My Travel Glossary: Jazzy De Lisser shares her favourite holiday hotspots
Music is in Lola Lennox’s blood – as the daughter of Grammy-winning artist Annie Lennox, it seemed inevitable she would follow in her mother’s footsteps by carving a career in music. Over recent years she’s been earmarked as one to watch for her soulful vocals and now critics are eagerly awaiting her debut EP, Dreamer, which has been executively produced by Annie herself.
Recorded in Los Angeles, where Lola has lived for the last eight years, many of the tracks have been inspired by her Southern Californian home. Here, she reveals her top musical venues in the city, as well as her favourite restaurant for a meal out with her mum and the secret nature spots she visits to get away from it all.
I moved to Los Angeles eight years ago and I’ve lived all over the city. During the pandemic I was in the heart of Hollywood, living in a one-bedroom apartment on the 11th floor. It’s a fun part of town but the flat felt very claustrophobic, so my boyfriend and I moved to Burbank in the Valley. It’s a very sweet area – there are lots of cute little gardens and rose bushes, and it has a much homier feel. We’ve been here about a year now and I absolutely love it. It really taps into the incredible nature that this city has to offer. We’ve got a garden with a big camellia bush in it, and I love going out there to look at the hummingbirds.
LA is a real musical hub, which I find so inspiring. A lot of musicians come here because it has such an open-door policy. In London I felt like I was knocking on a lot of doors to try and get in the studio. Here, you might go out and meet three producers one night and they’ll be like, “Great, let’s get started on Wednesday!” People here are up for working, they just want to get down to it and make some good music. I really appreciate how many creatives there are here, too. You can go to gigs and hear bluegrass or hip hop or country – any style of music, really – and all the people who are singing in the venues are so talented.
There are loads of great places to go to discover new artists. I’ve been to Hotel Café in Hollywood about a million times, because everyone passes through there. Just around the corner is Black Rabbit Rose, a really cool little jazz club that I used to play in a lot. Then on Fairfax Avenue in West Hollywood there’s Genghis Cohen, which is a really fun spot. It’s a cool Chinese restaurant, but then they have a little music venue on the side. I’ll go there to see a gig and then have a Chinese meal afterwards. Then at the other end of the scale there’s the new SoFi Stadium, which is a totally different experience – I went there to see The Rolling Stones and The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and they were both incredible.
hotelcafe.com; blackrabbitrose.com; genghiscohen.com; sofistadium.com
My favourite music venue in town has to be the Hollywood Bowl. It’s this beautiful open-air space that holds concerts throughout the summer. I saw Dead & Company play there last October, with John Mayer on guitar. I didn’t know what a Dead & Co concert was like, and the audience was as much of the experience as the band were – they were all up on their feet, dancing and singing. It was super fun. I’ve also seen quite a lot of classical recitals there, as well as old Hollywood movies like An American in Paris brought to life with a live orchestra. I also saw Florence + the Machine there, for the finale of their North American tour last year, which was incredible. It’s a very special venue.
When it comes to wellness, I’m all about balance. For me, looking after my mental health is really important. I’ve been journaling a lot recently, which has been really helpful, and I’ve been meditating since my early 20s. As a creative person, there’s a lot going on in your head and you can feel quite alone trying to make something happen with your voice. Meditating regularly has been a huge help. When it comes to exercise, I love reformer Pilates. It gets the best results. My favourite studio is called Phitosophy and it’s around the corner from my home in Burbank.
“LA is a real musical hub, which I find so inspiring. A lot of musicians come here because it has such an open-door policy. In London I felt like I was knocking on a lot of doors to try and get in the studio”
The nature in LA is one of my favourite things about the city. I spend a lot of time in Griffith Park, walking around the trails there, as that’s my local park and there’s so much to explore. I also love hiking up near Mulholland Drive, as you get fantastic views over the city up there. The top of Runyon Canyon is another great spot, but it can get quite crowded. If I’m looking for fewer people, I’ll go to Temescal Canyon on the Westside. It’s near the ocean and it’s a lot less busy than Runyon, so you really get a sense of space there.
