The best thing about meeting breaks, as many chair-bound attendees will attest, is what’s on the refreshment table. In San Francisco, the InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel has gotten off the sugar track with a fiber-rich Popcalm Break menu for meetings. The spread features popcorn with a variety of shake-it-on herb and spice blends (ginger/coconut/ wasabi, for one) to help guests unwind, de-stress and boost their immune systems while noshing. A selection of vitamin waters accompanies the snack food.

Oscar fever has taken over Los Angeles. For the week leading up to the 90th annual Academy Awards on Sunday, March 4, street closures are in place around Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre, where the ceremony takes place. Salons are booking up with blow-dry appointments for guests attending the show or any of the fancy parties taking place around town. Luxe hotels are full. And, those of us who plan to cheer our favorites from the comfort of our own living room are inviting friends to join us, planning menus and making sure we have a fully stacked liquor cabinet.

 

Grape Tasting Without Traveling Out of Town

 

I was recently given a tour of Eataly LA, the 67,000-square-foot, three-level Italian culinary destination that opened last November in the Westfield Century City indoor-outdoor shopping mall. Things had quieted down since the hectic opening weekend, when more than 10,000 hungry visitors showed up, some waiting over four hours to get in.