A Dreamy Weekend in WeHo

A Dreamy Weekend in WeHo title=
Rooftop Pool at The London West Hollywood (courtesy photo)
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By Rebecca Horrigan

For a city of only 1.9 square miles, West Hollywood packs a wealth of dining, entertainment, and cultural opportunities. Founded in 1984 by a coalition of ​​LGBT activists, seniors, and affordable housing advocates, West Hollywood became the first city in the nation to have an openly gay governing body. This spirit of inclusivity, creativity, and dynamic energy still pervades and makes it an ideal destination for a little getaway. 

With this in mind, my sister and I cooked up our dream weekend in WeHo. From the moment we walked into the stunning and sophisticated London West Hollywood, with its regal architecture, sleek sophistication, and warm hospitality, we knew it would be the perfect launching pad to explore the city. Spending the entire weekend enjoying the hotel’s amenities, delicious restaurants, views, and sprawling pool would not be a bad plan either. 

LA was at our fingertips, and we had tickets to visit the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Opened in 2021, this treasure trove of film history is the largest museum in the United States devoted to the arts, sciences, and artists of moviemaking. A word to the wise so as not to be overwhelmed by their wealth of artifacts: go in with a few things you definitely want to see and then be surprisingly enchanted by the rest. 


Sketches of "The Wizard of Oz" (Photo: Rebecca Horrigan)

I knew I wanted to take in Gregory Peck’s thoughtful annotations on his script for To Kill a Mockingbird and of course ogle Dorothy’s sparkling red shoes for the Wizard of Oz. But I had no idea how inspiring it would be to see different iterations of the Wizard of Oz scripts, to see Spike Lee’s Oscar acceptance speech scrawled out, or to explore Hayako Miyazaki’s playful and wondrous temporary exhibition featuring his own storyboards and a stunning “Mother Tree” installation. The costume section is worth a visit in and of itself. My sister and I giddily pointed out our favorites, from Shirley Temple’s little dress to The Dude’s actual robe, (bought at Marshall's).


The Dude's robe from "Big Lebowski" (Photo: Rebecca Horrigan)

If you need a snack, the Academy’s daytime cafe, Fanny's, serves delicious lunch, coffee, and pastries. At dinner time, Fanny’s shifts into full old-time Hollywood performance art with impeccable and attentive service mixed with bold modern flavors. Sommeliers arrive by your side like trusted fairy godmothers sharing sips of rare French wines or new California creations, to help you find the perfect pairing. Waiters slice into juicy prime rib served at the table, and after a warm yet professional interaction, they let the food do the talking. The torched yellowtail with smoked tomato oil, arugula, and citrus salt primes palates for the rest of the show, which features an array of culinary delights, including the best gnocchi I’ve ever had with pecorino, black summer truffle, and pancetta. Enjoy a full sensory experience with the DJ around the corner adding to the sultry vibes. Nestle back into your red leather booth and stay for dessert and who knows what else. The LA magic is certainly in the air at Fanny’s. 


Fanny's (Photo: Rebecca Horrigan)

Before or after your fixings at Fanny’s be sure to stop by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the largest museum of art in the West. We embraced the LA scene taking in local inspirations, like David Hockney’s vibrant Mulholland Drive, while marveling at their collections from the greats, such as Andy Warhol, Picasso, and Mattise. 

After all that browsing, you’ll want a place to relax, chat, and gather yourself for the next adventure. The London’s rooftop bar and pool is the ideal place to do just that while enjoying panoramic views of the city and plotting evening plans. For dinner, we took advantage of the excellent Boxwood Restaurant right on the premises. We started off with a refreshing and creative trio of ceviches to get our palates ready for the delicious mains. The Chilean sea bass with coconut sauce, bok choy and matsutake mushrooms, and the hearty risotto are not to be missed!


LACMA

The London offers the convenient perk of house car service from 3pm - 11pm anywhere within 2 miles of the hotel, so after dinner, we were chauffeured to The Comedy Store. We opted for a show in The Belly Room, which in addition to being a cheaper ticket, also offered a more intimate seating arrangement and a wider variety of comics. Bill Burr even stopped by for a pop-up. LA is truly full of surprises. The London’s central location right on the strip made for a fun and leisurely walk back to our rooms. Upon arrival, my sister enjoyed a soak in their beautiful oversized bathtub, and I couldn’t resist diving straight into the cloud-like comfort of their King bed.  

Come morning, we loved not worrying about where we’d brunch and how long the lines would be. Instead, we strolled right up to Boxwood Restaurant for their complimentary European-style breakfast. Entering the brightly lit breakfast paradise, I wasn’t sure if I was still in a dream from the night before. Buttery croissants, heaps of fresh lox, capers, tomatoes, bagels, mini quiche, freshly-made yogurt and granola parfaits, and more filled the sunlit room. We were seated at a table overlooking the city and served coffee and tea as well to round out the best hotel breakfast we’d ever experienced. 


Breakfast Buffet at The London West Hollywood (courtesy photo)

If you’re in need of extra treats for your drive home, or looking to spend more time in the city, Blackwood Coffee Bar is an excellent option. Their delectable matcha lattes and a plethora of vegan food options are best enjoyed on their adorable brick patio. Whatever you do, make sure to order a few perfectly flaky Nonna’s Empanadas, made famous at the Farmer’s Market and conveniently brought to you at Blackwood. 

As I headed up north toward Santa Barbara and my sister headed south, we were sad to leave our LA paradise. However, reflecting on all the incredible memories made, I couldn’t help but feel like I had a bit of that magical LA fairy dust still sprinkled in my soul.

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CMKR Jul 09, 2022 11:33 PM
A Dreamy Weekend in WeHo

Thanks for the great article! There are many interesting hotel properties in West Hollywood; I prefer the hidden garden setting of the Sunset Marquis hotel myself. Very close to Sunset and La Cienega, walking distance to shops and restaurants on Sunset and Santa Monica Blvd.

Basicinfo805 Jul 10, 2022 01:35 PM
A Dreamy Weekend in WeHo

Goes to show you everyone has a different idea of what makes a great weekend…and that a great thing!

Notthatbad Jul 10, 2022 07:43 PM
A Dreamy Weekend in WeHo

As my sister-in-law’s father says: “You can like a lot of things!”

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