I’ve heard good things about The French Market Cafe (cheers Guardian!) so I head up there this morning for breakfast. It’s at the very top end of Abbot Kinney and a good 40 minute walk past all the beautiful houses here in Venice.
The smell is amazing as I pass by, with the scent of bougainvillea and what seems like jasmine. There’s olive trees, persimmon trees, wild artichoke and rosemary peeking through people’s front fences. California wild poppies grow on the pavement side, and for a state that never rains, it’s certainly blooming.
I arrive at this quasi-French place where the owners sell take home meats, jams and cheeses, as well as eat in dishes.
The wait on staff are not the most friendly however, and I detect more of a Flemish accent than a French.
I park up in the sun and eat a salmon and spinach omelette with salad, baguettes, salted butter and jam; chased down with French vanilla coffee. Yum.
Breakfast accomplished, and I stroll to the beach to catch some sun. With the sea air blowing in, it actually feels a little chilly: although my sunburn later will indicate otherwise.
I skip down the sand getting some thick black stuff stuck to the bottoms of my feet. I call them ‘sea poops’ but in actual fact they’re tarry pools washing in from oil spills in the gulf.
I make it the 2 miles down the beach and happen upon Santa Monica Pier. It’s a short old wooden pier with souvenirs for sale and a few theme park rides that remind me of Brighton or Blackpool. I jaunt down to take in the views whilst an old guy plays Elton John badly on guitar and a whiff of fish permeates the air.
I scootch back to Venice past ‘The Hotel California’ (probably not the song’s namesake by the look of things though) and, exhausted, take a load off back at the flat.
Nachos, beer and dip consumed and I head out later back up Abbot Kinney, where a lovely young vagrant with a dog shouts ‘it’s called Abbot Kinney, you dick!!’. Delightful.
Not really sure what i’m in the mood for, I grab dinner although, too much sun has killed my appetite.
Completely spent from my lazy day of not much but walking, I saunter back to the beach pad. I watch a bad movie and then hit they hey, relaxed and ready to head away from this idyllic beach bum life, and out to Westwood in the morning.