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Travel with Lisa Hall to the LA locations of Honey Black

  • Submitted: 6th September 2023

The LA locations of Honey Black

Lisa Hall showcases her Honey Black version of Los Angeles:

Lisa Hall

Lisa Hall

BookTrail locations in Honey Black

The Paul Williams suite, located in the Beverly Hills Hotel, intrigued me from the moment I first heard about it. It was lockdown and trapped in our home like millions of others, I was watching a TV show with my husband on the world’s greatest hotels.

BookTrail locations in Honey Black

The presenter mentioned that the suite had been kept the same as it was when it was first designed by prominent African American architect Paul Williams in 1948, and I knew there was a story to be told. By the time I woke up the following morning, I had the bare bones of Honey and Lily’s story taking shape.

BookTrail locations in Honey Black

 I travelled to Hollywood in January 2022, just as the final Covid restrictions were lifted, to visit the place where I had set the novel. I wrote the first draft based on photos and floorplans from the internet, so my first stop had to be the hotel itself.

BookTrail locations in Honey Black

On arrival, the Beverly Hills was everything I expected it to be – plush and luxurious, with the kind of hushed atmosphere that only money can buy. I had hoped to be able to look around the Paul Williams suite, but someone booked in the day we arrived and we weren’t allowed in. I would have booked it myself but five thousand dollars for the night was a little out of my price range!

Lunch at the Polo Lounge was incredible – I ordered the McCarthy Salad, just like Honey – and although the bar was smaller than I imagined, the cocktails were even better. The fact that I was allegedly sitting in the seat Al Pacino sat in the week before didn’t hurt either.

BookTrail locations in Honey Black

After lunch we slipped under the rope sectioning off the Crystal Ballroom from the rest of the lobby. After being denied access to the Paul Williams Suite, I couldn’t leave without seeing another important location in the novel.

The ballroom is huge, accessed by a curving staircase lit by chandeliers, with a bar and a piano and enough space to throw the wildest of parties. It was the perfect place to have set Honey’s birthday party, and so surreal to visit somewhere that I felt I knew like the back of my hand after researching and writing about it for so long, especially as some parts of the hotel didn’t match the image I had in my head.

BookTrail locations in Honey Black

BookTrail locations in Honey Black

Although the Beverly Hills Hotel is the central location for the novel, there are other places that pop up, and on my trip I made sure to visit them too. Lily sources party food from Musso and Frank, the oldest restaurant in Hollywood, so we stopped by for dinner. Intimate, welcoming, with classic décor and some fantastic food (they claim to serve the original Fettucine Alfredo, as served to Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford – I don’t know if that’s true but it was delicious) this place was one of the highlights of our trip.

BookTrail locations in Honey Black

Grauman’s Chinese Theatre holds the hand and footprints of Hollywood stars from Joan Crawford to Jennifer Lawrence and is a must see if you visit – it feels like witnessing a little piece of history when you see the immortalised prints of stars who have long since left us.

BookTrail locations in Honey Black

Hollywood is seen as glittery and glamorous, but something I noted was that it actually isn’t all that glamorous.

In the evenings the homeless problem becomes more apparent along Hollywood Boulevard. For example, tourists have to side-step sleeping people in doorways.  In addition, the pavement surrounding the Hollywood Stars on the Walk of Fame are dotted with chewing gum and like any other city in the world litter piles up.

That being said there is an undeniable air of something special in that town, little pockets of glitter like the Beverly Hills Hotel, Musso and Frank, and Grauman’s Chinese Theatre dusting everything in Old Hollywood glamour.

 

BookTrail Boarding Pass: The Mysterious Double Death of Honey Black

Twitter: @LisaHallAuthor  Instagram: @lisahallauthor

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