Helen Johannesen, Manager of Operations/Wine Director, Son of a Gun

Helen Johannesen, Manager of Operations/Wine Director, Son of a Gun

the 10


things that help me unwind

If you've ever been lucky enough to chow down on a mini lobster roll at always-packed Son of a Gun in Los Angeles, (a restaurant revelation of the East-Coast-meets-West-Coast seafood variety), it won't be hard to imagine that after a day of running the show, director of operations and wine director, HELEN JOHANNESEN might need to decompress. For her, it's all about simple—yet fabulous—pleasures.

Herewith, the 12 things that help Helen Johannesen relax after a long day on her feet.

  • 1

    Olatz Silk Pajamas

    There is no better way to slip into something more comfortable after a long day then silk pajamas in vibrant colors. It's the best!

  • 2

    Crate & Barrel Theater Popcorn Popper

    The best late night snack! This pan is a dream and pops a beautiful kernel. We have an old family popcorn snack
    recipe that I make to this day and it never fails to enhance a cozy scene.

  • 3

    Tivoli Model One Radio

    Before the PJs and the movie, I often like to start my evening with a bath and jazz. A few Diptyque candles are lit and I plug my iPad or iPhone into our Tivoli Model One and I let albums like "Side by Side" by Duke Ellington and Johnny Hodges take me away. Usually The New Yorker and a cocktail or glass of wine will end up in the tub with me.

  • 4

    Essence of Vali's Sleep: A Bedtime Ritual

    I heard about these magical drops from my ladies over at
    No More Dirty Looks. Just before bed I lightly shake a few drops onto my pillow and as I lay there nestled in my cozy sheets, the aromas mix and wash over me.

  • 5

    Rosenthal Wine Merchant

    I love wine. I love to read, talk and think about wine. While I could list hundreds of amazing producers and cuvees and vintages that have crossed my palate, I will instead recommend my favorite importer, Neal Rosenthal. His wines are pure, precise, and inspiring. I also have a penchant for champagne; one of the most inspiring producers to me is Pierre Peters imported by Thierry Theisse. The 2000 Les Chetillons will change your life!!

  • 6

    The New Yorker

    Growing up in New York, my parents subscribed to The New Yorker. It's part nostalgia and partly I feel like I am in New York as I turn the pages, but mostly it's damn good writing.

  • 7

    Glass Straws

    These glass straws are a vacation. I use them with smoothies, water, and cocktails—they enhance any (straw-appropriate) drinking experience. Perfect for use while chaise-lounging, window gazing, and dog petting.

  • 8

    Tovolo 'Perfect Cube' Ice Cube Tray

    Making perfect cubes of ice in my home is a game changer and really stepped up my drink zone. It's decadent and grand and yet, it's still just ice. In the winter I add a perfect cube to a thimble full of peate scotch; in the summer they bob merrily in Manhattans, Dark and Stormies, or Pimm's cups.

  • 9

    Filson Log Carrier

    It's the worst feeling in the world to want to make a fire but lack wood. I have learned from my fiancé that having a cord of wood on hand is not only useful, but immediately soothing whether we are making a fire or not. And if we do make a fire, it can keep burning thanks to the bounty just outside our door.

  • 10

    Thai Food

    I have a secret love and it's Thai food. My fiancé is well aware. Somedays my tastebuds just scream out for a crispy morning glory salad from Jitlada or drunken noodles from Ruen Pair. It puts me in the best mood.

  • 11

    Frette Sheets

    When it's time to go to bed, I tumble into my Frette sheets, instantly eased by their sublime comfort. Clean, crisp sheets are purifying and delicious.

  • 12

    Something's Gotta Give

    There is nothing like a classic Diane Keaton movie to help a girl check out from reality. When things are tough or I am not well, this movie always turns it around. It's amazing.

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