What to wear to the NZ Polo Open

The NZ Polo Open continues to cement itself within the highly competitive social calendar of events each summer. Traditionally, the dress code for the final match day was formal “Sunday best”. But over the years the sport has continued to grow, attracting a broader more diverse crowd keen to inject their dynamic fashion flare onto the scene. It could be considered as riveting to watch as the game itself!

Coming off the back of the racing season and nestled amongst the flurry of music and social events, what to wear to the polo can be a bit of a grey area for first timers or those unfamiliar with the day. Plan for breathable materials. It’s a big day of spectating from the sidelines, mingling and stomping divots in the sun. You want to make sure your outfit is fashionable yet sensible. For both women and men, the rules are simple. Keep it elegant, effortless and comfortable.

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We caught up with this year’s NZ Polo Open fashion sponsors Moochi and Rodd & Gunn to create a short What to Wear to the Polo guide:

For the ladies:

Dress: For a floating silhouette opt for lighter fabrics such as chiffon or silk, allowing movement, comfort and a bit of breeze. A two piece set can create a relaxed yet sophisticated look with a tailored pair of high waisted linen shorts, a top with a pop of colour, completed with a lightweight blazer or feel confident in a sundress or jumpsuit with texture or ruffles. I am loving the resurgence of wide leg culottes and would love to see these make more of an appearance on the day!

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Colour: To create a safe classic aesthetic, opt for pastels or neutral colours or enhance the look with colour blocks or opposing hues. While the general guide is lighter tones, do not fear rejection if you want to flirt with a bold colour!

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Accessories: Accessories are an easy way to accentuate your look or add structure to a flowy dress. A statement thick belt can add shape at the waist or allow you to play with hem lengths. Unlike the races, the Polo has a slightly more relaxed vibe, so shorter dress lengths are acceptable but keep to the guide  – elegant, effortless and comfortable.

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The Polo is not the event to showcase your creative millinery skills, leave this for the races. However you can transfer your creativity over to your hat; big, floppy or wide brimmed and add features such as detailing or a scarf tied around and draping down your back.

For the men:

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Dress: Each year I am equally impressed by the outfits creatively pieced together by the men, as I am the women. I must say, kiwi guys most definitely have it in them! You can’t go wrong with a pair of neutral toned tailored chinos. Shorts are perfectly acceptable as long as they are tailored and tidy. Given its name, a polo shirt is an easy win on the day but I would encourage everyone to have a bit of fun with your style and wear a lightweight shirt and a blazer. This is where you can weave in pops of colour and patterns. I  prefer a long sleeved shirt with sleeves rolled up over a short sleeved shirt but personal preference. Linen shirts are comfortably classic, exactly what you should be aiming for, for a day at the polo.

Colour: Let loose on some colour! Brightly coloured linen shirts are making a strong entrance this summer and work well when balanced against a neutral toned pant. Or flip it and wear a pair of coloured chinos with a white shirt or muted shades.

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Accessories: Men’s accessories can be commonly overlooked yet they can take a look from smart to dapper. Add a coloured pocket square in your blazer, experiment with hats or swap out the leather for a coloured woven belt. Chelsea boots are best worn with chinos, while tidy boat shoes or loafers are worn with tailored shorts.

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With that said, there really are no strict rules when it comes to Polo attire, especially in New Zealand. The NZ Polo Open has created a relaxed and open community of spectators all there to experience one of the country’s most exhilarating and thrilling sports. As long as you are contributing your own personal flare to the scene whilst respecting the sport and tradition, all are welcome and we look forward to seeing you there!

For more info on NZ Polo Open

For the ladies visit Moochi

For the men visit Rodd & Gunn

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Photo credit Leet & Co and Moochi

hollyxxx

 

A Merry Mecca Christmas

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The Christmas rush is in full force! With the crowded malls and queues for days, I prefer to find a few stores that offer a selection of gifts that allow me to tick off the long list one swoop, and Mecca is definitely one of my favourites. You simply cant go wrong when handing over the colourful festive Mecca bag or box. It is an instant win.

