Jane Winkworth

L.A. Story! December 20th 2012

Greetings reader! Unusually for me, I am enjoying a very different kind of Christmas this year out in sunny L.A. I am always passionate about this time of year and usually wild horses wouldn’t drive me from my glorious, traditional Christmas with family and friends at home in the Surrey countryside……but this year I am basking in a different kind of warmth!

Having bought a condo in Santa Monica earlier this year, my plan was to come out and furnish it and then get back to the UK for Christmas. However, this year I have just fallen in love with all things American.

My condo is on the beach, with a fabulous sea view and the gentle sea breeze wafts through my new home as I start my day. The sunshine is a cheerful, welcome break from the usual gloomy weather that has descended on friends and family in the UK, and, whilst I miss the festivities at home, I must say I am loving this lifestyle!

All the culture that I have back home is available here on my doorstep! When I need retail therapy I can wander off to the shops (and of course pop into my lovely shoe shop, London Sole whenever I like!). The people here are such a refreshing change! They are so friendly, helpful and sincere – it is an absolute delight to be treated with such attention and kindness.

Back home I would obviously be enjoying the build up to Christmas with my darling granddaughter Bee….so whilst I miss her dreadfully, I have the added excitement of being able to spend time here in L.A.,  with my other granddaughters, my son and gorgeous daughter in law Jennifer who live here and manage London Sole. Jennifer is enjoying enormous success in her own right, with her new book, Lessons from Madame Chic, so we have all sorts of reasons to be happy and celebrate!



This is a wonderful and very different Christmas and whilst I love every minute of it, I have to say I did have a little pang of misery when I realised I would be missing my tradition of going to the Coliseum to see The Nutcracker in London, with my darling Bee. I do so love all the events that my brilliant Starlight charity put on during the festive season in London and this year Bee is presenting the bouquet at the ballet, so I was feeling more than a little homesick at missing that. So, imagine my delight when I was invited as a guest of the Directors of the Los Angeles Ballet to see a performance of The Nutcracker at Royce Hall, U.C.L.A!

Setting off for the evening’s performance, myself and some of my wonderful staff from London Sole all put our best feet forward in London Sole ballet flats and drove through the twinkling Christmas lights of Bel Air to the fabulous venue. I was amazed at Royce Hall and how stunning it was, I was also surprised at how intimate such a huge space could be!

The ballet itself was faultless! The performance was divine, my favourite part was the Dance of the Snowflakes which was carried out amidst shimmering snowflakes falling onto the stage and each dancer had the most beautiful headdress made of icicles!  I cannot even begin to describe the sheer brilliance of the diminutive principal male dancer; the fabulous Kenta Shimizu – he was just unbelievably amazing. The corps de ballet was faultless and the darling little children that came on stage looked about 9 years old and all of them en pointe - I couldn’t believe my eyes!

On the way home I remembered last year driving home after the ballet, through Sloane Square and back to my beloved Chelsea and I did miss the wintery, cold shimmering Christmassy feel that we get back home. But, I do love to try something new and as I headed home to my beautiful condo, I felt that I could become very happily accustomed to the balmy nights and the L.A. Christmas lights - Merry Christmas everyone to one and all! xxx


Categories: Ballet, My Week

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Charities Jane supports:

The Royal ballet school English National Ballet Starlight ACCA The Royal Marsden Havens Hospice