Living in a city like Los Angeles can at times feel overwhelming. To combat the chaos and stresses of city life we recommend getting out and having a day of exploration and self-care. L.A. is peppered with little pockets of calmness; you just have to know where to look. One such place is the posh and peaceful Westside neighborhood of Brentwood or, as a Los Angeles Times article put it in 1907, “a suburb, away from the noise, dust and inharmonies of the city.”
And if your definition of self-care includes getting in a calorie burn, we’ve included an optional workout to add on before heading home.
Noon Pamper yourself at the luxe-meets-quaint British-inspired Queen Bee Salon & Spa, 2530 San Vicente Blvd. Owner Jodi Shays, who hails from Bath, England, said, “I wanted to start a salon where all clients would be treated like royalty.” Decorated with floor-to-ceiling regal floral wallpaper, the interior managed to look polished yet cozy, making us feel like we were in an upscale version of Lorelai Gilmore’s Dragonfly Inn from “Gilmore Girls.” The salon, best known for the three B’s (brows, Brazilians and bronzing), also offers skin care and makeup services. For a relaxing and in-season option we recommend the pumpkin peel, which we can attest smells deliciously like the pie.
1:15 p.m. Next venture kitty-corner to browse the storied Brentwood Country Mart, at 225 26th St. There will be plenty of time for shopping, but first: Food. (And pace yourself if you’re planning to get in that workout.) Head to the area between the upper and lower courtyards to find Farmshop a hybrid artisanal restaurant, bakery and market. If you enter through the market and bakery area, you will be greeted with flaky croissants, fresh fruits and veggies, and glorious cuts of meat on display. It is an ideal place to grab a meal, snack or coffee. The restaurant offers California-inspired fare set in a charming upscale rustic atmosphere that aligns with the overall homey feel of the mart. The bakery and artisan market is open daily 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Check the website — farmshopca.com — for restaurant hours.
2 p.m. Now it’s time to explore this historic red-and-white barn-style building that houses high-end designer boutiques and eclectic shops such as Christian Louboutin, Jenni Kayne, Goop, Capitol + Irene Neuwirth and Diesel bookstore. Intermingling with the luxury shops are old-school posts like a barbershop, shoe repair, post office and candy shop that transport you to a bygone era. The mart opened in 1948 and called Joan Crawford, Shirley Temple, Elizabeth Taylor and other Hollywood luminaries regulars. The mart is open for retail therapy Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
3:30 p.m. You could easily spend the rest of the afternoon prowling stores. But if your fitness tracker is begging for more, the final spot on our itinerary is the endorphin-boosting Platefit studio at 13050 San Vicente Blvd. #208. Just steps from the Brentwood Country Mart, this 27-minute high-intensity workout is done on power plates that use harmonic vibration to cause muscles to contract 30 to 40 times per second. You definitely don’t want to do this workout on a full stomach: It is fast-paced and challenging. It took a few minutes to get used to the constant vibration under my feet. But the next day I felt the effects: My muscles were sore in areas most workouts fail to engage. Classes start at $18, with package discounts available.