My 5 Favourite Los Angeles Shopping Destinations
As much as the next girl (and probably a little bit more) I love to shop. Even if I’m not spending any money, I can never get enough of window shopping. It is a great way to just step away from everything that is going on, and also to find ideas and inspiration for my blog. When I was living in London and I just wanted to get out of my flat, I always jumped on the Central Line an headed either East to Westfield Stratford City (I must be one of the few fashion orientated Londoners who actually prefers shopping in Stratford to White City) or West to Regents Street, Carnaby Street and my spiritual home; Selfridges. When I was at home in the countryside and I needed to get out, I always got in my car and drove to Canterbury. Now I’ve been living in Los Angeles for a good few months, I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite places to either go and shop, or to window shop, that you can keep in mind if you’re a shopaholic like me and ever visiting the city!
1. The Farmers Market
I think the fact that what used to be a fashion blog when I started it almost four years ago has almost totally morphed into a foodie blog with little bits of fashion, travel and some outfit posts thrown in stands testament to how much I love anything and everything to do with food. The 5th entry on this shopping hotspot roundup is The Grove shopping mall, but my favourite thing about visiting The Grove is not the shops that are there; but The Farmers Market that is attached to it. They have restaurants and street food stalls for every and every world food destination as well as a brilliant gourmet and hard to find food stores, and a brilliant fresh product market. When I stop by I always pick up French Bread, Belgium Chocolate and Italian Passata from Monsieur Marcel Gourmet Market (their attached restaurant is really good too, they also have a branch at the J.Crew & Apple Store end of 3rd Street).
2. 3rd Street, Santa Monica
Out of all of the shopping destinations on my list, if I’m after a straightforward shopping experience with the largest selection of shops, it is the famous 3rd Street just a few blocks away from the ocean in Santa Monica I’ll always head for. What is more, with their massive Sephora, spacious J.Crew and their newly opened Madewell store, they now have all of my favourite stores in one place, as well as almost every other shop you can think of. The surrounding streets also have some brilliant stores, as well as the best T.J.Maxx for designer clothes I’ve ever been in (does anyone know why T.K.Maxx in the UK is T.J.Maxx in the USA?) And if you get bored of shopping, you can always hit up Santa Monica’s famous pier. Just a thought!
3. Westfield, Century City
There are lots of other awesome things about this particular Westfield (I don’t think I’ll ever be able to look Stratford City and White City back in London in the same way ever again, this one is more like an open air shopping village, think White City without the stupidly busy indoor bit. Also, as there is way more shopping destinations in Los Angeles, it is much quieter and less crowded), but the one draw for me is that they have J.Crew where I can get a student discount with my UCLA Bruin Card, and a Madewell store basically next to each other. There is also a pretty Kate Spade boutique, and it is the opposite side of Santa Monica Blvd. to my favourite of the two Sugar Paper, Los Angeles stores so you can go and stock up on cute stationary in the same trip; two rather beautiful shopping birds killed with one stone!
4. Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice
While most of my favourite destinations are pretty generic and predictable as far as what stores are available are concerned, if you’re after a little something different and indie, you cannot go wrong with Venice’s Abbot Kinney Boulevard. I always make my first stop Local 1205 to pick up one of their mason jars full of fresh pressed juice and a straw to sip as I wander up and down the street checking out the eclectic mix of independent stores, high end boutiques and the most amazing little curiosities and homewares store.
5. The Grove
Right next to The Farmers Market, if I loved The Grove when I first moved to Los Angeles, I absolutely adore it now. As well as my favourite stores like J.Crew and Madewell, there is a really good Banana Republic a brilliant Gap, and the Forever 21 there actually sells some of the nicer, classier items from their collections. There is also some great restaurants a massive cinema, a Barnes & Noble (it is pretty hard to drag me away from a bookshop at the best of times, and this one has many floors and a fantastic cookery section) and there are always events going on in the lovely courtyard that makes The Grove into more of a shopping village than a mall, even complete with a little train that goes around. It looked fantastic over Christmas with all the lights on display, and they even had fake snow falling some evenings!
Angelenos, where are your favourite shopping spots in the city, and do you have any to recomend to me? (Preferably on the Westside, as it is hell getting around without having a car!)