Santa Barbara Life & Style | September/October 2017

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SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 VOLUME 5 / ISSUE 5 Editor & Publisher Ottocina Ryan Creative Director Silas Fallstich Lead Photographer Meadow Rose Art Director Helene Laine Advertising Manager Meg Fontaine Marketing Manager Amy Dong Photographers Holly Parker, Stephanie Plomarity, Nikki Sharp Writers Robin Berger, Christina Burch, Chelsea Delgado Heather Roach, Alexandra Sharova, Kara Thompson, Alessa Valenzuela Stylists Gladis Barboza, Robin Berger Advertising Account Manager Alessa Valenzuela


PHOTOGRAPHED by Silas Fallstich STYLED by Gladis Barboza MODEL Tilly Smith with State Management HAIR & MAKEUP by Heather Roach LOCATION The Landsby, Solvang SWEATER 360 Cashmere, Wendy Foster PANTS Via Masini 80, Allora by Laura SHOES The Office of Angela Scott RINGS Wendy Foster



Santa Barbara Life & Style Magazine is published by Santa Barbara Life & Style, Inc. 26 West Mission Street #5, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 For distribution, advertising and other inquiries:


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Letter from the Editor

The other night Silas, one of my co-owners, and I were having dinner at a new local restaurant. As Instagram stories are top priority (seriously, this is 2017), he asked the middle aged couple at the table next to us if he could give them our chips, as he needed an empty basket for a photo. They happily accepted the offering and we all started chatting, exchanging Instagram handles, looking at photos of their children, etc. Anyway, the couple finished their meal and margaritas and left while Silas and I were still eating. At the end of our dinner the server brings us the check and I mention to him that we were invited by the restaurant’s publicist. He remarks, “Oh you guys are from the magazine! I figured it was the table next to you. We took care of their bill!” I thought it was funny because things like this happen a lot. So many people have a stereotype in their head of what a magazine owner or editor looks and acts like (thank you, The Devil Wears Prada). A magazine owner must be a man in a suit with gray hair (their words, not mine). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve shown up at shoots to be asked if I’m the photographer’s assistant (to which I usually say yes). It’s definitely unexpected that we’re a young and casual team. Which brings me to the unexpected elements we embrace in this issue. From goat yoga—yes, doing yoga outside with baby goats jumping on you, trust me it’s way more fun than hot yoga—to combining balloons and florals with fall accessories, and sliding down the banister at the modern Landsby hotel in quaint Solvang, we highlight things that have a twist. I hope you enjoy this September/October issue and are inspired to try something out of the ordinary!

Ottocina Ryan

Editor in Chief Santa Barbara Life & Style Magazine


B E L M O N D E L E N C A N T O , S A N TA B A R B A R A




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Enjoy dishes ranging from brioche toast to fried chicken at Les Marchands’ brunch.


The Black Sheep celebrates being unique.


The story leading up to August Ridge Vineyard’s new SB tasting room.



Take some time to care for yourself with these fall beauty must-haves.



Stay centered and well-stretched with a furry friend.



Relaxing in style at The Landsby.


Bringing light to bold jewelry, bodysuits & fall florals.


Take a ride around Goodgame Ranch.


Dress your outfit up with accessories that pop.



A shopping adventure at Whiskey + Leather.

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The ultimate Italian vacation with Access Europe.


Relaxing and adventuring under the Mexican sun. .

89 / 48 HOURS

Explore all that Santa Barbara has to offer with these fun to-dos.

@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 19

Enjoy SANTA BARBARA LIFE&STYLE delivered to your mailbox LIFE&STYLE ON








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...but first, brunch

Photographed by Silas Fallstich Written by Christina Burch 22 | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017

SB LIFE & STYLE dining


t’s a Sunday morning—actually just before noon—but the Funk Zone still seems a little sleepy, too. With the ocean fog lingering in the empty streets of Yanonali and Anacapa, and the overhead speakers quietly echoing the voice of Ella Fitzgerald, my boyfriend and I pass the brick and sheet metal facades that characterize the Funk Zone. We spot the white umbrellas of the Les Marchands patio and are welcomed warmly to their brunch. We’re excited to try their cocktails and Anda, the manager, clues us in on the fame of the Clear Conscience and the Caipirinha, also a dinnertime favorite. We’re quick to take the hint and gladly order one of each. A couple of sips is all it takes for me to claim the Clear Conscience; it’s a light and refreshing pairing of vodka with muddled cucumber, orange, lime, and ginger. My boyfriend opts for the slightly sour, more intricate Caipirinha, made with the Brazilian brandy Cachaça, cane sugar and lime. The drinks do not disappoint, just as Anda assured, and we find ourselves admiring our slow morning among the ivy of the Funk Zone. It’s truly the kind of Santa Barbara snapshot we take a little more time to stop and enjoy. Surrounded by the promise of good food and gorgeous weather, we settle into our conversation at the most peaceful brunch Santa Barbara has to offer. Brioche from Above We start our meal the best way possible with the house-made ricotta, strawberry jam and brioche plate. Our waiter places down a wooden cheeseboard carrying a mason jar filled with fresh ricotta and a layer of thick homemade jam. Stacked alongside the ricotta is warm buttery brioche; we each reach for a slice, and our waiter tells us it’s from Helena Avenue Bakery two doors down. We can see through their large glass windows that they are working hard on their next batch. The cool ricotta and jam atop the crispy yet soft brioche is a flawless pairing—one definitely worth a return visit.

