What happens when you mix art, fashion, and entertainment with a unique, country, modern, tasty, and playful escape ?

You get to experience the adventures of the Farmer’s Daughter.  No, not the 1947 Oscar winning film about a young girl leaving the farm to become a nurse.  I’m talking about the world-famous boutique hotel in the epicenter of Los Angeles, California.  It’s located across the street from CBS studios, the historic 3rd Street Farmer’s Market, just down the street from LACMA, the La Brea Tar Pits, and countless other Los Angeles landmarks, all of which are just a walk, bike ride, or Metro hop away.

The hip and sassy Farmer's Daughter Hotel in L.A.

My daughter and I booked a Mother’s Day Weekend that started with a fun Friday Happy Hour at their restaurant Tart and ended with a fully clothed swimming pool splash alongside 20 yellow rubber ducky toys.  The smiles on our faces said it all.

A bit of country in the city.

They say nobody walks in L.A.  The Farmer’s Daughter Hotel dispelled that myth and it was a blast!  We booked the “Nobody Walks in LA” package for two nights and three days.  Our two little feet took us on adventures jam-packed with delightful surprises that included two brand new pairs of SeaVees shoes that were waiting for us in our room.  Mine were a chic black canvas with white rubber soles and my daughter Kyra’s were red canvas lace ups. Our happy feet smiled from soul to sole.

Comfy and L.A. hip, we let our smiling shoes lead us to their Friday Happy Hour at Tart.  It’s a sass restaurant that has the ambiance of a modern day farm house with a funky mix of contemporary design and LA chic.  Their mixer from 4-7 p.m. redefined happiness. There’s everything from your own large punch bowl, handmade Pimm’s cups, Moscow Mules, Gin Silks, Scrimshaw Pilsners, old Rasputin Imperial Stouts, Domaine de Pouy white wine, and Tempranillo house red wine,, that we tickled our taste buds with house-made jar o’pickles, fried pig ears with Tabasco, grilled lime, celery and ranch dressing, smoked trout deviled eggs, topped by  the most amazing fries with achiote-ketchup . . . all for $5.00 each!   The staff has a country charm with a dash of LA class and down home country smiles for everyone.

A warm reception warms up your stay.

The happy hour glow followed us into the charming lobby complete with twittering parakeets, an upscale boutique and a basket of the best barbecue chips we’ve ever tasted.  Again the staff smiled warmly and treated us like long lost friends.  We were invited to their private happy hour from 5-6 p.m. that served upscale whisky and bourbon shots - real down-on-the-farm hospitality.  With warm smiles inside from both the Happy Hour fun and farm festivities, we ventured up to our room.  As we opened the door our room was filled with smiling surprises.

Country chic in a Robin Room

A Robin Room bath view.

The 18 x 12 foot room was a funky mix of contemporary design and country chic.  The hotel’s 40-year-old history channels Los Angeles’ past life as an orange grove-filled farmland but boutique owners Ellen and Peter Picatagggio are mixing their aesthetic sensibilities to upscale the guest experience from cutting-edge tech components (think electric mirrors) to custom made art installations featuring the works of local L.A. artists.  The gray industrial floor was warmed by large thick 13 x 13 area rugs under the bed.  The two queen-sized beds were farm-fresh complete with grey flannel throws, red gingham and denim throw pillows with small plaid blue, grey, and green head rest pillows that made reading in bed cozy.  A unique single bulb globe light by the bedside gave the room a farm house glow.  There was an 8 x 8 foot rugged distressed wooden mirror with hooks for our clothes in the large entry way.  The tufted grey grass cloth headboards bordered by dark wooden frames the size of the wall gave the room a contemporary, and cozy, farm house flair.

Besides the country charm of the newly designed decor, there were two Birch Boxes waiting for us on the light blue/grey wooden table.  Everyone loves presents.  We eagerly opened our gifts.  The blue nail polish, pink mak- up sponge, and blow dry hair spray were a delightful surprise.  We sat down on the gingham tufted bench seat with the cutest pillow decor that said “BE NICE OR LEAVE".  The welcome note propped up next to a tiny blue watering can filled with red, blue, and yellow flowers read, “Welcome . . . we hope you enjoy your stay.”  The corners of my mouth turned up again. 

Don't be a Tart . . . everything is NICE.

This was just the beginning.   My daughter and I grinned at each other when we opened the next unexpected treat.  In a small envelope were two Metro passes that would take us to the best local watering holes in L.A.  I burst out laughing.  This was more than a smile moment.  My daughter and I were going on a “Pub Crawl”.   We started our outing by catching the Metro Rapid 780 bus just outside the hotel.  We got off at the legendary corner of Hollywood & Highland (about a 20 minute ride).  From there it was all metro, stumblin’ SeaVee feet, and cocktail smiles.

The sweet country life in a Suite.

Morning came, and thank goodness the window coverings in our room kept out the bright California sunny day, until we were ready to leave our cozy, crisp white sheets.  My daughter brought me the best cup of coffee I’ve ever had.   Lounging in our cozy coverlets, I sipped my fresh cup of Nesspresso with cream, perked in-room by a luxury coffee maker.  This was turning out to be the best Mother’s Day weekend I’ve ever had!  We giggled about our evening’s Metro escapade.  We wondered how we were going to top that.  Never fear, when my daughter Kyra is here. On our way into the hotel last night, she had eyed the brightly colored vintage bicycles parked outside the hotel entrance.  “Mom, we’re going to bike to Yoga in the morning.”  She beamed aloud. 

I took another sip of my Nespresso, opened the curtains and let the California sunshine pour into the room.  Why not I thought?  Buses, pub crawls, bikes, and Yoga, what better way to experience L.A. with my daughter!

Beach cruisers.

