Beverly Hills, Brunch, California, Restaurants, Shopping

A Rookie’s Guide to Beverly Hills: A Day of Food, Shopping and Must-Sees

Beverly Hills… that’s where I want TO BE! After countless references to this city in reality TV shows and popular songs, I finally understand what all the fuss is about. This place is simply lavish – there really is no other way to describe it. Think Gossip Girl, but an L.A. version… on steroids. The lifestyle of this place is like nothing else. After a few days in Santa Monica, we set our sights on a day in this most iconic of L.A. towns.

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First on our list was breakfast of course. But this wasn’t just any breakfast. It was a beautiful brunch at the Ivy, which, if you haven’t heard of it, is basically the celebrity hub of all brunch places in L.A. I’m talking Khloe Kardashian and Lionel Messi famous. So after a hotel workout and an hour of beautification, my family and I were on our way to enjoy the fanciest brunch of my life, and maybe a celebrity sighting or two.

Immediately, I was blown away. White-washed stone and vibrant florals adorned each corner and windowsill of the patio, which was filled with tables clothed in white linen and topped with vibrant roses. After the valet whisked the car away, we walked through the white picket fence and were escorted inside for a complementary glass of champagne and blueberry scones with jam. I was instantly sold.

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The outside was cooled by massive cloth umbrellas and the late morning breeze, and I excitedly opened my menu and poured over the mouthwatering options. We washed down creamed coffee with beautiful glasses of sangria, filled to the brim with fresh cherries, peaches and orange slices, our eyes fluttering to the gate each time it opened in hopes of our first celebrity sighting.

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Now to the main event – the FOOD. I happily piled soft scrambled eggs and smoked salmon onto Capri toast, and finished it off with a plate of fresh fruit. But of course, I also sampled everyone else’s meal, which consisted of huevos rancheros and fresh crab Benedict. Obviously, everything was amazing. 

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Two delicious hours later, we changed out of our heels and into street attire (it had risen to a balmy 85 degrees by 1 PM) and spent the rest of our day sightseeing and shopping on Rodeo Drive– and by “shopping,” I mean staring longingly at $10,000 watches and designer shoes. Gucci, Prada, and Chanel were a few of the places we meandered into , and I swear, each alley led to some secret garden or fancy restaurant. I literally felt like I was in a movie. Needless to say, the place is a MECCA for Instagram shots.

If I’m being totally honest, the whole experience was freakin’ intimidating. Walking past dozens of shiny limousines and into these iconic stores made me feel super out of place, but I was surprised by how accommodating and open the store clerks were. Harry Winston, for example, exceeded my expectations. The opulence there is mind blowing, but instead of shunning us out the door Pretty Woman style (we clearly were there to ogle, not to buy), the friendly associate gave us a full-blown tour of the stunning jewelry display. I’m not sure if I can justify a ring being priced higher than my first car, but the whole experience is definitely essential for first time LA. visitors.

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The cherry on top of my family’s Beverly Hills experience was the drive through the very hills that gave the area its name. Cruising through the towering palms and neighborhood streets around Mulholland Drive, I turned to my sister and said, “Now THIS is how I’ve always pictured California.” Up and up we continued to go, each home guarded by private gates and ivy-covered fences. If you want the full touristy experience, book a guided tour through the Hollywood Hills where they tell you which celebrities live in each house. I was dying to know!

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Sitting at the top Beverly Hills and gazing upon the mansion-clustered desert was an indescribable feeling. Would I come back to this place? Absolutely. It’s fun living like a celebrity for a few days, and I finally felt like I had the full Los Angeles experience… at least from the tourist perspective. There is no doubt in my mind that I will return in the near future to explore the different sides of L.A. and California as a whole, but for now, I’m happy I have these memories to mark my first time in La La Land.


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