I don’t think there are three better words that evoke Los Angeles – and specifically Hollywood – better than those three!
And soon three other words will become synonymous with all things Hollywood – h.Club LA!
As an ex-pat who has lived in London for the last 16 years – and been a member of the Hospital Club for the last few years – you can imagine my delight when I heard earlier this year that the Club was opening a new location in the middle of one of the greatest creative hubs in the entire world – Los Angeles! And not just anywhere in LA, but in the epicentre of Hollywood itself – at the corner of Hollywood & Vine Streets. It really doesn’t get much more central than that!
The new club will be a stone’s throw away from the iconic Capital Records building – and almost across the street from the Taft Building – where the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences had their office in the 1930s. h.Club LA is poised to have its finger on the creative pulse of America by next year!
I’m lucky as a TV Presenter that I get to travel and work in Los Angeles several times a year. Since the new property in LA will have 36 hotel rooms, I’m sure that many of my fellow London Hospital Club members will be booking holidays to La La Land as soon as the new club opens. As such, I wanted to share with you some of my favourite things to do in LA.
Rooftop Bar Hopping
With weather averaging 23 SUNNY degrees year-round in LA, you can usually catch me blissfully hanging out with friends on one (or more!) of the many rooftop bars sprinkled around the greater Los Angeles area. Perhaps one of my favourites is in Downtown LA called Perch. Up until a few years ago, Downtown LA was quite seedy and a little bit dangerous after hours – but the last few years have seen a lot of investment and renovations to the area. Gorgeous art deco buildings that had been neglected for decades have now begun to spring back to life – so I highly recommend scheduling in time to explore this part of LA. And not to be left behind, the new h.Club LA is going to have its own rooftop bar and restaurant that will be able to compete with the best LA has to offer!
Speaking of Downtown LA – you can NOT miss Grand Central Market at 317 S. Broadway. I am definitely a foodie – and this is my go-to place when working and visiting LA. Think of a huge parking garage filled with your favourite food trucks – and voila – you have Grand Central Market. I don’t think you can find better Mexican food outside of Mexico! But it’s not just Mexican food that will have your taste buds dancing in the aisles – you’ll be spoilt for variety with everything from Peruvian food to some of the richest homemade ice cream in the world!
And after exploring Downtown LA, you’ll be able to continue your food fest when you get back to h.Club LA because there will be several areas within the club to eat and drink – with the selection being fresh, seasonal and locally sourced. YUM! Just another reason to make sure your trip to LA includes a stay at the club!
Gardens & Open Spaces
Just last week I was able to spend the morning at the amazing and very impressive Getty Center. This incredible museum space was made possible by the estate of J. Paul Getty and you don’t want to miss the opportunity to spend time here. The grounds and buildings are full of sculptures, illuminated manuscripts, decorative arts, photography and one of my favourite areas, the Central Garden, which was created by Robert Irwin.
Also not to be missed are the extensive botanical gardens at The Huntington Library. With over 15 different gardens open year round, this is a must when visiting Southern California. The Huntington has almost every type of garden you could imagine: Australian Garden, Rose Garden, Lily Pond, Chinese Garden, Japanese Garden – and believe it or not, they even have a Shakespeare Garden!
If you love gardens and open spaces as much as I do, then you’re going to be as excited as I am to check out the new Dereck Jarman inspired desert rooftop garden at the new Club when it opens!
If museum hopping, symphony listening, and live music entertainment are what you love doing, they you’ll be happy you booked time in LA. Hollywood is not all about the movies. Besides the Getty Center & the Huntington Library mentioned above, I’ve fallen in love with the newest museum in LA called The Broad. Located in the Downtown area, this is must for art and gallery lovers. After spending the day exploring the Broad, walk across the street and attend a concert in the stunningly beautiful Walt Disney Concert Hall. It was designed by Frank Gehry – and is home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association.
You’ll also be able to see some pretty incredible art in the new h.Club LA. I recently spoke to Ali Hillman – the h.Club Art Curator – who told me that there will be 36 artists being represented in each of the 36 bedrooms at the club. And there will be regular rotations of some amazing art within the public spaces of the club. I, for one, can’t wait to see what new artists she finds to share with us!
And if you were wondering if you could take some quick day trips or fast overnight trips from LA, you’re in luck. Rent a convertible, drop the top and head south to Laguna. It’s a beautiful town within an hour’s drive from Hollywood.
Or head north to one of my favourite areas – Santa Barbara. I love it because in just about a two-hour drive, you can be in Santa Ynez – home to some of the best Pinot Noirs in the world. It’s the perfect overnight trip to make to get in a little wine tasting because sometimes you just need to ‘wine a little’!
I’ve attended lots of Jamie’s fantastic supper clubs at the club in London so I’m sure they’ll be showcasing some great Californian wines at the new club in LA!
I hope you’re as excited as I am about the 2018 opening of h.Club LA. I also hope that you’ll be able to enjoy some of my recommendations when you visit the new club next year.
If you see me in London at the club, please feel free to introduce yourself. And if you have any questions about LA – or need any further recommendations, please feel free to get in touch with me – I’d love to help in any way I can!
Connect with Patrick via the Members Network here.