Not only can you find a gift for almost everyone, the team have made the Christmas shopping experience easy with categorised budget options $50, $75, $100 and $150 as well as sectioned areas specifically for limited edition Christmas gifts beautifully wrapped and ready to go.

Here are a few of my favourites:

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Limited edition TOCCA hand creams inspired by travel around Italy’s locations: the Amalfi Coast, Sicily, Corsica and Rome $38

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A bit of fun with the Sol De Janeiro limited edition Carnival Dreams Bum Bum set, how can you be disappointed receiving a Brazilian Bum Bum Cream for smooth, softly shimmered skin! $69

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The Mecca Cosmetica Holiday Collection offers everything from Secret Santa pressies and luxurious Christmas crackers for the dreamiest dinner party table settings to special gifts for your most loved. All beautifully packaged and ready to go, scroll through the endless options here.

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Bastille: French, Chic and natural luxe, these products are perfect for mums.

Diptyque: The Iconic Parisian perfumery creates exquisite candles and perfumes featuring the cutest festive designs. Perfect for mums, work colleagues and friends.

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Annnnnnd for the ultimate Christmas gift …. La Mer. Gentleman, you cannot go wrong with a little pot of La Mer gold for your lady. Although I do use a range of products I would say that it was La Mer that dramatically reduced my acne scarring around my chin area. Since using this product I saw results within weeks. Expensive but worth every cent and the pottles range in price so you can opt for a small size.

Merry Mecca Christmas everyone!

hollyxxx

 

Race Day Ready with Auckland Racing Club

One of the reasons why I love the racing season so much is because it is one of the few times of the year where New Zealanders truly celebrate bold fashion. It is a time and place where we feel confident to put our best fashion self forward. We’re not particularly known for our bright and bold style, yet the grounds of Ellerslie Racecourse during a race day would certainly say otherwise.

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The talent behind the dramatic head pieces and statement accessories is incredible and I feel inspired watching all the milliners and DIYers put their crafty skills to the test, creating exquisite features from all sorts of bits and bobs.

Twilight Races, Boxing Day Races, Derby Day … the calendar is back to back. I love the mix and mingle atmosphere and the way the different events bring together a diverse mix of racing enthusiasts, fashion style stars and those who are out for a new social experience.

Twilight Races is next up on Thursday 12th December from 3:30pm and attracts a younger after work crowd. The fashion is slightly more relaxed with a fun evening racing meets cocktail vibe. Incorporate the bright colours or go for bold textures, interesting layering and a simple headpiece or headband.

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Get the Glamour Boutique Look

1. Frill Plunge Midi Dress in Red

Louis Vuitton from My Designer Handbag

2.Fuchsia Delight Mini Dress

Louis Vuitton from My Designer Handbag

3.Change of Heart Dress

Saint Laurent from My Designer Handbag

4.Chain of Fire Mini Dress

Louis Vuitton from My Designer Handbag

 

For all ticket and race day info visit www.ellerslie.co.nz 

See you there!

The Ultimate NZ Fashion Week Job Alert!

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Calling all up-and-coming photographers, designers, bloggers or fashion journos – Peroni is giving one lucky applicant a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become the Peroni Fashion Week Ambassador. This is the ultimate Fashion Week job, bumping shoulders with those at the heart of the New Zealand fashion industry. The Peroni Ambassador will take over Peroni’s Instagram account during Fashion Week, documenting their experience through curated content and stories at the shows, back stage and at exclusive events.

The final candidate will also receive a job package consisting of NZFW VIP Delegate status, remuneration, return flights, accommodation at the Grand Millennium, access to NZFW shows and backstage, invites to exclusive events and parties, hosting by Peroni, and more.

Interested? Then ‘Show us your Peroni style’ by uploading an Instagram image using the hashtag #PeroniNZFW and visit http://www.peroninzfw.co.nz to apply. My advice? There is so much content on Instagram and it is getting harder and harder to get those thumbs to stop. So be creative, have fun with colour and textures. Step away from what’s already be done and be a bit daring. Demonstrate your own style, flair, unfinished?

Applications will open to the public on 3 July and close on 24 July. Applicants must be aged 25 or over as at 24 July 2019.