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Cheddar-Jalapeño Biscuit The patio is starting to fill up with people probably also here for the dream duo of fresh ricotta and jam. A group sits their beagle beneath their table and it seems to settle in nicely, admiring the outdoor ambiance. Neighboring the SB Wine Collective and The Lark, Les Marchands seems to effortlessly bridge the character of both establishments, with a charm of its own. We’re brought the fried chicken dish next, and it’s nestled on a cheddar-jalapeño biscuit and topped with a fresh egg over easy. Our first bites into the savory tower happen to break the egg yolk and it oozes onto homemade sawmill sausage gravy. We add a kick to the fried chicken by peppering it with a bit of house-made Les Marchands hot sauce—the final touch to an already satisfying and hearty classic American dish. Dreamy Cinnamon Whipped Cream Our indulging continues with a culminating sweet course, the sourdough waffle. The gooey strawberry syrup still melty atop the waffle is a sophisticated and welcomed alternative to the stickiness of traditional maple. And while the waffles and strawberries stand alone as winners, the homemade cinnamon whipped cream is the true gem of the day. Complementing the summer berries, the cinnamon clouds are light and

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We’re still sipping on our Caipirinha and Clear Conscience—we’ve ordered seconds at this point—and it adds a delightful hint of fresh herb to the sweetness of the waffle.


fluffy, and speckled with proof of authentic spice. I forget about the waffle completely and can’t help but dip my spoon until it’s all but a dream. My next trip might have me pairing the brioche and the cinnamon whipped cream for a truly heavenly combination. We’re still sipping on our Caipirinha and Clear Conscience—we’ve ordered seconds at this point—and it adds a delightful hint of fresh herb to the sweetness of the waffle. We thank Anda and our waiter, and find ourselves reviewing our favorite menu items with them both. Their passion for brunch is apparent in both the food they’ve presented and their suggestions for next time. As we head out, I take another look at the harmonious patio scene and the adorable beagle still cozied up by the feet of his happily dining owners. He too is a connoisseur of Sunday mornings in the Funk Zone.


Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant 131 Anacapa Street, Suite B Santa Barbara 805-284-0380

@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 27

Photographed by Silas Fallstich Written by Alexandra Sharova 28 | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017

LOCAL TASTE The Black Sheep - In a Good Way

After a day of soaking up the summer sun, and quite a heavy pour of French rosé, my girl friend and I arrive for our much-needed dinner (read: we’re famished). I previously dined at The Black Sheep—aptly named for its eclectic nature—more than a year ago, but my taste buds clearly remember their first brush with out-of-this-world bone marrow, making me perk up upon arrival. The warm, multi-colored walls are a balance between invitingly homey and stark modernity—a match for the strategically placed candles and minimal, single-bulb ceiling lights. A full-length window wall (ideal for people watching, if you’re into that sort of thing) is responsible for the lack of chandeliers and bringing passersby into a world of culinary fusion. We’re seated at a roomy, yet frill-free table and almost immediately presented with two glasses of cava by Ruben, the selfproclaimed “Decision Maker,” aka the owner. There’s nothing quite like bubbles to impress the ladies, and I must admit, we’re impressed. Just as promptly arrive the White Marinated Anchovies (I’m not even sure I like anchovies…) atop golden crostini. Although they have a reputation for being the saltiest creatures in the sea, the pickled flavor reinvents this notion. They’re surprisingly light, and thanks to orange zest and a hint of parsley, a total treat, making me rethink my whole relationship with the briny fish.

We’re two California girls, so don’t even get us started on a trendy salad! The sherry drizzled Roasted Beets could stand all on their own— because nothing is better than good and good-for-you all in one—but the starter gets better with a silky “panna cotta.” As the weightless goat cheese dissolves on my tongue like magic, it mingles with lightly curried cous-cous and chewy pistachios, sending me to salad heaven (which must be a real place). I feel as though I’m consuming a sugarless dessert. Just as we finish our last bite, and trust me the plate is squeaky clean, comes the Scallop Crudo. The buttery wonder sits on a base of Peruvian quinoa with a yucca root chip for garnish. From smooth and fresh—courtesy of the raw scallop—to earthy grit, and even juicy tang thanks to grapefruit bits, it divinely covers the entire spectrum in a single app. Ruben provides the definition of five-star service (at least what constitutes five stars to me, like quick delivery, explanation of the dishes and of course a friendly demeanor), bringing us a Black Sheep Sangria as soon as our flutes of bubbly run low. This version is reminiscent of the mulled wine one expects at European markets during Christmas. Hints of warming clove and the aromatic orange notes contrast the chilled consistency and splash of vodka, for a cocktail that easily fits into the meal without stealing the thunder. My nostalgia of Paris is broken by Chef Robert Perez’s hand-delivered Holy Mackerel. The Spanish fish is

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SB LIFE & STYLE health

the evening’s special, and thanks to a traditional Japanese sauce, which through molecular gastronomy is transformed into a jelly, it combines the best of the old, with the most innovative of the new. As we discuss the mysteries of this trending culinary movement, I notice the art on the wall. The undeniably cool, contemporary creations of local artist Matt Brown up the funky factor of the restaurant. Plus, I can’t help but admire the emphasis on promoting Santa Barbara’s own, in both produce and décor. Chef Perez returns with the Grilled Watermelon, attention all vegan and calorie-conscious readers, this trick-of-the-taste-buds dish tastes like steak! Do not ask me how this is possible, but it’s a fact. Charred mint and pistachios provide the texture you crave in a grilled steak, while a basil oil and red wine syrup bring out succulent flavors. Even a die-hard carnivore can enjoy this masquerading fruit. Next comes the real thing, an Australian Wagyu accompanied by Yukon potatoes. The marbled wagyu is so tender that it melts away in a saporous blend of pickled onions and array of sautéed peppers. These delectable dishes

have me nearing a food coma. Although we are beyond satisfied, I never say no to dessert. Our Luna Shade, a spin on the infamous Sex and the City Cosmopolitan, comes with the Chocolate Mousse. The airy consistency is exactly what the decadence needs. We nearly licked this plate as well… Overall, this dining adventure, and that’s exactly what it was with the rollercoaster of flavors and cuisines, was the perfect way to kick off our evening about town. As the name suggests, The Black Sheep stands out…for all the right reasons.


