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From Land Rover To Sanctuary Belize Adventures

LUXURIOUS



 

NOSTALGIC

 

SECURE

 

ADVENTUROUS

Modern

 

Let me begin this post by backtracking a bit, best viagra capsule as it has been months (yet again) since my last blog. It will also help illustrate a paralleled point of view from my other ventures and trips.

It was last August in 2012, buy viagra when my husband and I were invited by Land Rover to a neatly packaged experience that added to our memory bank of education and adventure. The well organized event projected a wise approach, typically adopted by successful companies who sell items to commemorate meaningful experiences in people’s lives. Take for instance, Aaron Basha, a jewelry company out of New York with their baby shoe pendants. Each pendant gifted to a new mother represents that tangible life experience around her newborn. The psychology, even when reversed works the same way when companies sell an experience to associate a product with. Provided the event is successful, which takes planning, dedication and discipline, its effectiveness goes beyond marketing goals, because as human beings, we ultimately operate from the heart. Without an identifiable or associated memoir, most objects simply remain as they are— THINGS.

We have owned Land Rovers before, but that simple fact turned into something associated with pride, after attending the event dubbed “an Off Road Experience”.  The article on Autoweek covered other car companies for their positive brand experiences, besides Land Rover who featured photos of Richard (my husband) driving the white LR4. Read the article by clicking on the photo; but read this first. :)

*”Ties That Bind” Article On Autoweek

Many models of Land Rovers were personally experienced by aficionados, carefully led by passionately trained instructors. Suspensefully driven around the majestic terrains of Moab, UT, it was a hands on, sometimes challenging but memorable experience, where later, its participants engaged with each other at wonderfully set up picnics and dinners. After feeling like little engines that could, we departed in the end with what Land Rover hoped to have left in us–a lasting and happy impression of their vehicles and brand.  Land Rover, in my opinion, was brilliant in subliminally selling itself, as I began to tag the photos I took with words that stayed with me: luxurious, reliable, nostalgic, secure, adventurous, and amazing! Really, who doesn’t want all that?

Fast forward to January of 2013, when we went to Belize for the first time. Similarly, but by an impressive resort development called Sanctuary Belize offering properties that can be bought based on a compelling promise, the experience was like music–a prelude to a leisurely and idyllic life that one could have. The few days spent there were enough to make me want to come back a second or third time, if only for the people we met who shared the same desires. I was indeed, very intrigued and maybe even emotionally hooked.

There sat what is and will be a community, offering amenities along with dreams come true for many who are either seeking refuge from government interferences, and or simply wanting freedom and release from the stresses of a crowded or busy life.  Although mine isn’t a crowded setting where we are in Rancho Santa Fe, California, the development was upon me like a Jurassic Park, short of the dinosaurs, lush in vegetation and with organic quality, ecologically aware, hash-tagged #responsible, protective and proud of its innocence.

*The Kanantik Hotel huts in Belize

And while it would necessitate time to prove its success because it is altogether still without the infrastructure in place, I was already captivated by the natural bits of heaven it offered– those that simply cannot be staged and were at the core of its spirit surrounded by Caribbean blue waters.

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*At the Sanctuary Caye Private Island

First off, it was as if its pure air alone was holy enough to cleanse and transform even the toughest cynic. Perhaps I associated it with good times experienced in the southern Philippines while at a relative’s estate. It had the same thatched huts, coconut trees and swinging palm trees! Threaded with other memories of days floating on a bamboo raft at the middle of the clearest waters over white sand, it had a hypnotic effect. The PH balance on my skin also became a testament to it being a happy place. And that’s not to say I didn’t also appreciate the wonderful efforts made by Sanctuary Belize.  From the boat rides to enjoying a terrific massage at sea, in an open and perfectly framed picture of its private island for residents, we simply had a great time! The experience would not have been made comfortable, without their doting services of even getting me the pair of flip-flops I forgot to pack! We also made new friends and I’m already looking forward to reconnecting with a number of them.

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Through it all, the only fear one could sensibly entertain, is if the promise was unmet after the number of years it may yet take to fully complete the project.  I mean, who knows how fast it could all happen, given the economic times? However, even as I was made happy enough by a couple of large sea shells that sat as décor around large bowls of Cevice and flowing rum punches, the referred King and Queen of shells were freely gifted, in spite of the fact I offered to buy them.

Belize just seemed pure, unscathed by wants beyond need, protected by contentment. I even noticed a progressive calm in people after days of just being “there”, where no sooner, a few wanted a piece of it for their “here and now.” New friends shared of their plans to enjoy it with horses on the equestrian side of the property, while another, quickly snatched parcels around the man made canals or lagoons.

While it holds true to many of us that it takes work to finally relax, that’s just a given oddity in life, isn’t it? That’s because we still want our modern amenities, and we will continue to protect our investments by scrutinizing a place before we will want to call it “home”. But we also get excited about new prospects!

You see, I believe that in each of us is a child, subconsciously associating and perhaps even projecting many past feelings with present experiences. I mean, why is being cradled by a hammock so inviting? Could it be so reminiscent of being held by a parent, rocking us gently where there is no mistaking that life was similarly, a beach without worries, during those precious early years?

DSC_2863a_25_75.jpgdsc_2882b_25

Let’s go beyond the aesthetics. New to Belizeans inhabiting the land, I only noticed smiles and an eagerness to please without expectation of anything. There simply were no signs of looking for heavy tips and compensation, commonly experienced in capitalistic nations. Even as Richard and I wandered off on our own with a local, just to make sure we saw it from the inside out, it was still Gilligan’s island with what seemed to be a steady stream of sincerity. And the lagoons beyond the vicinity onwards Placencia, they were as serene as the sunsets.

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There, life flows, flowers and vegetable gardens grow, and fish is so easily caught even from its shores.

Bananas frequently accompany the staple of rice mixed with beans. And the served chicken and pork were as funky as music, rhythmically suggesting a dance with all sorts of spices. I have no doubt you can have it your way as well; just don’t expect the Kobe beef. Still– by some means, I’m sure one can arrange to bring them in. But whether you’re kayaking, horse riding, swimming, fishing, taking photographs or simply reading with your feet up– while there, it’s hard not to simply BE in a place like Belize.

Marketing plays an important role in any trade, and we certainly want to be a part of reliable organizations.  No doubt, Sanctuary Belize orchestrated a wonderful experience for us, which is an example of plain, good management.  But beyond all efforts, it was rather comforting to know there is still such a place on earth, one can call–a sanctuary.  The developers did the right thing calling it just that!  Sanctuary Belize.

 

*In solitude, light comes from love, regardless of time and nature

Related Post Sanctuary Belize Photo Album

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September Cravings – A Political Stack




My red, buy viagra order white and blue

The days appeared bleak and weary as I sat in a hotel room in Singapore, discount viagra rx when the news flashed about the ill fated plight of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya. It would only be several more weeks prior the upcoming elections for the USA, and campaigns were just beginning to brew its stout. Furthermore, the attack, which was initially stated as a religiously based reaction over a posted video denigrating the prophet Muhammad, happened on yet another September the 11th.  Hearing this precluded the thought this was a “spontaneous” act .  I figured there had to be more behind the staged religious fury. This was after all, a significant attack merely over a piece of film, albeit anti-Islamic but from the sole discretion of one or a few individuals, posting on youtube. And I wondered to myself just how long it would take for the United States to respond and or draw to the conclusion that this was Al Qaeda initiated.  However,  somehow, deep down, I knew NOTHING would be done about it at this point in time, which would sadly leave Americans starved of the truth to make it even clearer– their America has truly CHANGED.

When greed takes hold of one too many within a nation, it does not matter how powerful a nation is or once was. It suffers.  Furthermore, the results are worsened when propagated by too much power lying in the hands of elected officials whose personal agenda take precedence over rational thinking and handling. For theirs may already be a confused mind, usually corrupted by the seed of their own ambition in securing themselves their glorified and celebrated positions. It begins from the days of their political climb, making their final win a cunning result of strategic ways…ways they have surrendered to in order to last in the very rigid game. It’s politics, as usual.  And that been said, elections is in a couple of months!

Because of this, it is difficult to discern whom among running candidates may still truly have “public service” at heart and mind.  But what elected officials should really be are public servants in government–and a government kept simple.

