The Five at Five: Alison & Jay Carroll
4 Aug 2021
From hidden-gems to places to people-watch, from bookshops to beauty spots – The Five at Five offers some post-lockdown inspiration that celebrates the independents.
This week’s selection has been curated by the husband and wife duo, Alison and Jay Carroll, who founded and run Wonder Valley, the olive oil lifestyle brand based out of the Californian desert.
Alison and Jay create an extraordinary extra virgin California olive oil, that not only tastes glorious when added to food, but is also the key ingredient in their brand’s unisex skincare.
Jay is an artist and creative director, while Alison’s background saw her work for the California Olive Oil Council, so, naturally, they launched Wonder Valley. “We believe in the holistic power of olive oil,” they explain. “[It’s] a universal life-enriching ingredient and the true Fountain of Youth; a cornerstone of a healthful diet and the key to radiant skin.”
“Set on a coastal farm, Tinder Hearth makes the most incredible wood-fire pizzas in their colossal handmade oven. The move is to enjoy your pizza on the farm, sitting on a picnic table surrounded by wildflowers and other very happy customers and enjoy a bottle of wine or two. It’s a blissful scene during the brief but beautiful Maine summertime.”
“Come for the gems and minerals, stay for the people-watching and the incredible style. More than a show, the Tucson Gem event takes over the whole city of Tucson and is a magnet for hippies, healers, shamans, collectors and everyone in between chasing those crystal vibrations. Better and bigger than a Grateful Dead parking lot.”
“Tsutaya Books, Tokyo is more like a book compound, it takes up the equivalent of a city block. It’s got sections for art books, a whole wing of magazines from around the world, and upstairs a lounge with couches, a bar and a grand piano where you can hang and read for as long as you like.”
“We’ve spent a lot of time in Santa Fe over the years, renovating and tending to our hotel, El Rey Court, an old adobe motor court. The biggest job perks are the proximity to Ten Thousand Waves and Ojo Caliente.
"Ten Thousand Waves is a Japanese onsen style compound perched on the juniper-studded hills on the edge of town made up of soaking tubs, saunas, and a great restaurant with the best sake assortment around.
"About an hour away is Ojo Caliente, a very special source of natural healing waters that feeds from the ground into the handmade stone tubs. We’re all about a good soak and hot water in the high desert.”
“Kyoto is the perfect balance of old world and new Japan. You might find a very forward-thinking fashion retail shop next to a centuries-old broom maker. That mix is really inspiring.”