What to do and see in Venice, LA


Adelaide-born Jodie Fried is the creative director and co-founder of ethical rug company Armadillo & Co. She and her cinematographer husband left for LA 10 years ago. They now have three children, the flagship store in LA and a New York showroom, armadillo-co.com


The Downtown Arts District is really happening right now, bustling with art galleries, restaurants and fashion boutiques that you can experience on foot. Hauser & Wirth is fascinating, as much for its contemporary art offering as its setting in a sprawling former flour mill, and houses a delicious eatery called Manuela, which serves house-grown seasonal produce. If you're up for some shopping, stop by the Heidi Merrick boutique – her clothes are effortless with a surf-inspired Cali edge, hauserwirth.com, manuela-la.com  heidimerrick.com


Don't forget to navigate California's amazing coastline – I recommend a visit to Malibu, 30 minutes away, to go surfing or enjoy a classic hamburger on the pier. The Surfrider, run by fellow Aussie Emma Crowther Goodwin, is a gorgeous boutique hotel filled with art and decor by local makers. It would make the perfect base for exploring, thesurfridermalibu.com


Wallflower in Venice is one of our all-time favourite restaurants. Its Indonesian dishes (which we miss, being so far away from Asia) are out of this world, with regional flavours and spices that your tastebuds will thank you for. The industrial architecture is also very memorable! You can't go past a kari tieu goreng, the barramundi and urap sayur, wallflowervenice.com


Elephante is an amazing bar and restaurant in Santa Monica. The food is sensational, as are the incredible cocktails. Make sure you book well in advance as it gets busy after dark. Order yourself a cocktail like my favourite, the classic Elephante, and pull up a lounge chair to watch the sun go down, elephantela.com


Try not to cross LA, particularly from west to east, after 4pm on any given day but especially on a Friday afternoon – it will literally take you hours! It's better to stay put and grab yourself a drink, then set off after 8pm.