North America

A fun girls weekend in LA, California-style

Our annual trip to California (yes, it has been 10 years since this annual pilgrimage started) is one of my favourite trips each year. I love this place and I always come back for more. A lot more.

This year, after stops in San Diego  (I adored staying at Rancho Valencia) and Palm Springs, and a little over a week of bliss with Mr. O, we decided to mix things up a bit and ‘meet the girls’ in Los Angeles, for an action-packed weekend – if you are going to do it, do it properly, is all I have to say.

LA, baby!

LA, baby!

The girls, as you know by know, are Lauren di Marco and Mary Anne Been – we are starting an exciting project soon, whereby the three of us go places and invite a fourth guest to join us. And on this trip, we had the fab Maxine Tatlonghari, aka Vanity Girl Hollywood as our guest and host.



Mr. and Mrs. O loved the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills

Mr. and Mrs. O loved the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills

Things started well, as I checked in the fab Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. Very well indeed. After a lazy lunch, it was time to get my LA hair. I am making a bit deal of my LA hair because only there I do let my hair get carried away. I found this great place, called the Dry Bar and was delighted with the results (and good value too at $40).

One of the highlights of my California trip: finally meeting Greg Velazquez.

One of the highlights of my California trip: finally meeting Greg Velazquez.

Back at the hotel, it was time to get things started – and I was delighted that the Four Seasons team organised a little party for yours truly and friends. We feasted on wonderful nibbles from Culina, its signature restaurant, paired obviously with bubbles and cocktails.

I am more of a gin girl, but very impressed by the choice available at Nic's Beverly Hills

I am more of a gin girl, but very impressed by the choice available at Nic’s Beverly Hills

From there, we headed to Nic’s Beverly Hills for dinner, which was quite interesting. The food was fine, but I have to say I enjoyed getting up dressed in fur coats to do a little vodka tasting in the ice bar. We do look strange bearing in mind the temperature outside was in the high 20s (Celsius!).

We intended to party the night away, but we are not 20 anymore. So after saying goodnight to the girls, I took my boy for a nightcap back at the hotel, fully intending to be in bed before midnight – well, that did not happen. The Windows Lounge at the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills was so busy and fun, that we ended up staying until the bar closed. Oh well.. you only live once!



After a very lazy morning and a lazy breakfast in bed, it was time to leave our hotel and head to another fabulous hotel: the Beverly Wilshire. Yes, the “Pretty Woman” hotel. We checked-in to our suite, which was huge and had the best views in town: oh yes, give me Rodeo Drive any day of the week.

No rest for the wicked, and before we knew it, it was time for someone to make me pretty again. Maxine had organised an afternoon of fashion and beauty for us – what is not to like?

Getting ready was an experience for the four of us...

Getting ready was an experience for the four of us…

We were to spend the rest of our day in West Hollywood, which is just around the corner from Beverly Hills. The team at Fragola, an appointment-only showroom which sells mostly Italian designer fashions, couldn’t have done anything more for us.

First things first, I needed to hide the lack of sleep from the previous night and maintain my fab LA hair. I needn’t have worried as the fab Lyric Cross, did a great job on me and the girls. I have to confess I did enjoy the attention – a lot!

With the help of our über cool stylist, I tried a variety of wardrobe choices, but there was something about Nina Ricci’s dress collection – all the ones I wanted were hers, so I took it as a sign.

That paired with a fab pair of Sergio Rossi’s (which I later bought as I really liked them and were a bargain at under $100) and ‘those’ diamond earrings, and I was good to go. Those earrings, courtesy of Gerald David Bauman, were amazing. I usually only wear very small earrings but was glad to be challenged to try something different – and was quite pleased with the result.

I did have my Pretty Woman day

I did have my Pretty Woman day

After we were all ready, it was time to begin the photo shoot – and I can tell you, I can totally get used to this! Before we knew it, it was time to wrap. We spent 5 hours trying on great clothes and shoes and being made up whilst sipping champagne and eating strawberries – I can’t tell you how much fun it was.

