• Where to go

    I'm sunbathing in the very spot at the Beverly Hills Hotel where Faye Dunaway was photographed by Terry O'Neill in 1977, the morning after she'd won her Oscar. While Dunaway's look was so terribly insouciant, my physiognomy is quite the opposite; wide-eyed with excitement (behind my mirrored shades, of course.)

    How could one ever be bored at this pink palace with its iconic history, modern-day glamour and endless people watching? All around the pool are people feigning boredom; icy cool as they play busy with their phones or have 'poolside meetings'. But the real fun is happening in the cabanas. For in one of the private tented rooms that run the length of the pool, is a party to end all parties. There's music, cocktails, old men in expensive watches and like rabbits from a hat - a never-ending stream of pretty girls each in tinier bikinis and higher heels. It's mid-afternoon on a Wednesday and no one bats an eye-lid.

    Wandering round the hotel's bungalows you can't help feel the glamorous ghosts of Hollywood past; for this is where Liz Taylor spent six of her eight honeymoons, where Marilyn would shack up in her favourite bungalow no. 7 and where Rex Harrison would sunbathe in the buff.

    Those golden oldies might not be around today, but head to the Polo Lounge for a delicious McCarthy salad and there's plenty of people watching to be done. There's even action to be had in the gym (where two ladies on the treadmill launched into a shrill rendition of Happy Birthday to the gentleman on the cross trainer. It was 6.30am!)

    But aside from the swanky lobby and the Fountain Coffee Room, my best bit is the side entrance. Take the winding path through the gardens, past the Polo Lounge, and here is where smart drivers collect those who don't want to be spotted. Super chic, super glam, and if you want it - super low key. That's the Beverly Hills Hotel for you.


  • What to drink

    "All art is autobiographical," said the great director Federico Fellini. "The pearl is the oyster's autobiography." But what if your artistic medium is whisky-making? Can you write your autobiography in single-malt Scotch? Richard Paterson, master distiller for The Dalmore, reckons you can. He has spent the past few years assembling a remarkable collection of a dozen expressions, blended from some of the venerable Alness distillery's rarest malts. The result is The Dalmore Paterson Collection.

    The Dalmore is blessed in having unusually large quantities of old whiskies at its disposal, and Paterson has made the most of them - the oldest whisky in the collection dates from 1926 (the whisky equivalent of Ancient Egypt), the youngest from 1995. Paterson himself has been making whisky for nearly half a century. Each of the 12 new expressions is named after someone who has influenced or inspired him during his career. Those honoured include his father and grandfather, both also master distillers. "My great-great-grandfather was a founder of the Bank of England," he explained when he launched the collection at Harrods last week. "He liked the smell of money. My grandfather, father and I preferred the smell of whisky." With a price tag just shy of a million quid, the Paterson Collection smells pretty strongly of both.

    Each expression is bottled in a Glencairn lead-crystal decanter, decorated with hand-engraved silver by Hamilton & Inches, and housed in a bespoke cabinet of Scottish oak. It is also accompanied by 200 pages' worth of Paterson's notes and musings, painstakingly handwritten as he created each whisky. Which perhaps suggests that, even if he's right and whisky can serve as a kind of autobiography, a few words in plain English won't hurt either.

    By Steve King


  • Where to go

    As a teenager I longed for summer holidays in Cornwall. My school friends would return in September with freckly tans and tales of moonlit first kisses. Meanwhile, I was having racy summers in the fleshpot that is St Tropez, zipping around on a Vespa, a rope of French cousins in tow. But at the end of each summer, while the Cornwall brigade were making plans for future trysts, I was saying teary 'au revoir' to my French friends, knowing that it would be a whole, long year until we met again the following summer.

    With the current run of glorious golden sun, Cornwall has once again appeared in my orbit. And I'm rather taken by Trevose Harbour House; a six bedroom guest house that opened in March this year. The interior looks fresh and breezy in a beach-chic, white and blue palette kind-of-way, but with pieces of sophisticated mid-century furniture that up the ante. There's a pretty breakfast room, an honesty bar, home made cookies at turn-down and owners Angela and Olivier Noverraz will point you in the right direction for delicious restaurants for lunch or dinner. But if you're feeling romantic, they'll pack up a Cornish cheese or cream-tea hamper, filled with local goodies, for beach or country picnics.

    It's a little late in the day for first kisses… but maybe my time for Cornish adventures has finally arrived.

    Tel: +44 (0)1736 793 267

    Trevose Harbour House offered all Vanity Fair A-List members the chance to win one night for two people, a picnic hamper and tickets to the Tate St Ives and Barbara Hepworth Museum (total worth £302). Don't miss out on future offers, sign up to the A-List.