Like Ayn Rand, I believe in rational morality to keep things VERY simple (especially when it comes to governing a nation). “A morality not based on faith or arbitrary whim, not on emotion or spirituality, not on arbitrary edict– mystical or social, but a morality which can be proven by means of logic that can be demonstrated to be true and necessary.”  The balance sheets should be consulted.  That’s where the truth can be seen altogether–the essentials and necessities of health, economics, trade, and the sanctity of peace supported by its police and freedom securing military.  Oh–and the staggering deficit, if any :P .

To keep things simple, I do not believe government should involve themselves in “controls” and dictatorship of wealth redistribution,  by taxes or by other forceful penalties, adjudging the rich, the middle class and the poor, unconsciously creating a divide that takes away the natural spirit of true democracy. “Politics” is defined as the art or science of government; but that a “government” must be defined BY its people, which gives the USA a transparency about its values. It was Abraham Lincoln who said during his Gettysburg Address that “this nation shall have a new birth of FREEDOM ( a very tangible word that best described USA for its huge successes)— and that by it [FREEDOM], government OF the PEOPLE, BY the PEOPLE and FOR the PEOPLE, shall then not perish from the earth. These very words have come to symbolize the definition of democracy itself.  But I’m beginning to see a CHANGE alright, one that is unbecoming to the superpower I knew.

We all know that the United States was established well from whence with its original industrialists and capitalistic thinking. But it’s been a long time running since the rules have been altered to create the modified welfare state it’s been poorly functioning under, making things worse in hidden “fixes” of  “entitlements”, as if they were drugs being pushed to a nation of people struggling to survive, but unaware of the “fix” they would fall accustomed or addicted to.  Not only does this have a subliminal effect of enabling or disabling (depending on how you see it, but the results are the same) on the referred 47%  –that they CAN’T possibly make it on their own–and that they need everybody else!  It has a catastrophic alteration of self worth in those who may be phenomenally gifted, extinguishing their fire and corrupting their inspiration, suggesting that they too will need a crutch at some point.   After all, “no one made it entirely on their own”!  For the smart and super wealthy, it does not take much to figure things out and make necessary changes for themselves.  Facebook’s co-founder has already taken his creative self elsewhere, and so have many, many others.  Unbeknownst to many people, there is an alarming rate of green card holders relinquishing their residency, besides citizens denouncing their nationality.  For those who have no option but to stay, suddenly, there are invisible cuffs and ruler spanking hands pointing to a list of do’s and don’ts, including where to line up for what health treatment one will be allowed to have.  It is possible, that if you are needing immediate treatment, you can die in the midst of the fine print being reconsidered over and over.  And no one can claim full responsibility for that failure and waste of your breath.  Not even yourself.  Of course, everyone will be FORCED to understand.  Your hands were tied, and so were theirs.  Sorry, but if you’re over 60, perhaps it is time for you to go!

Being a British citizen who lives in the United States, I’m taking on an independent stance to feed my cravings for this upcoming November elections–not unlike the stack of pancakes I MADE and CHOSE for myself.  My hunger for the America I’ve known moves me to desire for a nation against giving officials the power to initiate force or compulsion on its citizens and protect those who are its true inhabitants.  I desire that its people will give up the false charities from the government and realize that a system wherein other people’s monies are spent to resuscitate the outcome of bad choices made by others, falls under collectivism or socialism—not capitalism.  I never saw the United States as a country needing parenting.  It has always, ALWAYS boasted of a free society!   Worse yet, when I hear from military personnel, that collected monies are recklessly sent overseas instead of being spent or applied to its own ailing TRUE American CITIZENS  for whom they were collected for, I am made to realize that the stack of sweet dough with fruits and maple syrup I made myself has become a guilt tripping mess with the suddenly forbidden whipped cream.  Could it be?  I feel like running and protecting my mind from the debilitating result of this analogy!  But back to government, if it does not know its own border, how can it contain order?   Where there are no boundaries, order can only take place with a god ruling all of the seen and unseen.  Would you truly give someone THAT much power?  Truly, should the United States change its coined slogan to “In government, we trust?”  Isn’t the power of individualism supported by FREE will, given to every man by God himself, that we must take responsibility?

While my spirituality dictates that I must try to be my brother’s keeper, this decision should be my own and administered by myself. I think the USA is one very generous nation, overtly capable of helping others to the point that God is still smiling upon it, and keeping it, well… fairly safe, given their enemies who in retrospect, just want the same damn stack of pancakes.  A tax may be reasonable and necessary to sustain growth and management of infrastructure, education, health and military power within a nation, but allowing a freer society has its merits in motivating people from the very core of their nature. It encourages an energy that transforms and imminently extends itself into creating more jobs and or spiritual giving –inspiring others toward more economic fulfillment by the use of their unrestricted, emotional, creative thinking.  To me, that initiates an energy that is contagious and effective in more ways than the narrow mindset of focusing on “someone else having so much more!”

Just as there was a separation of state and church which effectively led to a peaceful co-existence among different religions, I think a separation of government and economics can well bring more order to any country. When it comes to economics, which yields dollars and cents by the end of the day, rational thinking is what should be called to order.  Allowing a free, unregulated or ever so lightly regulated economy should balance the system, in time. Though not without painful atonement by those who CHOSE wrongly and bled the system from the time the Community Reinvestment Act was passed by Congress in 1977, I believe this should weed out the corrupt seed INSIDE that continues to create inauthentic capitalists (from politicians to bankers, etc.) who use government help to their advantage. After all, a system’s cancer has to be dealt with from the inside out.  Yes!  It’s got to be an INSIDE job, but dictated by the OUTSIDE as “WE THE PEOPLE”!  Better yet, as “WE THE AMERICANS!”  Oh right!  I’m not American.  But I’m free as a human being with my own thoughts and desires expressed on my own blog for an America, the way it used to be–a first world nation encouraging FREEDOM.

Unfortunately, liberals and conservatives today have all become the source of altruism because “governing” has turned into a destructive issue of CONTROL. Mindsets of ego have come to a head, giving government positions full play in a stage production called Politics, where a role in it means power. I say the USA should go back to the PROVEN theory of more encouraged capitalism, and let the politicians simply be the public servants they should be—seeking out the best solutions in keeping their country safe and orderly, educated and inspired, with the ailing and aging, healthily supported by their own investment in social security and health care, while encouraging each one to be responsible citizens for their actions and choices while implementing punishment for the unlawful and corrupt. Only then can you obtain FREEDOM flourishing from what can still be called a democracy.

“Democracy: the absence of hereditary or arbitrary class distinctions or privileges” Merriam-Webster

 

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Halo Halo – Mix & Think Differently

Yummy "Ube" Purple Yam Ice Cream

Yummy "Ube" Purple Yam Ice Cream

Isabella Rose

Isabella Rose


A Panamanian Mother

There seems no greater love than that of a mother’s for her child.

While in Panama City last April, tadalafil thumb I sat across a special woman who epitomized that wonder.  It was clear to me what mattered to her the most.  The little nuances from her every gesture proved the depth of her love in a role that was not negotiable, viagra and mine was a beautiful opportunity to have watched her in her element.  Her son was well behaved–his choice, a testament of trust and educated honing from his mother. And from our few exchanged glances, he exuded a confidence within, smiling easily as he said hello and then, goodnight, after we altogether watched the cultural show in a restaurant not far from our hotel.

Surprisingly, we got seated with the locals.  My Spanish must have been so good, the Panamanians placed us in the balcony, instead of the center floor reserved for tourists.  But truly, beyond nationality, I felt just like her.  In fact, she made me remember all the precious times I shared with the boys when they were as young as her son.  Suddenly that deep sense of connection, a commitment of self, released in the highest form of creation called “child”–touched me, as if what I was observing was me, all over again.

Herewith, to share that special moment that I was happy to have documented, I wish you a very happy Mother’s Day, if you are indeed a mom.  Brunch will be cherished today over at Amaya at The Grand Del Mar– a restaurant that my good friend Fei Celestine and I frequent.  In fact, Fei and her husband Pierre will be there as well, along with Elliott, my boys’ long time friend who is like a brother to them and a son to us.  Nate, (another family friend) who has lived with us for a few months now, I will miss; but that’s ok, for he has gone home to Santa Cruz to be with his mother.

