Palihouse West Hollywood, Los Angeles

In few weeks ago we were lucky enough to visit Los Angeles for a few days to surprise friends for a birthday party. We started our trip with a day recovering from jetlag in Malibu (see previous post) and then we headed to Shutters on the Beach for a few days to surprise a great friend for his birthday.

I was planning to share a review of Shutters on the blog, but for two reasons I have decided against it.

The first is that despite the hype (and price!), we were a litte disappointed with our stay. It just didn’t deliver what we expected and because it was so expensive, we did expect a lot. The rooms were quite small and ours had no outlook, the staff were fine, but not particularly friendly or helpful and nothing seemed to be included in the crazily expensive room rate!

We were charged extra for breakfast, extra for the afternoon tea that is served in reception and looks as though it’s complimentary (nothing compared to the amazing afternoon teas at Babington!) and extra to use one of the hotel’s bikes to cycle along Santa Monica beach.

The other thing (which we can’t blame the hotel for) is that the weather was awful; there was a thick fog that covered the hotel and beach, so we couldn’t see the sea and it was cold. Goodbye to sipping rosé on the terrace by the sea and hello to open fires and hot chocolate!

The strangest part is that you would drive a block or two inland, the mist would lift and there was bright sunshine! Apparently this is quite common in Santa Monica, particularly in the summer, but in my view it’s another reason to book something a little further inland rather than spend the extra to stay at Shutters.

Anyway, this post is not about Shutters, it is about the gorgeous Palihouse Hotel in West Hollywood, where we stayed for our last night in LA. It was wonderful!

Palihouse West Hollywood, Los Angeles

Palihouse West Hollywood, Los Angeles

Palihouse West Hollywood, Los Angeles

The interiors at the hotel are gorgeous – really inspiring and there is so much to look at. Gorgeous vintage pieces, lots of colour and texture, really unique and stylish. I particularly loved the feel of the restaurant, a little cool oasis away from the busy West Hollywood streets. Soft greens and comfy seating, combined with lots of plants and funky furnishings, it really is a stunning spot. The food was amazing too!

Palihouse West Hollywood, Los Angeles

Palihouse West Hollywood, Los Angeles

The hotel is in a converted apartment building and the design of the rooms really accentuates this. Ours was room 212 and it was huge! It was basically an apartment; a cool kitchen and living area that led into the bedroom and huge master bathroom. The decor as in the rest of the hotel, was a mixture of lovely vintage finds that worked brilliantly together, with a slightly industrial slant.

Palihouse West Hollywood, Los Angeles

Palihouse West Hollywood, Los Angeles

Palihouse West Hollywood, Los Angeles

Palihouse West Hollywood, Los Angeles

Palihouse West Hollywood, Los Angeles

Palihouse West Hollywood, Los Angeles

Palihouse West Hollywood, Los Angeles

Palihouse West Hollywood, Los Angeles

Palihouse West Hollywood, Los Angeles

After settling in and having lunch we decided to head out to explore Beverly Hills for the afternoon. Palm trees and blue skies – can you ever get enough of them?! We stopped on Rodeo Drive for a spot of window shopping/people watching too.

Palihouse West Hollywood, Los Angeles

Palihouse West Hollywood, Los Angeles

Palihouse West Hollywood, Los Angeles

When back at the hotel we headed up to the roof terrace for a sundowner before heading to the airport- they have a huge roof bar area and again, it’s beautifully decorated with amazing views of the Hollywood hills. This was the perfect place to end out whirlwind week in LA and I’ll definitely be booking again when I’m next in La La Land!

Palihouse West Hollywood, Los Angeles

Palihouse West Hollywood, Los Angeles

Palihouse West Hollywood, Los Angeles

Palihouse West Hollywood, Los Angeles

Palihouse West Hollywood, Los Angeles

Palihouse West Hollywood, Los Angeles

Palihouse West Hollywood, Los Angeles

Palihouse West Hollywood, Los Angeles

Photography by Patrick Butler-Madden

Laura Butler-Madden spends 24 hours in Malibu, Los Angeles

A few weeks ago we were lucky enough to escape the chilly UK and head over the pond to Los Angeles for a week. The main reason for the trip was to surprise one of our closest friends. He lives in Melbourne and was heading to Aspen and LA for a birthday trip. We had it all planned with his wife that we would be hiding in LA to surprise them and then spend three fun-filled days and nights together. We were so excited/terrified that we would do something to ruin the surprise – with social media it would be so easy to slip up! We landed in California and snuck down to Malibu to spend a quiet 24 hours before they arrived. I was given a social media ban, which was hard to stick to as I had so many lovely photos I was longing to share in Instagram!

