Where to Eat in London

Last month, I went to London for the first time with my friends Amy and Vinny. It was a super quick trip. We took the red eye Wednesday night and came back Sunday. I honestly wish I could have stayed longer because I absolutely fell IN LOVE with London. I’m already plotting my next trip back. Before I went, everyone kept telling me that the food in London was not good. So I went in with low expectations. My expectations were wildly wrong because I found some AMAZING food spots in London that I want to share with you. These were my favorites from the trip – ones I would not only highly recommend but would go back again.

Sketch – Go to Sketch for Afternoon Tea. Sure, it’s pretty pricey but you get unlimited tea and refills on the sandwiches and treats. The decor at Sketch was honestly probably one of the best decorated restaurants I had ever been to. It was cool, sophisticated and so instagrammable.

Dishoom – London is well known for it’s Indian food and Dishoom is one of their popular spots. I’m a huge fan of Indian food but I find it not as popular here in the states. I was excited to go to Dishoom and see what all the hype was about. It did not disappoint. The food was so incredibly good. We tried to go again another night but the wait was too long. I would highly recommend making reservations for this place or you might end up waiting upwards of two hours.

Chiltern Firehouse – Shoutout to Jackie Schimmel of the Bitch Bible for talking about Chiltern Firehouse on her podcast. If it’s good enough for Jackie, it’s good enough for me. We went here for brunch. I obviously had to get the avocado toast (which not going to lie, I didn’t think looked very appetizing) but boy was I wrong. This was absolutely delish! Chiltern is a little on the pricey side but if you’re looking for a nice brunch or dinner option I would highly recommend.

Breakfast Club – This is a The Girls Who Brunch after all so I had to add some of my favorite brunch spots. Breakfast Club is a great little diner-esque spot that has an amazingly delicious brunch. Be prepared to wait on line because it’s a popular spot.

Granger & Co. – The cutest little spot in Notting Hill. I mean look at all these amazing drinks. From the coffee to the blood mary – this was a great place for brunch. I got the pancakes – which I would say I normally don’t ever order but they were delectable!

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to get to London. I will definitely be making another trip (hopefully soon!). If you have ever been to London, let me know your favorite spots to eat so I can add them for my next trip!

What to do in Los Angeles – LA Travel Guide

Dress: Reformation {similar} // Shoes: BCBG {similar} // Bag: Revolve // Earrings: BaubleBar {similar} // Ring: Monica Vinader

I lived in Los Angeles for the past four years, so I would say I know the city pretty well. LA is a fun city with great weather and tons to do. But it can be a bit overwhelming because the city is so spread out. So I wanted to create my LA Travel Guide for you and break things up into different categories. It’s a pretty extensive list, so let’s get started!

Where to eat brunch:

Great White – Venice
This is one of my all time favorite brunch spots. It’s small and usually always busy so be prepared for a wait. The food is delish and on the healthier side. Plus everything here is very instagrammable. I highly recommend the Shaken Latte with their Avocado Toast

Franklin & Co – Hollywood
If you like Bloody Mary’s you won’t want to miss Franklin & Co. Also their biscuits and gravy are hands down the best I’ve ever had.

Kreation – West Hollywood, Santa Monica, Venice and more
If you want to get the real LA sense of brunch, go to Kreation. It’s as healthy as it can get. All their foods and juices are made there with super high quality fresh ingredients. Their acai bowls are my favorite!

Best rooftop bars:

Waldorf Astoria – Beverly Hills
The Waldorf Astoria is a pretty new hotel that just opened up in Beverly Hills and it has hands down the best views. You can see all the way down to Santa Monica on one end and Downtown LA on the other. Plus this is a great celebrity sitting spot. I’ve seen Mariah Carey, Gretchen Rossi from Housewives and Tristan Thompson all on the roof!

EP&LP – West Hollywood
If you’re in Weho and looking for a fun spot to go out at night and the weather is good, which most likely it will be because duh it’s LA, go to EP&LP. Opened only a couple years ago, this place is always popping and usually has a line.

