pasadena is full of little gems. one of my favorites is the langham. it is a great hotel (especially for weddings and events), the perfect place for a stiff drink during happy hour after work and has an afternoon tea that is on another level.
one of the best things about being back in la is having (almost) weekly dates with gracelyn aka gremlyn aka g. scu brought us together but our families being in la brought us back and we are closer than ever. we have a few places we tend to gravitate towards for our dates – one of them being my living room sofa and another being the breakfast nook in her kitchen. g told me she did not want me to get her a gift for her birthday. this was pretty hard for me to agree to both because of how much i love birthdays and because of how above and beyond she went for my 30th. we started the celebrations a full month before my actual birthday. that being said, i just couldn’t stand the thought of not doing something to celebrate her.
we were sitting at a coffee bean (me with coffee and her with tea) and it dawned on me – i could take her out to an afternoon tea at the langham. i don’t know anyone who loves tea as much as she does, it is the perfect place to spend quality time with someone you love and just has this amazing ambiance. i asked if she had ever been and when she said no, i was thrilled. i reserved a table for the two of us about six weeks out. a credit card is required to hold the reservation but there is no deposit needed. if you like to rack up points on open table like i do, book there!
this past saturday couldn’t come soon enough. we were greeted by a friendly valet staff and were told that instead of $16, our reservation cut the price down to $8. by the time we left, we had been there for four hours so definitely a great bang for your buck while also having your mind at ease knowing your car is in good hands.
when we walked into the lobby of the hotel, it was just overflowing with orchids. and as we walked through the garden to the tea room, it was like entering another world. the attention to detail; the harpist playing softly in the background; the perfectly placed tea sets. it was picturesque.
we had the afternoon tea with wedgewood which included a pot of tea for each of us, finger sandwiches (with everything from jerk shrimp to asian pear), warm scones and an array of french pastries and specialty sweets. everything was stellar from start to finish. and because it was impossible to finish all of it, they boxed it up for us to take home.
without a doubt, g and i will be back again. it is the perfect way to spend an afternoon with your favorite girl(s). what made it even more special was being able to celebrate an extraordinary woman who consistently goes out of her way to make me feel loved and appreciated. what makes me love g even more is her ability to hold space for me even during times that might be tough for her as well. my relationship with her is one of the most reciprocal ones i have and those are hard to come by. i don’t take it for granted.
happy birthday, g. thank you for allowing me to celebrate you for once. and more importantly, thank you for choosing to have me in your orbit. it really is a blessing. i love you endlessly. cheers to 30.