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Vanderpump (does) rule

Vanderpump Rules

I’ve been in a funk since the election and with the inauguration and this hot mess of the past week in the news, only one show cheers me up: Vanderpump Rules.

I discovered it on Hulu last fall and after a couple of episodes, I was hooked. Somehow the over-the-top antics of this twenty-something restaurant staff at Lisa Vanderpump’s Sur restaurant in West Hollywood was just what I needed. It’s soapy and silly and reality TV at its best when you just need a light mental break from the heaviness of life. It’s the visual equivalent of a sweet, bubbly, decidedly pink cocktail.

If you don’t know Lisa Vanderpump, she is the very British owner of three L.A. hot spots – Villa Blanca, Sur and Pump. She is grounded and funny and smart, despite her millions, a wonderfully accomplished restaurant head, a confidant and voice of reason with her young staff, and she is so delightedly British and likable.

This past weekend, I finally finished Season 4! If you haven’t watched it, give Vanderpump Rules a try!

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A bit of London in West Hollywood

A few months ago, we spent a long weekend in West Hollywood and I had the chance to meet up with a British friend of mine who recently made the big move stateside.

Where did we meet? She suggested the London Hotel in West Hollywood and picked me up in her sweet little Mini Cooper for what I imagined would be a quiet drink in some tatty, themed hotel bar. I should clarify – she is a class act, but anything with the moniker of the London Hotel would have to be a little Sweeney Toddish? Am I right?

Well, actually no. This is the London Hotel.

All photo credits: London Hotel

After a brief walk through the lobby, I realized how very wrong I was. I was actually the closest thing to Sweeney Todd in the room.

The hotel was immaculate, stylish, luxurious but not stuffy. We took a seat at the hotel bar (AKA The London Bar by Gordon Ramsey) and perused their delicious looking cocktail and wine menu. I ordered the English Rose ($15), made with Absolut Vanilla vodka, Absolut Apeach vodka, fresh lemon juice and white peach puree. It was a very fruitful and lovely take on the Bellini. She ordered a glass of Napa red wine (I can’t even recall what it was… something from Rutherford, I believe) and we had a nice chat in this refined setting, which was an utterly delightful way to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon, catching up with an old friend.

And if you’re ever visiting in West Hollywood and looking for a place to indulge, London Hotel has some unique amenities for the anglophile including free calls to London and a complimentary breakfast spread of fresh fruit, pastries, farmhouse cheeses and charcuterie from Boxwood Cafe by Gordon Ramsey. (The cafe also serves a traditional English breakfast if you fancy something more traditional). All-suite rooms currently start at $249/night.