24 Dec Please The Palate Pick of the Week: Holiday Shopping with Barclay Butera and Festive Cheer at Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica
Holidays are here which means lots of shopping for holiday gifts. But, living in Southern California, sometimes it is hard to feel the holiday spirit when the sun is shining and there is no snow on the ground. Of course, the temperatures have dropped a bit and the coats have come out of the closet. And, at Shutters Hotel in Santa Monica, it has been beautifully decorated by interior designer Barclay Butera, who also has a pop-up shop inside the hotel, to transport you to a winter wonderland. That is why holiday shopping with Barclay Butera and festive cheer at Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica is the Please The Palate pick of the week.
Upon arrival to Shutters on the Beach, the open courtyard has a holiday glow with the coral tree in the center wrapped in sparkling lights. It is a perfect blend of the beach chic vibe of Shutters on the Beach and the holidays. In addition to the lights, hand-painted nutcrackers stand in salute on either side of the Shutters sign. And while there is no snow on the ground, there is the beautiful blue “Shutters Sleigh” that looks like a cozy place to snuggle in for the night.
The courtyard has been decorated by renowned interior designer Barclay Butera. Based in Newport Beach, Barclay Butera’s look is approachable, elegant, and chic. His aesthetic is well-suited to Shutters on the Beach to create a Southern California winter wonderland. And the tree he decorated that sits inside the lobby of the hotel is a nine-foot noble fir that is sparkling with hand-blown sea-inspired glass ornaments and thousands of lights.
For the month of December, Barclay Butera set up a pop-up Barclay Butera Boutique in a hotel suite just past the lobby. The entire room has been filled with furnishings, home décor items, and more that make shopping for gifts for friends, or yourself, very tempting. There are hand poured candles, diffusers, one-of-a-kind shell and coral pieces, handblown glass in distinct shapes, blue and white ginger jars, signature picture frames, pillows and throws, bar accessories, bathroom accessories, original art, baskets, totes, and more. And the furnishings come from Barclay Butera’s collection for Lexington Home Brands. The boutique is open through the end of December and is open daily from 10:00am – 8:00pm.
When finished with shopping, lounge by the fireplace in the lobby and enjoy a glass of wine while admiring the magnificent Christmas tree. Or, head into Shutters’ signature restaurant, 1 Pico, as I did. Executive Chef Sean Michael Runyon, who took over in October 2021, features seasonally inspired and innovative dishes that celebrate California’s farmers, ranchers and fishermen.
I enjoyed many dishes, including Blue Crab with corn espuma, crouton, and herb blossom. The espuma was more of a cream than a foam but the fresh corn flavor popped.
The creamy vegan mushroom soup was made with a mushroom medley, basil, and cashew. It was so delicious and creamy that I was surprised it was vegan. And, an even more unexpected surprise was to pair it with a Fino Sherry. It was surprisingly well-paired.
Linguini con vongole was perfectly al dente pasta in a white wine and butter sauce with parsley.
The sustainably farmed Amberjack (shima-aji) was beautifully grilled and simply served with lemon.
And for dessert, Mulled Winter Fruit (blackberries, apples, pear, dried figs, and prunes) served with green apple sorbet.
The festive cheer at Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica, enhanced with holiday shopping with Barclay Butera, definitely put me in the holiday spirit! Happy holidays to everyone!