Looking back, my Mother’s Day was often spent unusually at amusement parks.  Although I hardly participated in the wild rides of such adventuresome places like Magic Mountain, I cherished those days spent just watching my children enjoy themselves. Mother’s Day to me was “playtime” — a day to laugh with the kids and be filled with excitement, rather than a day to relax with breakfast in bed–although I’ve had a few of those as well.  Luckily for me, I’ve been blessed with several ways to have enjoyed the day.

This time, with some images collected from my recent trip to Panama City–

my head will certainly be in the clouds,


my body feeling buoyant, like from the pleasant view at The Flamenco Yacht Club


and my spirit in colorful and graceful movement like the way their cultural dancers performed that night.


Add to it all, a similar drink I had filled with fruits in the bubbly like this Sangria, surrounded by love and joy in sons–Richard, Ryan and Ross, my Aunt Isabella Rose who is visiting with us for a month, my husband, Richard…and our friends.  Be rest assured, I will be with cheer on this special day, very happily being a mother.

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!


May you find the heart of golden treasures in those you love most.

Halo-Halo, viagra sales find that’s what you’re looking at– a Filipino dessert with a name that means mix-mix that my Aunt Rose and I shared at midnight, medical before she headed back to Cleveland, generic yesterday. Calorie wise, taste wise, event wise, it was THE BOMB!  Tita (Aunt) Rose and I couldn’t stop emoting as we dug deep into the enormous parfait glass.  I was made ecstatic by more memories in the making, as the ice cream melted and mixed with the ice, milk and all else.

In all honesty, I believe some Filipino foods can be really odd, and maybe even unappetizing in its looks. But this beautiful and delightful concoction is refreshingly delicious! Unusual with layers of sweet red mung beans, white beans, sugar palm fruit, Langka (Jackfruit), Nata de Coco (cream of coconut jelly made of fermented coconut juice) and Leche flan (creme caramel *I make mine the French way) topped with shaved ice, a little milk and then crowned with Ube (purple yam) ice cream, you may well consider it an antidote to brain freeze. Sometimes mixed with Macapuno, described as gelatinous mutant coconut strings, there is a possibility, you will forever be altered, especially if you tried THIS one I made.


Successfully better than what I’ve ever had in the past while growing up in the Philippines, I account my efforts to having made my own purple yam ice cream. Generous with the ingredient of Halayang Ube (purple yam jam) that I mixed with cream, milk and sugar before pouring into an ice cream maker, I fell in love with its delicate lavender color and taste, which I preferred over the strongly food colored, store bought equivalent. Purple yams into ice cream–yes I know, it makes you wonder! It’s…different. But then so is Johnny Depp. Only this ice cream is more rich and velvety than his often scraggly appearance. In retrospect, that makes him a disappointment. Haha! I’ll take the ube ice cream–thank you! ;)

Isabella Rose_main

Isabella Rose at Amaya, The Grand del Mar on Mother's Day 2012

This is my beautiful Aunt who visited with me for nearly six weeks. Only 8 years older than me, she’s my same Aunt who rehearsed me over and over, preparing me diligently for the talent portion at the Miss World pageant held in London in 1978. Her efforts paid off when I took home the award and nostalgia was a sweet companion with this reminder during her visit. The full exchange we had each day was as mixed as Halo Halo. We talked about life, men, women, children– people in general, including ourselves, our thoughts and what mattered to us both. We rummaged through my China cabinets, building sets up to twenty four as we sat through eBay, looking for special period finds on stuff I’ve had for years. Influenced by my strong fixation to well dressed tables, Tita Rose ended up with her own china set to pack. Then my sister Ronnie, who lives in Arizona, got clued in on what we were doing.  So then, she also wanted a set!

There were many other things we favored during her visit: Dior’s J’Adore perfume, Hello Kitty, blingy accessories where I have it in pink and she gets it in blue…flavored canned tuna, white truffle pizza, mango salads, and anything exotic or “different”. And yes, for Mother’s Day, we gave her that special something with the selling slogan “Think Different”.

Altogether, our shared experience can be remembered as a parfait mix of specialness. Not unlike this one-of-a-kind creation, theoretically, I too, found the antidote to brain freeze: mix it all up (all you’re made of) and think …differently.  After my Aunt left, I was with a whole new comfort to proceed with new goals–happy to look back and forth, accepting even the strange and fermented parts of life and crowning it with velvety rich memories.

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Mother’s Day

LUXURIOUS



 

NOSTALGIC

 

SECURE

 

ADVENTUROUS

Modern

 

A Panamanian Mother

There seems no greater love than that of a mother’s for her child.

While in Panama City last April, tadalafil buy viagra I sat across a special woman who epitomized that wonder.  It was clear to me what mattered to her the most.  The little nuances from her every gesture proved the depth of her love in a role that was not negotiable, and mine was a beautiful opportunity to have watched her in her element.  Her son was well behaved–his choice, a testament of trust and educated honing from his mother. And from our few exchanged glances, he exuded a confidence within, smiling easily as he said hello and then, goodnight, after we altogether watched the cultural show in a restaurant not far from our hotel.

Surprisingly, we got seated with the locals.  My Spanish must have been so good, the Panamanians placed us in the balcony, instead of the center floor reserved for tourists.  But truly, beyond nationality, I felt just like her.  In fact, she made me remember all the precious times I shared with the boys when they were as young as her son.  Suddenly that deep sense of connection, a commitment of self, released in the highest form of creation called “child”–touched me, as if what I was observing was me, all over again.

Herewith, to share that special moment that I was happy to have documented, I wish you a very happy Mother’s Day, if you are indeed a mom.  Brunch will be cherished today over at Amaya of The Grand Del Mar– a restaurant that my good friend Fei Celestine and I frequent.  In fact, Fei and her husband Pierre will be there as well, along with Elliot, my boys’ long time friend who is like a brother to them and a son to us.  Nate, (another family friend) who has lived with us for a few months now, I will miss; but that’s ok, for he has gone home to Santa Cruz to be with his mother.

Looking back, my Mother’s Day was often spent unusually at amusement parks.  Although I hardly participated in the wild rides of such adventuresome places like Magic Mountain, I cherished those days spent, just watching my children enjoy themselves. Mother’s Day to me was “playtime” — a day to laugh with the kids and be filled with excitement, rather than a day to relax with breakfast in bed–although I’ve had a few of those as well.  Luckily for me, I’ve been blessed with several ways to have enjoyed the day.

This time, with some images collected from my recent trip to Panama City–

my head will certainly be in the clouds,


my body feeling buoyant, like from the pleasant view at The Flamenco Yacht Club


and my spirit in colorful and graceful movement, like the way their cultural dancers performed that night.


Add to it all, a similar drink filled with fruits in the bubbly like this Sangria I had then, surrounded by love and joy in sons–Richard, Ryan and Ross, my Aunt Isabella Rose who is visiting with us for a month, my husband, Richard…and our friends.  Be rest assured, I will be with cheer on this special day, very happily being a mother.

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!


May you find the heart of golden treasures in those you love most.

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Bite Me – Be My Valentine

#thenewbella



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Valentines and Liqueur Infused Tea Recipe ++

“Love is like dew that falls on both nettles and lilies.” ~Swedish Proverb

Thanks to Queen Victoria, cialis generic viagra we now have a hunger chasing remedy of delicate treats served with tea, viagra canada hospital long after lunch is over and several hours before dinner. During her era, afternoon tea became as much appreciated for its social aspect as it was for its meal. Though truly, its purpose was to keep her from going on a rampage with a meal that was to be served much later. I don’t blame her! Today, the same custom can prevent us from making that quick dive into the bread and butter when it arrives. Even when done solo, there is something about afternoon tea that is very soothing and grounding, possibly from the fact that we feel nourished and pampered with so much attention to detail.

The prettiness of such delicate serves is also very entertaining. It’s enough to keep me smiling given a glass of champagne to have some kind of bubbly company. However, it does take service and some effort. Reflective of a high society ritual, the customary afternoon break usually boasts of beauty and elegance at its tables, including its attendees. While to most, it has relaxed to suit modern day living, I can still remember the authenticity of invitations from friends, during the years I lived in Hong Kong when it was a British colony.

Surrounded by so much culture, afternoon tea has long been a past time shared between me and friends, Chinese and Europeans alike. From the years I spent living right next to the Hong Kong Country Club, I often looked forward to it. It was a ritual amongst friends, held at each other’s homes, the famous Chinese tea houses that offered the most exotic teas served with dim sum, or at other hotels like The Repulse Bay and The Mandarin Oriental where the sandwiches were oh so terribly British. And by that, I just mean that the sandwiches were made of the usual tiny cucumbers lined with very thinly spread butter and foie gras on delicate white bread.