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hollyxxx

Inside Queenstown’s Luxurious Penthouse: Penthouse No. 10 at Sofitel

Like the red sole of a Louboutin, Queenstown has stamped its trademark in the world of luxury. Peppered with opulence, this mystical town has people travelling from across the world for the experience.

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Situated in the heart of the town is the Sofitel. A French establishment that integrates its European elegance with authenticity into Queenstown, New Zealand. The hotel design and interior respects the natural beauty of Queenstown, with features, fabrics and textures that go some way towards matching the magnificence of its surroundings. Hues of turquoise weave through the lobby symbolising Lake Wakatipu with pops of golden highlights, a link to Queenstown’s gold mining heritage.

Elevated on the 6th floor of the hotel is the Penthouse No. 10A 225 sqm “Parisian meets alpine” styled suite overlooking Lake Wakatipu. With its breathtaking views coupled with a $2 million dollar overhaul, it’s safe to say that this suite is creating some magnificent memories for the world’s most well-travelled guests.

The double black doors open into a spacious foyer which features the first of two bathrooms. Walking into the main living area you are greeted with a colour palette of soft earthy tones, elevated with golden features, velvet textures and pops of contemporary design. I spent my first afternoon curled up on one of the generously wide cream couches, flicking my way through a book on Tom Ford, whilst peering up through the french doors every now and then to catch a glimpse of the impressive landscape that surrounded me.

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The dining room comfortably seats a dinner party of 8 and features a bar complete with everything needed for a night of cocktails and soft jazz in front of the fire. The room is enclosed by thick draping curtains that should only be pulled once the sun is down and the view disappears into darkness.

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I like how the television is left out of the main living area. It allows and encourages guests to enjoy the decor of the room with a focus on the landscape, mountains and lake that feature like art on the walls. The outside is truly part of the interior. The television is found in the second living area, a smaller enclosed movie styled room featuring a second fireplace, a lounging couch and ottomans.

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The walk through wardrobe is lined with mirrored doors. The his and hers wardrobe wraps around a large ottoman and features a full length mirror elegantly framed like a Rafael painting hanging on the wall of an art gallery.

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Through the wardrobe is the bedroom. A spacious room centered with a bed that could comfortably fit at least four of me. I woke up each morning and reached for the remote which slowly raised the blinds, revealing the misty Cecil Peak. This must be an intentional design feature, allowing blinds to open vertically, slowly climbing up the mountain until the view reached the sky.

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The bathroom is tiled with golden caramel marble. The proud features of the room are the ‘his and hers’ European styled vanities, an enclosed rain shower, a separate toilet and a standalone, considerably deep bath with a small tv at its foot. The room includes a full range of Hermès products, re-stocked daily with the room service.

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As much as I could have easily hidden myself in the suite for the entire weekend, outside of its walls the hotel offers an experience just as extraordinary. We dined on Escargots, buttery Raviolis, Osso Bucco d’Agneau and platters piled with cured meat at Left Bank, a Parisian styled Bistro located in the lobby.

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I immediately fell in love with the wine and jazz lounge, 1789, as soon as I stepped foot through the glass doors and into its romantic atmosphere. During the weekend, the sound of live jazz from inside the bar can be heard throughout the hotel lobby. Friday night we listened to a women singing Frank Sinatra behind the grand piano and on Saturday night a gorgeous young man played renditions of some of my favourite songs, such as ‘Tennessee Whiskey’ on his guitar. 

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As the sunset over the mountains, we sat in the bubbling 8 seater jacuzzi on the private rooftop balcony of the Penthouse, sipping on a glass of champagne, taking in what will definitely be the most incredible hotel I have experienced. 

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A few additions to your stay…

Glenorchy

I have spent numerous weekends in Queenstown, yet this was the first time I had made the short trip to Glenorchy. It is just as picturesque as they say. A 40min drive around Lake Wakatipu, each corner turned reveals another scenic stretch of country road and more spectacular views of the lake. Every inch of scenery simply took my breath away. I would absolutely recommend hiring a car and getting lost amongst the valleys one afternoon.