Hotel Shangri La – Santa Monica
This is a fun day drinking spot in Santa Monica. It’s a pretty small rooftop bar but it overlooks the ocean. On a clear day it’s got some of the most gorgeous views you’ll ever see.

Where to go if you’re feeling bad and boujee:

The Ivy – Beverly Hills
The Ivy is a well known staple in LA. They have two locations but I prefer the location on Robertson. Their patio is so beautiful. The food honestly isn’t my favorite and it’s very overpriced, but it’s the place to be seen. Plus you can’t beat the decor, it’s adorable.

The Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel –  Beverly Hills
Another hot spot in BH. I’ve gone here a few times for lunch, and I have to say it’s always been a hit. The Beverly Hills Hotel is a classic Hollywood spot.

Baltaire – Brentwood
Baltaire is my favorite steakhouse in LA. If your parents are in town, or you have a work dinner take them to Baltaire. You have to try their lobster mac and cheese. To. Die. For.

Where to shop or window shop:

Rodeo Drive – Beverly Hills
Any movie that takes place in Beverly Hills has at least one scene on Rodeo Drive. It’s a beautiful spot in Beverly Hills with all of the most expensive shops in town. Treat yourself, or just window shop. Either way, it’s a must go see.

Abbott Kinney – Venice
Abbott Kinney is hands down one of my favorite streets in LA. It has the cutest boutique shops, and restaurants. They also have a lot of street vendors selling handmade jewelry and other items. I could seriously spend all day here just shopping and eating.

Century City Mall – Century City
They just completely redid this mall last year and it is seriously the most beautiful mall I’ve ever been to. So pretty I even had a date there, but that’s a whole other story. This was my go-to mall to see movies at the AMC theatre, but also to get Shake Shack. Us NY girls love our Shake Shack.

The Grove – West Hollywood
The Grove is an outdoor mall that’s small but simply stunning. I love it during the winter time because they deck it out with Christmas decor. It was the only part of LA that actually felt like the holidays. They also have great shops and restaurants so definitely check it out.

Best hikes to see the views:

Runyon Canyon – Hollywood
Whenever you say anything about hiking, people automatically assume Runyon. It’s the most common hiking trail in LA and for good reason. It’s got stunning views of the entire city. It’s a great workout, yet it’s definitely still manageable for people like me that don’t really work out.

Solstice Canyon – Malibu
I like this hike because it’s kind of in the woodsy areas of Malibu. It’s not your typical hike, and there’s a little more to look at then just a pretty view.

Griffith Park / Hollywood Sign – Hollywood
Similar to Runyon, this is a pretty easy hike it’s just long. But it takes you right behind the Hollywood sign, which is pretty cool. I recommend you do it at least once. But beware of the horse poop.

Honorable mentions:

Salt and Straw – Venice, Larchmont, West Hollywood
My favorite ice cream EVER. They have different monthly flavors and I would literally go the first week of every month to try them. Honestly, I still think about them every day. Salt and Straw if you are reading this, please open up a shop in NYC. Thanks.

Olive & Thyme – Burbank
If you’re in the valley – go to Olive and Thyme. It’s one of the cutest cafes with seriously the most delicious food. It’s perfect to sit outside and enjoy the beautiful California air with some delicious avocado toast.

Jon and Vinny’s – Brentwood or Weho
Normally I would say, Californian’s don’t do Italian food that great. It’s more of a NY thing. However, Jon and Vinny’s is THE BOMB. If you’re craving Italian food, go here you won’t be disappointed.

Honestly my list could go on and on but here are the main places that I think you should go see in LA. If you have any questions or anything, please let me know in the comments below!

Nashville Travel Guide

Nashville Travel Guide

Top: Blue Life // Shorts: Urban Outfitters // Shoes: Franco Sarto // Bag: Gucci

Ya’ll ready for this? Last weekend I took a trip to Nashville with my old college roommate, Erin. I had never been to Nashville but I heard so many good things so I was super excited to check it out. I LOVED Nashville! Honestly I could totally see myself living there (maybe in the future?). I can see why it’s been such a popular tourist destination recently and why a lot of millennials are moving there. There is so much to do yet it still has that southern charm.

