Birds of a feather, as they say. This is certainly the case with good friends Clare Vivier and Heather Taylor. Artistic, fashion-minded, and with enviably stamp-filled passports, these two will make you long to be part of their vibrant inner circle. We’ve been following Clare’s ascent as a formidable handbag …
Larchmont Village has the perfect strip of shops, restaurants, and cafes that makes for an excellent walking tour. It’s small enough to feel quaint, but still has substantial eye candy to keep a regular walker like myself moving. I haven’t been to the boulevard in a while and found myself last week craving two things: the scrumptious veggie dishes from Cafe Gratitude and a macaron from ‘lette. Cafe Gratitude is located south of Melrose Avenue while ‘lette is at the far end of Larchmont Boulevard. But the distance doesn’t cause a problem, even when walking with a stroller and my seven month old. Here’s just a couple of tips on where to park and what shops to hit for a quick one hour stroll up and down the boulevard.
First, make sure to park your car in a two-hour parking space located on Clinton Street, just one block south of Melrose Avenue. The meter parking is fine but if you want to save on cash, there’s usually plenty of free parking on Clinton. Just look at the sign for street side parking. They will ticket you. Now that you’ve parked, you’ve got two hours of play time to use. The first stop is Cafe Gratitude, 639 N. Larchmont Blvd., for fueling.
I always sit at the communal table at Cafe Gratitude. There’s plenty of room for the stroller and you usually end up sharing the table with another mommy. The restaurant recently updated its menu a bit so I was forced to try something new. Adventure! The “I Am Whole” is a tasty dish made of kale, sea vegetables, quinoa, and house-made kim chee. So delicious. If the Cafe is too crowded, walk across the street to Larchmont Larder, 629 N. Larchmont Blvd., for some eclectic salads and sandwiches. And make sure to order a chocolate chip cookie. One of the best around!
Now we’re off. After lunch, walk to the east side of Larchmont Boulevard and pay a visit to Bluebird, 652 N. Larchmont Blvd., and Ampersand boutique, 658 N. Larchmont Blvd. Both of these consignment shops have designer clothes at great prices. Although you’ll find all types of designer brands at Ampersand, I feel their strength lies in their handbags. Here you’ll find Gucci, Chanel, and more at amazing prices. As for Bluebird, when I popped my head in I found an adorable Stella McCartney dress for my girl at a steal. Plus, they post recent deliveries via twitter.
Noni Boutique, 225 N. Larchmont Blvd. on the west side of the boulevard, has more contemporary fashion finds (think Pour La Victoire shoes and J Brand jeans). They also have a cute aquarium underneath their register, perfect for keeping the little kid entertained while I browse the inventory. If you’re looking for sneakers, Kicks Sole Provider on 141 N. Larchmont Blvd., has an extensive selection. They also have a nice group of kids sneaks. Right next door you’ll find Goorin Bros. for all your hat needs. (Here’s a fashion shoot blogger Jerri Howell of StyleSpotting did for us at this location.) Every time I visit the store, I want to buy a top hat, a boater, and a cloche. To complete the look, head over to Heavenly Couture, 133 N. Larchmont Blvd. Each item is priced at only $15.
The newsstand Above The Fold on 226 N. Larchmont Blvd. has all the latest magazines, even foreign editions (Vogue Paris, anyone?). Can’t miss out on awesome children’s toys at the Landis General Store. Plus, they’re actually expanding for more of the same. You’ll also want to stop by Chevalier’s Books. Indie bookstores are so vital so please show support by shopping there.
On this particular walk, we spotted a bunch of paparazzi clamoring to take a shot of January Jones and her baby. (Poor January.) It’s random to see such a freak show in the middle of the day but that’s Larchmont. One minute it’s all charming and the next you’re battling for sidewalk space with some photographer.
Celeb sightings aside, I made it to ‘lette where the macarons are to die for. Buy a few hundred for the walk back to your car. You still have two more stores to hit. A trip to Larchmont’s two beauty shops is required for this itinerary. First, the Larchmont Beauty Center, 208 N. Larchmont Blvd., is a definite go. The shop has every cosmetic brand you want or didn’t even know you needed. I also like Malin+Goetz, 238 N. Larchmont Blvd., for their intoxicating candles and skin treatments. We were generously gifted samples which I’m still using today. The vitamin E face moisturizer is so light, I’m about to head over there now to buy more.