The Black Sheep 26 E Ortega Street, Santa Barbara 805-965-1113

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Photographed by Meadow Rose Written by Chelsea Delgado



TABLE “You know, what I love most about this experience is bringing people together. No matter where you are in the world you can get someone in their 20s and someone in their 60s, coming from all walks of life, interacting and feeling comfortable enough to share their opinions, asking questions and learning about wine. There is not one way that you’re supposed to feel. If you like it, drink it!” says John Backer, owner and winemaker of August Ridge Vineyards. I’m sitting across from John in the upstairs loft of the brand new yet homey tasting room in downtown Santa Barbara on the corner of State and Figueroa. It is August Ridge’s first location outside of Creston, California (near Paso Robles). Sunlight reflecting on the white walls creates a fresh sense of openness and the simple yet intrinsic decor makes me feel at ease. “The walnut shelves you see on the wall have been in the family for years. We use the same materials in this location as we do our home land in Creston. It embraces our character and keeps consistency. It brings a piece of ourselves forward.” John was born in Virginia to generations of grape growers, and has lived most of his life in California. John’s wife and co-owner Jill Zamborelli is from a small town two hours south of Rome. The couple has created a quaint life for themselves in Creston, becoming the first generation of commercial wine makers in their families. Their vineyard name August comes from both sides of their families and honors their kindred grandfathers, August William, August Phillipe, and even their future generation, daughter Isabella August.

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Home is their 32 acre ranch—twelve and a half acres of which are vineyards plus one acre of olive trees. It is where all of the magic happens, the nitty-gritty of the job. “Winemaking isn’t easy, and it’s not exactly glamorous, but we’ve found that most things that are worth doing, the things that are truly satisfying, usually turn out to be that way.” John admits that although wine brings a party and the parties are always fun, it remains his passion to be the intellect behind the wine making process. With varietals of Italian and California native grapes their vineyard includes Nebbiolo, Sangiovese and the Italian clones of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. August Ridge’s specialty focuses on the midpalate of your taste buds. Not so high in alcohol content but rather bringing an emphasis of fruit, spice and pepper to the front of your mouth, which pairs nicely with food. When speaking to the process of barrel aging John says, “Our complexities range from an eighteen month process to sometimes three and a half years on the shorter scale. One of nature’s wonders is that even while varieties and styles can reach consistency and remain the same, they are also different every time. This creation process is all about the elements involved—the earth, the weather, me, and this connection to what we are bringing to the table. Our main concept is about contextualizing a dining experience with traditions, food, family, and friends.” This passion is reflected in La Bella Famiglia, their charming wine club. “It’s the one family where you can choose your relatives,” John laughs. “We’re more like minded in community and social aspects of wine. There is never a stranger at the party, ever!”


August Ridge Vineyards 5 E. Figueroa Street Santa Barbara 805-770-8442

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SB LIFE & STYLE beauty

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It is no secret that I am obsessed with masks and use several a week. Dr. Brandt Magnetight Age-Defier mask is so much fun to use (you remove the mask with a magnet) and leaves skin feeling like butter. It works for all skin types and has anti-aging properties. Trust me, everyone I have used it on falls in love. $75 38 | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017




Our skin takes a beating every day from cosmetics and environmental factors, so why not help it recover? After removing makeup, spray Skindinavia Post-Makeup Recovery Spray to deliver a powerful boost of key nutrients including zinc, magnesium and willow bark. This is a product you never knew you couldn’t live without. $26

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Give me all of the volume but I want it touchable and with movable texture! Living Proof Dry Volume Blast is my go-to for long-lasting volume. I use it to create bombshell volume when I wear my hair down, spray it to give life to my limp ponytail or add finesse to an up-do. This product is a game changer. $29


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Our hands take a beating every day and frankly get the short end of the skincare stick. I have found the secret to well-loved hands for myself and my clients in one easy step. Bonblissity Scrub2go individually wrapped hand scrubs leave hands exfoliated, hydrated and beautifully glowing like they just came from the nail salon. $22-$30 @ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 39

SB LIFE & STYLE health


Photographed by Stephanie Plomarity Written & Modeled by Robin Berger

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Lululemon Top Alo Yoga Leggings Chanel Watch

Life is full of firsts, of thinking outside the box, and well, maybe having goats on your back as you inhale into upward facing dog. I’m all one for trying new things, especially unusual ones, so a yoga session with adorable baby goats nibbling at my ponytail sounded like the perfect way to spend a Saturday evening. As I lay out my mat for the 5 p.m. yoga class on the lawn of a private home overlooking the rolling hills of Camarillo, a herd of 3-month-old goats from Oats and Ivy Farm runs from their pen to greet me, noisily and playfully, prancing around like the babies they truly are. The sun is glistening, the birds are chirping and golden hour is fast approaching as Emily of Emily Paige Yoga brings us together for a one-hour goat yoga class. We move through the standing poses, breathing deeply and effortlessly. My body feels elongated and secure. Through each sun salutation and exhale, the carmel colored, spotted goats roam around us, eating eucalyptus branches and bark and subtly gnawing on mats, becoming more mischievous and loveable by the minute.