WHERE TO STAY:

Airbnb: We got a place near Belmont University right near the 12 South district. I loved this area. Our Airbnb was super cute and was walkable to so many different shops and restaurants. If you’re going to get an Airbnb I highly recommend the 12 South area!

Thompson Hotel: If you’re wanting to be a bit bougie, stay at the Thompson hotel. I would love to stay here the next time I come. It’s in a great location in the Gulch and the hotel just has such a fun vibe.

WHERE TO EAT:

Bartaco: This was hands down my favorite meal of the trip. It was in the 12 South district. Now I’ll be honest, I’ve lived in LA the past 4 years so ya know Mexican is something I eat regularly. I honestly didn’t have high hopes for this place, but hot damn the tacos were AMAZING. Seriously I think these were some of the best tacos I’ve ever had. Plus they had a cute patio where I was able to bring Baggy.

Cafe Roze: I’m a huge fan of Kristin Cavallari so I had watched a video she did on her favorite Nashville spots and Cafe Roze was one of them. So I dragged Erin here in the rain. It’s in East Nashville which is a little out of the way from all the tourist spots but it’s worth it. I got the egg bowl and OH MY. It was 100x better than I thought it would be. I definitely want to try to recreate this bowl.

Koko’s Ice Cream: Another K. Cav suggestion was Koko’s. This was walking distance from Cafe Roze so we stopped by afterwards. They have all vegan coconut ice cream. SO GOOD. Erin was skeptical because she doesn’t normally like coconut ice cream but even she was a fan.

WHAT TO DO DURING THE DAY:

Uncommon James: If you’re a fan of Kristin Cavallari like I am, you have to go to Uncommon James in the Gulch. This was such a cute store and very instagrammable.

Murals: Nashville has so many amazing murals throughout the city. Some of them have huge lines so be prepared!

Dress: Faithfull The Brand

WHERE TO GO OUT AT NIGHT:

Broadway: Duh. This is probably the most touristy spot in Nashville. This is where you can find all the Honky Tonks, and a million bachelor and bachelorette parties running around. I’m normally not a huge live band at a bar girl, but I did enjoy going to Broadway. My favorite was the Jason Aldean bar because they had live music on one floor but a super fun DJ on the roof.

L.A. Jackson: This is the rooftop bar at the Thompson Hotel. Such a fun spot with great views of Nashville.

It was only a quick 3 day trip to Nashville, but we had so much fun. I honestly can’t wait to go back. If you guys have been to Nashville before I would love to hear what your favorite spots are to add to my list for next time!

Maui Travel Guide

Swimsuit: Onia // Shorts: Urban Outfitters // Shoes: Franco Sarto

A couple weeks ago, I was able to go to Maui for a few days to see my friends Tom and Ivette get married. They had the most beautiful ceremony at Gannons in Maui, overlooking the ocean. Since my friends were getting married, I was able to add a couple days to the trip and make it a fun vacation. I wanted to share with you guys some of my favorite places that you need to visit if you’re in Maui!

WHERE TO STAY

Days Inn – This was one of the cheapest hotel options on the island and the hotel itself isn’t the greatest. The rooms are SUPER small. However, it’s right on the ocean. The location in Kihei is great, you can walk or uber around. It’s nice because you can just walk right outside your room and be on the beach. There are also two restaurants right outside so if you want to grab a quick bite you can.

Four Seasons Maui – If you can afford this, stay here. The Four Seasons is huge and incredibly beautiful. Highly recommend if you can afford it!

AirBnb – Most of my friends got airbnb’s for this trip. They all said it was the most affordable option and a lot of them really enjoyed their stay. One of the Airbnb hosts even cooked some fresh banana bread for my friend!

