When we drove over to The Langham, Pasadena from central Los Angeles, the pace of life here feels a little more relaxed and it truly does look like paradise on the vast grounds of this historic hotel. My friend and I came to this ornate, stately hotel for the Wedgewood afternoon tea. The moment we stepped in to its spacious marble lobby redesigned in 1911 by architect Myron Hunt. It has a stunning crystal chandelier with double French doors looking out to its center courtyard, one cannot be helped but be in awe.
The lobby lounge, where afternoon tea is served, is on the other side of the entrance lobby so we can either walk through the lush courtyard or walk through the plush corridors. Either way we were entranced by the beauty of it all. The lobby lounge is a lovely room. The front half had what looked like a bridal shower kind of party with several young children and a few yards away had cozy seating with a plush sofa and a pair of high back leather armchairs. The center of the room has a large round table with glass containers of various shapes, heights and sizes filled with the different tea leaves that the menu offers so we could smell each one to get a sense of what it would taste. The best seats are toward the back where there are large bay windows looking out to the Horseshoe Garden, where there was a wedding reception is occurring that same afternoon and a harpist playing a few songs.
We ordered the Champagne afternoon tea since the intention is to relax in this lovely room and hotel and catch up. Our teas (black Assam and Earl grey – served in traditional floral pattern teaware by Wedgewood) were of very good quality and served in the right temperature. Shortly our flutes of Champagne arrived with our tier of food. The scones were baked well – warm, just moist, slightly flaky crumb that is excellent with the luxuriously rich Devonshire cream and house made lemon curd.
Six different tea sandwiches were served that afternoon and each were freshly made and tasty. Our favorites were the shrimp with red cabbage slaw and creme fraîche and the egg salad with crisp prosciutto as they were both flavorful and different textures from soft, crunchy and a touch of creamy and chew. The mini cakes and tarts served were delicious too. Our favorite were the rich and fudgy chocolate cake and the mango mousse cake. The fruit tart is made very well – very crisp yet thin tart crust with a good ratio of fresh fruit. Blueberry financier was moist, dense crumb, and buttery as it should be, raspberry Linzer cookie was delightful and the macaron was good.
About thirty minutes after, we were given a plate of adorable heart-shaped sugar cookies in fondant printed with the hotel’s image and name.
Both of us were pleasantly surprised that a birthday dessert plate landed on our table. I have informed the staff of my friend’s birthday when I made the reservation but I thought it’s overlooked since there wasn’t any mention of a birthday greeting when we first arrived. Anyway, the cakes and lemon tart were very tasty and thanked our waitress for surprising us.
As part of the Champagne afternoon tea, the coupe of strawberries and fresh whipped cream with a choice of Grand Marnier or Chambord liqueur to top off. My friend had the Grand Marnier and I had the Chambord and we split to taste each liqueur. Personally, I thought the Chambord works better in this dessert as it enhances the sweet ripe strawberries better even though the Grand Marnier was very good.
After tea, we strolled around the grounds of this hotel since it is very photogenic and the warm, summer like afternoon felt right to see the historical hotel like the Japanese garden and its Olympic sized outdoor pool. The Langham Pasadena is totally worth making the drive out from central LA even for a few hours for afternoon tea.
To view more photos of this visit, please view the gallery below or CLICK HERE for the photo set:[alpine-phototile-for-flickr src=”set” uid=”26389565@N00″ sid=”72157697014910790″ imgl=”flickr” shuffle=”1″ style=”gallery” row=”4″ grwidth=”1200″ grheight=”800″ size=”640″ num=”30″ shadow=”1″ border=”1″ align=”center” max=”100″]