Lunch At Dinah’s: What I Wore

You’d think a post that’s titled Lunch at Dinah’s should include info about the lunch. We were meeting good friends and to be honest I did plan to review the food but life doesn’t always work as planned. I don’t know who chose this restaurant but when we pulled into the parking lot, I was certain we were in the wrong spot.

Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled Life in front of Dinah's Hotel in Palo Alto

The entrance is flanked by a pair of 19th-century life-size Indian processional elephants amid a lush flower garden with sparkling fountains.Dianh's Hotel restaurant sign on A Well Styled Life

A peek along the side of the building showed the Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled Life exploring Dinah's Hotel in Palo Alto

“In the 1950’s Milla and Raymond Handley set out to create a unique oasis of serenity for every class of traveler. They engaged San Francisco’s Robert Royston, one of America’s foremost park landscape architects, to design tropical/Asian gardens that included lagoons, koi ponds, a Japanese style bridge and lush tropical landscaping.” -from their websiteJennifer Connolly of A Well Styled Life exploring Dinah's Hotel in Palo Alto

Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled Life exploring Dinah's Hotel in Palo AltoWe snapped a few photos but none of the food because the moment we entered the hotel I was mesmerized. As it turns out the food was simply amazing and wish I had captured at least one shot before we inhaled ate it. #goalsJennifer Connolly of A Well Styled Life exploring Dinah's Hotel in Palo Alto

The poolside was bustling with activity and every table was jammed. My view was towards the rooms which are laid out like an old-fashioned motel… but it’s so much more. Dinah’s is filled with vibrant color, exotic plants and unusual works of art collected from the world travels of its owners. This place is a gem in the heart of bustling silicon valley and a must experience.

Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled life visiting Dinah's Poolside restaurant

I wore black and white, surprise! It was close to 80 degrees so I pulled out my first linen of the season. This black linen cardigan is in constant rotation in my wardrobe for 3 seasons a year. The houndstooth pants are a step up from denim but not too dressed up. Most everyone but me was very casually dressed. What part of poolside dining did I not understand from the invitation? All of it 🙂  I assumed it was just the name, not the actual location but I felt confident and never gave my appearance a second thought.


I wore some of my favorite French Kande and large sunglasses the entire time. It was great to catch up and exciting to find a terrific place we will revisit.

Does it bother you to be more dressed up than others?

Thanks for reading ladies and have a great day!

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  1. I hear complaints about “having to dress up” and just as many about “not having anything to dress up for”… I’ll dress, thank you! It makes any day an occasion. (Let’s enjoy the extraordinary hidden in the ordinary.)

  2. Nice to know Dinah’s is still there! It’s somewhat of an institution. I spent the night there once in the early 80’s. Don’t remember much about it except the lovely gardens.

    1. I want to spend the weekend there and soak up the atmosphere.

  3. beth byrd says:

    What a very interesting post today! My co-workers and I were just talking about the “good old days” when people actually dressed up for dinner. I understand the need for simplicity and comfort today, but I miss dressing up for special occasions — that doesn’t seem to happen now.

    1. I love to dress up, even just for everyday events. It’s a personal choice and I always enjoy when others do the same.

  4. I think you look great, but since I’m learning, it would be very helpful to know what you would have done differently. No pictures needed. Just state what might have been more appropriate. Same, but with denim? Less jewelry? Color instead of black? I look forward to your reply.

    1. I felt totally appropriate for me. If I was dressing down to the ultra-casual style many were wearing I would wear jeans, a nice tee, a sunhat and the same jewelry. I just do not go out dressed as casually as many of the guests, which is my preference and how I feel most confident.

  5. I think you are perfectly dressed for the occasion!

  6. The place looked beautiful and so did you! I would rather be overdressed then underdressed, I live in Oklahoma and I chuckle when I see the women with pretty manicures and pedicures wearing flip flops and sloppy clothes. Just shake my head is all I do. Thank you for this!

    1. Me too. Sometimes these gals are wearing ripped jeans too. Not my style;)

  7. You looked so nice! I really loved what you wore. It makes me so happy to see well dressed people. Everything has become so casual.

  8. I live in a neighborhood with a wide age group. At social events The young people (in their early 40’s!!) are always in stylish jeans, the lates jewelry and wonderful shoes. The rest of up (60 plus) are in nice neat dressier clothes. They look cool, we look frumpy. Yup, frumpy. Even with seriosly expensive clothes. One of the younger women told me that the worst thing is to look like you tried too hard. I’m beginning to agree. Nothing says “old” like a nice neat suburban outfit!

    1. That’s an interesting observation. That’s why I’m always stressing the importance of looking current and modern.

    2. I completely agree with your observation. I never want to appear as trying too hard. Odd man out it appears, but I’d prefer a tad under dressed that over dressed.

  9. Beautiful outfit. The weather is always perfect in Palo Alto. I love your purse and jewelry.
    Thanks for sharing your lunch date with me.

  10. We have got to check this place out…thanks for the tip, Lady!

  11. You look lovely, Jennifer, and what a wonderful location! I love the Asian influence in the decor.

    I, too, would prefer to be a bit overdressed than underdressed. When I was younger, I worried more about “fitting in”, but now I dress to please myself and I like to look well put together.

  12. marlene alves says:

    TOTALLY appropriate, Jennifer; not at all too dressy. You look great!

  13. What a beautiful restaurant! Love the cardigan. You look lovely. Xo

  14. J'Laine Bradley says:

    I would prefer to be overdressed than underdressed.

  15. Sounds like a wonderful place, and you looked lovely! Whenever the dress code is uncertain, I’d rather be a tad overdressed than the opposite. A little glam is fun anywhere, any time 🙂

    1. I agree Summer! I’d rather feel a touch overdressed than under.

  16. Barbara Testerman says:

    In an age where “appropriate” dress seems to keep getting more and more casual, to the point of cut-offs, tank top and flip-flops at a fine dining restaurant (actual), I still enjoy making an occassion extra special by dressing up. We live in Florida with many tourists who don’t even pack dressy clothes, but I just disregard their attire and go for something nice. I’m sure they just considered you one classy lady!

    1. I’m glad you dress for yourself too! One classy lady to the next:)

  17. jodie filogomo says:

    I would rather be over dressed than under dressed!! Taking pride in our appearance should be a good thing??

    1. It was really a blast. I’d love to stay there one weekend and soak up the ambiance.

  18. I like to look put together, I’m actually disappointed when people dining around me look too casual, not to mention the wait staff is better groomed than some of their customers. I guess if you have a good bag, phone, and car, that’s enough.????

    1. I’m with you Eileen, I am always confident when I look well put together.

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