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No5 Church Lane

Queenstown has proudly set a high standard of fining dining. It can be difficult to choose which of the intimate and cosy establishments to dine in when limited to only one weekend. Staying in the No10 suite we decided to stay in theme and dine at No5 Church Lane. A dimly lit, sophisticated bistro located right in the heart of the town. I can absolutely put my name behind how incredible both the food and atmosphere were. With a newly refreshed menu featuring delicate dishes such as Fried Kumara Dampers or Hangi Style Vegetables, their cocktails were just as impressive. Soak up the personality of Queenstown by night, as you make the short walk from the Sofitel.

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I have spent the last two years shooting in the lobbies of the Accor Hotels. To be invited to stay with them in Queenstown was an honor and I am incredibly grateful for the hospitality and experience I had during this trip. A huge thank you to the Accor and Sofitel Queenstown team for making this all possible. I do hope that my review and photos do your brand justice. I look forward to coming back soon.

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Photos: Jared Donkin

Outfits: Trelise Cooper and Witchery Fashion

hollyxxx

The Range Rover Evoque, Sky High in the City of Sails

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I was introduced to the Land Rover family earlier this year through my role as the Land Rover NZ Polo Ambassador. Stemming from this, I am now immensely grateful for and appreciate the opportunity to work more closely with Land Rover and am excited to help them launch their newest addition The Range Rover Evoque.

You can take the girl out of the city but you can’t take the city out of the girl

Despite my love for the countryside and the quintessential Land Rover, I was excited to hear that Range Rover were about to launch the new Evoque, a model designed for the contemporary city life. Considering I spend my weekdays rushing from meeting to meeting, my after work time navigating the small streets of Ponsonby and my weekends working on my blog, bouncing around the city from shoot to shoot, the Evoque is a great fit. Branching out from the larger Land Rover family, it is not hard to see at first sight that this vehicle is designed for the most challenging inner city parallel parks and tight, sharp, street corners.

Its what’s on the inside that counts

The Evoque is incredibly compact for an SUV and the design team have done a brilliant job, designing the cabin with minimal visual clutter.  With a love for fashion, I appreciate the elegant lines and contemporary materials that have been used to craft the interior.

Men will never fully understand a women’s appreciation for natural light. I will kneel in any corner to capture the right light when applying my make up and always prefer to shoot outside. The Evoque must be a woman, as she has chosen to feature a sliding panoramic roof that opens to fill her cabin with natural light plus this feature creates a wonderful sense of space.

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The outfit of the Evoque is just as impressive as its interior. With its sophisticated coupe like silhouette, flush door handles that deploy with the press of a button and a set of striking “heels” the Evoque is building a designer legacy just as the Diors of the world have done with fashion.

So here she is, the Range Rover Evoque, sky high in the city of sails.

(Shot by the incredible Jared Donkin. Wearing Trelise Cooper Spring 19 collection and Mi Piaci)

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hollyxxx

The Conscious Exclusive Collection by H&M

I am incredibly proud to partner with H&M for my second year to help launch and celebrate their beautiful and alluring Conscious Exclusive Collection. Fast fashion is a controversial topic and although fashion giants like H&M are at the forefront of seasonal trends, it is good to see the conscious efforts that HM are making to help support and drive sustainable fashion.

“By next year, 2020, the goal at H&M is to use only 100% recycled or other sustainably sourced cotton. H&M is currently at 95 % sustainably sourced cotton of the total materials used.”

I have always bought pieces that I can integrate into my style as it changes over the years. I have H&M pieces that are over 7 years old and although trends have changed, they remain permanent residents in my wardrobe and I enjoy styling them into new season styles. It’s about being smart when I shop and focusing on building a collection of pieces that can reinvent themselves, like my H&M cannery yellow blazer which I bought in LA for $5! I must admit there were a few years when it went into hiatus but I’m glad I kept it as oversized blazers are back in full force.

The aim of the Conscious Exclusive collection is to move H&M’s fashion and sustainability innovation forward. By incorporating innovative sustainable fabrics and challenging what ‘sustainable fashion’ looks like “They should be beautiful, made with sustainability at its core, but also cherished by the wearer to have a long life”.

