Venice Beach and Santa Monica…

When we visited LA in February this year, we decided to stay in Marina Del Rey so that we could explore Venice Beach and Santa Monica easily. We absolutely loved all three places along the beach and I knew that I categorically wanted to visit again when we were on the West Coast in the summer. Flash forward six months and Phil and I found ourselves in the exact spot that we spent Valentine’s Day at, eating cheesecake and taking in those gorgeous Marina views. What a treat!

The area is currently undergoing development and we were surprised to see just how far it had come in those six months. It’s such a lovely area with lots of outdoors activities going on – including paddle board yoga!!! Defo giving that one a go next time although I’m almost certain I’ll end up in the water.

When people ask me if I enjoy cycling, I reply with ‘only in LA’, which whilst I’m aware it sounds a bit ridiculous, it’s true! I just love cycling along the beach on the concrete paths adorned with skaters, Segways and fun. It’s just so effortless with gorgeous views of the sea. 

I like to cycle from Venice Beach to Santa Monica pier, it’s not far at all and really enjoyable. Sometimes we make a couple of stops, for example on this occasion we stopped at Muscle Beach to have a nose (which resulted in a detour to Gold’s Gym after Phil saw someone wearing a hat that he liked!!).

P Diddy was super reluctant to go cycling, we almost literally had to drag him onto the bike and move his legs for him at first, but after a few minutes he loved it and was even singing whilst he cycled! We had to prize him off once we had finished.

On this occasion, Phil and I shared a tandem because we haven’t done that before and we thought that it would be fun. It was great! I sat on the back whilst Phil did all of the hard work. I would highly recommend it!

Once we reached Santa Monica, we hung out for a while on the beach enjoying the sumptuous sunshine that SoCal offers. I really, really love LA and the lifestyle.

On our cycle back, Phil spotted a pair of sunglasses that he’d been after for over a year on a stall (it was a good day for Phil), so we stopped in Venice Beach for a little shop. I love the atmosphere in Venice, so fun and colourful. No doubt without hidden dark sides, but mostly fun and bright.

Although we currently have no plans to travel back to the West Coast, I know that LA is somewhere we will definitely be visiting again. I just love it there so much!


Have you visited Santa Monica?

L x

What I wore in Venice, a mini outfit diary…

Last week I wrote about our time spent in Venice over the summer and this week I thought I would put together a mini outfit diary. 

We were so, so lucky with the weather for our trip. Sumptuous sunshine everyday except the morning of our departure. The days were lovely and warm, with high temperatures carrying on into the evening. I knew that I needed comfortable and cool outfits that were perfect for exploring this city on water.

This black daisy print maxi is from Jack Wills. I adore their style and especially love their dresses. This one was perfect for popping out to dinner in the evening. I teamed it with some sandals from Accessorize and a black pair of Ray Ban Clubmasters.

 Hubby is wearing a cap from Target which we picked up in San Francisco last year, Ray Ban sunnies, Topman tee, shorts are last year from River Island and a pair of Toms.

I picked up this cute white top from American Eagle Outfitters whilst in Florida over Easter. It’s such a great buy because it can be dressed up or down, worn with jeans or as seen here, black tailored shorts. This outfit was perfect for a day exploring the islands. I teamed it with some sunnies that I bought at a Forever 21 store in Vegas last year and some black tailored shorts from TU at Sainsbury’s.

I’m such an adorner of flip flops during the summer months and this sneaky Accessorize airport buy was perfect for our trip.

Hubby is wearing a grey tee from All Saints and the rest is the same as above.

No trip to Venice is complete without a gondola ride and on this occasion I chose to wear this lovely gingham dress from Jack Wills. I love the quality of their products and the fact that most of their dresses have pockets (hurrah for convenience!). Teamed with a pair of Ray Ban wayfarers, this was the perfect outfit for exploring the main island.

Hubby is wearing a top from AllSaints and a pair of navy tailored shorts (although I can’t remember where they are from, but I want to say Primark?!). 

I’m so sad that summer has come to an end although I love autumnal cosy knits and I’m a bit of a coat collector, so it’s not all bad. Hopefully we will escape for some winter sun and I’ll be back in my dresses and flip flops!

Do you have any summer wardrobe favourites that you’ll miss over the winter months?

L x 

12 Things you must do in Venice…


As we flew above the sea, descending into a new world, I couldn’t tear myself away from the plastic oval window that I was sat beside. I looked down at the tiny islands surrounded by water and tried to distinguish which one was which. Was I looking at the famous glass island or the one with the coloured houses?  I had heard many great tales of this little spot in Italy. Stories of magnificent beauty, magic and untold amounts of gondolas guided by men singing ‘just one Cornetto’. I couldn’t wait to explore.