When I want to get away from it all, I’ll go to Topanga Canyon. I love it there – it’s got quite a hippy vibe, which is right up my street. My dad lives in Ibiza and I semi grew up there, so Topanga feels like a little piece of my Spanish home in LA. On my birthday I rented a glamping wagon in the forest there with my boyfriend. It rained like crazy that night, and then the next day we went and explored these really sweet little restaurants and vintage shops. It feels like you’re in the middle of nowhere up there, but it’s 10 minutes from Santa Monica.
When it comes to beauty treatments, I prefer to have them at home. For my birthday I bought myself an LED light mask, and I’m always watching tutorials online to learn about skincare tips. But when I’m in the mood for a spa experience, I’ll go to The Raven in Silver Lake. It’s very 70s and has this great hippy vibe – there are cute wooden panels and curtains everywhere. They do a really great Thai massage there, so it’s where I usually recommend people go when they visit.
My favourite date night dinner spot is Petit Trois. My boyfriend and I go to the one in Sherman Oaks, as that’s our local, but they also have one in Hollywood. It’s this gorgeous French bistro and the food is just the best. Last time I went I had a sole fillet with a butter sauce, and the butter was the most delicious I’ve ever tasted. It was like liquid gold. When it comes to local restaurants, my favourite secret spot is a little Thai restaurant called Saraya. It’s run by a family and it feels like your grandma from Thailand has just cooked you the best meal. It’s all super fresh and made with so many herbs and spices. I always order the glass noodle salad, which is made with vermicelli-style noodles, prawns and larb.
For cocktails, I like to go somewhere with a bit of history. There’s a place near me called the Smoke House, which is very Old Hollywood. It’s right opposite Warner Brothers Studios, so back in the day actors from Warner Bros like James Dean and Judy Garland would go there to get their cocktails and steaks. I like to sit at the bar and order a dirty martini. When I’m in the mood for something a little fancier, I’ll go to Bar 1200 at the Sunset Marquis hotel in West Hollywood. It’s got great rock ‘n roll history, with everyone from Elton John and Blondie to Bruce Springsteen having stayed here.
LA is one of the best places for vintage shopping. I love trawling through the flea markets for second-hand finds. The best one is the Rose Bowl Flea Market, which is held on the second Sunday of every month. It’s enormous and can be quite overwhelming due to the sheer amount of stuff, but it’s incredible. If you’re looking for a more manageable market, I also love the Melrose Trading Post, which is held in West Hollywood every Sunday. I’ve found so many great things there – a red suede jacket with big shoulders, great vintage Levi’s, cool rock tees. I’m always on the hunt for pretty summer slip dresses too, they’re my favourite.
When it comes to buying new pieces, I tend to go for LA-based brands. Reformation is one of my favourites – they have a few stores in the city, and I love their dresses. I’m also a fan of STAUD, which was started by former Reformation Fashion Director Sarah Staudinger. They have a great store on Melrose Place, and while I’m there I’ll pop into the LoveShackFancy boutique down the road. For my denim, I usually go to AGOLDE, which was also started in LA.
thereformation.com; staud.clothing; loveshackfancy.com; agolde.com
The interiors in our home are a combination of vintage finds and new pieces. When we moved here a year ago, we sold everything I owned from before, because my old place wasn’t curated at all. So, we wanted to start from scratch and make a moodboard and do it right. I’ve found some great pieces from the Rose Bowl, but for new pieces I love CB2. The style there is very LA, all mid-century modern pieces. Our dining table is from there, and we also bought a great burnt orange velvet armchair. And I love Soho Home, which has just opened a store on Melrose Avenue. I bought my bed from there and I love their stuff, because it always has a great vintage-style aesthetic.
My mum lives in LA now too, so it’s great to be able to spend time together here. We love going out for dim sum together – our favourite spot is a place called Bao in West Hollywood. Or there’s a little café near hers called Joey’s, where we’ll go and get breakfast sometimes. But mainly it’s homey, cosy stuff, like eating home cooked meals or sitting in her garden together and catching up over coffee. That’s what I’ll usually go and see her for.
Lola Lennox’s debut EP Dreamer is out now