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Cheers to the Academy Awards

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.

Capri Comes to Santa Monica’s Hotel Casa del Mar

The best meal I’ve had so far this year was prepared by Executive Chef Stefano Mazzone of Capri’s Grand Hotel Quisisana. And, while, the setting wasn’t Italy’s Amalfi coast, the private dining room at Catch restaurant at Santa Monica’s historic Hotel Casa del Mar, where we enjoyed a view of the Pacific, was a not half-bad alternative. Both luxury properties are members of the Leading Hotels of the World.

Dazzling New Cocktails for a New Year

Here’s a New Year’s resolution that’s easy to keep: serve cocktails that will wow your guests at gatherings and events. Toward that end, we’re going to keep on file some suggestions we received from SVEDKA Vokda, Kim Crawford Wines and RUFFINO Wine who collaborated on some inventive recipes. They’re a good starting point for a conversation with your catering team.

Kim Crawford’s Matcha Tea-Sear  

Ingredients:

Restaurant Recommendation: 21 Royal at Disneyland

Disneyland has long attracted groups of all sizes, and a new, exclusive experience will have lucky guests believing in fairy tales again. Called 21 Royal, the epicurean journey for up to 12 guests takes place in a 2,200-square foot two-bedroom apartment that overlooks New Orleans Square in Disneyland Park. It was originally planned as a private residence inside the park for Walt and Lillian Disney, but Walt died before it could be realized.

Stolen Fruit: A Gift with a Knack for Mixing

It’s not too early to start thinking about holiday gifts. One that you’ll want to keep on your radar is the three-bottle gift pack of grape-based mixers from Stolen Fruit. The Sonoma-based company launched just a few months ago with five different alcohol-free blends, for both cocktails and mocktails, made with a blend of verjus—the fresh-pressed juice from green grapes—varietal grape juice and grape skins. The holiday pack ($54) includes Lemongrass Ginger Sauvignon Blanc; Blood Orange Muscat; and Hibiscus Grenache.

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