We’ve been back from South Africa for a few days, and ohh where to begin? Simply put, it was the trip of a lifetime. Over the past year of planning, everyone I spoke with who had been said that it would be, but perhaps in an effort to manage my own expectations, I brushed off their words as hyperbole and steeled myself against potential disappointment. I was so wrong.
The landscape of South Africa is of another time. The craggy mountains and dusty bush dotted with pistachio colored fever trees are in complete contrast to the verdant valleys of the Cape Winelands, and the brilliant blue waters of the Western Cape. Each only hours to the south.
And then there are the animals. I hope I never forget the elegance of grazing giraffe, the goofy laughter of a hippo braying, the beauty of a leopard’s coat, how a lion rolls on it’s back just like our Golden, Brody, and the tenderness of elephants with their young. It will break my heart if rhinos do become extinct in the wild within the next 8-10 years as predicted due to poaching.
Needless to say, life back in our little apartment is feeling a bit ordinary 😉 , but I’ve come back with so much inspiration that I’m eager to put to use. We stayed at some really lovely places and if you’re interested I’ll share more of our itinerary in the coming weeks.
“In a room refined by a curious mind, a touch of humour… It’s a work of art, a striking backdrop… It’s David Shrigley’s Gallery…”
Our bags have been packed, reservations double confirmed, and one epic itinerary has been made, but in the midst of my Type A revelry I forgot to give one leg of our trip some much deserved attention–our day in London!
We decided to extend the requisite layover en route to Johannesburg to allow for a full day of sightseeing since neither of us have been. There are a few must-visits I’m hoping to squeeze in: Sir John Soane’s Museum, the Fabric of India exhibit at the V&A Museum, and visits to Pentreath & Hall and Robert Kime to soak up interior inspiration.
Of course I also wanted to fulfill my cliché American in England tea time fantasy and started researching with gusto last night, which led me to sketch. Basically sketch is a triple threat that allows me to simultaneously fulfill my Anglophile aspirations of Afternoon Tea, pretend I’m in a Wes Anderson film, and continue my campaign for pink walls. Truly a win on all fronts.
What makes the location even more special is it’s actually an art installation–watch this short video for a bit of background–such a brilliant concept!
As always, I would love any and all recommendations as to how we should best utilize our day in London!
While we were in L.A. last week, we spent a few days at the Sunset Tower Hotel, an art deco gem in West Hollywood. Built in 1929 by architect Leland A. Bryant, the property exudes old Hollywood glamour.
Originally built as luxury apartments, the Sunset Tower has counted Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne and Howard Hughes among its residents.
Thanks to a 2004 restoration by hotelier Jeff Klein, the hotel is once again a favorite among celebrities–especially for its famed Tower Bar whose cozy ambiance provides a discreet oasis.
We didn’t spot any celebrities during our stay, but even if we had, I’m pretty sure I’d still have been more impressed by the amazing collection of Cecil Beaton books lining the lobby. As a collector myself, I was more than a little envious!
We didn’t make it to the Tower Bar, favoring the more casual poolside cafe, The Terrace, for breakfast each day instead.
Since we were on East Coast time, we woke early enough to have the entire place to ourselves–providing me with ample opportunity to take an embarrassing amount of photos of the bullion fringe trimmed umbrellas and chic cabana tents. Future pool goals. I couldn’t get enough!
If you’re visiting L.A. I’d highly recommend a visit. The staff were incredibly accommodating–assisting us in a last minute rental car crisis–and the atmosphere is truly from another time. Plus, those umbrellas. 😉
Garrett and I are L.A. bound today for a long weekend with his family on the West Coast! The last time I was in California I was 12 years old, super jazzed about my new vacation wardrobe from Limited Too (anyone remember that brand–apparently it’s coming back!) and not too jazzed about the tropical storm that coincided with our ill-fated trip to Disneyland.
Needless to say, I’ve got a lot of catching up to do! We’re staying at this art deco beauty and I’m really looking forward to soaking up some sun without the 100% humidity we’ve been experiencing in DC as of late.
I’m hoping to visit Gracias Madre, a plant-based Mexican restaurant (shhh not mentioning that detail to Garrett!), which was beautifully designed by Wendy Haworth. Yummy food with a side of inspiration? I’m there.
I’m also hoping to make a pilgrimage to the La Cinega Design Quarter to visit shops I’ve only been able to admire from afar like Hollywood at Home, Harbinger, Hollyhock, and Nathan Turner. Garrett has been quick to remind me that I’m only packing a carry on… just wait until he sees my expandable tote. 😉
As usual I’d love any and all recommendations!
Since starting my business it feels like the months have been flying by at lightening speed and I can’t believe we’re headed to Africa to celebrate our first anniversary in just 5 short months! We decided to do a mini-moon in Charleston after the wedding and plan our “real” honeymoon, a South African safari, to coincide with our first anniversary; hopefully starting a tradition of travel for each anniversary to come.
Being the organization freak that I am, I thought planning two and a half weeks in South Africa would be a breeze… Let’s just all let out a collective laugh on that one. We’ve both traveled internationally but this is the first big trip we’ve planned on our own and the nitty gritty of logistics can be overwhelming!
We finally nailed down our rough itinerary last weekend: 10 days on safari in Sabi Sand, and another 8 days split between the Cape Winelands (we’re staying here for a few nights and to say I can’t wait would be the understatement of the century) and Cape Town.
The ability to crowdsource recommendations from you my chic readers is by far one of the best things about writing this blog so if you have any suggestions for sights we simply cannot miss, things we have to do, and especially places we must eat I’m all ears and would be so grateful!
Thanks and happy Monday!