"After suffering three nights of insomnia due to my pure, unadulterated (5-year-old on Christmas Eve style) excitement, I should be exhausted, but how can I be when I’m heading on a jetplane from Heathrow to Hollywood to begin my Oscars adventure? That’s right, the city of angels where dreams really can come true…
On arrival to the airport, and even when handing over my boarding card and entering the BA First Class Lounge, I felt like I was playing some mad cameo role in a Hollywood blockbuster. A brief exchange with BA steward ‘Sheila’ informed me that it’s ‘glorious sunshine in LA’, before adding ‘it’s got to be better than this endless grey anyway.”
And so, with a spring in my step, I graciously accepted the chilled complimentary champagne on offer (so what if it’s before 9am, airport lounges don’t count). I briefly considered mixing it with some orange juice before dismissing it, why spoil a perfectly magnificent glass of bubbly? Bucks fizz is over-rated anyway.
After properly indulging in the complimentary English (ok, and continental) breakfast buffet, I sat back to do a spot of star spotting with those around me, but unfortunately my fellow travellers were just your average suits rather than slick, sun-kissed superstars. Undeterred I headed to my first class seat to wallow away twelve blissful hours of books, movies and BA’s culinary delights (if only I could be like Heidi Klum and resist eating in-flight).
Movie-wise, having religiously sat through all the Oscar-nominated films back home, I settle on a repeat performance of Argo, purely for research reasons, just in case I missed anything on Ben Affleck’s fine face the first time round. Besides, I may as well get used to him if I’ll be partying with him for the next five days!
We touched down at LAX and were met with bright sunshine and feeling nicely refreshed thanks to my Elemis treats courtesy of QVC (the marine cream is to-die-for!) With a smile on my face I passed through customs and through arrivals and was suddenly bombarded by a sea of paparazzi, could they have perhaps mistaken me for some Hollywood starlet, perhaps in my ‘LA uniform’ of skinny jeans, loose vest and oversized sunnies, I could possibly pass as Kate Hudson – just without the body, wardrobe, or the rockstar husband!
I soon realise I’m not the subject of their flashbulbs and I frantically turn around me to see Oscar-nominee Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton… looking every inch how you’d expect, Helena complete with big hair, black eyeliner and that trademark Vivienne Westwood wardrobe only very few can pull off.
In the cab taking me to downtown Beverly Hills and with every chichi neighbourhood we pass come their own set of Stepford Wife-like, gym honed, yoga loving, vegan superwomen, all clutching a superjuice with an inch of their lives… only in Hollywood! I spot my first palm tree so I let my mind drift into a blissful daydream of lost nights in Chateau Marmont, skinny dipping in the pool at Sky Bar, gazing into the eyes of Bradley Cooper in a secluded table at The Ivy, or perhaps just gazing out over Hollywood from the balcony of Soho House…
… I’m kicked straight back into realty with a jolt as the charming (and rather beautiful) doorman greets me with: ‘Welcome to the Four Seasons maam” in that husky East Coast drawl they do so well out here. As he takes my overloaded suitcase and ushers me into the foyer, thank god for RayBans because this really is the city of angels, it’s as if the whole place has been speckled with glitter! It’s like a who’s who in the movie industry, was that Ashton Kutcher who just sidled up to the bar next to us? If only I was feeling a little more glittery myself, I’m looking more Bridget Jones than January Jones with my ‘plane-flat’ hair and puffy face, where’s my Hollywood glam squad when I need it?
But as I headed to my (super duper deluxe) room, I am once again am transported to my 5-year-old self on Christmas Eve, its like stepping into my own piece of paradise. Think power shower, huge flat screen, stunning balcony overlooking the ocean, my own bar, they even have free sweets and don’t get me started on the Jacuzzi bath!
Which brings me to the present moment, it’s the equivalent of 1am back in London, but in less than 30 minutes I’m due at a cocktail party at the Beverly Wilshire (yes the Pretty Woman one!) hosted by super fashionista Louise Roe, before dinner at the Ivy and drinks at the Sky bar. If New York is the city that never sleeps, Hollywood is the city of ultimate glamour, so if I’m to blend in (even slightly) before tonight I’ll need a beauty fix pronto… Until tomorrow!