WHERE TO EAT

Piko Cafe – Don’t be fooled by this little hole in the wall at a strip mall. Piko Cafe had THE BEST Loco Moco I had all trip, and trust that I tried quiet a few places. This is a local spot, our Uber driver was very impressed that we had actually heard about it. That’s when you know it’s good. Definitely come here for breakfast.

Kihei Caffe – Such a fun brunch spot. Go early because they always have a line, and for good reason. The food here is delish and they have so many options!

Thai Food by Pranee – If you do Road to Hana definitely stop here for lunch. OMG. Literally some of the best Thai Food I’ve ever had. And be forewarned, their spicy is SPICY.

WHAT TO DO

Four Seasons Maui Spa – I was able to get a lymphatic drainage massage oceanside on the first day of my trip. It was much needed and honestly one of the best massages I’ve ever gotten. Definitely pay the extra $20 for oceanside service. It’s so relaxing to hear the waves crashing as you drift off into relaxation.

Old Lahaina Luau – This was my second luau ever. I went to one in Oahu a couple of years ago. These are always super fun and a must see if you are visiting Hawaii. It’s great because it’s open bar, amazing buffet food and you get to see a show. Many locals told us the Old Lahaina Luau was the best on the island so I’m glad we were able to go.

Road to Hana – I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t really looking forward to doing this because I hate being in the car for long but I’m SO glad I did! Highly recommend renting a convertible for this trip. It’s such a beautiful drive and you get to see some amazing scenes of waterfalls and beaches such as the Black Sand and Red Sand beach.

Maui Travel Guide

Swimsuit: Onia {on sale!} // Shorts: Abercrombie {similar}

If you guys have been to Maui, I would love to hear what you did in the comments below!

Chilly Spring Outfit

Jacket: Blank NYC // Shirt: Brandy Melville {similar} // Jeans: Rag and Bone // Bag: Gucci {similar} // Shoes: Steve Madden {similar}

Last month I went to Charleston for my birthday weekend. While we were there the weather was still quite chilly. It’s warmed up in Los Angeles, but I know some places are still cold. I wanted to share with you guys my favorite chilly weather spring outfit. I never used to be a turtleneck kind of girl, but this shirt has made me a convert. Not only is it super comfortable, but it’s very chic tucked into any pair of jeans.

Speaking of jeans, this is my first pair of Rag and Bone denim jeans and I would live in them if I could. They are SO comfortable. Especially for being high waisted. I feel like suck you in at all the right places, but aren’t super tight to the point of no return. If you’re looking for new jeans, definitely check these out.

spring outfit

48 Hours in Charleston

Two weekends ago, I went to Charleston, SC for my birthday. I had never been to Charleston before but I’ve been curious about it since becoming obsessed with Southern Charm. Shep or Austen, if you’re single…call me. It looks like such a charming and quant town and I’ve been seeing more and more people travel there lately. I couldn’t wait to go. We only spent 48 hours in Charleston, but it was definitely enough to get a lot of things in! Here are some of the places I would recommend going if you are visiting Charleston for a short weekend trip.

To Do

Rainbow Row: Rainbow Row is located in downtown Charleston. It’s got the most beautiful painted buildings (picture above and below). This is a photographers dream. It’s absolutely stunning.

Magnolia Plantation: Located about 20 minutes outside of downtown, this plantation is worth the drive. They have stunning landscape and gardens. You can take tours of the plantation or just walk around like we did.

King Street: Now this is kind of generic because King St. runs pretty much all throughout Charleston but it’s got the best shopping. It’s such a cute street with tons of different places to stop in and shop, or eat.

Ride a Rickshaw: When you’re walking down the streets of Charleston, you’ll notice a bunch of guys on bikes driving people around town. We took two rickshaw rides during our stay and not only was it super fun but it was a great way to see the town.

Eat and Drink

The Gin Joint: This was one of my favorite spots we went to. It’s a small hole in the wall dive bar. They have this drink called the Bartender’s Choice where you choose two words from a list and the bartender makes you whatever he wants. I highly recommend this, it’s super fun to do. They also had DELICIOUS bar food. The pretzels were amazing.