You see, Venice had been on the ‘list’ for a while and as a huge fan of everything Italian, I knew I needed to go. That’s why I was super thrilled when our lovely friends Kim and Simon (or Kimon as I like to call them), suggested a trip, I had my passport in my hand before you could say ‘gelato’. 

We had chosen to travel in the summer, which was something that I had been warned against. Told that it was smelly and crowded. I had heard about such an odour from so many people that I genuinely wasn’t sure whether or not I needed to pack a peg for my nose. I was absolutely delighted when upon our arrival I discovered that it really isn’t that smelly and no more crowded than London, so I tossed my carefree nose in the air and began to enjoy the beauty that is Venice. 

The sun was shining and the water glistened as it danced underneath, surrounding us on our little island. There were no roads, no traffic lights, just bridge upon bridge over little canals weaving through the land. Boats were an accessory to the water, like a new pair of boots on a rainy day. Enjoyable, yet completely convenient. I have always had a charming love affair with both the sea and travelling by boat. I love how free I feel bobbing along, taking in my surroundings. Needless to say, I fell completely in love with Venice. The people, the food, the beautiful architecture, the boat rides, the beach and mostly, the fact that in all of the places that we have visited, the sights we have seen, Venice is remarkably unique. 
We had such a tremendous time exploring what Venice has to offer. I find that when I am visiting somewhere new, I need to experience it. Fully. I need to walk the streets the locals walk, I need to see all of the famous landmarks. I need to eat the local cuisine. I need to absorb so much that I can barely move. 

In case you haven’t guessed, I loved our time in Venice and I now present to you twelve things you must do in Venice.


1. Take in the architecture.

Have a meander around the cobbled streets that are swallowed by buildings, creating tiny walkways, but don’t forget to look up for there are so many gorgeous buildings oozing Italian history. Forget your Millenium Dome, these buildings have been here for centuries and they are pretty gorgeous! 

2. Visit Murano – the glass island.

Murano is a great little island to explore, especially if you want to get away from the rush on the main island. It’s a little quieter, but just as beautiful with gorgeous buildings and cute little glass shops.

3. Go on a Gondola ride.

Whilst they are a little on the pricey side (80 € per boat for around half an hour), I simply couldn’t imagine having visited Venice without going on a gondola. The idea just feels criminal. You can find slightly cheaper rides just off of the main canal, and to be honest the best part of our ride was meandering down the narrow paths, away from the big boats on the main canal, so if you are looking to save a bit of cash it’s a good way to go. We all loved our ride on the gondola. Just don’t expect them to be singing ‘just one Cornetto’. I was terribly disappointed.

4. Stuff your face with the most scrumptious authentic Italian cuisine.

Eat, eat and then eat some more. There are so many cute little restaurants lining the streets of Venice, each one offering wonderful traditional dishes. I am a big fan of Italian food and loved shovelling pasta in my face. They are all pretty reasonably priced too, and there are a few pizzerias where you can grab a slice of pizza for a Euro or two.

5. Visit a glass making factory on Murano.

There are a few factories on the island of Murano and many of them offer free tours where you can watch the glass being made. Definitely worth a nosey!

6. Visit the Lido island.

The Lido island feels a bit more familiar with its roads and larger shops. It’s still very beautiful and worth a stroll around.

7. Have a day at the beach.

The beach on the Lido island is so lovely with golden sand and warm waters. There are also little restaurants nearby and beach shops, so it’s so easy to spend the whole day there. They also have volleyball and boat hire facilities if you are feeling fun!

8. Hire a bicycle

Why not explore the islands by bicycle? There are a few places dotted around, especially on the Lido island. With virtually no cars, cycling is a great way to get around. 

9. Head over to Burano

Burano is a stunning island riddled with brightly coloured houses. It’s so unique and there are lots of restaurants and shops around to spend a few hours.

10. Eat copious amounts of gelato.

When in Italy it is of paramount importance that the consumption of gelato takes place on multiple occasions throughout the day. There are so, so many different flavours to try and each gelataria has their own speciality flavour. Try them all!

11. Grab a Venetian mask 

Venice is reknowned for its unique masks and there are so many shops on the main island selling traditional Venetian masks. We loved looking at all of the crazy designs and seeing how they are made. 

12. Watch the story of Venice

Something that I wish we had done was watch the story of Venice performed on stage. There is a show that runs most nights on the main island, but unfortunately I only heard about it on our last day, so we were unable to go. It’s performed in English and sounds really good, so give it a go if you can!


So there you have it, my guide of things to do in Venice.

Have you visited Venice before?

L x