As I level out into a steady plank, blue-eyed Strudel hops on my back, standing like Simba from The Lion King. His four hooves surprisingly loosen up my muscles as he walks all the way down, almost making it to my feet before leaping off, joyously using me as his little jungle gym. My core is tight as I sink into warrior two, and although this class is a little novel, I’m delighted to still enjoy the benefits of a mindful yoga session. Coming into wheel pose, Juniper stands on my stomach, his delicate legs balanced on my arch, but he’s quickly over the pose and catapults for an air jump. As the class nears to a close, we all line up in tabletop, laughing as all seven goats run across our backs one final time. Goat snapshots fill everyone’s phones as I roll up my mat and peruse handcrafted goat’s milk soaps from Oats and Ivy Farm and Lux Milk, handmade, organic and cold-pressed almond milk—the perfect farmer’s market finds to wrap up this entertaining goat yoga. Here’s to many more firsts, and probably a few more goat yoga classes too.


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SB LIFE & STYLE fashion


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Ulla Johnson Dress, Wendy Foster The Office of Angela Scott Shoes

Photographed by Silas Fallstich Styled by Gladis Barboza Model Tilly Smith with State Management LA Hair & Makeup by Heather Roach Location The Landsby, Solvang 46 | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017

Roland Mouret Trousers & Top, Julianne Future Glory Handbag, Allora by Laura Rings, Wendy Foster The Office of Angela Scott Shoes @ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 47

SB LIFE & STYLE beauty

Bella Dahl Shirt, Wendy Foster Nili Lotan Skirt, Allora by Laura Kai Linz Necklace, Allora by Laura Robert Clergerie Shoes, Allora by Laura Rings, Wendy Foster 48 | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017

360 Cashmere Sweater, Wendy Foster Via Masini 80 Pants, Allora by Laura The Office of Angela Scott Shoes

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Ulla Johnson Dress, Wendy Foster The Office of Angela Scott Shoes


Mes Demoiselle Dress, Wendy Foster Rings, Wendy Foster The Office of Angela Scott Shoes @ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 51

in the shadows Photographed by Meadow Rose Model Regina Schnitzer Hair & Makeup by Kristabelle Marks with JosĂŠ Eber Salon Manicure by Aqua Skin & Nail Bar using LVX in Blush

Elizabeth Jane Swimsuit Kai Linz Earrings, Allora by Laura 52 | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017

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See By Chloé Top, Allora by Laura Ali Grace Necklace, Allora by Laura 54 | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017

Elizabeth Jane Swimsuit Bash Cuff, Allora by Laura @ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 55


Sachin & Babi Dress, Allora by Laura @ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 57


Norma Kamali Dress, Allora by Laura Bash Earrings, Allora by Laura

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S saddle up


Photographed by Holly Parker Photo Assistant Gabe Kimpson Styled by Robin Berger Model Zinta Braukis with L.A. Models Horse “Princess� owned by Linda Bartlett Hair & Makeup by Lia Barabuscio with Carlyle Salon & Style Bar Manicure & Pedicure by Aqua Skin & Nail Bar using LVX in Macaroon Location Goodgame Ranch with Santa Ynez Vacation Rentals

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Soia & Kyo Coat, Whiskey & Leather Lisa Sands Design Belt 62 | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017

Max Mara Coat, Sepi Tristan + Trista Shirt, Sepi Hudson Pants, Whiskey & Leather Belt, Antoinette @ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 63

Coat, Whiskey & Leather Bodysuit, Evangelina Boutique


Les Copains Sweater, Allora by Laura Stuart Weitzman Boots, Sepi

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Max Mara Coat, Sepi Tristan + Trista Shirt, Sepi Hudson Pants, Whiskey & Leather Belt, Antoinette Ralph Lauren Boots, Sepi


Max Mara Coat, Sepi Tristan + Trista Shirt, Sepi Hudson Pants, Whiskey & Leather Belt, Antoinette Ralph Lauren Boots, Sepi @ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 67

It’s all about


Photographed by Meadow Rose Florals & Balloon Installation by Bright Inc.


Kai Linz Necklace, Allora by Laura @ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 69

From top to bottom: Borbonese Handbag, Allora by Laura Chanel Sunglasses, Occhiali Eyewear Thierry Lasry Sunglasses, Occhiali Eyewear FilĂšhats Hat, Allora by Laura Chanel Sunglasses, Occhiali Eyewear Future Glory Handbag, Allora by Laura Rue Stiic Passport Holder, Whiskey & Leather Robert Clergerie Shoes, Allora by Laura


Future Glory Handbag, Allora by Laura Thierry Lasry Sunglasses, Occhiali Eyewear

Robert Clergerie Shoes, Allora by Laura Chanel Sunglasses, Occhiali Eyewear Amy DiGregorio Cuff, Millworks

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FilĂšhats Hat, Allora by Laura Robert Clergerie Shoes, Allora by Laura

Rue Stiic Passport Holder, Whiskey & Leather 72 | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017

Hache Belt, Allora by Laura

Amy DiGregorio Clutch, Millworks

Thierry Lasry Sunglasses, Occhiali Eyewear

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SB LIFE & STYLE profile

A Shot of Whiskey Photographed by Silas Fallstich Written by Alessa Valenzuela 74 | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017

“I have nothing to wear.” Even as the words come out of my mouth, my bedroom closet, chair and floor would beg to differ. Nevertheless, the struggle is real for something to wear on this beautiful Santa Barbara day. It’s the time of year when the seasons shift from summer towards fall, where temperatures reach the mid-80s for weeks on end. My lack of fashionable garb and the allure of sunshine are just enough to coax me out of my airconditioned apartment to my favorite pint-sized stylist Zee Chew at Whiskey + Leather.

