Just returned from a sensational trip to Beverly Hills, California and I came back satisfied and with memories of inspired shopping, friendly natives and a relaxed and inclusive vibe.
It was many years ago that I first strolled the streets of Beverly Hills. I admit I was a bit of an inverted snob and didn’t really want to connect with what I perceived as brashness, shallowness and the high and mighty exclusivity of the bold and beautiful; less than six square miles of high maintenance characters and unrealistic real estate desires.
In fact, I was intimidated and nervous about entering shops to check out the fashion, I expected to get the ‘Pretty Woman’ treatment. And indeed I met many a fashionable boutique skeleton who had no interest in me nor my credit card with its small limit.
I stayed at the Beverly Hills Peninsula which was and is pretty classy and I now thank the Peninsula for my bed linen buying habits – it was all about the bed I slept in at the hotel. After sliding around on that thread count – you can’t go back.
I took off on an adventure from that wonderful hotel and caught a local bus downtown. This was such a social faux pas! Nobody walked in Beverly Hills and busses weren’t even considered a form of civilised transport. But I had a chat with my fellow travellers and exited the bus in a lovely Mexican market precinct. I ate great food, shopped and purchased an excellent pair of riding boots. The boots were not of the Big Label ilk, they were made in Mexico and they cost me about $50.
On my return to the hotel, the doorman drew me aside and quietly asked me to hand over my shopping bags (all scrappy white plastic bags). He whisked them away and before I actually entered the foyer he handed me two rather large and spiffy paper bags with Beverly Hills Peninsula written across the front.
Would madam like to try on a Chanel bracelet?
I went red and realised that I has come close to shaming him, the hotel and myself! But instead of sheepishly slinking away I sashayed through the hotel like I owned it, swinging my ‘shopping’ bags. Without turning into a total wanker, that taught me the lesson that it doesn’t take much to feel at home in the world of the rich and famous:
- Dress suitably and nicely;
- Walk with your head high and smile at your fellow rich bastards, they’ll always smile back;
- Act as if – there’s no shame in taking your place in the world of the rich and famous, they’re lucky to have you.
- DON’T carry anything around in a plastic bag.
The Beverly Hilton, the original part of the building – it’s rad to be retro.
Over the years, this has worked well for me, and on a recent visit to Beverly Hills, me being older and wiser, I stayed at another beautiful hotel, was welcomed like a long-lost rich bastard, and I was at home as soon as I saw the beautiful bed linen.
The hotel had a private car for special guests (yep, me) and me in a cool and worldly manner said to the driver, “this is a lovely car, what is it”, he coolly replied, “this is a new Rolls Royce Ghost madame”. So much for the local busses . . .
Writer Bev Malzard travelled under her own steam the first time around. And she still has the boots she purchased and sleeps on a million thread sheets!