I moved to Beverly Hills five years ago, and still, when I hop into my Bentley convertible with the roof down and cruise along the palm tree-lined streets, I vow to never take this for granted. I just love the way life flows here so easily … valet parking (if you give your keys to somebody in London, you’re pretty much guaranteed not to see them again!), shops that aren’t packed with frantic people, and weather that generally stays on automatic.

Click to download the pdf version

Today I am going to have a facial with one of the best-kept secrets in B everly Hills, Kathleen Boniface (with a name like that you just have to be a facialist). Every four weeks I get her signature treatment, which consists of a silk peel and a dermal infusion that revitalizes my skin with all kinds of collagen stimulating goodies. I love it – my skin is plumped, glowing and smooth as a baby’s butt. I don’t know what she slaps on there, but it works miracles. She has a faithful following, so be sure to book her in advance.

When I told everybody that I was moving back to Beverly Hills, they said, “Beverly Hills? That’s not reality!” I replied, “I tried reality – and it’s not so good!”

After my facial I do a quick make-up fix and pop into Villa Blanca, my restaurant, for a quick lunch with my girlfriend. The lunch scene there is always very lively, and as the owner, I adore greeting and catching up with the regulars. I spy Janet Jackson and Tyra Banks in a corner, so I grab the table next to them and shamelessly try to eavesdrop on their conversation. Alas, it’s a fruitless task as the hum of noise makes it impossible – might have to study lip reading for the future.

Tonight I’m having a small dinner in my wine cellar for some visiting friends from London. I want to create a homey, cozy dinner, so I’m off to the cheese store on Beverly Drive to get ingredients for a rustic pasta. When I was little I visited the cheese shop in London, and I couldn’t wait to get away from the smell of old socks. I must have grown up, because now, as I enter and the aroma wafts over me, I feel like I’ve been transported back to the south of France where I lived for five years. Beverly Hills is so special because of its many unique shops that almost feel like a little village. And you can always taste everything before you buy – a dying tradition.

If you want to know how to live a fabulous and luxurious life, there is one extraordinary and beautiful woman who has all the answers – Lisa Vanderpump.

Click to download the pdf version

Originally from the United Kingdom, Vanderpump made her mark in her more recent home of Beverly Hills. Lisa and her husband own 20 up-scale restaurants and bars in London, all of which were designed entirely by Vanderpump herself.

Her latest endeavor is the beautiful and lavish Villa Blanca restaurant located in the heart of Beverly Hills. Villa Blanca, also designed by Lisa, welcomes comfort, style, gorgeous art and creative music that brings a new level of entertainment and class to the dining experience.

We are proud to have Lisa as a contributor to Beverly Hills Lifestyle, and we know she will provide great insight on how to live a stylish, luxurious and fabulous life.

We are heading towards a glorious summer in California. I always search for unique and individual local vendors – the quintessential store. I have found it in the heavenly store of Madame Chocolat on Canon Drive in downtown Beverly Hills.

Click to download the pdf version

Chocolate Bliss
When you enter Madame Chocolat, you have the sense of being somewhere really special. The décor is cool greens with touches of antique gold and cream. There is an immense crystal chandelier dripping from the ceiling. Owner, Hasty Torres, is a gorgeous woman who makes you feel very welcome. Chocolate is her life, and she wants to share it with you.

For the holidays this year, Hasty designed a three-foot chocolate rabbit that is a feast for the eyes. The attention to detail was astonishing. Ms. Torres beautiful adorned the sweet bunny with springtime-sugared flowers and oodles of ribbons – a big hit at the Easter Brunch.

For my special occasion Madam Chocolat is custom-making a pink pair of Louboutin stilettos shoes in solid chocolate with “Love Pinky” inscribed in frosting. Ms. Torres always has a selection of life-sized shoes. The stunning (and sweet) stilettos are one of the most impressive hostess gifts you could ever choose.

I first discovered Madame Chocolat when I received a heart-shaped Mahogany box of chocolates as a thank-you gift. This pretty box doubled as a jewelry case after savoring the dark chocolates it encased. Do yourself a favor and visit Madam Chocolat, the premiere chocolatier for Beverly Hills.