Today, I’m on the hunt for a dress to wear to my best friend’s birthday dinner, and a gift for said birthday girl. Zee leads me towards new For Love + Lemons dresses with bold floral prints and feminine lines and a few two-piece designs that are to die for. I pick up a slinky light pink slip dress featuring a plunging neckline, spaghetti strap back, high slit, and tiny heat set star mirrored appliqués. Perfect. Now for the birthday gift. Lucky for Santa Barbara shoppers, Zee has a once a month love affair with LA flee markets and vintage shops. She spends the day rolling through crowded parking lots across a sea of vendors, armed with nothing but her small faded red pull cart searching for antiques for her shop. Green plants, refurbished goods and re-purposed furniture regularly make their way from the Rose Bowl Flee Market and Melrose Fairfax Flee Market to Whiskey + Leather, which means everything in the store is for sale. Well almost everything (the killer vintage dressing room mirrors are not for sale).

Zee, co-owner of Montecito’s Whiskey + Leather is my secret style weapon, my next karate kid, the master of all that is chic. With a practiced eye for fine fabrics, color and young designers, she and partner Ariel Hujar have curated a collection of As I make my way around the shop, I can see that last month’s fashions and goods in a space that defines Santa Barbara style. trip proved fruitful with the new addition of an old wooden 70s school (classroom) chair stacked with J Brand 485 skinny As I enter through the door, tall white walls, tree stumps and denim. I grab a pair to try on just in case, you can never have brass fixtures set the stage for beautiful new and found textiles. too many jeans. Another unexpected find catches my eye—a I hear ‘“Hey babe!” from the dressing rooms and out comes vintage crystal decanter with a chained old scotch label. This Zee, at ease with a bright smile breaming across her face and may have been the coolest treasure in the store until I found several flowy dresses in each hand. She offers me something an old Kodak camera, made with amazing burgundy cloth to sip on. Naturally, a single malt whiskey will do just fine. and beautiful brass details. While I love the Kodak, perhaps When in Rome, right? a scented candle is a little more appropriate for a birthday gift. Paddywax Mint Sea Salt Sage is just the thing. In a city where comfort is king no matter who you are or what your style is, you’re bound to fall in love Zee has curated a collection of new brands and vintage with something in the store. A tom-boy at heart, homewares that make each visit to Whiskey + Leather Zee sources clothes to fit Santa Barbara’s signature like its own mini shopping adventure, with one of a laid-back yet still fine California vibe. W+L has kind pieces. As I checkout from my adventure, I a selection of women’s and men’s lines that are thank Zee and return my glass. playful, sophisticated, low key, and refined. W+L also offers brands that give back, so ___________________________ you feel good while you shop. For basics, you can get your hands on Native tees Whiskey + Leather and tanks to pair with vintage denim 1101 Coast Village Road, Suite A or those skinny jeans hanging in Santa Barbara your closet that still have the 805- 770-5155 tag on them. But that’s for another visit. __________


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SB LIFE & STYLE travel


LA VITA E BELLA Photographed by Nikki Sharp Written by Ottocina Ryan

We’re in the middle of a three hour lunch on the patio at Poggiovalle Country House in Umbria, Italy. I’m sitting next to a few friends at a long wood table accented with bunches of herbs and white daisies in tiny burlap sacks. The yellow gingham runner is topped with slates of cheese and truffle honey, made with milk from the farm estate’s cows and black truffles found on the property. We spent the morning accompanying a truffle hunter and his dogs Lilo and Whiskey, watching the dogs search through tall grass sprinkled with red and yellow wildflowers to return with the aromatic delicacy. It’s our first full day in Italy guided by Access Europe; Angelo Amorico and his sons Simone and Marco are our guides for the week. Their charismatic personalities and unbelievable connections open doors typically closed to the public and have attracted a client and friend roster that reads like an awards show guest list, including Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Oprah. They bring travelers to the most exclusive and authentic places in Italy, France, Spain, and Greece. Plates of spaghetti with heaps of black truffle shavings are placed on the table. “Eat, eat!” Angelo encourages us, “When there are three dishes on the table you can eat. Seriously! Oprah told me so at one of her dinner parties, so it must be true.” I laugh and start to swirl perfectly al dente black truffle covered spaghetti around my fork. Across from me, Christiana, the manager of Poggiovalle, is explaining to us that she moved here from the city for a slower paced lifestyle. I can understand why, it’s an idyllic countryside setting. Rustic yet refined. From the patio I can see geese, turkeys and chickens roaming freely in the garden where they grow everything from grapes to apricots.