In contrast, tea times with my German friends would offer coffee alternatives served with thick German cakes and champagne cordials, served over amazing Meisen China, however still combined with the fanciest collection of Victorian and Georgian silver. Those were the days that were seriously lived in routine of style and cultural expectation with the friends I had. My best friend during those wonderful years was Ulrike von Bienenstamm who owned the best silver shop in town. We have since parted and moved away from Hong Kong. I miss her.

The Four Seasons Bangkok lobby

Today, I still seek the places wherever proper tea is served. This has somehow become a part of my life, and if anything, to remind me of wonderful libation spent in politeness, grace, and with everything oh so lovely!  I will seek it today, even when traveling on my own.  The last time I was in Bangkok, in August of 2011, I sat at The Four Seasons Hotel in their newly redecorated lobby for a treat I heartily enjoyed.  The mood was plush brought by its contemporary and avant garde furniture with new rich fabrics of strong colors.  Combined with the unusually warm tones from Thai sculpture, artwork and paintings, it created quite an impact.  It was unmistakably a 20th century experience of being in the present times of modern Thailand where the service, one can assume, was as authentic as can be expected from a five star hotel.  Without the usual lace and chintz, the ritual wasn’t short of its olden days flair.  Orchids replaced Victorian florals, but Queen Victoria would have loved it just the same.  The fact that this was Thailand made it for even better care, because the culture knows nothing less than acknowledging the nobility in you, (and themselves in you) by Buddhist belief and practice.  Queen or not, you felt like one.  You’ll be in great hands for a luxurious tête-à-tête at this venue.

Although my favorite is Earl Grey with a dollop of Devonshire cream, I ordered lemongrass tea which came piping hot, as it always should. The setting offered a wet and fragrant hand towel, neatly rolled on a bamboo tray, to prepare my hands with pristine value of cleanliness. As pictured above, the menu included classic savories of the following:

Brie de Maux (cucumber sandwich)

Salmon brioche with yuzu cream and dill

King prawn, egg and poppy seed croissant

Peppered ham and tomato in grain bread canape

Frittata with figs and spicy chorizo and

Smoked chicken with mango salsa served in a milk bun

As for the Pastries:

Chestnut Profiterole with Chantilly

Strawberry Romanoff with cassis jelly

Mango tartlet with vanilla patissier and lavender truffle

Financier pastry with berry yolk and rose petal

Caramel Lingot- a praline sable

Madeleine with candied violet

Macaroon with raspberry and poppy seed

Plain and Raisin Scones with fresh cream and preserves.

Then in December just before Christmas, I treated the girls (who dated my sons) to a Teddy Bear Tea offered by The Westgate in downtown San Diego. While it offered a full afternoon of entertainment with Santa, Mrs. Clause, a juggler and a story teller, the tea itself was an opportunity to chat with each other and have some simple fun around little presents.

DSC_3129Ts_25.jpgDSC_3075aTs_25.jpgDSC_3076a-1aTs_25.jpgDSC_3382aT_25.jpgDSC_3074aTs_25.jpg

The table and setting was soft and pretty with natural light peering through from behind us, by a large window. It was as sweet as I imagined it to be, but short of the harpist who usually plays during normal afternoon teas.

The event was designed to include activities for children whose parents brought them along for the Christmas holiday spirit. The kitchen was a bit frazzled, probably by the size of its turnout, with sandwiches getting dry before it reached its tables. But we had a fun time and since talked about doing it again. Only next time, at my home.

The girls were adorable and so of course were the teddy bears!

They joked that the highlight was storytelling, having lined themselves up with the other little children, after tea was served. No, they did not sit on Santa’s lap! Haha! We then hit the mall in Fashion Valley where we shopped for presents to give to our guys, and then had dinner afterwards. Below are the rest of the photos from that day.

DSC_3058aT-1s_20.jpgDSC_3113aTs_25.jpgDSC_3069a-1Tss_25.jpgDSC_3156amilk-2Ta_25.jpgDSC_3050a-1-2aTs_25.jpgDSC_3171b_25.jpgDSC_3164b-1_25a-1b.jpgDSC_3166a_25.jpgDSC_3175b-1-1aT2s_25.jpgDSC_3112aTs_25.jpgDSC_3105aT_25.jpgDSC_3125aTs_25.jpgDSC_3102aTs_25.jpgDSC_3056as_25.jpgDSC_3163b-3s_25.jpgDSC_3079aTs_25.jpgDSC_3123aT-1s_25.jpgDSC_3057as_25.jpgDSC_3127aTs_25.jpgDSC_3148b2-1Ts-1-2n_25.jpgDSC_3202aTs_25.jpgDSC_3189a-1as2a_25.jpg

And onto other places for tea, I also recommend the Tower Suite Cafe at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas.

Here is what composed their trays in January of 2012:

Smoked salmon and chive cream cheese sandwich

Deviled egg salad served on Brioche

Cucumber and watercress spread

Chicken salad sandwich

Prosciutto, asparagus and cream cheese sandwich

Scones with Devonshire cream and homemade jams and lemon curd

…and other pastry delights like macaroons and chocolate ganache petite fours

 

Thanks to Queen Victoria, cialis sales seek we now have a hunger chasing remedy of delicate treats served with tea, generic viagra no rx long after lunch is over and several hours before dinner. During her era, afternoon tea became as much appreciated for its social aspect as it was for its meal. Though truly, its purpose was to keep her from going on a rampage with a meal that was to be served much later. I don’t blame her! Today, the same custom can prevent us from making that quick dive into the bread and butter when it arrives. Even when done solo, there is something about afternoon tea that is very soothing and grounding, possibly from the fact that we feel nourished and pampered with so much attention to detail.

The prettiness of such delicate serves is also very entertaining. It’s enough to keep me smiling given a glass of champagne to have some kind of bubbly company. However, it does take service and some effort. Reflective of a high society ritual, the customary afternoon break usually boasts of beauty and elegance at its tables, including its attendees. While to most, it has relaxed to suit modern day living, I can still remember the authenticity of invitations from friends, during the years I lived in Hong Kong when it was a British colony.

Surrounded by so much culture, afternoon tea has long been a past time shared between me and friends, Chinese and Europeans alike. From the years I spent living right next to the Hong Kong Country Club, I often looked forward to it. It was a ritual amongst friends, held at each other’s homes, the famous Chinese tea houses that offered the most exotic teas served with dim sum, or at other hotels like The Repulse Bay and The Mandarin Oriental where the sandwiches were oh so terribly British. And by that, I just mean that the sandwiches were made of the usual tiny cucumbers lined with very thinly spread butter and foie gras on delicate white bread.

In contrast, tea times with my German friends would offer coffee alternatives served with thick German cakes and champagne cordials, served over amazing Meisen China, however still combined with the fanciest collection of Victorian and Georgian silver. Those were the days that were seriously lived in routine of style and cultural expectation with the friends I had. My best friend during those wonderful years was Ulrike von Bienenstamm who owned the best silver shop in town. We have since parted and moved away from Hong Kong. I miss her.

The Four Seasons Bangkok lobby

Today, I still seek the places wherever proper tea is served. This has somehow become a part of my life, and if anything, to remind me of wonderful libation spent in politeness, grace, and with everything oh so lovely!  I will seek it today, even when traveling on my own.  The last time I was in Bangkok, in August of 2011, I sat at The Four Seasons Hotel in their newly redecorated lobby for a treat I heartily enjoyed.  The mood was plush brought by its contemporary and avant garde furniture with new rich fabrics of strong colors.  Combined with the unusually warm tones from Thai sculpture, artwork and paintings, it created quite an impact.  It was unmistakably a 20th century experience of being in the present times of modern Thailand where the service, one can assume, was as authentic as can be expected from a five star hotel.  Without the usual lace and chintz, the ritual wasn’t short of its olden days flair.  Orchids replaced Victorian florals, but Queen Victoria would have loved it just the same.  The fact that this was Thailand made it for even better care, because the culture knows nothing less than acknowledging the nobility in you, (and themselves in you) by Buddhist belief and practice.  Queen or not, you felt like one.  You’ll be in great hands for a luxurious tête-à-tête at this venue.

