Alice B-B on lliving it up in la-la land
My teeth aren’t white enough. They were fine this morning when I gave them a good brush in London. But an 11-hour flight later I land in LA to a sea of glow-in-the-dark gnashers. And when I check my reflection in the mirror of the pretty pink Beverly Hills hotel, suddenly my own nuggets just aren’t the right shade of Tinseltown white…
Alongside teeth, most things are brighter in Los Angeles: the sunshine, the clothes, the mood. (Except for the darker stuff which I can only imagine is properly dark.) But on the side where dreams are still promised, the ease with which you can be laidback here is intoxicating. It’s not sleepy like the Cotswolds, nor is it the constant grinding battle of London life. Instead, it’s a blissful hybrid that exists in a city which isn’t really a city. There’s no 9-5 work culture in LA. Everyone here is freelance. Which means that while you wait for the next job, it’s okay to base your day around coffee, surfing or your exercise regimen of choice.
In fact, not only do you base your day around this stuff, you’re sort of defined by it. And the more weird, dramatic, extreme, the better. But just because LA is laidback, it doesn’t mean there’s no competition. You can’t just be healthy… you have to be the healthiest. Are you a Tracy Anderson acolyte? Or do you follow Gwyneth’s friend Alejandro Junger’s ‘Clean’ method? Or maybe you’re a ‘Yoga Girl’? In which case you’d better make sure you’re at the Kundalini class where you breathe through your nose in a violent manner like a pug with allergies, whilst sitting cross-legged doing pretend swimming actions. With Demi Moore to your left and Russell Brand to your right.
The Brits try to fit in. They give making their mark in the movie business a jolly good go. And, thank God, they balance the healthy lifestyle with plenty of pink wine glugged from beneath the olive trees on the rooftop of Nick Jones’ Soho House.
But for sharp-eyed trendspotters, LA is the place to be. After all, this is the city that showed the rest of the world that to be cool you had to walk around clasping a Starbucks venti soy latte. These days, however, you’re no one without a cold pressed green juice in your mitt. And what about the ‘standing desks’ used by those who have desk jobs – but know that it’s so bad for you to be sitting on your bum all day? Surely it won’t be long before those natty desks on hydraulics that rise up and down at the flick of a switch make their way across the pond. And then there’s the new Nobu at Malibu where the waiters (out-of-work actors, of course), deliver taste sensation sushi with Shakespearean aplomb to the youthful and the beautiful as the ocean waves crash against the beach.
The allure of being in a city that’s easier, slower and warmer than London is undeniably appealing as the British winter inches closer. I think my inner Prius-driving, canyon-hiking, David Lynch-foundation meditating-self would be happy here. But first… I need an appointment with the dentist.
Protect your skin with Bobbi Brown’s Extra SPF25 Tinted Moistiurising Balm.
Drink yourself healthy with Fulphyl de M.
Beg, borrow, steal your way to a membership of Soho House.
The hippest juice bar in Venice, California.
Make like Marylin
Stay at Ms Monroe’s favourite bungalow no. 7 at the pink palace.
No one walks in LA and there’s often sticky traffic – so get a comfy car and hope you have a strong bladder.
Don’t bother dressing up in fancy clothes – if in doubt wear jeans.
Important – know your kombucha from your quinoa.