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Tart gelato and espresso are soon added to the table, and by the end of the lunch we too are ready to move to Poggiovalle. But it’s only day one of our expertly planned Italy trip and we have a full itinerary for the week ahead of us. We speed through the castle-spotted Tuscan countryside, arriving a couple hours later at Four Seasons Hotel Firenze, which encompasses the largest private garden in Florence. We are escorted via golf cart past lush trees, lawns begging to be picnicked on and modern statues to La Villa, the intimate and private hotel-within-the-hotel. I’m welcomed to my room by a bowl of fresh fruit, wine and classical music, which I leave on as it fits the decor and atmosphere of my suite. I’m pleased to discover that the bathroom is almost as big as the bedroom and nearly covered in white and gold marble. Momentarily convinced I won’t find anything more beautiful than this hotel in all of Florence, and knowing we have a walking tour in the morning, I settle into the room and sit by the window to watch Vespas whiz by yellow houses on the street below. At 8 a.m. the next morning we meet Access Europe guide Veronica in the hydrangea filled lobby and set off on foot to see Florence before it fills with tourists. We tell her what we want to see and what photos we hope to capture and she takes us to the best spots, knowing how long the lines will be, when things open, and offering bits of history. The personalized tour is much more enjoyable and efficient than trying to navigate the foreign city on our own or in a large group. image courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel Florence

In search of a bird’s eye view, we head to Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore. Inside the cathedral, we first reach Giorgio Vasari’s The Last Judgement painting on the dome; Art History textbooks could never do justice to the incredible detail I’m gazing up at. We climb the narrow staircases of the Duomo, postcard sized windows in the stone walls teasing us along the way with the most breathtaking views of Florence. The stairs curve nearing the top and we surface onto a marble platform with 360 degree views of the city’s terra cotta roofs and surrounding mountains.

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After getting our fix of Florence’s magnificent statues and buildings, we return to the Four Seasons to pack our bags. Then we are off to Rome, stopping along the way at the famous Antinori Winery for a private tour of the vineyards and ancient cellars and a beautifully plated lunch at Osteria di Passignano. Our home for the remainder of the trip is Grand Hotel Via Veneto. With modern yet elegant decor, walls covered in original paintings, and a sleek spa, I couldn’t ask for a better place to rest during a busy trip. I drop my suitcase off in my suite before we head to Palazzo Fendi—four stories reflecting the Roman fashion brand’s appreciation for all aspects of art—to get a taste for the best the city has to offer. Once inside the Fendi flagship store, past the pastel dresses, iconic furry keychains and playful handbags, we are welcomed into Fendi’s fur atelier. Karl Lagerfeld’s sketches are pinned to the wall. Mannequins by the windows are wearing coats with magenta, yellow, gray, and white fur. The pattern makers and fur specialists in their white lab coats are hard at work cutting fur swatches and making paper mockups for next season. I reach out to touch a peach and white striped piece of fur and it’s so soft it feels like I’m not touching anything. The exclusive opportunity to interact with the creative process gives me a deeper appreciation for the designs in the store. We take the glass elevator up to the second floor to Palazzo Privé, where we are welcomed with Champagne to the space otherwise reserved for special events and Fendi’s most important clients. It looks like a room out of a palace with its ornate seafoam colored walls. Just as impressive, the third floor of the Palazzo is the new Fendi Suites hotel, comprised of just seven ultra modern suites, where Access Europe visitors often stay. Italian brown leather couches and hunter green chairs lend a comfortable element to the fashion forward rooms. After the tour we make our way to the rooftop of Palazzo Fendi, where we start the evening with rosé and fried tofu at Japanese restaurant Zuma as the sun sets over Rome, turning the surrounding buildings from light to deep orange. Ready for traditional Italian food, we turn down an alley lined with Fiats and vines hanging from the wires and balconies above. Simone briefs us on the restaurant we’re headed to, Hostaria Da Pietro—


they are fully booked weeks in advance and the food is exceptional. We are greeted like regulars and seated immediately. Simone orders for the table and we are soon scooping black truffle sprinkled scrambled eggs, fried squash blossoms, truffle risotto, and spaghetti intertwined with grilled calamari off of our plates. Come 10:30 p.m. the small restaurant is packed, Simone subtly points out a couple celebrity fellow diners, no tourists in sight. As the bottles of Sangiovese run dry we make room on the table and in our stomachs for dessert. Biscotti stuck into a pillow of unsweetened whipped cream and an entire latticed blueberry tart are placed before us and thoroughly enjoyed. At 11 a.m. the next morning we gather in the lobby for breakfast and are chauffeured to Vatican City. Bypassing the mass of people in line for a three hour wait, we enter through the back door of St. Peter’s Basilica to a surreal display of Renaissance and Baroque architecture. Our Access Europe Guide, Giorgia, escorts us through the Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums where we take in the detail and enormity of the holy structures and Michelangelo’s masterpieces. For the grand finale of the tour, Angelo unlocks a hidden door that leads to secret rooms, filled with the Pope’s vestments and gifts. Angelo points out where the Pope prays and where his vestments are ironed. The Pope’s room of treasures is one of those sights I never thought to include on my bucket list but is not to be missed. Angelo jokes that we can each take a relic home as a souvenir, making us feel at ease even in the most exclusive of places. Back at the hotel that evening we dine at Michelin star restaurant Magnolia. Chef Franco Madama creates a six course tasting menu resembling art 400 years more recent than most everything we’ve seen on the trip. The highlight of the dinner is the melt-in-your-mouth pink risotto plated in a C shape