Although my favorite is Earl Grey with a dollop of Devonshire cream, I ordered lemongrass tea which came piping hot, as it always should. The setting offered a wet and fragrant hand towel, neatly rolled on a bamboo tray, to prepare my hands with pristine value of cleanliness. As pictured above, the menu included classic savories of the following:

Brie de Maux (cucumber sandwich)

Salmon brioche with yuzu cream and dill

King prawn, egg and poppy seed croissant

Peppered ham and tomato in grain bread canape

Frittata with figs and spicy chorizo and

Smoked chicken with mango salsa served in a milk bun

As for the Pastries:

Chestnut Profiterole with Chantilly

Strawberry Romanoff with cassis jelly

Mango tartlet with vanilla patissier and lavender truffle

Financier pastry with berry yolk and rose petal

Caramel Lingot- a praline sable

Madeleine with candied violet

Macaroon with raspberry and poppy seed

Plain and Raisin Scones with fresh cream and preserves.

Then in December just before Christmas, I treated the girls (who dated my sons) to a Teddy Bear Tea offered by The Westgate in downtown San Diego. While it offered a full afternoon of entertainment with Santa, Mrs. Clause, a juggler and a story teller, the tea itself was an opportunity to chat with each other and have some simple fun around little presents.

DSC_3129Ts_25.jpgDSC_3075aTs_25.jpgDSC_3076a-1aTs_25.jpgDSC_3382aT_25.jpgDSC_3074aTs_25.jpg

The table and setting was soft and pretty with natural light peering through from behind us, by a large window. It was as sweet as I imagined it to be, but short of the harpist who usually plays during normal afternoon teas.

The event was designed to include activities for children whose parents brought them along for the Christmas holiday spirit. The kitchen was a bit frazzled, probably by the size of its turnout, with sandwiches getting dry before it reached its tables. But we had a fun time and since talked about doing it again. Only next time, at my home.

The girls were adorable and so of course were the teddy bears!

They joked that the highlight was storytelling, having lined themselves up with the other little children, after tea was served. No, they did not sit on Santa’s lap! Haha! We then hit the mall in Fashion Valley where we shopped for presents to give to our guys, and then had dinner afterwards. Below are the rest of the photos from that day.

DSC_3058aT-1s_20.jpgDSC_3113aTs_25.jpgDSC_3069a-1Tss_25.jpgDSC_3156amilk-2Ta_25.jpgDSC_3050a-1-2aTs_25.jpgDSC_3171b_25.jpgDSC_3164b-1_25a-1b.jpgDSC_3166a_25.jpgDSC_3175b-1-1aT2s_25.jpgDSC_3112aTs_25.jpgDSC_3105aT_25.jpgDSC_3125aTs_25.jpgDSC_3102aTs_25.jpgDSC_3056as_25.jpgDSC_3163b-3s_25.jpgDSC_3079aTs_25.jpgDSC_3123aT-1s_25.jpgDSC_3057as_25.jpgDSC_3127aTs_25.jpgDSC_3148b2-1Ts-1-2n_25.jpgDSC_3202aTs_25.jpgDSC_3189a-1as2a_25.jpg

And onto other places for tea, I also recommend the Tower Suite Cafe at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas.

Here is what composed their trays in January of 2012:

Smoked salmon and chive cream cheese sandwich

Deviled egg salad served on Brioche

Cucumber and watercress spread

Chicken salad sandwich

Prosciutto, asparagus and cream cheese sandwich

Scones with Devonshire cream and homemade jams and lemon curd

…and other pastry delights like macaroons and chocolate ganache petite fours

 

Thanks to Queen Victoria, best viagra try we now have a hunger chasing remedy of delicate treats served with tea, cialis long after lunch is over and several hours before dinner. During her era, afternoon tea became as much appreciated for its social aspect as it was for its meal. Though truly, its purpose was to keep her from going on a rampage with a meal that was to be served much later. I don’t blame her! Today, the same custom can prevent us from making that quick dive into the bread and butter when it arrives. Even when done solo, there is something about afternoon tea that is very soothing and grounding, possibly from the fact that we feel nourished and pampered with so much attention to detail.

The prettiness of such delicate serves is also very entertaining. It’s enough to keep me smiling given a glass of champagne to have some kind of bubbly company. However, it does take service and some effort. Reflective of a high society ritual, the customary afternoon break usually boasts of beauty and elegance at its tables, including its attendees. While to most, it has relaxed to suit modern day living, I can still remember the authenticity of invitations from friends, during the years I lived in Hong Kong when it was a British colony.

Surrounded by so much culture, afternoon tea has long been a past time shared between me and friends, Chinese and Europeans alike. From the years I spent living right next to the Hong Kong Country Club, I often looked forward to it. It was a ritual amongst friends, held at each other’s homes, the famous Chinese tea houses that offered the most exotic teas served with dim sum, or at other hotels like The Repulse Bay and The Mandarin Oriental where the sandwiches were oh so terribly British. And with that, I just mean that the sandwiches were made of the usual tiny cucumbers lined with very thinly spread butter and foie gras on delicate white bread.

In contrast, tea times with my German friends would offer coffee alternatives served with thick German cakes and champagne cordials, served over amazing Meisen China, however still combined with the fanciest collection of Victorian and Georgian silver. Those were the days that were seriously lived in routine of style and cultural expectation with the friends I had. My best friend during those wonderful years was Ulrike von Bienenstamm who owned the best silver shop in town. We have since parted and moved away from Hong Kong. I miss her.

The Four Seasons Bangkok lobby

Today, I still seek the places wherever proper tea is served. This has somehow become a part of my life, and if anything, to remind me of wonderful libation spent in politeness, grace, and with everything oh so lovely! I will seek it today, even when traveling on my own. The last time I was in Bangkok, in August of 2011, I sat at The Four Seasons Hotel in their newly redecorated lobby for a treat I heartily enjoyed. The mood was plush, brought by its contemporary and avant garde furniture with new rich fabrics of strong colors which created an impact with the unusually warm tones from Thai sculpture, artwork and paintings. It was unmistakably a 20th century experience of being in the present times of modern Thailand where the service was as authentic as can be expected from a five star hotel. Without the usual lace and chintz, the ritual wasn’t short of its olden days flair. Orchids replaced Victorian florals, but Queen Victoria would have loved it just the same. The fact that this was Thailand made it for even better care, because the culture knows nothing less than acknowledging the nobility in you, (and themselves in you) by Buddhist belief and practice. Queen or not, you felt like one. You’ll be in great hands for a luxurious tête-à-tête at this venue.

Although my favorite is Earl Grey with a dollop of Devonshire cream, I ordered lemongrass tea which came piping hot, as it always should. The setting offered a wet and fragrant hand towel, neatly rolled on a bamboo tray, to prepare my hands with pristine value of cleanliness. As pictured above, the menu included classic savories of the following:

Brie de Maux (cucumber sandwich)

Salmon brioche with yuzu cream and dill

King prawn, egg and poppy seed croissant

Peppered ham and tomato in grain bread canape

Frittata with figs and spicy chorizo and

Smoked chicken with mango salsa served in a milk bun

As for the Pastries:

Chestnut Profiterole with Chantilly

Strawberry Romanoff with cassis jelly

Mango tartlet with vanilla patissier and lavender truffle

Financier pastry with berry yolk and rose petal

Caramel Lingot- a praline sable

Madeleine with candied violet

Macaroon with raspberry and poppy seed

Plain and Raisin Scones with fresh cream and preserves.

Then in December just before Christmas, I treated the girls (who dated my sons) to a Teddy Bear Tea offered by The Westgate in downtown San Diego. While it offered a full afternoon of entertainment with Santa, Mrs. Clause, a juggler and a story teller, the tea itself was an opportunity to chat with each other and have some simple fun around little presents.

DSC_3129Ts_25.jpgDSC_3075aTs_25.jpgDSC_3076a-1aTs_25.jpgDSC_3382aT_25.jpgDSC_3074aTs_25.jpg

The table and setting was soft and pretty with natural light peering through from behind us, by a large window. It was as sweet as I imagined it to be, but short of the harpist who usually plays during normal afternoon teas.

The event was designed to include activities for children whose parents brought them along for the Christmas holiday spirit. The kitchen was a bit frazzled, probably by the size of its turnout, with sandwiches getting dry before it reached its tables. But we had a fun time and since talked about doing it again. Only next time, at my home.