Typically (I suffer terribly with jetlag) I woke at silly o’clock raring to go. I stayed in bed reading quietly and replying to a few emails until P woke up. At 7am sharp we were waiting to be seated at the famous and beautiful Malibu Farm.

Laura Butler-Madden spends 24 hours in Malibu, Los Angeles

Laura Butler-Madden spends 24 hours in Malibu, Los Angeles

Laura Butler-Madden spends 24 hours in Malibu, Los Angeles

Laura Butler-Madden spends 24 hours in Malibu, Los Angeles

Laura Butler-Madden spends 24 hours in Malibu, Los Angeles

It was amazing to be there so early – we watched the sun rise and it was SO beautiful and bright, just what we needed after a cold, grey London. There was no one there except for us and the birds. We eventually managed to track down a waiter (I’m not sure they are used to such early risers) and ordered ravenously from the menu, coffees, juices and two very large, but very delicious breakfast sandwiches. Just what my rumbling tummy needed. I don’t know about you, but do you find that jet-lag makes you crazily hungry?

Laura Butler-Madden spends 24 hours in Malibu, Los Angeles

Laura Butler-Madden spends 24 hours in Malibu, Los Angeles

Laura Butler-Madden spends 24 hours in Malibu, Los Angeles

Laura Butler-Madden spends 24 hours in Malibu, Los Angeles

 

Laura Butler-Madden spends 24 hours in Malibu, Los Angeles

Malibu, Los Angeles

Laura Butler-Madden spends 24 hours in Malibu, Los Angeles

After exploring the pier we heading to the equally famous Zuma beach, which as lovely and wild and perfect for surfing. Speaking of surfing, we then headed back to Malibu beach, to the famous Point Break spot for sunset – I haven’t seen that film in years, but it all flooded back when seeing all the surfers in action there.

Laura Butler-Madden spends 24 hours in Malibu, Los Angeles

Laura Butler-Madden spends 24 hours in Malibu, Los Angeles

 Laura Butler-Madden spends 24 hours in Malibu, Los Angeles

Laura Butler-Madden spends 24 hours in Malibu, Los Angeles

Our plan for the evening had been to go to treat ourselves and go to Nobu for supper, but we were both a little too exhausted and ended up having room service back at the hotel. We watched the sunset from the hotel terrace with a glass of wine and then headed for an early night, saving our energy for the rest of the trip!

Laura x

Laura Butler-Madden spends 24 hours in Malibu, Los Angeles

Laura Butler-Madden spends 24 hours in Malibu, Los Angeles

Photography by Patrick Butler-Madden

Hotel San Francesc, Palma, Mallorca

Palma is one of the loveliest cities in the world. It is small – small enough to walk or cycle around in one day, but it’s also beautiful, and big enough to get lost in. There are lots of small streets to meander through as your try to find your way around; from the elegance of El Born and Ramblas (it’s like a mini Barcelona), to the slightly more relaxed and uber fashionable Santa Catalina, which is where all the cool cats hang out!

Hidden away through a maze of tiny streets in the very centre of the city is a lovely, peaceful square. On that square there is a beautiful church and it appears not much else, until you spot the subtly branded Sant Francesc Hotel Singular. In August Palma is hot! We were there in early August when most people who are visiting the island are in the coastal beach resorts or relaxing by their swimming pool at their country finca. We just had one night in the city after a lovely stay in Pollensa and it was the perfect end to our holiday. The hotel is beautiful – housed in a former palace with interiors that could have been lifted from the pages of an interior magazine. And it’s cool. Physically and metaphorically. We arrived from the sweltering heat of the car and immediately felt refreshed. The reception area is super stylish and comfortable and the rest of the hotel reflects that.

After we settled in and unpacked a few things, we headed up to the pool area on the roof for a light lunch and a glass of something pink. The food was delicious (a mixture of sushi and salad) and the view across the rooftops is magical. It’s also a great place for a spot of people watching.

Once the sun started to go down, we decided to brave the heat and went for a potter around the City across to the Cathedral. It’s such an amazing building, a must see if you do visit Palma. We then headed back to the hotel (via a couple of cute wine bars that we stumbled across) to have supper at the hotel’s awards winning restaurant, Quadrat, located in the former stables of the palace. We opted for the tasting menu with accompanying wine flight and we weren’t disappointed. The food was delicious and the setting magical – we went to bed to very full and happy and had a great night’s sleep in the soft, comfy beds.

