I’m off to Vancouver tomorrow bright and early for a weekend with friends, so I thought it was about time I posted up the last of my images from Palm Springs, before I get a whole bunch of new ones.
Truth be told, last time we went to Palm Springs we had been a bit disappointed by the shopping and dining out options. We visited some great places, yes, but overall the downtown area came across as a bit tired and down at heel – resting on its laurels from a bygone era, like a vacationing grandma.
Clearly we weren’t the only people who felt like that because in the intervening three or so years since we were last there a whole district of fabulous shops and boutiques, art galleries, vintage furniture stores and cool restaurants has sprung up – the Palm Springs Uptown Design District, on North Palm Canyon Drive.
The area begins north of Cheeky’s – breakfast here is still a highlight of any trip to Palm Springs, though be sure to get there early as the lines are LONG.
On the other side of the street from Cheeky’s is Copley’s which has a beautiful outside terrace on which to drink superb cocktails and eat excellent food. The highlight for us, though, was the fabulous sticky toffee pudding that British chef Andrew Copley has snuck onto the menu.
We were told by a shop owner that Trio, just north of Copley’s on North Palm Canyon Drive had spearheaded the development of the area, and it certainly was a fabulous place to eat, big and bustly, with a fun and funky interior, impeccable friendly service, and a menu full of upmarket comfort food (and truly excellent mac ‘n cheese for the Minx).
North of Cheeky’s you’ll find some extremely cool vintage furniture stores and Jakes restaurant. We didn’t have a chance to eat at Jakes - though we stuck our heads in and it looked like fun – but it comes highly recommended by people we met at the hotel.
Carry on walking and you’ll reach a small Spanish style hidden courtyard, where’ll you find the fabulous NotNeutral store, selling beautifully designed contemporary homewares. Originally conceived as a temporary pop-up shop, it’s now a perfect fit in the design district. We could have bought the whole store and nearly did.
The courtyard also hides the glamorous interior of Workshop Kitchen + Bar. We really enjoyed this restaurant, from the cool décor to the duck fat fries, the use of seasonal ingredients, the excellent cocktails and the ‘large format’ options, which led to the family sharing a large platter full of mustardy chicken and delicious vegetables.
The pop-up store concept thrives at Raymond Lawrence. Named for the delightfully friendly owners they feature a number of pop-up collections in their quirky store.
We fell in love with these limited edition portraits of vintage Barbies by Judy Ragagli. The cutie in the middle with the curled brown hair ended up coming home with us.
The jewel of the design district is Palm Springs designer Trina Turk’s huge eponymous store, featuring women’s and men’s fashions and the world’s most colourful homewares. Spent a lot of time ogling cushions here.
With the development of the design district, Palm Springs has just become even more fabulous, if rather dangerous for the wallet and waistline. I for one can’t wait to go back and am fascinated to see how it develops over the next few years.