The girls were adorable and so of course were the teddy bears!

They joked that the highlight was storytelling, having lined themselves up with the other little children, after tea was served. No, they did not sit on Santa’s lap! Haha! We then hit the mall in Fashion Valley where we shopped for presents to give to our guys, and then had dinner afterwards. Below are the rest of the photos from that day.

DSC_3058aT-1s_20.jpgDSC_3113aTs_25.jpgDSC_3069a-1Tss_25.jpgDSC_3156amilk-2Ta_25.jpgDSC_3050a-1-2aTs_25.jpgDSC_3171b_25.jpgDSC_3164b-1_25a-1b.jpgDSC_3166a_25.jpgDSC_3175b-1-1aT2s_25.jpgDSC_3112aTs_25.jpgDSC_3105aT_25.jpgDSC_3125aTs_25.jpgDSC_3102aTs_25.jpgDSC_3056as_25.jpgDSC_3163b-3s_25.jpgDSC_3079aTs_25.jpgDSC_3123aT-1s_25.jpgDSC_3057as_25.jpgDSC_3127aTs_25.jpgDSC_3148b2-1Ts-1-2n_25.jpgDSC_3202aTs_25.jpgDSC_3189a-1as2a_25.jpg

And onto other places for tea, I also recommend the Tower Suite Cafe at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas.

Here is what composed their trays in January of 2012:

Smoked salmon and chive cream cheese sandwich

Deviled egg salad served on Brioche

Cucumber and watercress spread

Chicken salad sandwich

Prosciutto, asparagus and cream cheese sandwich

Scones with Devonshire cream and homemade jams and lemon curd

…and other pastry delights like macaroons and chocolate ganache petite fours

 

Thanks to Queen Victoria, discount cialis illness we now have a hunger chasing remedy of delicate treats served with tea, viagra discount long after lunch is over and several hours before dinner. During her era, afternoon tea became as much appreciated for its social aspect as it was for its meal. Though truly, its purpose was to keep her from going on a rampage with a meal that was to be served much later. I don’t blame her! Today, the same custom can prevent us from making that quick dive into the bread and butter when it arrives. Even when done solo, there is something about afternoon tea that is very soothing and grounding, possibly from the fact that we feel nourished and pampered with so much attention to detail.

The prettiness of such delicate serves is also very entertaining. It’s enough to keep me smiling given a glass of champagne to have some kind of bubbly company. However, it does take service and some effort. Reflective of a high society ritual, the customary afternoon break usually boasts of beauty and elegance at its tables, including its attendees. While to most, it has relaxed to suit modern day living, I can still remember the authenticity of invitations from friends, during the years I lived in Hong Kong when it was a British colony.

Surrounded by so much culture, afternoon tea has long been a past time shared between me and friends, Chinese and Europeans alike. From the years I spent living right next to the Hong Kong Country Club, I often looked forward to it. It was a ritual amongst friends, held at each other’s homes, the famous Chinese tea houses that offered the most exotic teas served with dim sum, or at other hotels like The Repulse Bay and The Mandarin Oriental where the sandwiches were oh so terribly British. And by that, I just mean that the sandwiches were made of the usual tiny cucumbers lined with very thinly spread butter and foie gras on delicate white bread.

In contrast, tea times with my German friends would offer coffee alternatives served with thick German cakes and champagne cordials, served over amazing Meisen China, however still combined with the fanciest collection of Victorian and Georgian silver. Those were the days that were seriously lived in routine of style and cultural expectation with the friends I had. My best friend during those wonderful years was Ulrike von Bienenstamm who owned the best silver shop in town. We have since parted and moved away from Hong Kong. I miss her.

The Four Seasons Bangkok Lobby

Today, I still seek the places wherever proper tea is served. This has somehow become a part of my life, and if anything, to remind me of wonderful libation spent in politeness, grace, and with everything oh so lovely!  I will seek it today, even when traveling on my own.  The last time I was in Bangkok, in August of 2011, I sat at The Four Seasons Hotel in their newly redecorated lobby for a treat I heartily enjoyed.  The mood was plush brought by its contemporary and avant garde furniture with new rich fabrics of strong colors.  Combined with the unusually warm tones from Thai sculpture, artwork and paintings, it created quite an impact.  It was unmistakably a 20th century experience of being in the present times of modern Thailand where the service, one can assume, was as authentic as can be expected from a five star hotel.  Without the usual lace and chintz, the ritual wasn’t short of its olden days flair.  Orchids replaced Victorian florals, but Queen Victoria would have loved it just the same.  The fact that this was Thailand made it for even better care, because the culture knows nothing less than acknowledging the nobility in you, (and themselves in you) by Buddhist belief and practice.  Queen or not, you felt like one.  You’ll be in great hands for a luxurious tête-à-tête at this venue.

Although my favorite is Earl Grey with a dollop of Devonshire cream, I ordered lemongrass tea which came piping hot, as it always should. The setting offered a wet and fragrant hand towel, neatly rolled on a bamboo tray, to prepare my hands with pristine value of cleanliness. As pictured above, the menu included classic savories of the following:

Brie de Maux (cucumber sandwich)

Salmon brioche with yuzu cream and dill

King prawn, egg and poppy seed croissant

Peppered ham and tomato in grain bread canape

Frittata with figs and spicy chorizo and

Smoked chicken with mango salsa served in a milk bun

As for the Pastries:

Chestnut Profiterole with Chantilly

Strawberry Romanoff with cassis jelly

Mango tartlet with vanilla patissier and lavender truffle

Financier pastry with berry yolk and rose petal

Caramel Lingot- a praline sable

Madeleine with candied violet

Macaroon with raspberry and poppy seed

Plain and Raisin Scones with fresh cream and preserves.

Then in December just before Christmas, I treated the girls (who dated my sons) to a Teddy Bear Tea offered by The Westgate in downtown San Diego. While it offered a full afternoon of entertainment with Santa, Mrs. Clause, a juggler and a story teller, the tea itself was an opportunity to chat with each other and have some simple fun around little presents.

DSC_3129Ts_25.jpgDSC_3075aTs_25.jpgDSC_3076a-1aTs_25.jpgDSC_3382aT_25.jpgDSC_3074aTs_25.jpg

The table and setting was soft and pretty with natural light peering through from behind us, by a large window. It was as sweet as I imagined it to be, but short of the harpist who usually plays during normal afternoon teas.

 

The event was designed to include activities for children whose parents brought them along for the Christmas holiday spirit. The kitchen was a bit frazzled, probably by the size of its turnout, with sandwiches getting dry before it reached its tables. But we had a fun time and since talked about doing it again. Only next time, at my home.

The girls were adorable and so of course were the teddy bears!

They joked that the highlight was storytelling, having lined themselves up with the other little children, after tea was served. No, they did not sit on Santa’s lap! Haha! We then hit the mall in Fashion Valley where we shopped for presents to give to our guys, and then had dinner afterwards. Below are the rest of the photos from that day.

DSC_3058aT-1s_20.jpgDSC_3113aTs_25.jpgDSC_3069a-1Tss_25.jpgDSC_3156amilk-2Ta_25.jpgDSC_3050a-1-2aTs_25.jpgDSC_3171b_25.jpgDSC_3164b-1_25a-1b.jpgDSC_3166a_25.jpgDSC_3175b-1-1aT2s_25.jpgDSC_3112aTs_25.jpgDSC_3105aT_25.jpgDSC_3125aTs_25.jpgDSC_3102aTs_25.jpgDSC_3056as_25.jpgDSC_3163b-3s_25.jpgDSC_3079aTs_25.jpgDSC_3123aT-1s_25.jpgDSC_3057as_25.jpgDSC_3127aTs_25.jpgDSC_3148b2-1Ts-1-2n_25.jpgDSC_3202aTs_25.jpgDSC_3189a-1as2a_25.jpg

And onto other places for tea, I also recommend the Tower Suite Cafe at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas.

