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The Weekender: 48 Hours in Newport Beach 

Where to stay, eat and shop

45 miles outside Los Angeles (famous for some of the best beaches in the USA) is the coastal city of Newport Beach, which boasts more water than land – 25 miles of water, 15 miles of land and 10 miles of coastline, to be precise. It’s also known for its boat-filled harbour, along with its rich nautical heritage, a whole host of dining establishments (over 450), and it’s been subject to a whopping $500 million of investment in new projects. To top it off, its Mediterranean climate makes it a great place to visit all year round. Sound tempting? California is calling.

The Weekender: 48 Hours in Newport Beach 

STAY

Montage Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach

For a dose of seaside luxury, head to Montage Laguna Beach. Offering 30 acres and 260 guestrooms, including 60 suites, the hotel is perched on a coastal bluff high above the Pacific. Located 18 miles from Orange County Airport, in the heart of Laguna Beach, expect views of the ocean, as well as craftsman-style architecture and an array of artwork throughout. Plus, resort guests have exclusive access to its amenities, from the 20,000 square foot Spa Montagel; gourmet dining at its three eateries (Studio, The Loft and Mosaic Bar and Grille); and two outdoor pool decks.

BOOK IT: montage.com

Resort at Pelican Hill

Bedroom in Pelican Hill, Newport

Drawing inspiration from Italy and its grand villas – namely the 16th-century architecture by Andrea Palladio – Pelican Hill features Bungalow Guest Rooms and Bungalow Suites. These range from 847 to 634 square feet, with limestone fireplaces, hand-hewn wood beam ceilings and marble baths, along with private terraces, most of which have ocean views. Ideal for families, there are also villas set in an exclusive gated enclave donning a private clubhouse and pool, offering two, three, and four bedrooms, plus expansive ocean-view terraces. Adding to the Mediterranean feel, the hotel is set amongst olive, cypress, fig and pine trees, with restaurants that offer both Italian and Californian fare. There’s tons of amenities, facilities, and activities to keep the whole family entertained, too, from a world-class 36-hole course, spa, fitness classes with a picturesque backdrop, a salon, and area activities including surfing lessons and sea lion eco-kayak tours.

BOOK IT: pelicanhill.com

Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Hotel & Spa

Adjacent to the beach on the Pacific Coastal Highway is the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa, complete with two outdoor pools and a spa. There is also a range of eateries from elegant restaurants to casual poolside dining, including the acclaimed Watertable, which serves up Southern California cuisine featuring seasonal and locally sourced ingredients, whilst overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Kick back and relax in one of the cabanas or take a stroll along the 10-mile beach (it’s five minutes away). It gets better as it’s been rated Travel Sustainable Level 3+ by booking.com. 

BOOK IT: hyatt.com

The Pendry

Aerial view of The Pendry hotel and swimming pool

Opening later in the year, The Pendy will proudly exude Orange County’s laid-back luxury. As such, there will be 295 guest rooms, including 114 suites, Pendry Newport Beach all donning a sophisticated interpretation of Southern California’s easy-going style, a world-class Spa Pendry, along with three dining destinations, and The Elwood Club, a take on the classic members’ club.

BOOK IT: pendry.com

DO

Crystal Cove State Park

Crystal Cove State Park

Crystal Cove State Park offers 3.2 miles of beach and 2,400 acres of undeveloped woodland, making it a destination for a range of activities. It’s favoured by swimmers, surfers, mountain bikers, horse riders, scuba divers, campers, and explorers thanks to its tide pools and sandy coves. crystalcovestatepark.org

Balboa Island

Balboa Island

A harborside community which us accessible to the public via bridge, ferry and public docks, this is the spot to try out paddleboarding, rent an electric Duffy boat or go dolphin watching. Or stay on land and visit the quaint shops for souvenirs – or you can walk a loop of the island and pick up a coffee and sweet treats, such as one of the famous frozen bananas from Sugar ‘n Spice – a go-to since 1945. balboaisland.com

EAT

The Quiet Woman

A storied restaurant, this has been a favourite amongst locals since it opened in 1965. Expect a cozy atmosphere along with sophisticated comfort food, fine wine, cocktails and live music. quietwoman.com

Circle Hook Fish Company

Table with fish dishes and chopsticks

Located in Newport Beach’s Lido Marina Village, Circle Hook Fish Company is a modern-day eatery that serves fresh, sustainably caught seafood. Dishes include crab cakes, crudo, fried calamari and tacos. circlehookfishco.com

JOEY Restaurant

After a spot of shopping at Fashion Island, head to JOEY Newport Beach, which not only offers a crowd-pleasing menu (from Mediterranean inspired dishes to sushi, salads and steaks) but features a gallery wall displaying works by local artists. joeyrestaurants.com

Ruby’s Diner Balboa Pier

Vanilla and chocolate milkshakes with red and white straws

Located at the end of the Balboa Pier, this diner serves up American classics. It’s the place to go for a good old fashion burger, fries and shake. rubys.com

SHOP

Fashion Island

For shoppers, Fashion Island is a classic American shopping mall in Newport Beach that’s been there since 1967. Alongside an array of stores (stop by Alo and Athleta for your outdoor clothing), you’ll find restaurants and The Lot movie theatre. fashionisland.com

Shirley’s Heart Balboa Island

A sweet gift-meets-home decor shop, pick up themed pillows and handmade seashell themed items such as wooden painted sign, starfish, conch shells, and sand dollars. shirleysheartbalboaisland.com

Newport Beach Farmer’s Market

If you love a farmers’ market, be sure to visit this one at Newport Beach Pier, that’s held every Sunday from 9am-1pm. There are seasonal vegetables, fruits and flowers, along with specialty foods such as small-batch breads, Mediterranean dips, vegan salsas, cold-press juices, handmade jewellery, and art. farmermark.com

What To Pack

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Ancient Greek Sandals
Archaic, £170
Brand new in, you’ll want to wear these classic flats from Ancient Greek Sandals every summer. Handmade using off white chemical-free natural leather, there’s also tiny golden studs and mini scallop edge detailing. This style is also available in black.