Full Service Valet
Another goodie recently discovered while lunching at the historic Beverly Hills Hotel is getting your car detailed for $200 or hand-washed for $30. And in the time it takes to refresh your car you can treat yourself to a two-hour spa treatment followed by a lovely lunch with a friend.

Lingerie Luxury
After living in France for many years with a lingerie boutique on almost every corner (the French just do that so well), I was disappointed on a recent search for beautiful undies in local department stores. There’s just not much happening.

The big stores on Wilshire Boulevard were full of beige prosthetic bras that my husband detests. There was little selection of elegant lingerie, but then I discovered Luxe Lingerie on Camden Drive.

Luxe has an overwhelming array of gorgeous European underwear. It’s hard to say no. I wanted one of everything. They feature an abundance of bra and panty sets, bridal gifts, and naughty little numbers that I have not seen anywhere else. Luxe’s prices are reasonable, and I left this wonderful boutique blushing with a powder puff pink bra and matching knickers.

As we find ourselves in the midst of the holidays I feel like I am on an express train desperately trying to put on the brakes and slow down… just for a second. Life has been frantic lately but I managed to squeeze in an amazing weekend recently, a lot of fun… But maybe not for the fainthearted!

Birthday Adventure
It was my birthday and I decided that I wanted to try a unique experience, something that I would remember for a lifetime. However, being that my husband finds the teacups at Disneyland stressful, I wondered if he would accompany me on an adventure of the caliber I had in mind. So with much anticipation of a refusal I begged him to take me on a hot air ballon ride. I knew that it was possbile in Del Mar and had heard that the Hotel L’Auberge would organize a complete package. Surprisingly, he acquiesced.Click to download the pdf version

Now I know this has zero to do with Beverly Hills but it was such af abulous trip, I wanted to share it. The hot air ballooning was absolutely stunning, I had prepared myself to think it would be windy and cold, but I completely misjudged it. As you travel with the wind, there is no breeze at all. Champagne in hand, we traveled gently over Rancho Santa Fe in an almost trance like state; what a surreal experience!

After our grand flying adventure, we went back to the hotel to enjoy the relaxing view. A mid sized hotel, L’Auberge is situated right on the ocean and is very intimate. It has just benefited from a major refit, resulting in an absolute jewel. Truly a wonderful break and just as hort ride from Beverly Hills. It is so gorgeous; I wanted to stay for weeks.

As a special treat they arranged a backstage visit to the San Diego Zoo… oh I felt I had died and gone to heaven. After hand feeding the elephants and some sort of anteater, called a pangolin (I could definitely live without him), I was then able to get nose to nose with the most exquisite panda, a darling bear that I found difficult to tear my self away from. All in all, it was an unforgettable birthday experience.

Color Commentary
Anyway back to BH. I have always endeavored to find the best colorist – not that I have any grey hair – well maybe a couple… of hundred! Wait does my husband read this? Anyway I have tried many salons, but am now confident that Batia and Aleeza on Camden Drive, who now colors my hair, are second to none.

As a brunette, I color my hair every six weeks or so. Before I discovered them I had tried many well-known salons and always ended up with the same problem. After three weeks or so, a slight gingerish tone would appear and the lustrous brown would fade, well no longer! Batia and Aleeza’s process involves an ammonia free, semi permanent conditioning that has worked wonders for me.

Being a part of the show, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, life has been incredibly busy. Between promoting the show, traveling, etc, the life previous to this has all but disappeared. I have to say, even though at times things were a little tricky, it has been an amazing experience. However, throughout the whole experience, I have remained dedicated to operating our restaurant Villa Blanca in Beverly Hills.

Lately our house wines have been so popular at the restaurant that we have decided to make these wines available to anyone who wants them. They are beautiful bottles and even better wines. But what gets me most excited is that a portion of the proceeds will go to the Lou Ruvo clinic, Keep the Memory Alive. I am passionate about supporting this clinic that has already done so much in finding a cure for Alzheimer’s. Statistics show that one in three of us by the time we reach eighty will succumb to this horrible disease, so whilst we strive for longevity, Alzheimer’s remains a very prevalent and threatening reality for many.