Here is what composed their trays in January of 2012:

Smoked salmon and chive cream cheese sandwich

Deviled egg salad served on Brioche

Cucumber and watercress spread

Chicken salad sandwich

Prosciutto, asparagus and cream cheese sandwich

Scones with Devonshire cream and homemade jams and lemon curd

…and other pastry delights like macaroons and chocolate ganache petite fours

 

Thanks to Queen Victoria, viagra generic we now have a hunger chasing remedy of delicate treats served with tea, cialis sale hospital long after lunch is over and several hours before dinner. During her era, thumb afternoon tea became as much appreciated for its social aspect as it was for its meal. Though truly, its purpose was to keep her from going on a rampage with a meal that was to be served much later. I don’t blame her! Today, the same custom can prevent us from making that quick dive into the bread and butter when it arrives. Even when done solo, there is something about afternoon tea that is very soothing and grounding, possibly from the fact that we feel nourished and pampered with so much attention to detail.

The prettiness of such delicate serves is also very entertaining. It’s enough to keep me smiling given a glass of champagne to have some kind of bubbly company. However, it does take service and some effort. Reflective of a high society ritual, the customary afternoon break usually boasts of beauty and elegance at its tables, including its attendees. While to most, it has relaxed to suit modern day living, I can still remember the authenticity of invitations from friends, during the years I lived in Hong Kong when it was a British colony.

Surrounded by so much culture, afternoon tea has long been a past time shared between me and friends, Chinese and Europeans alike. From the years I spent living right next to the Hong Kong Country Club, I often looked forward to it. It was a ritual amongst friends, held at each other’s homes, the famous Chinese tea houses that offered the most exotic teas served with dim sum, or at other hotels like The Repulse Bay and The Mandarin Oriental where the sandwiches were oh so terribly British. And by that, I just mean that the sandwiches were made of the usual tiny cucumbers lined with very thinly spread butter and foie gras on delicate white bread.

In contrast, tea times with my German friends would offer coffee alternatives served with thick German cakes and champagne cordials, served over amazing Meisen China, however still combined with the fanciest collection of Victorian and Georgian silver. Those were the days that were seriously lived in routine of style and cultural expectation with the friends I had. My best friend during those wonderful years was Ulrike von Bienenstamm who owned the best silver shop in town. We have since parted and moved away from Hong Kong. I miss her.

The Four Seasons Bangkok lobby

Today, I still seek the places wherever proper tea is served. This has somehow become a part of my life, and if anything, to remind me of wonderful libation spent in politeness, grace, and with everything oh so lovely! I will seek it today, even when traveling on my own. The last time I was in Bangkok, in August of 2011, I sat at The Four Seasons Hotel in their newly redecorated lobby for a treat I heartily enjoyed. The mood was plush, brought by its contemporary and avant garde furniture with new rich fabrics of strong colors which created an impact with the unusually warm tones from Thai sculpture, artwork and paintings. It was unmistakably a 20th century experience of being in the present times of modern Thailand where the service was as authentic as can be expected from a five star hotel. Without the usual lace and chintz, the ritual wasn’t short of its olden days flair. Orchids replaced Victorian florals, but Queen Victoria would have loved it just the same. The fact that this was Thailand made it for even better care, because the culture knows nothing less than acknowledging the nobility in you, (and themselves in you) by Buddhist belief and practice. Queen or not, you felt like one. You’ll be in great hands for a luxurious tête-à-tête at this venue.

Although my favorite is Earl Grey with a dollop of Devonshire cream, I ordered lemongrass tea which came piping hot, as it always should. The setting offered a wet and fragrant hand towel, neatly rolled on a bamboo tray, to prepare my hands with pristine value of cleanliness. As pictured above, the menu included classic savories of the following:

Brie de Maux (cucumber sandwich)

Salmon brioche with yuzu cream and dill

King prawn, egg and poppy seed croissant

Peppered ham and tomato in grain bread canape

Frittata with figs and spicy chorizo and

Smoked chicken with mango salsa served in a milk bun

As for the Pastries:

Chestnut Profiterole with Chantilly

Strawberry Romanoff with cassis jelly

Mango tartlet with vanilla patissier and lavender truffle

Financier pastry with berry yolk and rose petal

Caramel Lingot- a praline sable

Madeleine with candied violet

Macaroon with raspberry and poppy seed

Plain and Raisin Scones with fresh cream and preserves.

Then in December just before Christmas, I treated the girls (who dated my sons) to a Teddy Bear Tea offered by The Westgate in downtown San Diego. While it offered a full afternoon of entertainment with Santa, Mrs. Clause, a juggler and a story teller, the tea itself was an opportunity to chat with each other and have some simple fun around little presents.

DSC_3129Ts_25.jpgDSC_3075aTs_25.jpgDSC_3076a-1aTs_25.jpgDSC_3382aT_25.jpgDSC_3074aTs_25.jpg

The table and setting was soft and pretty with natural light peering through from behind us, by a large window. It was as sweet as I imagined it to be, but short of the harpist who usually plays during normal afternoon teas.

The event was designed to include activities for children whose parents brought them along for the Christmas holiday spirit. The kitchen was a bit frazzled, probably by the size of its turnout, with sandwiches getting dry before it reached its tables. But we had a fun time and since talked about doing it again. Only next time, at my home.

The girls were adorable and so of course were the teddy bears!

They joked that the highlight was storytelling, having lined themselves up with the other little children, after tea was served. No, they did not sit on Santa’s lap! Haha! We then hit the mall in Fashion Valley where we shopped for presents to give to our guys, and then had dinner afterwards. Below are the rest of the photos from that day.

DSC_3058aT-1s_20.jpgDSC_3113aTs_25.jpgDSC_3069a-1Tss_25.jpgDSC_3156amilk-2Ta_25.jpgDSC_3050a-1-2aTs_25.jpgDSC_3171b_25.jpgDSC_3164b-1_25a-1b.jpgDSC_3166a_25.jpgDSC_3175b-1-1aT2s_25.jpgDSC_3112aTs_25.jpgDSC_3105aT_25.jpgDSC_3125aTs_25.jpgDSC_3102aTs_25.jpgDSC_3056as_25.jpgDSC_3163b-3s_25.jpgDSC_3079aTs_25.jpgDSC_3123aT-1s_25.jpgDSC_3057as_25.jpgDSC_3127aTs_25.jpgDSC_3148b2-1Ts-1-2n_25.jpgDSC_3202aTs_25.jpgDSC_3189a-1as2a_25.jpg

And onto other places for tea, I also recommend the Tower Suite Cafe at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas.

Here is what composed their trays in January of 2012:

Smoked salmon and chive cream cheese sandwich

Deviled egg salad served on Brioche

Cucumber and watercress spread

Chicken salad sandwich

Prosciutto, asparagus and cream cheese sandwich

Scones with Devonshire cream and homemade jams and lemon curd

…and other pastry delights like macaroons and chocolate ganache petite fours

 

Thanks to Queen Victoria, cialis sales pills we now have a hunger chasing remedy of delicate treats served with tea, viagra sale hospital long after lunch is over and several hours before dinner. During her era, afternoon tea became as much appreciated for its social aspect as it was for its meal. Though truly, its purpose was to keep her from going on a rampage with a meal that was to be served much later. I don’t blame her! Today, the same custom can prevent us from making that quick dive into the bread and butter when it arrives. Even when done solo, there is something about afternoon tea that is very soothing and grounding, possibly from the fact that we feel nourished and pampered with so much attention to detail.

The prettiness of such delicate serves is also very entertaining. It’s enough to keep me smiling given a glass of champagne to have some kind of bubbly company. However, it does take service and some effort. Reflective of a high society ritual, the customary afternoon break usually boasts of beauty and elegance at its tables, including its attendees. While to most, it has relaxed to suit modern day living, I can still remember the authenticity of invitations from friends, during the years I lived in Hong Kong when it was a British colony.

Surrounded by so much culture, afternoon tea has long been a past time shared between me and friends, Chinese and Europeans alike. From the years I spent living right next to the Hong Kong Country Club, I often looked forward to it. It was a ritual amongst friends, held at each other’s homes, the famous Chinese tea houses that offered the most exotic teas served with dim sum, or at other hotels like The Repulse Bay and The Mandarin Oriental where the sandwiches were oh so terribly British. And by that, I just mean that the sandwiches were made of the usual tiny cucumbers lined with very thinly spread butter and foie gras on delicate white bread.

In contrast, tea times with my German friends would offer coffee alternatives served with thick German cakes and champagne cordials, served over amazing Meisen China, however still combined with the fanciest collection of Victorian and Georgian silver. Those were the days that were seriously lived in routine of style and cultural expectation with the friends I had. My best friend during those wonderful years was Ulrike von Bienenstamm who owned the best silver shop in town. We have since parted and moved away from Hong Kong. I miss her.

