In case you missed the big news, I’ve moved to South Africa! I’m so excited to call Cape Town my new home, but, of course, leaving California was a bittersweet experience. Fortunately, I was sent off in style by my besties.

Before leaving for South Africa, I had an incredible bon voyage brunch at the Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, California. With delicious food and amazing friends, it’s definitely a day that I’ll never forget.

Party at Monarch Beach Hotel

On the big day, we all met on the grand lawn for brunch at Monarch Beach Resort.

This place was the perfect spot to say goodbye (for now!) to California. Overlooking a stunning beach, the Monarch Beach Resort offers a “curated resort experience” that can’t be beaten. As a beach-loving Californian, I can’t think of a better place for my last girls’ brunch. With a Tuscan-style vibe, this place features a private beach, sparkling pools, and a first-class array of restaurants.

But it was no standard restaurant fare for my bon voyage brunch. I had a beautiful tablescape and picnic by Alfresko Event Design. With handcrafted gourmet picnic platters, the ladies there know how to create an impressive spread. And, yes, I’m a bit partial. Alfresko Event Design was founded by a couple of my girlfriends, Jenny and Kat, and I’m obsessed with the concept.

Tablescape by Alfresko Event Design

Brunch tablescape

Brunch by Alfresko Event Design

Basically what Alfresko Event Design does is create unique and gourmet alfresco picnic experiences. Rather than boring old sandwiches on a beach towel, they creates top notch, unique picnics in a fabulous setting. It’s a very cool idea for any kind of special event – but especially for engagements, bridal showers and going away parties 😉

The tablescape and meal that was set up for my bon voyage brunch was nothing short of magical. I had a long beautiful table with lush Turkish textiles, sparkly Moroccan wedding blankets, and tons of cushy pillows. It was completely Instagram-ready and far from your standard picnic.

It was the perfect way to say goodbye to California!

Brunch with my besties

Brunch at Monarch Beach

At my big farewell, I was surrounded by some of my best girlfriends and toasted to new beginnings. We sipped green juice in champagne flutes and nibbled on quiche, cheese, and even pancake lollipops. The food was top notch and we had a blast.

After brunch, we all headed over to the Miraval Life in Balance Spa at Monarch Beach. With more than seventy signature treatments, this is a dream spot to indulge. There is a steam room, a sauna, an indoor and outdoor Jacuzzi, and a lagoon pool area with fully outfitted cabanas.

Located right on the oceanfront, the Miraval Life in Balance Spa spoils you. With massage therapy, facials, and body treatments, you can pamper yourself from head to toe. And we did! After a long steam, we closed out the afternoon poolside.

All in all, it was such a wonderful experience.

My Bon Voyage Brunch

I am so fortunate to have so many amazing humans in my life who love and support me (no matter what crazy dreams I come up with). It’s been challenging to lift my roots, but I’m so thrilled to call Cape Town home.

Stay tuned for my adventures around Africa!


Kiersten Rich

Kiersten Rich is the bikini-obsessed author of award-winning solo female travel and lifestyle blog, The Blonde Abroad, featuring travel tips, fashion, food, festivals and photography from around the world.

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