Creating a memorable holiday feast—with some help from Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles

Creating a memorable holiday feast—with some help from Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles

By on December 15th, 2012


Family feasting. It’s a big part of what makes the holidays memorable. You can create a lavish affair at home (see feasting tips, below, from Ashley James, Executive Chef at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills), or you can opt for a special celebration out.

This past Thanksgiving, my husband and I decided on a staycation with our toddler. It wasn’t that we didn’t want to travel. Truth be told, we had heard so many incredible things about the legendary Thanksgiving brunch at Four Seasons, that we just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try it in person.

Although our 18-month-old son Little M has already experienced his fair share of travel and hotels, anyone who has traveled with kids knows that while it’s fun and rewarding, it can also be overwhelming and unpredictable. Add to that, the fact that we were attempting to take him to an upscale and decidedly elaborate holiday meal and we started to get a little nervous about our decision.

Four Seasons Family

Thank goodness for the wonderful staff at Four Seasons L.A. From the moment we arrived, our son was treated like a special little guest in his own right and made to feel so welcome. Little M waved at the doorman, who greeted us warmly, and ran straight past the smiling concierge and staff. He had spotted the beautiful garden area directly off of the lobby.

Our room was a comfortable and sumptuous home-away-from-home.

It felt as though the kind and efficient staff had anticipated our every need—from a diaper pail in the bathroom to a soft toy for Little M, and even a special plexiglass shield on the balcony to make it childproof, so we could all enjoy the breathtaking views of Los Angeles.

Culina

The holiday brunch at Culina, Modern Italian was everything we had expected and more! Chef Ashley and his team truly outdid themselves.

There were elements of the traditional—turkey and all the fixings—as well as some not so traditional items: a mozzarella bar, dim sum, potstickers, sushi, oysters and fresh crab claws.

Our fears were unfounded: Little M felt right at home, thanks to the warm service and elaborate children’s buffet. He couldn’t take his eyes off of the seasonal display and the adorable teddy bears.

Of course, we saved room for dessert. The hard part was choosing just one!

And this delicious, personalized treat was waiting for us when we arrived in our room. Perfect for a late-night snack.

Whenever we travel, one of our biggest challenges is making sure we find healthy, kid-friendly meal options for Little M. This is usually an issue when ordering from room service menus, since most meals are geared towards adults. Not so at Four Seasons L.A. There is an entire section for kids called Kidding Around; Rohan loved his oatmeal and fresh berries.

And how gorgeous is this room service menu? It looks like a fashion magazine!

We spent the morning at the lovely hotel pool. Yes, we were outside enjoying the pool in November. You’ve got to love Los Angeles! Then, while my husband stayed in the room when Little M napped, I stopped by the concierge to learn about the special shopping deals the hotel has arranged with nearby boutiques on Robertson Boulevard. And we couldn’t resist an afternoon visit to The Grove, an open-air shopping mall complete with great restaurants, a trolley, fountains and “snow” for the holidays.

I had the pleasure of chatting with Chef Ashley after our stay and he was kind enough to share some of his tips for creating a memorable and special family feast at home:

*It is essential, he says, to plan ahead or get a family member involved in the planning for the festive meal. Brainstorming with another person is a great way to come up with more ideas.

*Shop like Chef Ashley: visit your local farmers’ market and specialty stores to check which ingredients are available and see what the seasonal items are.

*If you can fit it into your budget, he recommends doing practice runs on any new dishes you want to try, as it gives you plenty of time to tweak the recipes and add any seasonal touches, such as cranberries, chestnuts, dates, cinnamon or pumpkin, before the actual holiday.

*He also suggests that you make sure to prepare the ideal foods for your audience, keeping in mind food allergies and preferences, so that you can wow and impress them.

*Theme your table or room decorations around some of the ingredients you used for your dishes: elegantly displayed glass bowls of fresh clementines, cranberries (pictured above from the Chef Ashley’s kitchen) and walnuts.

*And finally, plan interesting beverages to accompany your dishes: a welcome cocktail for adults and gourmet hot chocolate for children with cinnamon whipped cream.