Cannon Green: This was my favorite brunch spot. Not only is it visually stunning, the food was incredible. They had this banana bread that we shared and it was seriously to die for. They also had a DJ spinning tunes on Sunday, and they give you cute little cards to request a song. The extra touch did not go unnoticed!

Restoration Rooftop Bar: We stopped by here after a long day of walking for a drink and snacks. They had delicious cocktails and the most yummy cheese board.

Black Tap Coffee: I’m obsessed with Julia from Gal Meets Glam and she recommended this coffee place so I had to go. I got a brown sugar iced latte and it was SO SO good. I’m still dreaming about it.

48 hours in Charleston

Overall, my trip to Charleston was such a blast. I would love to visit the city again and explore some more! If you guys have ever been to Charleston, let me know your favorite spots so I can add them on the list for next time!

Where to Take Your Puppy!

puppy

It can be hard to find places to take your puppy, but luckily Los Angeles is very dog friendly! I wanted to share a few of my favorite places to take my dog Baguette!

Runyon Canyon Park: This is Los Angeles and we all love to hike. Joking, kind of… Hiking is a huge part of the Los Angeles culture and Runyon is one of the most popular spots and for good reason. It’s a dog park that allows you to hike with your dogs off leash. Baguette is obsessed with this place. Every time we go she gets so excited to run around and see all the other dogs. Plus it’s great exercise for her!

Outdoor Brunch:  Every weekend you will most likely find my friends and I at brunch. I hate leaving Baguette at home so whenever there is a brunch spot we’re going to with outdoor seating, I always take her. Some of my favorites are Franklin and Company, Toast, and The Sycamore Kitchen.

Huntington Beach: This one is a bit of travel, but if you have a day to drive down to Orange County I highly recommend Huntington Beach. They have a dog beach with allows you to bring your dogs. Baguette loves being at the beach, it always puts a smile on her face!

Where are your favorite spots to bring your puppy? Let me know in the comments below! And for more puppy-friendly fun check out PuppySpot!

Coachella Weekend 1 Party Recap

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Dress: DailyLook {similar here and here} // Shoes: Steve Madden {similar} // Sunglasses: Quay

Hi loves! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Was anyone at Coachella this weekend?? I didn’t attend the festival but I did drive down to Palm Springs on Saturday to attend a couple of parties! I had so much fun at both parties so I just wanted to share with you guys some behind the scenes pics!

The first party we went to was Lucky Brand’s Desert Jam. Shoutout to HomeAway for sending me to this party! I had such a blast! The party took place at the Ingleside Inn in Palm Springs. They had a DJ and different booths set up. HomeAway set up a tent where you can get massages from Zeel and manicures. I got a quick 5 minute massage, which was perfect after sitting in the car all morning!

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Another favorite of mine at the party was the hair station they had with Splat Hair Dye. They were doing fun festival hair and dying our hair with a temporary dye. The dye is so cool, it looks like an eye shadow and you use a sponge to put it on your hair and it lasts all day and washes out in the shower! So fun!

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After we got our hair done, my friends and I decided to stop by the PopSugar Cabana Club. Luckily this was at another hotel just down the street. The PopSugar party with bumping when we got there. They had a bunch of fun stations set up like a candy bar with Sugarfina, and a create your own Must Have Box. Ulta Beauty was also sponsoring a beauty bar where you could get your hair done and pick out some makeup. By the time we got to the party this room was pretty much emptied out. After the PopSugar party, we popped back to the Lucky Brand party and hung out by the pool for a little bit before heading back home!

Going to Palm Springs this weekend was so fun! Next year I think I’m going to try to get tickets to Coachella and go for the whole weekend!

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Thank you to Lucky Brand, HomeAway and PopSugar for having us this weekend!

