What to wear on your last day…

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One more day to go before “The end”!!!!! Where should I have my last meal…Hummmm????
At least tomorrow I’ll be on a private plane to Mexico so I can watch it all from above before realizing there is no where to land…

Farewell my little possums…or, if nothing happens, I will have a brand new glamour story on my upcoming Christmas vacation in Mexico and New Year in Acapulco!!!!

 

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Mayan Calendar

 

“‘Tis the season”

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Alright…so I’m going to go Martha Steward on you on this post; but what the hell, it’s the holidays!!!!!

I absolutely love the holidays, I guess it goes back to when I was a child in Switzerland when every year, my mother made sure to create the most unbelievable Christmas experience for me and my 2 brothers. Year after year we all looked forward to mom’s megalithic christmas tree, the room full of presents and the crazy delicious turkey dinner. It was all very much done American style, as both my parents were born in the US; and that was no small feat! In Switzerland there was NO turkey, no christmas tree light and ornaments, cranberries…well you get the picture! So every year, around November, a small fleet of post office trucks would arrive at “Villa Soldanella” (that’s the name of our Swiss villa), with everything from, cranberries, ornaments, presents, Christmas lights and all sort of ingredients for mom to do her stuff.

On the 24th evening, we would join the adults for the very glamorous, full pomp & circumstance, jacket & tie, christmas dinner with all the good china and silver in full display and around 10pm, it was bed time for a few short hours, just enough time to allow Santa to make its way down one of the 10 fireplaces in the house (never quite knew which one…). At midnight, mom would wake us up and in our semi-awake trans we would run down the stairs to the tree room to find it full with what seemed thousands of presents!!!! Ahhhh those days…now I’m lucky if my if I get a smelly candle for christmas from anyone! Those amazing memories left a lasting impression on me and since then I have tried to share my enthusiasm and Christmas cheer with my family and friends when given the opportunity.

Let’s start with some pictures of my tree!!!! Through the years I’ve collected many tree ornaments from all over the world that once a year I get to enjoy on a 10 feet tall blue spruce that I wrestle with all the way from the nursery to my fourth floor apartment (yes…it does NOT fit in the elevator); but once in place I turn into a Christmas nightmare: Andy Williams, eggnog…oh yeah, it’s serious!!!! Have fun decorating your tree, In the US it’s so easy to find great ornaments and christmas lights; go to any arts & crafts store and be creative: add your own touch to the tree, as I have! I made all those gold bows out of wrapping tape to add a little “Je ne sais quoi” to my display.

 

My beautiful Christmas Tree 

 

My ornaments

 

This is one of my set-ups for a sit-down Christmas dinner; I cut off branch from the tree in the back where no one sees and with a few left over tree ornaments or pinecones, I make a center piece for the table…add some candles and voilà!!!!

 

My Christmas sit-down dinner table

 

Here is another approach for a holiday buffet, which is my personal favorite, so you can have more people in a more relaxed environment! Try to create some hight with your displays, it will make it look so much better!

 

My holiday buffet arrangement

 

Here are some of my favorite foods I serve at a cocktail party:

 

Fabulous Hors d’oeuvres

 

Mom’s Pomegranate Guacamole with home-made yellow & blue corn “Totopos”.

 

Cherry tomatoes & fresh mozzarella skewers with homemade “Pesto alla Genovese”

 

Frittata “Tricolore”: Basil, tomato & plain frittata skewers

 

Mom’s chicken & beef homemade mini “Empanadas”

 

Mom’s Deviled eggs…one of my favorites

 

Another Hors d’oeuvres display in my dining room

“Are you a member?” Soho House, West Hollywood

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NO…I am NOT a member!!!!!

It seems as though every time I mention going to Soho House for dinner or drinks, the first words out of anyone’s mouth are: “Are you a member?”.

So here is the reason I have NOT applied for a membership: When the Soho House opened it’s doors in spring of 2010 as a private member’s club, everyone and their grandma’s raced to fill those applications in hopes of becoming a member of the new LA Golden Club; it was like Black Friday at Wall Mart for the rich & famous!