If you follow Chef Ashley’s tips, and add personal touches such as the warmth and gracious attention we experienced during our stay, I am sure your guests will be impressed and amazed by your cooking and hosting talents this holiday season. The only problem is they may feel the way we did at the end of our stay at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles: they may never want to leave!

Read more about Los Angeles in Four Seasons Magazine. 

Four Seasons Family

Read our “Concierge Recommendations” for Los Angeles in Four Seasons Magazine. 

Post Author
Puja Chugani

Puja Chugani is a freelance writer whose work has been featured in publications such as Town & Country, Fodor’s Travel Guides and Modern Luxury. Her new blog, Crayons and Croissants, focuses on the best in family-friendly travel, lifestyle and products. After spending time in St. Maarten, Washington D.C., Spain, New York, London and India, Puja now lives in Southern California with her husband and young son.

View all posts from Puja
Read more about amman, Atlanta, austin, baku, Bali, Bali at Sayan, baltimore, bangkok, beaches, beijing, beirut, Beverly Hills, beverly wilshire, bora bora, Boston, Brooke Vosika, Budapest, buenos aires, cairo, canary wharf, carmelo, chaing mai, Chiang Mai, chicago, chicago ritz carlton, china, city breaks, costa rica, dallas, denver, destination tips, Disney World, doha, dublin, egypt, family travel, firenze, Florence, food, Four Seasons, Four Seasons Lisbon, Four Seasons Maldives Landaa Giraavara, four seasons westlake village, geneva, golden triangle, halloween, hampshire, hangzhou, hawaii, hong kong, houston, hualalai, istanbul, jackson hole, jakarta, japan, Jimbaran Bay, Kids For All Seasons, Koh Samui, Lāna’i, langkawi, las vegas, london, los angeles, Macau, maldives, Marrakech, Marunouchi, maui, mauritius, mauritus, Mexico, miami, milan, mumbai, nevis, new york, new york city, olrando, olympics, orlando, palm beach, palo alto, paris, park lane, philadelphia, philanthropy, photography, prague, punta mita, ramadan, recipes, resort escapes, restaurants, road trips, rosh hashanah, san diego, san francisco, santa barbara, santa fe, scottsdale, Seattle, serengeti, shanghai, sharm el sheikh, shenzhen, singapore, South America, special days, st. louis, st. petersburg, sydney, teen tweens, thailand, tokyo, toronto, travel tips, Vail, vancouver, washington, Whistler


3 Response(s) to "Creating a memorable holiday feast—with some help from Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles"
Sandy Hotchandani says:
December 17, 2012 at 9:09 am

wow,I did not know that Four Season offered all these amenities for children,will definitely try it next trip to L.A


reply
Ralph Hoffendant says:
December 15, 2012 at 12:39 pm

This article is absolutely a life saver! It’s truly difficult traveling with a toddler and it is good to know there is a place like the Four Season that truly accommodate’s a family. I like that Puja pointed that they offered a heathy option for her son unlike most places that only have fried nuggets or a hot dog on their kids menu.


reply
Ricky says:
December 15, 2012 at 8:44 am

Well Done


reply
Leave a Comment
Kids' Concierge
image
Expert travel advice.
image
From Moms.

Lounging at a Four Seasons with the kids now or just back from your vacation? Share your memories with us.

SUBMIT YOUR IMAGES



Follow us on Twitter
  1. Four Seasons Hotels
    Four Seasons Hotels: What bliss! Take a peek into @FSFlorence's Garden of Wellness today and stay tuned to #FSItalySpa for @FSMilan's... http://t.co/PORpJkx5Cs

  2. Four Seasons Hotels
    Four Seasons Hotels: Summit one of #Colorado's tallest peaks during an overnight adventure: http://t.co/lKV4UapV0N #ExperienceFS @FSVail http://t.co/8z9ijoYgPk

  3. Four Seasons Hotels

Check Availability
Make a Reservation

Number of Nights: 1

Adults

Children (0-18yrs)