West Coast living for East Coast dwellers… the best of what to do next time you’re in California.

Maude Curtis Stone_Maude_credit Ray Kachatorian

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Seasonal Dining
Celebrity Chef Curtis Stone’s first foray as an LA restaurateur has been met with praise and delight from foodie fans in the city.

Taking one seasonal ingredient a month and using it in a myriad of ways to create the ultimate dining experience is the way the hunky Australian has set his mark on the restaurant world, giving diners a different twist on farm-to-table dining.

Named after his grandma who was his early inspiration in the kitchen, visitors to Maude really do get the feel of being in the bosom of an older relative’s home, as they’re looked after and fed like one would expect from a visit with family.

Here, the single ingredient of the month is transformed into nine tasting plates, taking out choice and complication, and used in varying degrees throughout each course. Stone’s culinary imagination runs wild when creating incredible dish after dish with the featured ingredient either as the starring role or just a bit part – either way, it’s always delicious!

September will see corn as the star of the menu and the autumnal pear comes to play in October. Bring your appetite and be prepared to be whisked away on a culinary excursion like never before. MaudeRestaurant.com

Pampering at The Peninsula Spa
As a go-to beauty destination for Hollywood’s elite, the Peninsula Spa, just a stone’s throw from Rodeo Drive, is a luxurious retreat for those seeking tranquility and wellness.

One may either enjoy a bespoke facial or massage using the spa’s thoughtful array of treatments and products, or luxuriate in the 60-foot outdoor pool, one-on-one yoga and Pilates classes, or indulge in the heavenly Eucalyptus steam room.

I experienced the Precious Ruby Massage, which promises to bring happiness and vitality. The two-hour treatment starts with a body scrub using the organic, award-winning Shiffa beauty line that is developed in Dubai. After the clay mask is added, a 15-minute reflexology foot massage is administered while you’re wrapped in foil.

After a quick shower, the latter half of the treatment is a body-tingling hour massage where the oil used actually contains precious red ruby gemstones as well as rare flower and herb essences. Rubies represent the heart, passion and energy of love, and will leave you with balanced energy and new-found vitality.

As you float out of your treatment, be prepared to be greeted with a cup of delicious ginger tea, which is the perfect refresher while you slowly come back to Earth.

Call it coincidence, but I also had the best night’s sleep after receiving the amazing treatment at the hands of Lead Massage Therapist, Mary, who herself is a total gem. Peninsula.com


LA Culture 
There’s a vibrant new art space on the block in LA and a cool place to visit when next in town. De Re Gallery is an exceptional exhibit space that houses contemporary art from around the world as well as from more traditional masters. 

Opened to great fanfare with the attendance of Demi Moore and the who’s who of the city’s art scene, you can indulge your visual senses with sculptures from Victor Gingembre, gorgeous prints from celebrity photographer Brian Bowen Smith, even Andy Warhol reproductions.

De Re Gallery is the creation of Marine Tanguy, a Cambridge art history alum who served as director of The Outsiders Gallery in London, and Steph Sebbag, CEO of LA ad agency, bpg, as well as an avid art enthusiast and collector.

Coming together at Art Basel Miami, the pair came up with the idea for a new art gallery in the City of Angels that drew inspiration from Marine’s childhood home, Île de Ré – a tiny island off the west coast of France. The Gallery is well worth a visit. DeReGallery.com


Miscellaneous Acquisitions
Providing an eclectic mix to satisfy all of your fashion senses, Maxfield is a one-of-a-kind boutique specializing in the avant-garde. Known for stocking vintage pieces from fashion houses like Chanel and Hermes and delectable fashions from Saint Laurent, Dior, Givenchy, Rick Owens, Balmain and Celine, it’s the perfect place for a shopping spree.  

The Maxfield space brings together the most unique clothing, accessories, jewelry and beautiful touches for the home. It’s the perfect place if you’re looking for that one-off fashion statement or item for your abode that has an edgier feel.

With another location in Malibu and Maxfield Bleu on North Canon Drive, which has bargain prices from unsold merchandise in the mother store, Maxfield is a little slice of shopping heaven while in LA.

The sales staff is extremely knowledgeable and will help you to navigate the array of goods, so you’ll surely be packing something for your journey back East that none of your friends will have. This iconic LA shopping destination will give you the ultimate retail fix. MaxfieldLA.com


Special Spotlight
After years of fertility struggle, model, actress, life coach and motivational speaker Tomiko Fraser Hines finally realized her dream of becoming a mom when she welcomed delicious twin boys Kaden and Bryce in January 2013.

Using an anonymous egg donor to conceive their sons, Tomiko and husband Christopher Hines are reveling in familial bliss. But the 46-year-old is now using her journey to inspire other women who may battle with infertility by supporting Fertility Planit to help raise awareness and provide solutions for those wanting to become parents.

The organization, founded by Karin Thayer in 2010, is a social network for people to exchange ideas, purchase goods and services and share their experiences. It was born from Thayer’s own frustration in trying to get pregnant in her late 30s. The use of a sperm donor in 2011 resulted in the birth of her son.

The organization is a priceless resource for people who want to have children and long for families, and provides support that help them fulfill their dreams. It’s not just for people struggling with fertility, however, but also helps all would-be parents find their own path to having kids. FertilityPlanit.com |  TomikoFraserHines.com

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