best: eat brunch and drink wine.

Needless to say the trip was amazing. Calling itself a contemporary farmhouse, The Drake Dev is one of the cutest boutique hotels I have ever stayed at. Our favourite room at the hotel was the Pavilion which featured a wood-bruning fire place and large couches to sit and sip wine or a cocktail in the evening. The room is also equipped with ping pong tables and a number of board games for those of you who just can’t sit still.

We ended up going to three different wineries in the PEC, including the Grange of Prince Edward, Norman Hardie and Huff Estates. All 10 minutes within each other, you can do a series of wine tastings and buy a bottle (or three) at the end. There is also a nearby lavender farm that I made my boyfriend go to so I could pick up lavender for my apartment (they were all sold out for the winter, but I did get lavender bath oils!).

For lunch we went to the Agrarian in Bloomfield, a town less than 10 minutes away from Wellington. Afterwards, we stopped by their market to stock up on cheese and preserves to go with our wine (side note: the market in the basement turns into a Speak Easy every Saturday). While in Bloomfield we also checked out two shops, Kokito and Green Gables, both containing cool home décor and gift items. Other restaurants worth checking out include East & Main for dinner and Tall Popy Café for lunch, both located a minutes walk from the hotel.

Lastly, if you’re looking to explore the nature-y side of Ontario, check out the Sandbanks Provincial Park or the Millennium Trail. The Sandbanks are a series of beach banks filled with the smoothest sand you will ever lay eyes on in Ontario. The Millennium trail is a whopping 49km long that you can walk along or bike and it conveniently has an entrance not to far from the Drake.

Scroll down to read about my menu recommendations and feel free to comment below if you have any questions!

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The hotel itself has a restaurant with food creations by head chef, Matthew DeMille. We had the luxury of eating there for dinner and brunch. Be sure to try the charcuterie board with one of the PEC wines their menu features. If you’re there during the winter months opt for the mouth-watering Lamb Schnitzel which is served with hummus, roasted beets, Harissa eggplant, and pomegranate seeds.

And of course, if you find yourself eating brunch at the hotel, you must order the homemade blueberry scones that come with clotted cream and preserves. You should also try the Vanilla yogurt parfait with chia granola and stewed fall fruit and honeycomb. This is by far my favourite granola parfait I have ever tried—I guarantee you won’t be disappointed! My boyfriend ordered the MoMatty Deluxe for breakfast, which is essentially a gourmet Egg McMuffin and it’s delectable, so don’t forget to order that too.

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Enjoy!

-XX