Caroline Stanbury isn't the only one making a move this season of Ladies of London. After discussing the possibility of relocating to California this season, Marissa Hermer and her husband, Matt Hermer, said goodbye to London as they moved their family to the Golden State for an extended stay across the pond about six weeks ago.
But as we saw this season of Ladies of London, Marissa wasn't initially so keen on the idea of making a big move like this. "When we were filming the show, I was actually suffering from postnatal depression (though I hadn’t been diagnosed and didn’t realized it at the time). I wasn’t in a headspace to think about emigrating — I was barely leaving the bedroom and didn’t feel like I could get through the day, so the idea of moving countries was just too overwhelming for me," Marissa told The Daily Dish via email. "After I got stronger physically and emotionally felt better, I realized that this move was something my husband really wanted to do, and even though it wasn’t something that I wanted to do, Matt had been so supportive of me this last year, I wanted to support him."
Marissa realized that this move was exactly what her family needed after facing the challenges during her pregnancy with daughter Sadie. "Really, it came down to that Matt needed this — and as his wife and partner, I listen to his needs. He wanted adventure. He wanted new opportunities to expand his business. And after all he had been through emotionally with my own health complications, he wanted a change in lifestyle where we could enjoy our life in the sunshine," Marissa explained. "I could also see that this move to Los Angeles would benefit our children. They have lots of space to run around outside, and the Pacific Palisades is a great place to raise children. So, here we are (and guess what, it isn’t so bad!). We are loving the adventure. Matt was right after all."
Max helps with the move-in. Photo courtesy of Marissa Hermer
Marissa spends some family time in her new California kitchen. Photo courtesy of Marissa Hermer
So the Hermers have made their home in the Pacific Palisades neighborhood of Los Angeles, which Marissa said has been especially great for her sons Max and Jake, who are already on a tee-ball team and attend karate classes. Though Marissa said the first week of the move was "pretty hellish" for her children because of jet lag, they have adjusted well to their new home. "The boys love their new school and have made so many new playmates," Marissa gushed. "And they love our big house here with our swimming pool and backyard playhouse. We just have so much more space in California compared to London, so the children love that."
Marissa and her family have loved doing some classic California activities, such as riding bikes from Santa Monica to Venice, spending a lazy Sunday at Soho House in Malibu, checking out the views at the Getty, visiting the Huntington Library and Gardens, and trying all of the delicacies that L.A. has to offer. With all of that fun being had, perhaps it should come as no surprise that Marissa said there isn't much that she misses about London living. "But we haven’t had time to even think since we got here. We have been nonstop with the move, getting to know our neighbors, getting the children into schools here, we haven’t stopped for a moment, so not even a second to miss anything!" she said. "Ultimately though, we will miss our dear friends and family in London. Everything else is replaceable but dear friends and family - well, we miss them."
Marissa, Max, and Jake take in the beauty of the Huntington Gardens. Photo courtesy of Marissa Hermer
The Hermers having a blast on the beach. Photo courtesy of Marissa Hermer
Marissa and the boys on the merry-go-round at the Santa Monica Pier. Photo courtesy of Marissa Hermer
Marissa enjoys a day of art at LACMA. Photo courtesy of Marissa Hermer
But now that the Hermers are living in California, they've gained proximity to Marissa's parents, who live in Newport Beach, where she grew up as well as Laguna Beach. "Our children love having their grandparents visit so often and of course, suddenly I get to see my parents for lunch or dinner — without a long flight — it seems like such a luxury to have them so close," Marissa shared.
Even though Marissa is a California girl at heart, she admitted that moving back to her home state was "a real culture shock." "In London, I could pop around to the Kings Road or be in the center of London in 10 minutes. Here, it takes me 10 minutes to get out of my street and onto Sunset! I am in my car all the time, whereas in London, I walked everywhere," she said. "The people are different, the weather is different, the houses are different - everything is so completely different (not better or worse) but just totally different."
Marissa is all smiles in Malibu. Photo courtesy of Marissa Hermer
Marissa celebrates her first birthday in her new home. Photo courtesy of Marissa Hermer
But don't worry; the Hermer family hasn't completely cut all ties with London. Marissa and Matt still run their Bumpkin restaurants and Eclipse bars from L.A. They also still have their home in London and plan to summer in the city and Europe after spending the school year in Los Angeles.
Find out about another lady's American adventure, below.