What I Wore In Vegas

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Vegas is my happy place. You know that place that makes you feel like a kid in a candy store? Well Vegas is that place for me. Which is why this is my 3rd year in a row celebrating my birthday in Vegas. We stayed at The Cosmopolitan which is my favorite hotel. The rooms are super modern and chic, and our room had a sick balcony that overlooked the strip. I mean look at that view…it was incredible.

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Okay now onto the clothes. Going to Vegas means going shopping. Vegas is very bougie so you need to dress up whether you’re going to dinner, the pool or going out at night. The first night I found this super cute dress from Forever 21. It was a black off the shoulder dress. Not only was it super affordable but it was super cute! I wore this when we went to see the Chainsmokers at XS. I wore a silver choker, also from Forever 21, along with a simple bracelet and silver ring from And Other Stories. I paired it with some pink heels from Steve Madden for a little pop of color.

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So as a birthday surprise, my friends made me my own snapchat filter. How cute are they?? I’m obsessed. The second night, which was my actual birthday I wore this super cute red number from Pretty Little Things (Kylie Jenner wore this in orange to a red carpet so obviously I needed to have it, and wear it with my Kylie Lip Kit in Dolce K). I paired it with a simple silver necklace my roommate Sabrina got me, along with some simple heels from Forever 21.

There ya have it. Those were my Vegas outfits this past weekend for my birthday. You can check out more pictures from this past weekend on my Instagram @esthercollins. Let me know in the comments below if you guys have ever been to Vegas and what you would wear!

5 Travel Tips You Need To Know

travel tips

I’ve done my fair share of traveling through the years. Whether you’re traveling abroad, or even for a quick weekend away here are some travel tips I’ve picked up along the way.

1. Use a Rewards Credit Card

Reward credit cards are my jam. Seriously, you can get free airline tickets for just going about your life and spending like you normally would. I have two airline credit cards that I put EVERY purchase on. The two CC’s that I use are the Delta American Express card, and American Airlines Barclay card. I’ve been able to redeem miles on both cards to get free flights! If you use your credit card often, I highly recommend getting an airline card that will rack up miles. **If anyone wants a referral to get FREE miles when they sign up, leave your email below!**

2. Use Hopper to Track Best Airline Fares

If you haven’t heard of Hopper, what are you doing? I mentioned Hopper in a previous post about my favorite phone apps. If you’re planning a trip, download Hopper and put in the dates of your trip. Hopper will keep track of when airlines reduce prices and send you push notifications straight to your phone. They will tell you if they think the price is as low as it will get or if they think you should wait to book.

3. Call Your Banks Ahead of Time

This might sound like common knowledge but you would be surprised how many people forget this step. If you are traveling far, be sure to call your bank and let them know where and when you will be traveling. Nothing is worse than to get to your destination and try to use your credit card, only to be declined. Give your bank a heads up so you don’t have to deal with them later.

4. Properly Pack Your Carry-On

Traveling is all fun and games until someone loses your luggage. Unfortunately this has happened to me many times. As much as this sucks and it’s totally OK to freak out when it happens, if you prep your carry-on you can freak out a little less. Always pack an extra set of clothes in your suitcase. If the airline loses your luggage you don’t want to be stuck wearing the same outfit you wore on the plane. I also like to keep my makeup in my carry-on (make sure it’s TSA approved!). Also don’t forget to pack your chargers. The worst thing that could happen is you lose your luggage and your phone dies! Remember to pack items to make your flight experience a good one. My in-flight essentials are an eye mask, ear plugs, and headphones. It’s better to be over prepared than not.

5. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Okay, so now you’re on a flight. Planes are notorious for drying out your skin. The best way to combat the dry air is by hydrating. I always like to buy a big water bottle before getting on the plane and start drinking it before take off. Once the flight attendants come around and offer drinks, I like to stick to water as well. Another tip for long flights is to put on moisturizer or a face mask. If you don’t want to scare the people around you, choose a face mask that will dry clear. Some of my favorites are by Sisley, and Laneige.

Let me know in the comments below if you guys have any other travel tips! Happy traveling!