I find it outside of work, the city, the house. This can take the form of emotionally, rather than physically escaping through a good cookbook, novel or magazine. A day trip to the country, where I grew up; the city, where I feel increasingly more comfortable as I grow up; or, in the case of the past week, inspiration has come straight to me in abundance via a trip to California.
I set my OOO alert “on” for the first time since I started my own business (nearly 4 years now), packed up my bag and headed west to California. I landed in San Francisco, where I met my boyfriend, who drove down from a conference he was attending in Sacramento. After a requisite stop at Fourbarrel for a made-to-order pour over coffee, we enjoyed lunch at Locanda.
Santa Cruz was next for Verve Coffee Roasters, followed by San Luis Obispo and the Pacific Coast Highway, ending up in vibrant Venice Beach, Los Angeles.
With my boyfriend in the specialty coffee industry, and me in the food publishing industry, we were well-fed and fully caffeinated the entire time. He had been to Venice, I had not, so he counselled me through some of the must-visit places. Of course, I had my wishlist, too.
Notable spots we hit included Gjusta, Gjelina, the aforementioned Verve (coffee), Blue Bottle (coffee), Intelligentsia (coffee), Go Get Em Tiger (coffee) and Baroo. I left full, happy and with a clarity I had been missing for the past few months. A change of scenery, good people, sunshine and new flavours brought new life to my work, mood and cooking ethos.
The takeaway: Go get inspired somewhere new this year.
(All photos iPhone or Canon 6D, mostly unedited.)
San Luis Obispo
Pacific Coast Highway
Venice Beach, Los Angeles
Larchmont and Hollywood
It was immensely difficult to leave, but I’ll be back, California. For longer, next time.
Follow my daily adventures on Instagram @yummybeet