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with rose petals and negroni leaves nestled on top. And for dessert a rectangular cheesecake topped with candied fruits, spun sugar, violets, and gold leaf. We stop at Magnolia’s elaborate candy bar on the way out, filling lilac boxes with easter egg colored malt balls before calling it a night. Bright and early in the morning we hop in the back seat of Simone’s Porsche and drive to the coast for a day on the Mediterranean. At the harbor we board pristine motor yacht Talco, named for the owner’s Italian fashion brand. We snuggle up with blankets and fresh creme filled donuts for the smooth ride across the indigo water to Ponza Island. As we approach the island the dark blue water turns transparent, revealing striped fish. Ponza is unpretentious and appears to be little more than a green hill decorated by pastel homes and shops, like stacks of pink, blue and yellow Legos, with a small harbor full of fishing boats. Most of the shops are closed for lunch (the signs on the windows say they’ll be back in an hour and a half) so we wander the narrow cobblestone streets eyeing the whimsical doors, quaint gelaterias and cats dozing in the sun. We return to the yacht and round the point of the island to a cove where tall cliffs tower over a small white sand beach, anchoring in sparkling crystal clear water near a natural arch protruding from the sea. We strip to swimsuits and I jump from the top of the yacht into the refreshing water and swim through the arch to the beach. The water is especially salty so we float around with ease until the smell of pasta sails over from the galley and lures us back to the table on the lower deck. Rigatoni with a simple tomato sauce and dusting of parmesan is accompanied by prosciutto and what Marco explains to us is the best buffalo mozzarella in Italy, which proves to be true. We top it off with bowls of fresh apricots and strawberries. This kind of bliss and relaxation is what vacation is truly about. As we head back to shore I watch the wake turn the water aqua and white. My mind drifts to how many trips I’ve gone on where I’ve spent countless hours scouring travel sites and asking for recommendations from friends, planning out what to do, and finding the perfect activity only to find out it’s 2,000 other people’s perfect activity too and there’s a waiting list. Angelo, Simone and Marco take away every stressful part of a trip, not to mention they are fun travel companions. It’s nice to be treated like a regular in a city where you don’t even speak the language. With zero planning and unfamiliarity of Italy, it’s almost too good to be true that I was offered a deep look into Italian culture. All I did was leave the planning to Access Europe, show up and have the time of my life.


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SB LIFE & STYLE travel



Playa De La Paz

Written by Robin Berger

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I can feel the sea breeze through the car window as I approach Playa de La Paz, with not much more in tow than pastel bikinis and a straw hat. The elaborate nautilus gates open toward the 23 immaculate oceanfront residences, surrounded by palm trees and the promise of tranquility. I leave my sandals in the foyer and get aquatinted with my three bedroom residence. Walking around I’m in awe of the contemporary architecture, state-of-the-art kitchen, marble bathrooms, and patio overlooking the cabana sprinkled private beach. Definitely a dream home away from home. I walk past the olympic length pool and plant myself on the coarse white sand of my very own secluded paradise, gazing at the blue ombre ocean. I doze off in pure bliss, awakening to a setting sun. I return to the couches on the veranda in front of my residence, enjoying the silence broken only by chirping birds and waves lapping at the shore. A light knock at the door, I meet Playa de La Paz developer Jeffrey Curtiss, and right before hello I grasp that Jeffrey knows a thing or two about hosting, in hand, a bottle of Don Julio, and a private chef looming behind him. As the kitchen heats up with a Mexican feast, Jeffrey imparts some life advice over Cabernet on the patio, some epiphany inspiring (“Never get involved with someone who has more problems than you do”) and some an expression of his British humor (“Eat a live toad every morning and nothing worse will happen to you all day”). The comfortable vitality of Jeffery and his company is making a lasting impression. Some people truly are a breath of fresh air. As the tangerine sky starts to fade, we move to the outside dinner table. The chef brings us our first course—crab dips, garnished with cilantro, spice and a crostini. The conversation slows as we savor the fresh appetizer and the following caprese salad. Then, the main course, shrimp diabla, chili relleno and Mexican rice, pulls the flavors of the menu together. The waves crash in the distance while the spicy ingredients delight my taste buds. Our laughs echo throughout the patio as the tequila-soaked sorbets before us vanish. Before returning to our respective residences, we cheers one last tequila shot because, well, it’s Mexico. Waking up to an inch of warm sunlight peeking through the curtains, I smile, knowing the adventures of today will be nothing short of extraordinary. Leaving the residence unlocked, as this feels like the safest place in the world, or in Mexico at least, I stride past the pool with bare feet, immediately spotting the boat reserved for just me, the sea lions and the natural treasures surrounding La Paz. I wade knee deep in the clear water and hop up on the boat, meeting Lorenzo and Alturo, my guides for the day. The Sea of Cortez is calm and as we depart from the coral reef lined coast, dozens of dolphins appear, jumping out of the water all around the boat. After about an hour, we approach the sea lion colony. I skip the wetsuit and jump in the warm water with a snorkel and eager eyes. Swimming with the current, the plethora of tropical fish makes the world down under more lively than an aquarium. Lorenzo hands me a sea star as I float next to my new acquaintances, smiling and laughing at the baby sea lions, bubbles surfacing above me. As if the day could be more idyllic, the exploration continues as we motor in and out of caves at the base of the rugged cliffs bordering Isla Espíritu Santo to arrive on the pristine shores of Ensenada Grande. I sit on the remote stretch of white sand overlooking the sparkling aquamarine sea, simply enjoying my prosciutto sandwich and the sunshine. To date, it hasn’t gotten better than this. On our smooth ride back to Playa de La Paz (deserted beach to private beach, I could get used to this), we spot a family of deep blue jellyfish. Alturo scoops one out of the water and I reach over to touch it, interested, but also wanting to squeal, “Eww!” We land back on the beach just in time for my private Swedish massage in my humble abode. The lavender infused oils soak into my tanned skin, and I fall into a calm slumber, awakening with a renewed sense of well-being. Throwing my hair up in a ponytail, aloe vera soothing my slight sunburn, I sip on a Corona, just before the Playa de La Paz concierge Karla transports me to town for dinner at 3 Virgenes for a taste of La Paz’s sophisticated dining scene. The restaurant’s patio is lit with dangling lights and