As I had skipped lunch, I was a bit peckish and we still had some time before dinner, so Maxine suggested we went to Tortilla Republic, which I have to say was a fab idea.

We had a great time at Tortilla Republic

We had a great time at Tortilla Republic

We decided to be brave and try the jalapeno margaritas – oh my God. They really had a kick – and let’s say it purified my body – and were delicious. I did spend most of the time in tears while I was there – but they were happy ones. You could play ‘spot the European’, as it was that obvious. I also really enjoyed the ‘salsa tasting’ with the tortilla chips – very different from the usual. The place looked fab and so did the crowd.

Maxine and Lauren enjoying fab cocktais at Sur

Maxine and Lauren enjoying fab cocktais at Sur

Maxine did a great job of picking this place, especially as it was next door to SUR, where we were to have dinner. Here, we were met by Alison, the LA Flytographer, who was to keep us company for the night and capture some of our best moments, without us posing or noticing. You will see that this is the second time I have worked with Flytographer and really really like this new company and concept.

A fab girls night out at SUR in West Hollywood

A fab girls night out at SUR in West Hollywood

Dinner was fun and again, we intended to go party the night away, but we were a little bit tired. But I couldn’t go to bed and back to the hotel before hitting one of my favourite places in the area – the bar at the SLS Beverly Hills who does something amazing, so amazing, there are almost no words: it is called the ‘Ultimate Gin & Tonic’. Mr. O and I went with Lauren and we decided to be brave and just order gins we wouldn’t normally have – it was so interesting! But after one drink we did go back to our respective hotels…

The Ultimate Gin & Tonic

The Ultimate Gin & Tonic



I can’t tell you much I was looking forward to Sunday… why? I hear you ask.. well, because we were going to the beach. What was so special about it? Despite having been and stayed in Santa Monica over 10 times, I had never been to the beach. Why? I know what you are going to say.. but I only like going to the beach with sunloungers… and for some bizarre reason, they don’t exist in California (you will see them on every beach in Europe and in Florida, for example, so I don’t understand).

Our perfect Sunday - a say spent in Santa Monica

Our perfect Sunday – a say spent in Santa Monica

The City of Santa Monica wanted me to change my perception and organised a day at the beach with our own beach butler. The concept is a little far-fetched (we do have all this in Europe, except we don’t call the people who help out butlers) but it worked. For 50$ at Perry’s Cafe, you get 2 sun beds (I wouldn’t call them loungers as they are not quite it, but they were absolutely fine), an umbrella, unlimited water and lunch. Yes, lunch (from a menu, excluding alcohol). Basically as you want things, you use your walkie-talkie and call the butler and ask away.

The Beach Butler at Santa Monica

The Beach Butler at Santa Monica

From there, it was time to shower and change. We did so at the Exhale Spa at the Fairmont Hotel, where we spent the rest of the afternoon. This beachfront hotel has a great garden and outdoor seating area, and we simply stayed and sipped some wine. I will never forget the amazing sunset… which made me sad: our girls’ weekend was coming to an end, and even worse, so was my California trip.

Shrimp Ceviche at the Border Grill. Yum!

Shrimp Ceviche at the Border Grill. Yum!

Before we knew it, it was time for dinner. This time around, we went to Border Grill, where we had some great Mexican food in a very casual setting. It was lovely.



Mrs. O loved her stay at the Beverly Wilshire

Mrs. O loved her stay at the Beverly Wilshire

On Monday, I had my Pretty Woman day at the Beverly Wilshire. We woke up reasonably early, had an amazing breakfast and I headed to the spa, whilst Mr. O headed to the pool – it wasn’t a bad compromise. I then joined him in our cabana where we made the day last as long as possible – but LA time goes quickly, it always does when you are having fun.

After a quick turnaround, it was time to say goodbye to the Beverly Wilshire, where we spent an amazing weekend (and worry not, I shall review it shortly, as well as its amazing spa on a new series I am starting soon).

