Holiday Inspiration

LA LOWDOWN

By Susan Ward Davies

Awards Season Kicks Off

Los Angeles is swarming with agents, actresses and very small dogs: the 2013 awards season has begun. This week, Audi helped to kick off the celebrations with a party at the glamorous LA outpost of chic London restaurant Cecconi’s (8764 Melrose Avenue, enq: 310 432 2000, cecconiswesthollywood.com), above, in West Hollywood. A cool crowd including Kate Bosworth and Bryan Cranston assembled to sip champagne and commemorate the start of the busiest two-month period in LA’s social calendar.

Down the road, rising starlets Kelsey Chow and Jamie Chung sat down for a lunch at the iconic Sunset Strip hotel Chateau Marmont (8221 Sunset Blvd, enq: 323 656 1010, chateaumarmont.com), held to honour 2013’s ‘Miss Golden Globe’. This year, the role has been bestowed upon Francesca Eastwood (daughter of Clint), who will help to hand out awards in the way that only a celebrity offspring apparently can. Meanwhile in downtown LA, Jennifer Aniston donned a sexy leather dress to collect her People’s Choice Award for Favourite Comedic Actress at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live (777 Chick Hearn Court, enq: 213 763 6030, nokiatheatrelalive.com), which also played host to winners Jennifer Lawrence, Katy Perry and Demi Lovato.

Red Carpet Ready

With the season’s biggest ceremonies yet to come, Hollywood’s red carpet regulars are still in full detox mode. The (in)famous Barry’s Bootcamp (various locations, LA enq: 310 360 6262, barrysbootcamp.com) remains packed with stars including Amanda Seyfried and Kim Kardashian, who flock to its grueling workouts for the chance to burn 1000 calories in a single session (exercise junkies will be excited to hear that a London location opens this month). Meanwhile, the likes of Ryan Gosling and Jessica Biel can be found enjoying LA’s year-round sunshine with a hike in Runyon Canyon Park. (2001 N Fuller Ave, enq: 323 666-5046). The post-workout refreshment of choice is a cold-pressed green juice from Pressed Juicery, where the organic cleanse programmes are a popular detox option for Kerry Washington, Nicole Richie and Zooey Deschanel.

Marant on Melrose

Expect to see a visiting actress or two emerging from the secluded, tree-lined white house at number 8454 on Melrose Place, where Isabel Marant has just opened her LA flagship (8454 Melrose Place, isabelmarant.tm.fr). The designer has described it as her “favourite shop in the world” so stars and non-stars alike can look forward to an extra-special shopping experience from the queen of Parisian cool.

Afterwards, head a few blocks south on West 3rd street, where hip LA boutique Beckley (8128 W 3rd St, Enq: 310 652 3500, beckleyboutique.com) is now open in a brand spanking new location. Contemporary designers from 3.1 Philip Lim to Thakoon are all represented in this sleek one-stop shop beloved by LA’s most stylish residents.

Speakeasy Style

LA isn’t famed for its buzzing bar scene (2am drinking curfews and an inescapable driving culture will do that to a city), but there are a surprising number of slinky, sophisticated lounges that are more than worth the cab fare home. The newest and sparkliest of them all is The Emerson Theatre (7080 Hollywood Blvd, enq: 323 525 5453, emersontheatre.com), an opulent, 1920s-inspired joint where you can recline on a velvet banquette and enjoy a burlesque show while you sip a Blackberry Smoke cocktail.

This plush new venue joins a smattering of similarly decadent, Prohibition-inspired drinking holes dotted across the city. If you’re over on the Westside, try out Venice Beach’s Del Monte (52 Winward Ave, enq: 310 392 4040, townhousevenice.com) – a speakeasy inside a former, real-life speakeasy – which was recently voted as the best bar in LA. Or head downtown to the historic One Eyed Gypsy (901 E 1st St, Enq: 626) 340-3529, one-eyedgypsy.com) which has operated as a brothel, bootlegging operation, and biker bar, since it first opened its doors in 1899. For your final nightcap, bar-hop over to perennial LA favourite The Edison (108 W 2nd St #101, Enq: 213 613 0000, edisondowntown.com) for a touch of golden era glamour to round off the night. ‘Tis the season, after all.

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