It really is a wonderful place to stay in an almost perfect city. I can’t recommend it enough.

LBM

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Hotel San Francesc, Palma, Mallorca

Hotel San Francesc, Palma, Mallorca

Hotel San Francesc, Palma, Mallorca

Hotel San Francesc, Palma, Mallorca

Hotel San Francesc, Palma, Mallorca

Hotel San Francesc, Palma, Mallorca

Hotel San Francesc, Palma, Mallorca

Bedroom at Hotel San Francesc

Bedroom at Hotel San Francesc, Palma

Hotel San Francesc, Palma

Hotel San Francesc, Palma

Hotel San Francesc, Palma

Swimming costume by ASOS (similar here), sunglasses by Tom Ford, earrings from Dinny Hall (similar here).

Palma Rooftops

Palma Rooftops

Rooftop swimming pool, Palma

Palma rooftops

Palma Rooftops

Palma, Mallorca

Palma, Mallorca

Hotel San Francesc, Palma, Mallorca

Palma Cathedral

Palma Cathedral

(Images by Patrick Butler-Madden)

Laura Butler-Madden's Trip to New England

We had the most glorious weekend with friends in New England in October – it’s taken me a while to get round to sorting all the photos of our trip, but finally I’m there! For P’s 40th birthday present we headed out to the US for a two week trip around New England. It was such a treat and we started the holiday in style by using our air miles to upgrade to First Class!

We arrived in Boston to spend the weekend with some great friends who live there – they have a gorgeous house in the Cambridge area of the City as well as a weekend house in the beautiful, leafy (which was perfect for that time of year!), sleepy seaside town of Annisquam.

As you can see from the photos, it really is a stunning place. The beaches and the clapboard houses are to die for. We pottered around the gorgeous town of Rockport (the town in the George Clooney movie, A Perfect Storm), bought some fresh lobster and headed back home after a delicious seafood lunch and walk on the beach.

That evening we wanted to catch the sunset in the bay next to their house – we were back a little late, so had to run to get there in time, but it was so worth it as you can see below! When we got home shattered from all the exertion(!), we relaxed in ourPJs, drinking champagne and eating lobster – such an indulgence and the perfect end to the perfect weekend!

The next part of the trip I’ll be sharing is our drive into Vermont to stay at the famous Pitcher Inn.

LBM

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Laura Butler-Madden's Trip to New England

Laura Butler-Madden's Trip to New England

Laura Butler-Madden's Trip to New England

Laura Butler-Madden's Trip to New England

Laura Butler-Madden's Trip to New England

Laura Butler-Madden's Trip to New England

Laura Butler-Madden's Trip to New England

Laura Butler-Madden's Trip to New England

Apologies that this post is a little late, but moving house has been a little distracting over the last few weeks! As regular readers will know, I spend quite a lot of time in Pollensa on the north of Mallorca.

A few years ago P and I lived there together and we still visit regularly as my parents have a house  there. Over the years I have shared various posts about the beautiful town, but I haven’t yet blogged though about our favourite day there; Sunday. It’s when the town really comes to life, whatever the time of year – there is a wonderful food market in the main square and everyone goes – catching up with friends for a coffee and a croissant is one of the highlights of the morning!

This year we decided to add another element to our perfect Sunday…we rose just before dawn to drive out to the lighthouse at Formentor to watch the sun rise. It is one of the most beautiful places in the world and the drive there is as magical as the destination itself. When we arrived at the Lighthouse we found that we weren’t the only early birds – some keen cyclists as well as a little family of goats were waiting there to greet us!

After a quick walk around the lighthouse, we took lots of photos of the views and then jumped back in the car to head back to Pollensa in time for the market. It really is a feast of the eyes as well as your tummy – the size and colour of the of the produce is amazing – particularly the lettuce and tomatoes – so much tastier than a lot of what we have in the UK, so we stocked up for the week.

After buying all our food and stopping for a coffee at Club Pollensa, our usual Sunday routine would be to head to our favourite restaurant in town, Trencadora, for Sunday lunch. This year it was just too hot to sit in the middle of the day and eat a full lunch (35+ degrees!), so we missed this out, though we did make up for it with some extra evenings there during the week! The food is Italian and delicious, very reasonably priced and the restaurant is set in a lovely walled garden – you really shouldn’t miss a visit there if you find yourself in Pollensa and hungry.

Instead of our Trencadora home we just headed home to relax by the pool with some magazines and a chilled glass of Rosé – utter bliss.

If only we were still there!

LBM
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{Photography by Patrick Butler-Madden}