I hate leaving California, but it is always a bittersweet feeling: because I always know that in less than a year, I will come back for more. I always do.



Mrs. O


PS. To read about my flight experience back to London on British Airways’ new A380, click here.


Disclaimer: a huge thank you to everyone who made this weekend perfect, especially the cities of West Hollywood and Santa Monica. I rested my head at the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills and at the Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons Hotel. I indulged at FragolaTortilla Republic, SUR, Perry’s Cafe, Exhale Spa and the Border Grill. And I loved being photographed by Charles Hopkins and Flytographer.

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View Comments (24)


  1. A Lady in London

    December 4, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Looks like you ladies had a great time!
    A Lady in London recently posted..Lady in West YorkshireMy Profile

  2. Traveling Ted

    November 14, 2013 at 1:56 am

    You are all looking quite mahvelous. Great to see the four of you doing LA the right way. I would not expect anything less.
    Traveling Ted recently posted..Cumberland Falls the Kaieteur of the SouthMy Profile

  3. Kieu ~ GQ trippin

    November 13, 2013 at 7:16 am

    You girls look like you had a fabulous time! I love a good fun weekend with the girls. Next time you’re in Cali, let us know. 🙂
    Kieu ~ GQ trippin recently posted..The World’s Dollar MenuMy Profile

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      November 13, 2013 at 5:03 pm

      We did indeed! And when we go to your part of California, I will surely say hello!

  4. Erin at The World Wanderer

    November 13, 2013 at 12:28 am

    This weekend sounded so fabulous! I love all the photos – you all look like you are having a blast. Also, that gin and tonic! YUM!
    Erin at The World Wanderer recently posted..Arrive Feeling Refreshed: the Dos and Don’ts of Air Travel.My Profile

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      November 13, 2013 at 5:00 pm

      Yum would not describe it 😉 we did have an amazing time. I miss California already!

  5. Mary Anne

    November 12, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    It’s a tough life we lead… I can’t wait for our next adventure.

  6. Hogga

    November 12, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    looks like you had so much fun!
    Hogga recently posted..Seeing Montreal with Le St. MartinMy Profile

  7. Travelingpanties

    November 12, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    Looked absolutely amazing!!!!! Such fun having makeovers done! Can’t wait until I get back out to Los Angeles this spring. Me and Miss Nadine Jolie might just have to copy this entire itinerary! Glad you had a fab time!
    Travelingpanties recently posted..LA SOIRÉE New York City Has Arrived: A Review of this Risqué ShowMy Profile

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      November 12, 2013 at 10:19 pm

      LA is such a fun place – we did have fun! So sorry to have missed Nadine in Santa Monica. Next time for sure!

  8. lola dimarco

    November 12, 2013 at 3:30 am

    we do look fabulous don’t we? until next time 😉
    lola dimarco recently posted..Explore Barcelona on a BudgetMy Profile

  9. Veera Bianca

    November 11, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    You are looking absolutely beautiful in these photos!
    Veera Bianca recently posted..Misty Morning In New DelhiMy Profile

  10. Raul (@ilivetotravel)

    November 10, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Sounds like you all had a blast!
    Raul (@ilivetotravel) recently posted..On the Other Side of the Golden HornMy Profile

  11. Craig Zabransky

    November 9, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    There a few sun loungers here on the east coast of the US 🙂 Love my time in the sun, especially later afternoon prior to the sunset, which I know are quite good in California.

    And, this whole post just says-GLAM. Love the hair too and it all makes me realize I need to put my stay luxurious hat on and get back to LA… thanks for sharing.

    stay glamorous, Craig
    Craig Zabransky recently posted..Adventure Awaits at the Niagara FallsMy Profile

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      November 11, 2013 at 11:57 am

      Our pleasure… still don’t understand the sunlounger thing in California. Do go back, it is such a great place!

  12. Mira

    November 6, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Loved the report and your fabulous look with long and stylish diamond earrings. Looking great!

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