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In the Press

Taking a trip to the glitzy and starry world of Los Angeles

Landing at Los Angeles airport, my Radley handbag contains the travel essentials: tickets, dollars, passport, and Glow Recipe moisturiser. Huge SUVs are pulling up as we leave the concrete jungle and it quickly clears to the suburbs with white picket fences, bungalows, and yellow school buses like in The Simpsons. The purple of the Jacaranda trees peppers the horizon.

First day, I head to near Madame Tussauds and Highland Avenue at the Hollywood Walk of Fame where stars and tourists dot the sidewalk. “Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them,” said Marcus Aurelius. Stroll past the tourist shops walking on pink stars with star’s names. I marvel at Marilyn Monroe’s handprints at TCL Chinese Theatre. The scent of jasmine fills the air, then a waft of weed. People are friendly in LA and return your smiles.

Arriving at the iconic Chateau Marmont, I’m led to a stunning courtyard with stone columns, wickerwork chairs, drapes and hanging baskets. Opening in 1929, it’s a beloved retreat for actors, writers, musicians, and directors craving a home away from the prying eyes of the public and press. (Yet, here I am enjoying a drink!)

The fabulous Pendry West Hollywood hotel is on the famed Sunset Strip (opposite Andaz and Comedy Store. A Swarovski Crystal tree with mother-of-pearl leaves is at the entrance, and an incredible mirror hexagonal sculpture is in the foyer. Pendry is a family-owned business, with contemporary luxury, and great service. The vibrant design is Martin Brudnizki, think 50s art déco glam Hollywood (he designed Annabelle’s) 

Its intimate music venue The Sun Rose, is sat on the old iconic House of Blues, and Jeff Goldblum and Nicole Scherzinger have performed here. For elevated dining, Wolfgang Puck's Merois is a stylish roof-top restaurant by the pool, serving California Asian. The Bowling Alley at Britely Social Club is open on weekends. A helicopter buzzes overhead, and two crows sit on the glass balcony, as I sip a drink at the casual Italian Ospero restaurant, admiring the LA view and the chequered piazza below.

A dark cloud looms over Los Angeles, known as June gloom - it’s called Hollywood!

I wander past Madeo restaurant and PleasureMed cannabis dispensary to cool lifestyle store Fred Segal or head to shopping mall Beverly Center. Hopping in a cab, past the historic nightclub sign of Whisky a Go Go from Daisy Jones & the Six, restaurant Le Petit Four, and stylish design hotel Edition off Sunset Boulevard near The Troubadour.

Boutique Hotel Short Stories has a sundeck overlooking the pool and is in a fantastic location opposite The Grove and Farmers Market. Walking distance to shopping and dining on 3rd Street and Fairfax Avenue, or take a short cab ride to Beverly Hills, WeHo, and Hollywood.

Friday night is Jetpack Comedy at Bar Lubitsch, a faux 100-year-old Russian bar. We sit chuckling in front of the henchman from RoboCop. Only in LA! Dancing to a fun mini hip-hop disco after, with tunes as fierce as the AC.

On Saturday we see Grace Jones at the Weho Pride Festival. Disco balls swing overhead as tube air dancers (and revellers) flail to the music. Cheeky boys in chaps lay on the inflatables. LA is super clean, even at the festival - I thought people were more conscientious, but it’s unlawful to litter. Drinks are expensive which might explain why no one at the festival looks wasted… Oh, there’s one, there’s always one!

We spend Sunday roller skating from Santa Monica Beach down to Venice. Hire out roller skates/blades and bikes at Perry’s Café, Ocean Front Wall. Book a sun bed and

text your food and drink order from the beach. A few blocks from Venice Beach, Abbot Kinney Boulevard has fantastic boutiques and Salt & Straw has incredible honey and lavender ice cream.

In Downtown LA, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Frank Gehry Philharmonic Orchestra building looks like silver ship sails. Opposite is the Conrad hotel with a rooftop pool, perfect for dinner or drinks before a show. ‘Art is for everybody’ at contemporary art museum The Broad (except on Mondays when most of the galleries are closed). Opposite is MOCA, check opening hours as they open at 11 am in the week. 

Down the delightful #accidentally wes anderson Angels Flight Railway funicular for $1. Through Grand Central Market, an artisanal food court. Eggslut is known for its epic sandwiches, grab a taco or burrito at Ana Maria, and a McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream. Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner was filmed at the historic Bradbury Building on South Broadway. Browse ‘The Annex’ for fashion and art books at The Last Bookstore.

A down-and-out shuffles past. A hummingbird flits above. I head past jewellery stores and aromatic pretzel stalls on the hustle and bustle of Broadway to tranquil rooftop pool and bar at Hotel Per La. Bottega Louie is a cavernous cake shop - think Barbara Cartland meets Grand Central Station and Patisserie Valerie. Downtown is immersive Level 8 including a Teppanyaki restaurant, entertainment, and a cathedral-inspired nightclub. Take or order a picnic in the beautiful picnic areas at the Hollywood Bowl.

At Runyon Canyon Park, we hike with dogs in the morning smog. A hike is just a long walk in practical shoes Luckily, I packed my On-running trainers - perfect for sightseeing too and Evidens de Beauté SPF 50. Back in Beverly Hills, I love the quirky modern art at colourful Mr Brainwash, followed by lunch at upscale Italian restaurant Il Pastaio, brilliant for people-watching.

Browsing The Last Line for jewellery, and palm tree-dotted, luxury fashion street Rodeo Drive, which could be a big mistake, huge, for the wallet (with designer stores including Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Christian Louboutin), Golden Triangle, and the Beverly Hills sign for a selfie. Or head to Griffith Observatory and Griffith Park trails… for incredible views and The Hollywood Sign.

Written by Crystal McClory

See page 74-76 of the June issue of Absolutely West Essex and Essex magazines.

For more info or to book, contact Abbotts Travel at 134 George Lane, South Woodford, E18 1BA, on 0208 989 9445 or email


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