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Now Open:
Santa Monica

Our new shop at Santa Monica Place opens today and in celebration we have gathered a few of our favorite hot spots nearby! Be sure to check them out and don’t forget to stop in for a wrap dress or three.

Hotel Shangri-La
This boutique hotel and bar is a fine example of Streamline Moderne architecture. We love the views of the Pacific Ocean and the effortless Hollywood Glamour. The iconic rooftop bar and lounge, Suite 700, perched atop the hotel, is the perfect place to relax after a day of shopping!

Santa Monica Mountains
Diane loves to hike wherever she goes and the Santa Monica Mountains are no exception. From Escondido Falls in Malibu to Red Rock Canyon Park off of Old Topanga Canyon Road, there is plenty of nature to inspire.

Lo/Cal Coffee and Market
This cozy little coffee shop is the ideal spot for an afternoon pick-me-up. Coffee drinkers will appreciate the Stumptown cold brew on tap and the relaxed and effortless feel will please everyone.

Santa Monica Farmers’ Markets
With three different locations, we love how easy it is to find the best produce in Santa Monica. Pick up some fresh ingredients on a Saturday morning and try a recipe from our favorite Chef Jane Coxwell’s cookbook, Fresh, Happy, Tasty: An Adventure in 100 Recipes.

Blue Plate Oysterette
This casual little restaurant is ideal for delicious oysters and a chic beachy vibe. And of course we love any place that has the good sense to add avocado to a lobster roll.

This tried and tested hot spot is equally suited for dinner with the girls or a casual business lunch. Go for the pizza and stay for the ambiance.



The Cocktail:
Mother’s Day Brunch

From dresses to cocktails, this Mother’s Day we are thinking short and sweet! Jane Coxwell’s latest cocktail is one part indulgent (it is a celebration), two parts bright and fresh, with a classic pairing of Sprite and Pimm’s, plus fresh berries and mint. So read on, and get ready to raise your glass.

Serves 1-2

1 shot Pimm’s
1 shot Hendrick’s gin
2 cups roughly chopped strawberries
2 splashes Sprite or sparkling lemonade
Lots of mint leaves

Put the Pimm’s, gin, and strawberries in a blender and blend until smooth, then pour into a chilled glass. Top up with a splash of Sprite in each glass and there you go.

Jane’s tip: I like to leave the mint leaves on the stem. The sprig will flavor the drink without having the huge leaves in your mouth. See how I’ve put them in the glass? You can taste the mint as you drink it.

Need more brunch inspiration? Check out Jane’s Avocado and Smoked Salmon Toast.


Keep Cozy:
Chef Jane’s Lentil Soup

We’ve been looking forward to fresh florals for Spring, and dreaming of warm-weather getaways. But in the meantime, we’re doing our best to keep cozy! For a perfect night in, we asked Diane’s chef, Jane Coxwell, for a bit of advice and she shared one of Diane’s go-to winter dinners: the perfect lentil soup. Oh, and if you’re resolving to be healthier and happier this year, check out Jane’s book for year-round inspiration!

There are lots of variations of lentil soup out there. This is DVF’s favorite. It’s incredibly healthy, hearty and tasty. The mushrooms add a good depth of flavor, and the addition of lemon at the end finishes it off well.

1/4 red onion, finely chopped
1/2 Serrano chili, seeded and chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced or microplaned
1/4 cup carrot, finely chopped
1/4 cup celery stalks, finely chopped
1 cup button mushroom, finely chopped
1 heaped teaspoon cumin
1 heaped teaspoon coriander
1 tomato, chopped
3/4 cup lentils, washed and picked
Agave nectar
Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
Olive oil
Cilantro (optional)

In a pot over a low to medium heat, add a good lug of olive oil along with the onion, garlic, chili, carrot, celery and mushroom, and sweat down for about 5 minutes.

Add the spices and stir around for a couple of minutes. Turn the heat up slightly, so that they toast and release all of their flavor.  Then add the tomato and cook for a further couple of minutes.

Add the lentils along with 4 cups of water or vegetable broth. Bring to a simmer, add a pinch of salt, and let it cook for about 40 minutes. You’ll probably have to top it up with water once or twice. That’s okay, but be careful not to put too much liquid—just enough so that everything is floating nicely and nothing will catch on the bottom. You can always add liquid at the end, but you can’t really take away.

After 40 minutes the lentils should be really tender. Pour half of the mixture into a blender and pulse until it’s nearly smooth, but not too smooth. This step is really up to you and how you prefer the texture to be. The way I like it is to blend half until almost smooth and add it back into the pot with the non-pureed lentils. This gives it a lovely full texture. You may want to blend all of it until very smooth or not blend any at all. Whatever makes you happy.

To finish the soup off, add the juice of 1 lemon, some salt, and a good twist of black pepper. Also a squeeze of agave nectar to balance it out. Check the seasoning and add more lemon, agave, and salt as necessary. Snip over a small handful of fresh cilantro to finish off, or serve as is.



Cheers to a New Year!

Jane Coxwell’s cookbook, Fresh Happy Tasty, was aptly named; her recipes (Diane’s favorites!) are always bursting with fresh, green herbs. So when we asked her to share a New Year’s cocktail, it’s no surprise she mixed beautiful greenery into this very potent punch.

Tequila, Lime and Jalapeno Cocktail

Serves 1
This is one festive drink.  These measurements are for one serving but this is cocktail is definitely for sharing so just multiply according to your guests.

1 shot of ice cold tequila (I used Patron)
1 teaspoon of freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon of agave nectar
1 tablespoon of roughly chopped cilantro
A couple of slices of jalapeno chili
1 cup of good quality sparkling wine

Mix the tequila, lime juice, agave nectar, chili, and cilantro in a glass and stir vigorously. If you have a cocktail shaker, shake with some ice and pour into a glass. Then add the sparkling wine.

Put your glasses in the freezer for a few minutes before using to keep the drink really cold and fresh.


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