Each collection sees the team at H&M incorporate new and innovative materials. Last year it was Econyl and Tencel and this year they have debuted a mix of Piñatex, Orange Fiber and BLOOMTM Foam. The spiritual and earthy vibes of this year’s collection is inspired by the wonders of the earth.

“The inspiration focuses around our well-being, the 7 chakras and about appreciating the fantastic wonders around us, in nature, art and medicinal plants, while at its healing powers; both physical and emotional, that connects people to nature. the same time also embracing technology and innovation in the development of more sustainable materials and processes.”

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Shot by Jared Donkin

Shoes Mi Piaci

hollyxxx

 

Frill Seeker

I am so excited and grateful to be working with the NZ Polo Open this year as their event ambassador, sharing the sport and wider experience to a new audience and adding a bit of fashion along the way. Here is my full interview from the recent NZ Polo Open mag in the Herald at So Hotel with LandRover and Superette.

How did you wind up being a style blogger?

I work in social media, specialising in influencer marketing so to be able to understand what’s required to create content from an influencer perspective helped me understand how best to work with them on behalf of my clients. So that coupled with my passion for fashion, led to a blog and a slowly growing family of local followers on Instagram.

Any involvement in polo – do you play, ride, watch?

I was first introduced to polo by my girlfriend Sami. I went along to the NZ Polo Open with her one year, stomped some divots and drunk champagne under her friends gazebo in the boot park. I spent the afternoon sitting in a camping chair watching the ponies race from end to end. It really is one of the most exhilarating sports to watch.

In-between chuckas I equally enjoyed all the gorgeous fashion strolling past, a mix of the true polo fans and those who were wandering out from the Verve and LandRover areas. That’s what I love about this event. It brings together a true mix of people, the polo community and those who are out for a new social experience. I’ve had a lesson but apparently I look too upright so maybe I need to go back a for a few more ha ha ha

What’s a failsafe outfit for the polo?

Ohhhhh where to start! This season I’m loving delicate layers, gorgeous sleeve details, large bows and two piece sets. I am a girl who loves colour and there is definitely room for pops of colour throughout the polo crowd, but a failsafe option would be keeping to the softer pastels, whites, creams or linen… do pop in a bright lippy or a bit of colour with a statement shoe though!

What advice would you give for a first-time polo attendee?

Watch your champagne intake and take the time to learn a bit about the game before you go. Its easy to let the day can get away on you with all the socialising and people watching, but I would urge you to get behind and support the reason we are all there in the first place.

Where do you stand on heels at the polo?

I wouldn’t want to spend the day balancing on the grass trying not to fall over in front of thousands of spectators. So in my opinion heels are simply a no. A wedge or a thick heel if you prefer the height, but there are few events of this nature where a stylish flat is perfectly acceptable so this is a great excuse to add a new pair of flats to your collection.

Are there ever days where you hate everything in your wardrobe and, if so, what do you end up wearing?

I wouldn’t say there is anything I hate in my wardrobe. I am good at donating to charity every 6 months so I try and keep my wardrobe to pieces I actually wear. But I do get behind on my ironing so there are definitely days where I have nothing to wear as its all backed up in that pile. On those days I tend to wear high waisted jeans, a silk singlet, a blazer and a high pair of stilettos (the one thing that can pull together the most average of outfits).

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Wild Horses

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Being the inner city girl I am I hadn’t spent much time in the country. My brother recently moved to a rural property just out of Auckland and I found myself quickly falling in love with everything that defined the country life. Driving down the gravel road, winding down the windows so I can take in the smell of the surrounding paddocks and watching the stars in the stillness of the night, it is a complete contrast to my city life but one that I now appreciate and unexpectedly crave

My friend Nkima was over from London and had reached out to see if I wanted to shoot something special during her travels. I knew immediately where I needed to take her. We drove south, through torrential rain until we reached Ainsley Polo farm. The sun had fought its way through the clouds for us and we spent the evening with my friend Lucy, amongst her beautiful ponies watching the sun set over the hills. This shoot will forever be one of my most memorable

Despite their size and strength, horses don’t intimidate me. That might sound naive of me but I don’t feel any sense of fear in their company. As I sat in their field they slowly approached my sniffing my dress and nudging my side. They were equally intrigued with me as I was with them

