this past weekend definitely taught me the value of a staycation. you can pack light, easily drive with less than one tank of gas, you can somewhat predict the weather, and you’re back in your own bed before you know it…no security lines and all that jazz. it has me thinking about renting an apartment in venice this summer for a week (or maybe a house swap?!)

we felt really lucky that banana republic wanted us to document our little trip to malibu. they put us up for the weekend, gave us some clothes from their new milly collection to try out and let us plan the rest. pretty much all of my vacations are based on what we are eating next…my favorite part.

first stop: NOBU. just wow. a candlelit dinner on the beach (the water is right below the deck), the best service, and mind blowing food. we don’t normally splurge this much when we eat out but we decided to just go for it that night. absolutely everything we tried was delicious but i highly recommend the yellowtail with jalapeño, the tuna over crispy rice & the bite sized white fish tacos! this is a perfect spot for an anniversary or special occasion.


we are big fans of hot sake too…it’s fun to pour it for each other throughout the meal. arian’s face cracks me up after his first shot that evening…

that was definitely my favorite meal. i always ask arian at the end of the trip “so, what was your favorite meal?” and he always says “hmmm. i liked them all for different reasons.” man, we couldn’t be any more different. ha.

the four seasons is definitely a comfortable hotel…white robes, a big bathtub, and a supremely soft bed. it’s not my aesthetic necessarily, but it’s definitely nice. it’s also about 30 minutes from the beach. the plus side to that is that you get to drive through the beautiful canyon! you can pull over in designated spots and take in the views…

(shop the dresses above and below here)

i knew we had to make it to paradise cove at some point. we came here when we first started dating (i took him here because i know he loves the beach) we also had a meal here with a friend of mine that passed away recently, so it feels very special to go back.

the tables are actually in the sand on the outdoor patio, which is undoubtedly fun no matter how old you are. a bloody mary & a mimosa to start the day off right.

we ordered the “world famous fish & lobster tacos”…i always think it’s funny when they say that. but hey, they were actually SO good that i’ll let it slide. they also have a killer guacamole. (huge portions by the way!)

a few months ago, arian found out that i could throw a football…and now he always suggests we throw the ball around. we took a long nap on the beach (which means sunburn for me and tan for him) and just enjoyed the ocean. remember this post from point dume? we thought it would be fun to go back…

it sure was relaxing….

needing to get out of the sun, we headed to the bookstore in the area to grab a coffee and hang inside for a while. we also had some time to kill before our dinner reservation, so we just drove up and down the pacific coast highway…i am always amazed at that drive! it makes me happy to live in california every time…

we are literally always in the mood for seafood, so we went to geoffrey’s for our last dinner. i love their breezy patio seating. i remember growing up my mom would always fuss about outdoor seating. her face would literally light up if we got a table by some flowers and trees. now that i am older i fully appreciate what all the hype was about. a good meal outdoors can really make your stress disappear. we enjoyed ahi tartare, herbed salmon, lobster ceviche and lychee martinis…

an early dinner means…a second dinner is in order! we took a scenic drive to neptune’s net (a casual biker bar) to watch the sunset and eat some fried food. which really was just a vehicle for my recent hot sauce obsession! and there’s arian air drumming…he never stops!

we decided to just go home and watch netflix documentaries at the hotel and came upon the most epic fog covering the mountains. it felt like we were on top of the world…

before heading back home we dined at duke’s. it feels somewhat like a nice diner on the ocean (a bit touristy, but that’s alright sometimes). you can sit with the windows open and enjoy this laid-back spot.

have you been to malibu? what are some of your favorite spots? -bri

photos by: arian soheili & designlovefest

(This post is brought to you by Banana Republic. Visit www.BananaRepublic.com for the hottest summer fashion trends.)



Add your own

  • 1. Hanna (excelsior lady)  |  June 4th, 2013 at 11:33 am

    So fun! Sometimes a staycation is the best kind of escape. Hope you’re feeling rejuvenated! xo

  • 2. Yari  |  June 4th, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Never been to Malibu but now I want to go! Outdoor dinning is my favorite, I just feel like Im in a movie or something, ha!
    in our case is all the way around, Im hispanic and my husband is really white, so he always complains how I tan and he just sunburns! ^_^

  • 3. Colette  |  June 4th, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Love the orange dress you wore to Nobu! Is that part of the Milly collection?

