Flying Solo


Venturing ‘out on the town’ alone is something that might seem daunting at first. But according to Isabelle Webster, the more you practise, the more that it becomes a thoroughly enjoyable exercise in a particularly delicious kind of independence. The curatorial mind behind Paramount House Hotel’s rotating selection of interesting wines made by excellent people gives us the low down on how to see more, experience more and drink outside your comfort zone.

“I should say this : I’m a chronic under planner. So far, it’s worked well for me – I gather advice and intel, sure, but it’s more a series of random recommendations saved in the notes app on my phone, less of a structured list of Things To Do.

On a recent solo trip to LA I knew that there were two things I wanted: to get a tattoo from a guy called Sean, and to have a martini at a place called Jones. Anything else would be an extra accomplishment.

I drove to LA from the desert in my friend’s truck (truly an experience in and of itself) and once I had unpacked (read as : threw my clothes everywhere) I had a tequila on the roof while I waited for my Lyft (the cheapest option – a 34 minute wait, Rhiannon, a red Ford Fiesta). Rhi and I bonded over our shared love of astrology (she’s a Pisces) and balancing creative work with making money (hard). She dropped me off and invited me to meet up with her and her boyfriend later at Employee’s Only and we swapped Instagram follows. 


Jones, LA

Jones felt a little intimidating, very “cool” – but there would be no backing out now, baby. I pretended to be a very confident person, waltzed in and asked to sit at the bar.

Being sat at the bar opens you up to a chat with the bartenders, if they/you are so inclined. Personally, it also stops me staring slack-jawed at my phone because it feels rude. The bar also usually has the best view of all the goings-on. I did befriend the staff and left Jones rather full of martini, with a measly bill of $16. I left a really big tip.


Sean at Bigfoot Lodge

Feeling courageous I made my way to Bigfoot Lodge (in East Hollywood) where I knew Sean was tattooing in the bar. Bikes !! Booze !! Babes !! the poster had promised. 

I rolled in, got a Modelo and wiggled my way through to the back where Sean was set up, his face painted like a skull and a noose around his neck, the buzz of the tattoo gun audible over the Mexican hardcore. Somehow, I convinced the guy running the list that because I was “visiting from Australia” I should be bumped to the top of the list. I am very convincing. I was tattoo number 18 – ”lucky number 18” according to Sean. To round out the night, I pashed a biker called Ziggy (rude not to) and then got another Lyft back to the hotel. 


Dormilona orange wine at PHH

Not all of my solo adventures are like this. Sometimes I just have a glass of wine by myself at a quiet bar with a book. I guess that’s part of the joy of being alone, there are no rules and anything could happen. 

It’s all up to you.”


Come try some of Issy’s fresh, fun and even fancy wines in-room at Paramount House Hotel.