Wild Horses by The Rolling Stones started singing in my head as we began to shoot….
No sweeping exit or offstage lines
Could make me feel bitter or treat you unkind
Wild horses couldn’t drag me away
Wild, wild horses couldn’t drag me away
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Wearing Trelise Cooper and Witchery Fashion
Shot at Ainsley Polo
Photographer Niki M Photography
hollyxxx

One Morning in Paris – H&M Around the World

One morning I woke to message on Instagram from a young Parisian photographer Adem. He was reaching out to compliment my use of colour and the aesthetic of my feed. He mentioned that if I were ever in Paris, he would love to collaborate and show me around the streets of his home town. Three months later we met outside a local cafe in the 7th district, grabbed a coffee and croissant with my darling Sami Downey, and spent the morning shooting amongst his streets and against backdrops that I had only ever dreamed of.

This is one part of my series Around the World with H&M. This shoot features pieces from the Bonjour Paris collection, a limited edition edition collection that celebrates the French Contemporary style and one that has had a huge influence on my own and I know Sami’s.

This was our morning in the city of love.

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hollyxxx

Two Days in the City of Angels for the Solo Traveller

In my twenties my budget was limited, and the opportunities to travel would come after months of stringent saving. Each day was precious and I would squish in as much as the day would allow, waking early and walking right through until dawn. But that is how you should travel in your twenties, seeing and experiencing everything, regardless of a lack of sleep or tired legs.

Now Im 33 and although the days are just as precious, Ive seen the sites – especially in LA. I’ve sat under the Hollywood sign, walked the boulevard and experienced the diverse range of cocktail and dive bars. This time I wanted to wake naturally, sip my coffee from my hotel room over looking the city without any plans, and just wander under the palm trees against the balmy breeze.

Although I had a few friends to catch up with, I spent most of my days exploring alone. There is something quite liberating about wandering a somewhat unfamiliar city without anyone to fall back on. I walk my own path without compromise, allowing each new turn guide me to new pockets of a city. But with that freedom comes a sense of insecurity.

As a solo traveller, I value the advice and recommendation of other solo travellers. Not only for their personal experiences exploring, but for their advice on travelling safe. If you are to travel solo, experience the most out of each opportunity, meet the people and explore the hidden streets with confidence by investing in a comprehensive travel insurance plan. For this trip I partnered with Worldcare Travel Insurance who provided me with a complimentary GoComprehensive policy that included the higher limits and extended benefits I needed to feel secure and confident exploring while in safe hands as a single women in my thirties!

My taxi dropped me at the entrance to The Beverly Hills Hotel. Its peachy pink walls and immaculately landscaped grounds are somewhat intimidating. Walking through the entrance I thought of all the celebrities that have walked up the same stairs on their way to The Polo Lounge and all the famous producers that have sipped on their cocktail while signing movie deals. I sat at my table for one, in the 9am sunshine with my muesli and  green juice, watching the guests filter in for breakfast. If you enjoy people watching, this is where you want to locate yourself for a few hours. Take a stroll through the grounds and around the bungalows covered by arching banana trees. The place is an Instagram dream.

From there I walked down North Beverly Drive and into the hub of Rodeo Drive. The neighbourhood streets are so wide yet relatively quiet. There is a real mix of housing. From Spanish styled homes to french county inspired properties landscaped to perfection. It was such a dreamy stroll. Rodeo is beautiful. Its peaceful window shopping during the early morning, plus you miss the snap happy tourists. The YSL flagship store is the largest in America and is the home to my dream wardrobe. 

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From there I took a cab to West Hollywood to Alfred Tea. Nestled into North Alfred Street, Alfred Tea is a picturesque tea room serving up delicious thai tea, matcha and nut milk goodness to addicted locals. I sat outside in the courtyard eavesdropping on a young girl confidently interviewing a string of hopeful retail staff. Others had their laptops out working away in the sun. Thats what I love about LA, everyone is out and about, making the most of what their community has created. Opposite the street is Isabel Marant tucked into a lusciously green courtyard. A beautifully photo op.LRG_DSC02054