  • 4. Lesley Myrick  |  June 4th, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Looks like such a fun trip! My husband and I did a little Malibu staycation a couple of weeks ago, and it was awesome! Picnic lunch at Malibu Wines (beautiful place to bring a lunch and try wines!) and the best steak I’ve ever had at The Old Place, which has the coolest rustic decor. We also saw a peacock, and Orlando Bloom. Pretty good date weekend if you ask me. :)

  • 5. bri  |  June 4th, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    hi colette! the orange dress was a vintage find from shareen vintage in LA!

  • 6. Michelle  |  June 4th, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    I am so jealous that you live somewhere which is so close to blissful sunshine and a beach. Need more send. Please send it to England in a rush delivery. Thanks

  • 7. brianna [observant nomad]  |  June 4th, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    Love the black espadrilles! Are those Banana Republic or something else?

  • 8. The New Diplomat's Wife  |  June 4th, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    love this collaboration – and we travel a ton for work so we did something similar last weekend by just buying a day pass for a local hotel and pool. No one has to know your hiding away relaxing…

  • 9. Milly  |  June 4th, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    I love the dress you had on at the hotel with the curtains! The colours are beautiful and the material looks really comfortable as well! Looks like the trip was a lot of fun! I also feel closer to Banana Republic now because my name is actually Milly! Haha! :P

  • 10. Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today  |  June 4th, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    I like BR and your trip looks like plenty of fun.

  • 11. Alyssa | techlovedesign  |  June 4th, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    You are one lucky chick!

    Once again, great design & pictures. Looks like a lovely staycation :)
    (I love the photo of you lying on the beach)

  • 12. Kristen  |  June 4th, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    So cute! This looks like soooo much fun. I totes take for granted living in such an awesome place. A staycation is def in order this summer!

  • 13. Erin  |  June 4th, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    what a fun staycation! I went to Pepperdine and it’s cool to see how much it’s changed over the years. I adore Malibu and it will always be one of my favorite places to visit. You hit all my favorite spots!

  • 14. petal and plume  |  June 4th, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    oh wow, what brilliant work you do. i adore your photos and your words. thanks for sharing such a beautiful story.

  • 15. Luv and Kiwi  |  June 4th, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    Big fan of Nobu. Plan to take my fella there once I book my first film job :)

  • 16. Simone Anne  |  June 4th, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Fun! Looks like a great weekend by the beach :)

  • 17. katie  |  June 4th, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Oooh we’re coming down to LA in a few weeks for my 30th… I shall ad a few of these to our list :)

  • 18. Chase @ The Smell of Summer  |  June 4th, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    That sushi place looks so rad

    Chase Miller
    The Smell of Summer

  • 19. Catherine  |  June 4th, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    How beautiful! Your making me miss summer! My boyfriend and I went to Nobu in Melbourne and it was so so yummy. We ordered two of the same plate.

  • 20. Alexandra Pettinato  |  June 4th, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    Looks like you had so much fun! What a nice little weekend getaway :)

    I love the dress with the green + white stripes + accordion pleats. Super cute!

    Alex from http://www.polkadottedpixels.com

  • 21. Sam  |  June 4th, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    I love the Banana Republic Milly collection! Everything is so cute.

  • 22. Margaret  |  June 4th, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    Can I just say that your pictures are so beautiful. I lived vicariously through your post. Thanks. Beautiful pictures (love the clothes), love the places you went. More please.

  • 23. ami@naivecookcooks  |  June 4th, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    OMG, this looks like so much fun!!!

  • 24. Jen  |  June 5th, 2013 at 1:46 am

    We love Malibu Seafood Co just north of Pepperdine. Very casual fish market with walk up counter for fresh seafood made to order. Awesome fish and chips, clam strips, chowder. The best part is the outdoor covered seating with great beach views and it’s BYOB, baby. People in the know bring tablecloths, candles, wine and glasses. Last time we went they even had live music. Probably one of the cheapest eats in Malibu to boot.