I’m not quite familiar with how they pick who does and who does not get access to the club; but after the dust from the “great run” settled, there were plenty of wounded souls with crushed egos that didn’t make the cut.  However, many of my friends, with whom I spend lots of time with, got accepted and consequently began dining, drinking and entertaining there all the time (some I think live there…), so I found myself going to Soho 2-3 times a week, as their guest.

So here was my thought: If I applied for the membership and for some ungodly reason, I would to be denied, I’d be so pissed off that I would never set foot in the place again, which would mean giving up spending plenty of social time with my friends.  So in one of my least courageous moments in life, I decided not to take the chance and just stick to the status quo. Not to mention I am really not the kind of person who buys into these elitist clubs for “special” people, which works like a charm in a place like LA where most people have approval issues!

The Soho House is billionaire Nick Jones’ 2nd venture in LA after opening Cecconi’s in 2009 in the old Morton’s location. Perched on the top floor of the Luckman Building in West Hollywood, with the most unbelievable views of the city, the space is divided in 2 main areas: the restaurant and the bar/lounge. My good friend Waldo Fernandez designed the place and really succeeded in creating a chic, laid back, sexy, comfortable oasis for the “Pretty” ones to pollinate. The massive staircase in the entrance hall, when you exit the elevator, is beyond glamorous; though I wish it was inverted, meaning, instead of going up to the higher floor from the entrance hall, you would be going down…it would make for great entrances; people would be flocking at the bottom to see the spectacle of it all. Not to mention it’s a hell lot easier than walking down the stairs on your way out after a few cocktails; especially for the 99% of the ladies population at Soho who wear 6 inch heels.

There has been a lot of talk through the years about the food not being very good, but I must admit, I never had  a bad meal; though I don’t think anyone goes to Soho Club for the food. It’s hard to top dining under olive trees by a water pond, under the stars at the top floor of a building in West Hollywood! This place rocked for the first year, with more mega stars, fabulous parties and drama than anyone has ever seen in LA in such a short period. I can’t even count how many great nights I had here…never a dull moment!

The only other successful Member’s only Club in LA  that I can remember of was Tramps! For almost 2 years, this London-based phenomenon, owned by the legendary Johnny Gold along with my then step-uncle Oscar Lerman (the best person EVER!), husband of my then step-aunt Jacky Collins, it was “THE” Place to be in LA! I remember all the glamorous dinners I had there with my then step-mother Joan Collins (are you getting sick of the: “then step…” yet?), with Elizabeth Taylor, Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Sydney Poitier and the beautiful Joanna, Jacky Collins & Oscar Lerman, Princess Stephanie of Monaco, Sylvester Stallone with the psychotic Brigitte Nielsen and many more. I remember dancing weekly with Prince, who was always by himself, and his bodyguards till the wee hours of the morning without sharing 1 word; and for some obscured reason I remember Steven Seagal (“I know…right?”) with his lady in red and then wife, Kelly LeBrock, who I thought was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen. The energy was amazing, the bathrooms sounded like Hoover testing factories and the people were just gorgeous; there was a lot of fun and naughtiness that cannot be mentioned on my PG13 Blog!  Sadly, after an incredible first year, it quickly fizzled and eventually closed it’s doors. Maybe the weird location in the Beverly Center’s street parking level, next to all the dumpster, might have helped with it’s demise.

The Soho House however, seems like it’s here to stay; especially after a hefty $383,000,000 cash infusion from the supermarket mogul and “Entendeur of pretty”: Ron Burkle! Rumor has it that Soho House will be opening its 2nd LA spot in Malibu: Soho Beach, right next to Nobu.

They really are the first to succeed with the “members only” formula in LA. In a city, where everyone who thinks they are anyone is plagued with entitlement issues, getting all the right people to sign up and pay the $1,800 a year membership, regardless of who you are, is quite an accomplishment! Two years after it’s opening the momentum has definitely slowed down, but Soho House is still hot and a great place for a business meeting, a dinner under the stars, a private event in the homey private rooms downstairs, or cruising celebrities and wannabe’s at the bar…that is, if you can get in!

 

 

Dinner with Lady Cher at the Soho House

 

Bar/Lounge area

 

The stunning rooftop restaurant