The last time I was in Newport Beach, I was with my boyfriend for a romantic little escape from Los Angeles. While enjoying our getaway, I began plotting my next trip to Newport; this time would be with just the girls! In true Sex in the City fashion, I rallied my three best girlfriends to leave their hectic work and personal obligations behind for a few laughs and a little bit of relaxation.
Just for fun, let’s say my friends’ names are Charlotte, Samantha, and Miranda because as luck would have it for story telling purposes, their real life counterparts in my world are not that different. Charlotte and Miranda are both married with young children, and Samantha has a very busy work schedule that has her out on the town and traveling often. Once the suggestion was put out there, we all took to our calendars, and miracle of all miracles – we all were able to agree upon the first weekend of August!
Ladies of Luxury…for a weekend, at least.
Friday of our weekend trip had finally arrived and as pre-planned, we all arranged to break away from our respective responsibilities early in order to get on the road around 1 p.m. This offered us the luxury of cruising down at our own time. We then checked into the beautiful Island Hotel Newport Beach around 3 p.m. The check-in was a breeze and our Luxury Double Queen suite was the perfect setting for our big girl’s weekend sleepover! After a quick change, we were by the pool with cocktail in hand and enjoying the afternoon sun. Once we had enough pool time, we headed in to freshen up for dinner. Four women getting ready for a Friday night out took a couple of hours!
We finally arrived at a restaurant I spotted on my last visit, Billy’s at the Beach. With a fantastic location on the water, we were able to get a coveted table outside right in time to watch a stunning sunset. We sipped Hawaiian style cocktails and listened to Billy’s live music. Needless to say, this mini-vacation was off to an absolutely amazing start! After reviewing the menu, we decided on sharing delicious bites of the Prawn and Papaya salad, Guacamole and Chips, Black Sesame Crusted Seared Ahi, and Mahi Mahi, which everyone enjoyed as evident in the clean plates our server removed from the table. Still in the mood to stay out a bit longer, we took our server’s recommendation and walked next door to Rusty Pelican for a nightcap.
Saturday morning was leisurely. However, we quickly jumped into a day of beauty and fashion at Fashion Island, a mere walking distance from our hotel. After drinking coffee and nibbling on the fruit plate in our room, we set off for a very lady-friendly day. In order to maximize time, I paired us off for our scheduled appointments. While Charlotte and I were at the Drybar tending to our tresses, Samantha and Miranda headed to Blushington for one-on-one beauty attention; then with a wink and smile, we switched seats for our turns. Reuniting at Lark Creek for lunch, all feeling great, we were thrilled to hear it was Salmon & Rosé month and that they had a special menu in honor of these two crowd pleasers. Laughing because it was as if they knew we were coming, we placed our orders. Post a very “ladies who lunch” experience, we poked around the shops at the mall for a while, making a few purchases along the way before heading back to the hotel for some down time before the fun Saturday night I had planned for us.
Hearing glowing recommendations from locals, I made us a reservation at The Dock, which as their site states is “Waterfront alfresco patio dining with an infused continental menu and outstanding wine list of domestic and imported.” With help from the hotel concierge, we arranged for a car service to drive so we all could enjoy our evening. As we walked into this stunning restaurant, we were greeted with beautiful hospitality and a great table to enjoy one another’s company for the undoubtedly delicious meal to come. Sticking somewhat to our strategy from the previous night, we all ordered different entrees in order to try as much of the menu as possible. Without question, it was an indulgent and lovely meal to the last bite and sip, not to mention an absolute perfect beginning to our night.
Although it wasn’t too far, due to our non-walking shoes, we opted to hop in an uber for the short drive to 21 Oceanfront for its elegant yet fun atmosphere and live music. We had a cocktail at their bar. Since being out on the town was a rare occasion lately for Charlotte and Miranda, we enjoyed the scene for a while then decided to pop over to The Blue Beet, which was in walking distance and also had live music. After some dancing and lots of laughing, we were ready to call it a night. We ordered another uber and we were off to sleep as soon as our heads hit the pillows. A day of beauty, shopping, dining and dancing can sure take it out of a girl.
Check out on Sunday was at noon, which was plenty of time for us to sleep in a bit, pack and then make our way to brunch. We decided to eat at Woody’s Wharf on the peninsula, which has been a local’s favorite since 1965. For our last meal of the weekend, we naturally enjoyed one more water front view and, while a couple of us partook in the Champagne Brunch, the other two enjoyed coffee and juice along with various egg dishes and perhaps one too many Belgian waffles. With our bellies full, we went directly across the street for some mandatory beach time to sun, digest, and relax before we hit the ol’ 405 back to reality.
Until next time Newport Beach…