The bikes were adorable.  Bright orange and yellow daises decorated the big wheeled beach cruisers complete with a silver bell and multi speeds.  Don’t worry boys, there were bikes for you too (minus the flowers)!  We bungeed our yoga mats to the back rack and set out down the neighborhood streets of L.A.  The studio was about a ten minute bike ride from our hotel.  The tree lined streets with raised sidewalk bumps made me feel like a kid again.  The trek was all up hill.  I didn’t know if I’d have the energy for the bike ride and yoga but my daughter assured me that biking back would be a breeze with the downhill glide.  Grin and bear it I thought.

We stopped for a smoothie before our class.  The neighborhood was cheerful, friendly, and filled with more smiles.  The yoga class was special.  My daughter was proud of her Mom lasting for an hour and a half of downward, upward, and sideways facing dogs.  The exuberance of riding a bike to lunch was amazing.  I laughed at the traffic, honking horns and car fumes as we turned the busy corner and biked downhill through the peaceful, blooming flowered neighborhood streets. Kyra looked behind at my beaming face and cried out, “Look Mom, no hands!”  Lunch at the famous Cook’s County restaurant was fabulous.

When we got back to the hotel, the staff was curious to discover where we went on our afternoon jaunt.   Grabbing some barbecued potato chips from the gingham straw basket, an “at home feeling” suddenly overwhelmed me.

On the way up to our room we had a big decision to make.  Did we want to take a nap in our cozy abode or go shopping at The Grove across the street?  We both looked at the freshly made room and shouted, “Shopping!!”

SeaVee shoes are
made for shopping.

Our Seavee canvas shoes served us well as we trekked to the world famous Grove.  Meandering thru the popular Farmer’s Market we hopped on The Grove Trolley that travels along First Street between The Grove and Farmer’s Market.  It was built on a historic undercarriage from a 1950s Boston streetcar.  Our scenic ride on the 35 foot long and 13 foot tall street car complete with red oak running boards, custom-cast brass hand rails, and fittings with two spiral staircases that led to the upper deck; the clanking trolley bell made me grin about our “no car weekend".

Beautiful fountains that danced to the music of Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Russell Watson, Bette Midler, Lou Rawls, Harry Connick Jr., Kool and the Gang, and Lionel Ritchie, made my Seavee happy feet twinkle with delight.  Shopping at world class stores to the singing medleys of famous Hollywood stars, made this sunny California day practically perfect in every way.  Who would have thought L.A. on foot could be so extraordinary?

Get Tart at the Sunday Brunch.

Sunday . . . The Farmer's Daughter Mothers' Day Brunch was the Oscar-winning event for the weekend!  My daughter and I dressed in our Sunday best.  Brunch was served on the outdoor patio.  The black and white gingham patio furniture was accented by freshly painted wooden slotted white and yellow chairs and rockers; ambiance for our family celebration.  I was greeted with a Mimosa with fresh squeezed California oranges and a bright red rose.  Kyra looked at me with her big eyes and beamed a bright, “I love you, Mom.”  Being a Mom has never felt better than that moment, or so I thought.

Pressed coffee and biscuits.

The Brunch was beyond amazing!  We were served pressed coffee and a basket of biscuits that would make my mom jealous.  But it was the fried chicken and waffles with Tabasco-maple butter that I wanted to write home about!  The crab cakes were moist and tangy.  The tomato basil soup was home-made fresh.  The baby beet salad with faro, grapefruit, and cucumber-yogurt dressing was tantalizingly refreshing.  The apple wood smoked bacon with lettuce, tomato, fried egg ,and avocado aioli sandwich on toasted sourdough bread was scrumptious.

Tomato basil soup.

Basking in the warm California afternoon sun, we felt down-home happy with the L.A. twist of being celebrity special.   As I took my last sip of Mimosa, my daughter mischievously whispered, “Do you want to jump in the pool, Mom?”  I laughed and said with all that I ate I wouldn’t dare get into my swimming suit.

She grinned a wider smile and said, “No suits Mom!”  It was broad day light.  What was she thinking?  I had pushed the envelope with the Pub Crawl.  What was in her devious little mind?  “Mom, I talked to the manager yesterday and he told me they have a Brunch Tradition.  If you jump into their pool after Sunday Brunch, you get half off your bill.” 

I looked at her and LOL!  She looked back and teased, “What do you think?” My heart caught in my throat when I realized she was serious.   Butterflies started swirling in my stomach.  I gestured for the manager to verify the validity of her claim.  He confirmed the deal and promised to take pictures.

Taking the plunge.

So, dressed in our Sunday best, we sauntered shoeless to the heated swimming pool (thank goodness).  Each of us grabbed a bright yellow ducky and held hands by the deep-end of the pool. The Paparazzi were poised.   We shouted out loud,“one-two-three JUMP!”

Our summer dresses floated around us as we rose to the surface of the water.  Drenched and laughing out loud we splashed each other as our yellow duckies bobbed around us.  Camera’s clicked.  The smiles on our faces are permanently etched in our memories.

Thank you, Farmer’s Daughter, for the pleasure of meeting and playing with you on this extraordinary Mother’s Day Weekend.

The Farmer’s Daughter Hotel is located at 115 S. Fairfax Ave. in Los Angeles. There are 66 curated rooms designed for the creative, modern, hip and traditional travelers.  Their restaurant is Tart and is located in the midst of the shopping and dining center of Beverly Grove, across the street from the famous Farmers Market and a block away from the Third Street Shopping and Dining L.A. experience.  

Phone: 323-937-3930
Fax: 323-932-1608

— Feature by Janice Wilson, Jetsetters Magazine Hotel and Spa Editor; photos courtesy of The Farmer's Daughter Hotel and the author.