  • 25. Sally  |  June 5th, 2013 at 3:33 am

    I have serious food envy right now! Looks like an amazing place, your photographs are gorgeous!

  • 26. Erin | House of Earnest  |  June 5th, 2013 at 8:43 am

    That yellowtail from Nobu is my favorite meal of all time. I took my husband to Nobu in Hong Kong last month after talking it up for the last 6 years! He loved it too!
    LOVE this staycation, I think so often we miss the wonderful things right around us!

  • 27. Anni  |  June 5th, 2013 at 9:26 am

    I think my favorite thing about California is how many amazing staycation possibilities there are. Here in Chicago, unless you’re into really craft fair-esque antique shops (sorry, I’m not…) you can basically either stay in the city, or go to Michigan or Wisconsin. It’s fun once or twice, but kind of boring beyond that!

  • 28. kristin  |  June 5th, 2013 at 10:24 am

    those lobster tacos look amazing — thanks for sharing and so excited about the milly collection!

  • 29. Elizabeth  |  June 5th, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Close to eleven years ago, I married my best friend at Topanga Beach under a palm tree in Malibu. Then we had 60 of our friends and family join us for a reception at Dukes. We ended the night at a suite at the Malibu Beach Inn.

    Every year we go back for our anniversary and last year we had a pop up dinner on the same beach we got married at to celebrate 10 years. http://lovesrobots.blogspot.com/2012/08/pop-up-dinner-party.html Malibu has a piece of my heart!!

    Great post for a rad staycation!! I just had a mini staycation at the Standard in downtown LA for my birthday. http://lovesrobots.blogspot.com/2013/03/happy-birthday-lizzie-part-two.html

  • 30. bri  |  June 5th, 2013 at 11:44 am

    cute, elizabeth! loved the post about your dinner party :)

  • 31. Marisa  |  June 5th, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    Love this post, Bri! Makes me want to go back to Malibu soon with Ryan. We will definitely hit up some of these spots :)

  • 32. los angeles interior designer  |  June 5th, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Looks like you had so much fun! What a nice little weekend getaway :)

    I love the dress with the green + white stripes + accordion pleats. Super cute!
    los angeles interior designer

  • 33. amanda  |  June 5th, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Ummm, this is kind of great. I’m craving seafood like a motha now.

  • 34. Rachel  |  June 5th, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    You just named alllll the things I love about Malibu. Except Nobu, which I’ve wanted to check out, but $$$$$$$$$$$$. The ‘bu is the bomb diggity.

  • 35. Jana @ 333 Days of Hand Lettering  |  June 5th, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    The four seasons!!!! Luckky girl :)

  • 36. Mere  |  June 6th, 2013 at 8:36 am

    This makes me want to revisit Malibu, it’s been too long. And anywhere there’s lobster tacos, sign me up.

  • 37. Annie Steward  |  June 6th, 2013 at 9:25 am

    this is my home!

  • 38. KA  |  June 6th, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    My boyfriend and I had almost an identical weekend in Malibu last weekend! We were at Point Dume and Paradise Cove, great spots :)

  • 39. domonique  |  June 6th, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    Nobu! love. it. the atmosphere, the setting, the food, the cocktails, the star sighting. love. it. all.

  • 40. Marissa Borelli  |  June 10th, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    Cholada Thai is my favorite! http://www.choladathaicuisine.com/

  • 41. 10 Ways to Save on Vacati&hellip  |  June 11th, 2013 at 7:17 am

    […] and I looked forward to those vacations all year! Also, Bri from DesignLoveFest just went on a staycation in Malibu with her boyfriend and it looked like a great […]

  • 42. Dominika  |  June 20th, 2013 at 3:26 am

    very very niceeeeeeeeeeeeee :)


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  • 44. Anonymous  |  September 18th, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    Sunlife Acai Bowls
    Gelato @ GROM
    Sandwiches from Malibu Kitchen
    Brunch @ M Cafe
    Wine & live music at Malibu Wines
    Church @ The Gathering
    Breakfast Burritos @ Lily’s
    The Adamson House is very cool. Check out their tiles
    Stay at the Malibu Beach Inn
    -My favorite things in Malibu & the above that you mentioned are great too.

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