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surrounded by rich greenery, setting a romantic scene for dinner in the city. I taste the 2013 Surco Rojo Cabernet Nebbiolo just before the local baby octopus is placed before me. The mesquite grilled octopus accompanied by pita bread, cucumber cream and lemon has a refreshing, light flavor. On my server’s recommendation, I order the smoked yellowtail tacos with melted mozzarella and a creamy yet spicy chili sauce drizzled on top. They disappear within minutes. Blissfully full—of delicious food and delightful feelings of being in a foreign country and a beautiful city, I’m driven back to the residences and fall asleep thinking, “I really want to stay here forever.” After sipping my morning coffee on a cabana as the sun rises over the cove, I kick off my day paddle boarding through the pristine waters of my little slice of undisturbed paradise. It’s just me, the sea, and one very clear mind. I can’t imagine a better place to live or come to unwind. I spend the remainder of the day playing tourist in La Paz, inching my way through the iconic Whale Museum and munching on lobster tacos at Biskmark Cito. I’m relishing the moment, wandering around and taking snapshots throughout the cobblestone streets of the authentically Mexican yet increasingly cosmopolitan town. Returning to Playa de La Paz, I’m welcomed by the aroma of fresh pink roses, and cold air conditioning disseminating throughout the residence. A power nap and dip in the pool later, I’m ready for my reservation at the hip dinner spot, Sorstis. The patio setting is Pinterest worthy—thick vines and branches weighted down by mangos cover the brick walls, and contemporary lights illuminate the ambiance of the dreamy restaurant. Nestling into the cozy atmosphere with a strawberry margarita in hand, I peruse the menu until my friendly tuxedoed server returns to the table. I start off with fresh tuna carpaccio; the capers, mesquite salt and aloe vera lemon vinaigrette enhance the flavors of the raw fish. Chardonnay accompanies me through my main course—Shrimp Sorstis, sautéed with butter, lots and lots of garlic, white wine, cherry tomatoes, and a few pinches of parsley. My dinner tastes like there must be an ocean nearby. The polished and light flavors leave me yearning for maybe just one more course, dessert! The white chocolate cake topped with fresh berries and vanilla ice cream presents an elegant and divine taste, spoonful by spoonful. What I’m sure of at the moment is I’ll be returning for more. Sunshine floods the master bedroom on my last morning, of this trip at least. I throw on a peach one piece and head down to a cabana, flowers in my hair and all, to soak up what Playa de La Paz has to offer for a few more hours. It’s a dream reality to have everything from a private beach to world class dining to the promise of adventure so accessible and close to home; the Residences at Playa de La Paz can be owned as a second home (that you’ll wish was your main one). The atmosphere Jeffrey created here is comfortable and laid back yet luxurious. It’s a very easy place to be, and never want to leave.


Playa de La Paz For real estate inquiries: John Herkenrath 310-221-2910

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in SAN TA BAR BARA for FALL Written by Kara Thompson 90 | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017







From savory to sweet, Scarlett Begonia serves up unique brunch items worth indulging in. @scarlett_begonia1

Visit the Free Play exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art, which celebrates the way various objects have different meanings to each of us. @mcasantabarbara


Refuel at C’est Cheese Café, where you can enjoy a bowl of soup, cheese platter or pastry. @cestcheesesb

Shopping Head to Coast 2 Coast for vintage jewelry and everything you could ever want to adorn your home. @c2ccollectionsb

More Shopping Maison K has a variety of unique and worldly products to chose from for all of your gift-giving needs. @maisonkstyle


Make your last stop of the day a delicious one with grilled mahi mahi or pan seared scallops at Boathouse at Hendry’s Beach. @sb_boathouse


Unwind at Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara on your private terrace overlooking the ocean. @fssantabarbara

Start your day with a hearty breakfast burrito at Rudy’s Mexican Restaurant. @rudys_mexican

Find the perfect fall sweater and handbag at K. Frank. @kfrankstyle


Take some time for self-love and renew your skin with one of Float Luxury Spa’s anti-aging facials. @floatluxuryspa


Break for lunch at Pickles & Swiss where the sandwiches, soups and salads are made from scratch daily. @picklesandswiss


Rent a stand-up paddle board or reserve your own private yacht and captain with Santa Barbara Sailing Center. @sbsailing


Head downtown for innovative appetizers and local craft beer at Barbareno. @barbareno_sb


Satisfy your cravings for local abalone, filet mignon and baked Alaska at Angel Oak, a modern oceanfront steakhouse located at Bacara Resort & Spa. @angeloaksb

TRANQUILITY BY THE SEA Located in the popular West Beach neighborhood of Santa Barbara, The Eagle Inn is a comfortable boutique bed and breakfast by the water. 232 NAT OMA AVE, S A N TA B A RB ARA, C A 9 3 1 0 1 RES E R VAT IONS: 805-9 6 5 - 3 5 8 6 O R TH EEAGL EI NN.C O M

715 Paseo Nuevo, Santa Barbara, CA



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