Buru

Pinstriped Donna Dress, £210

An elegant, everyday, natural-hued dress from Buru, it features subtle navy and red pinstripes, silver buttons down the front, a sweet Peter Pan collar and a detachable belt. Just add your favourite flats like the Tamara Mellon Minty Ballerina.

Three Graces London

Sorrell Dress, £540

THREEGRACESLONDON.COM

In a soft coral shade, this breezy dress is made from soft cheesecloth and features a gathered neckline as well as balloon sleeve. Wear this beauty to the beach or to the harbour.

Aviator sunglasses with gold frames

LINDA FARROW

The Asher Aviator Sunglasses, £750

LINDAFARROW.COM

These pair of aviators are such a classic, you’ll want to wear them whenever the sun’s out. They’re cool, they’re classy, and as they’re formed entirely from pure 22 carat light gold-plated Japanese titanium, they’re a luxury option too. The brown graduated lens colours pair perfectly with the frame while offering anti-glare and full UV protection.

Blue shift dress with white swirl pattern

Reformation

Jessi Linen Dress, £128

THEREFORMATION.COM

Made from 100% linen, this is a ‘60s-inspired dress with a crew neckline and simple button/keyhole finish at the back. Wear with sliders or keep it sixties and go for the Carel Peche low white slingbacks.

MEJURI

Recycled 14kt Gold Hoops, £88

MEJURI.COM

Handcrafted in hollowed 14k solid gold, these are light, wearable and come in at a 25mm diameter. MEJURI is known for working with recycled gold to reduce their environmental impact, and the brand conducts due diligence to ensure that the gold is certified recycled content from scrap or post-consumer sources.

Black wide leg overalls

L’Agence

Inaya Jumpsuit, £370

LAGENCE.COM

An easy-breezy 100% linen overall, this one from LA-based label brand L’Agence features slim straps and a full cropped leg. Wear with flats or your favourite mules.

PANGAIA

Recycled Cotton Stripe Boxy T-Shirt, £65

PANGAIA.COM

A stripey tee is a summer staple, and this one is made from 50% recycled and 50% organic cotton and is also treated with natural peppermint oil to reduce the need for washing and to keep it fresher for longer. It’s available in white/navy, black/navy and red/pink colourways.

Manolo Blahnik

Titubaflatbi Black and Light Beige Suede Buckle Flat Mule, £625

MANOLOBLAHNIK.COM 

A flat mule that’ll go with a whole host of outfits, this pair from Manolo Blahnik has been crafted from black suede and features a decorative light beige buckle.

Straight leg cropped jeans in a light wash

MOTHER

The Tripper Ankle, £265

REVOLVE.COM

LA-based denim label MOTHER designs jeans that you’ll want to wear forever, including these summery pale blue cropped jeans. They’ve also put in place several business practices to make them run responsibly – they partner with local businesses and manufacturers in the production of all denim styles in support of local craftsmanship and third-party audited ethical labour practices. 95% of the overall manufacturing is done locally in Los Angeles, and 100% of their denim products are made within a 14-mile radius from their design studio, minimizing the company’s carbon footprint by limiting freight transport and shipping.

Grey drawstring hoodie

HEIDI KLEIN

Long Island Mink Hoodie, £120

HEIDIKLEIN.COM

Catch it while you can: this hoodie by Heidi Klein is now in the sale. A great travel companion, it’s made from merino wool and cashmere, and features a hood and drawstring detailing.

Jute tote bag with painted 'to the disco' rainbow letters

The Jacksons

To The Disco Tote, £85

FENWICK.CO.UK

For a fun tote, head to The Jacksons. Handmade from jute, it’s the perfect bag for essentials whether you’re off to the beach or the Newport Beach farmer’s market.

Orange and pink chevron crochet midi dress

Nobody’s Child

Pink & Orange Chevron Mock-Crochet Racer Midi Dress, £75

NOBODYSCHILD.COM

Crochet clothing and accessories are all the rage this season, and if you want to nod to the trend, try this 100% cotton racer midi by Nobody’s Child in orange, pink and cream chevron (also available in other colourways).

Mini dress with flutter sleeves in orange and pink pattern

ba-sh

Aelda Mini Dress, £235

BA-SH.COM

A new mini dress in sunshine shades, this is brought to you by French brand, ba-sh. This item is also part of the label’s Blossom range, which is eco-responsible and made from at least 70% certified fibres.

Tie-up brown sandals

PORTE & PAIRE 

Suede Sandals, £175 

NET-A-PORTER.COM

These minimal suede flats are a summer staple. Complete with a strappy ankle strap, the style is available in chocolate, black and gold shades.

PARAVEL

Aviator Grand Recycled-Polycarbonate Suitcase, £530

SELFRIDGES.COM

Paravel is known for its sustainable luggage offering, and this suitcase is made from 100% recycled polycarbonate. There’s a hard-shell exterior, recycled aluminium handles, recycled zips, vegan leather details and four double-spinner wheels for ease of movement. Inside, meanwhile, there’ s a compression board, pockets, removable laundry bag and a lining made from 21 upcycled plastic bottles.