KT Tunstall on falling in love with Venice Beach: ‘It’s bohemian … and a bit barefoot’

Dolphins jumping and a band playing a song of hers in an Irish bar set the tone for life in this fun and fabulous beachside neighbourhood of Los Angeles

My first memories of life were Californian. I remember lemon trees, orange trees, sunshine at Christmas and the most ridiculous festive decorations. I lived in LA for a year when I was four – my dad was doing a sabbatical at UCLA – so it always remained quite a familiar place.

Staying on Sunset Strip, doing our show, getting wasted, and staying up until morning. That was my experience of LA as an adult, playing gigs there over the past 10 years. It wasn’t until I had some work at a studio at nearby Santa Monica and a record label put me up in a Venice Beach hotel that I fell in love with it. I walked out of the hotel and saw dolphins jumping out of the water. I was blown away and two years ago I moved here.

It’s incredibly quiet at night: no streetlights, no traffic, hummingbirds in the garden, palm trees everywhere

At Gjelina’s you get a little tin plate and sit outside on a milk crate in an alcove covered in flowers

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