Our apartment in L.A is pretty much in between Santa Monica city and Venice Beach. So we are fortunate to be close to both places and have a plethora of options available for food, drinks and shopping. Venice is well known for its beach and markets along the pedestrian strip, but if you head into the little town, a whole new cosmopolitan lifestyle opens up to you.
After speaking with a few locals, we were advised to check out Abbot Kinney Boulevard - a street full of cafes, restaurants and boutique shopping where you will find most locals having brunch late Saturday morning. So a few days ago, I ventured out to explore this street and find something special to share with you.
Abbot Kinney is located here in Venice. It has a real beachy vibe with the constant good L.A. weather (it is bordering on ridiculous how good the weather is here) and palm trees that line the street. It is quite beautiful actually.
ILANDEIVENICE: This store was my favourite! A company that produces locally-made outdoor furniture (literally three blocks down the road!). A rarity today so this was a real plus. The colour palette and designs are soooo Californian. A few of my favourite pieces included the Lounge, the Firepit and artworks. With these original designs, never again will your backyard look neglected and boring.
TORTOISE GENERAL STORE & TORTOISE: This place offers such a beautiful collection of everyday goods from Japan. The hidden gem lies in the curated collection of artists' work found in a separate studio out the back. The art is beautifully displayed in the minimal, pared-back Japanese style. My need to visit Japan has just progressed to urgent!
TUMBLEWEED & DANDELION: If you love the Hamptons style with a bit of a laid back country-feel, then this is the place for you! So much rustic, weathered, painted furniture paired together with charming accessories to complete the entire look. Their signature candle collection smelled divine and the store was beautifully set up inside a quaint weatherboard home. Too pretty to resist.
FIREFLY: I am a stationary addict (!!) so when I walked into this store, I knew it was game over! (My poor husband had to buy himself a second coffee and find a spot to sit down!) There was so much to see, open and touch that my senses were on overload! Luckily for me there was more than one stationary store on the street. Also check out Urbanic Paper Boutique. Just heaven.
For a couple of other great places, don't forget to check out Bazar (eclectic mix of homewares and fashion with a global inspiration) and A + R (high-end homewares designs from Italy and Scandinavia).
Eat & Drink
If you know me, the first thing I do before I start any shopping day is find myself the perfect cup of caffeine. Luckily for me, I had a good recommendation in Intelligentsia. So for something akin to Melbourne's signature coffee style, visit here first.
The best slice of pizza on the street, check out GTA. There is usually a line out the door so be prepared. A staff member also shared with me that they make "amazing coffee" here. I didn't get a chance to try it, but its on my list!
For a more formal lunch occasion with a great selection of wines, try Primitivo.
For an American style cafeteria meal (with the cafeteria line), try Lemonade.
For those of you who are also keen to shop for fashion, this street is a winner. There are many gorgeous fashion boutiques to explore, including a few for the little ones!
If you've been to Abbot Kinney Boulevard, did you like it? Did you have any other stores you could recommend?