Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Tea at Huntington

I had a wonderful day today. Tea at the Huntington Gardens and Museum with Shari, Robin and Laurie - three November birthday partners. The tea was great. First they served a basket of scones and you could eat as many as you wanted. One was citrusy with currants; another was fragrant with rosemary and had hazelnuts kneaded into the dough. They were light and fluffy and served with clotted cream and butter. You could help yourself at the buffet which featured cucumber and mint sandwiches; smoked salmon and cream cheese; spicy egg salad. There were several salads including broccoli with nuts and sprout salad. A big bowl of caviar along with hummus and a few other dips were at the ready for spreading on a variety of crackers. Several kinds of cheese were cubed up and on display - unfortunately, they didn't have name plates. For dessert, there was mousse in dark chocolate cups, several delicious small cakes, maple leaf cookies and Mexican wedding cookies. There was actually much more, but I reached my capacity and couldn't squeeze in anything else.

After tea, we walked through part of the rose garden, inhaling the incredible fragrance and enjoying the hundreds of roses on display. As if that wasn't enough sensory stimulation, the grand finale was a walk through the new Chinese garden - a subtle and beautiful, calming space with weeping willows, fountains, birds, koi fish, very unique rocks and pathways. A stunning space.

We couldn't do the venue justice and visit with each other at the same time, so we decided another trip was necessary just for garden gawking.

I drove home IN THE DARK on busy freeways and did just fine. The vestibular therapy is working!

Rose Garden Tea Room Menu

A pot of brewed tea and a basket of freshly baked scones are served at each table. From a central buffet, guests may choose from an array of savory finger sandwiches, imported and domestic cheeses, fresh fruits, chilled seasonal salads, and specialty petite desserts. Return to the buffet as often as you like; limitless refills of tea and scones are served upon request.

White albacore salad on white bread
Spring watermelon radish and sun-dried tomato cream cheese on egg bread garnished with chives
Prosciutto and fig puree with roasted shallot cream cheese on marble rye and white bread
Spicy egg salad with cayenne pepper on egg bread
Cucumber and mint with cream cheese spread on egg bread
Chopped watercress and cream cheese spread on white bread
Curried chicken salad with walnuts on whole wheat bread

Bacon and feta cheese on baby greens with marinated onions and feta vinaigrette
Asian broccoli and turkey salad
Rice noodle salad

Toppings and Spreads
Olive provençal tapenade

Imported and domestic cheeses

Desserts and Pastries
Freshly baked scones
Fruit tartlets
Coeur de crème
Assorted petite pastries

Fresh fruit
Hot brewed tea or coffee

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