The Four Seasons Bangkok lobby

Today, I still seek the places wherever proper tea is served. This has somehow become a part of my life, and if anything, to remind me of wonderful libation spent in politeness, grace, and with everything oh so lovely!  I will seek it today, even when traveling on my own.  The last time I was in Bangkok, in August of 2011, I sat at The Four Seasons Hotel in their newly redecorated lobby for a treat I heartily enjoyed.  The mood was plush brought by its contemporary and avant garde furniture with new rich fabrics of strong colors.  Combined with the unusually warm tones from Thai sculpture, artwork and paintings, it created quite an impact.  It was unmistakably a 20th century experience of being in the present times of modern Thailand where the service, one can assume, was as authentic as can be expected from a five star hotel.  Without the usual lace and chintz, the ritual wasn’t short of its olden days flair.  Orchids replaced Victorian florals, but Queen Victoria would have loved it just the same.  The fact that this was Thailand made it for even better care, because the culture knows nothing less than acknowledging the nobility in you, (and themselves in you) by Buddhist belief and practice.  Queen or not, you felt like one.  You’ll be in great hands for a luxurious tête-à-tête at this venue.

Although my favorite is Earl Grey with a dollop of Devonshire cream, I ordered lemongrass tea which came piping hot, as it always should. The setting offered a wet and fragrant hand towel, neatly rolled on a bamboo tray, to prepare my hands with pristine value of cleanliness. As pictured above, the menu included classic savories of the following:

Brie de Maux (cucumber sandwich)

Salmon brioche with yuzu cream and dill

King prawn, egg and poppy seed croissant

Peppered ham and tomato in grain bread canape

Frittata with figs and spicy chorizo and

Smoked chicken with mango salsa served in a milk bun

As for the Pastries:

Chestnut Profiterole with Chantilly

Strawberry Romanoff with cassis jelly

Mango tartlet with vanilla patissier and lavender truffle

Financier pastry with berry yolk and rose petal

Caramel Lingot- a praline sable

Madeleine with candied violet

Macaroon with raspberry and poppy seed

Plain and Raisin Scones with fresh cream and preserves.

Then in December just before Christmas, I treated the girls (who dated my sons) to a Teddy Bear Tea offered by The Westgate in downtown San Diego. While it offered a full afternoon of entertainment with Santa, Mrs. Clause, a juggler and a story teller, the tea itself was an opportunity to chat with each other and have some simple fun around little presents.

DSC_3129Ts_25.jpgDSC_3075aTs_25.jpgDSC_3076a-1aTs_25.jpgDSC_3382aT_25.jpgDSC_3074aTs_25.jpg

The table and setting was soft and pretty with natural light peering through from behind us, by a large window. It was as sweet as I imagined it to be, but short of the harpist who usually plays during normal afternoon teas.

The event was designed to include activities for children whose parents brought them along for the Christmas holiday spirit. The kitchen was a bit frazzled, probably by the size of its turnout, with sandwiches getting dry before it reached its tables. But we had a fun time and since talked about doing it again. Only next time, at my home.

The girls were adorable and so of course were the teddy bears!

They joked that the highlight was storytelling, having lined themselves up with the other little children, after tea was served. No, they did not sit on Santa’s lap! Haha! We then hit the mall in Fashion Valley where we shopped for presents to give to our guys, and then had dinner afterwards. Below are the rest of the photos from that day.

DSC_3058aT-1s_20.jpgDSC_3113aTs_25.jpgDSC_3069a-1Tss_25.jpgDSC_3156amilk-2Ta_25.jpgDSC_3050a-1-2aTs_25.jpgDSC_3171b_25.jpgDSC_3164b-1_25a-1b.jpgDSC_3166a_25.jpgDSC_3175b-1-1aT2s_25.jpgDSC_3112aTs_25.jpgDSC_3105aT_25.jpgDSC_3125aTs_25.jpgDSC_3102aTs_25.jpgDSC_3056as_25.jpgDSC_3163b-3s_25.jpgDSC_3079aTs_25.jpgDSC_3123aT-1s_25.jpgDSC_3057as_25.jpgDSC_3127aTs_25.jpgDSC_3148b2-1Ts-1-2n_25.jpgDSC_3202aTs_25.jpgDSC_3189a-1as2a_25.jpg

And onto other places for tea, I also recommend the Tower Suite Cafe at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas.

Here is what composed their trays in January of 2012:

Smoked salmon and chive cream cheese sandwich

Deviled egg salad served on Brioche

Cucumber and watercress spread

Chicken salad sandwich

Prosciutto, asparagus and cream cheese sandwich

Scones with Devonshire cream and homemade jams and lemon curd

…and other pastry delights like macaroons and chocolate ganache petite fours

 

Thanks to Queen Victoria, discount cialis search we now have a hunger chasing remedy of delicate treats served with tea, cialis case long after lunch is over and several hours before dinner. During her era, cialis afternoon tea became as much appreciated for its social aspect as it was for its meal. Though truly, its purpose was to keep her from going on a rampage with a meal that was to be served much later. I don’t blame her! Today, the same custom can prevent us from making that quick dive into the bread and butter when it arrives. Even when done solo, there is something about afternoon tea that is very soothing and grounding, possibly from the fact that we feel nourished and pampered with so much attention to detail.

The prettiness of such delicate serves is also very entertaining. It’s enough to keep me smiling given a glass of champagne to have some kind of bubbly company. However, it does take service and some effort. Reflective of a high society ritual, the customary afternoon break usually boasts of beauty and elegance at its tables, including its attendees. While to most, it has relaxed to suit modern day living, I can still remember the authenticity of invitations from friends, during the years I lived in Hong Kong when it was a British colony.

Surrounded by so much culture, afternoon tea has long been a past time shared between me and friends, Chinese and Europeans alike. From the years I spent living right next to the Hong Kong Country Club, I often looked forward to it. It was a ritual amongst friends, held at each other’s homes, the famous Chinese tea houses that offered the most exotic teas served with dim sum, or at other hotels like The Repulse Bay and The Mandarin Oriental where the sandwiches were oh so terribly British. And by that, I just mean that the sandwiches were made of the usual tiny cucumbers lined with very thinly spread butter and foie gras on delicate white bread.

In contrast, tea times with my German friends would offer coffee alternatives served with thick German cakes and champagne cordials, served over amazing Meisen China, however still combined with the fanciest collection of Victorian and Georgian silver. Those were the days that were seriously lived in routine of style and cultural expectation with the friends I had. My best friend during those wonderful years was Ulrike von Bienenstamm who owned the best silver shop in town. We have since parted and moved away from Hong Kong. I miss her.

The Four Seasons Bangkok lobby

Today, I still seek the places wherever proper tea is served. This has somehow become a part of my life, and if anything, to remind me of wonderful libation spent in politeness, grace, and with everything oh so lovely!  I will seek it today, even when traveling on my own.  The last time I was in Bangkok, in August of 2011, I sat at The Four Seasons Hotel in their newly redecorated lobby for a treat I heartily enjoyed.  The mood was plush brought by its contemporary and avant garde furniture with new rich fabrics of strong colors.  Combined with the unusually warm tones from Thai sculpture, artwork and paintings, it created quite an impact.  It was unmistakably a 20th century experience of being in the present times of modern Thailand where the service, one can assume, was as authentic as can be expected from a five star hotel.  Without the usual lace and chintz, the ritual wasn’t short of its olden days flair.  Orchids replaced Victorian florals, but Queen Victoria would have loved it just the same.  The fact that this was Thailand made it for even better care, because the culture knows nothing less than acknowledging the nobility in you, (and themselves in you) by Buddhist belief and practice.  Queen or not, you felt like one.  You’ll be in great hands for a luxurious tête-à-tête at this venue.

Although my favorite is Earl Grey with a dollop of Devonshire cream, I ordered lemongrass tea which came piping hot, as it always should. The setting offered a wet and fragrant hand towel, neatly rolled on a bamboo tray, to prepare my hands with pristine value of cleanliness. As pictured above, the menu included classic savories of the following:

Brie de Maux (cucumber sandwich)

Salmon brioche with yuzu cream and dill

King prawn, egg and poppy seed croissant

Peppered ham and tomato in grain bread canape

Frittata with figs and spicy chorizo and

Smoked chicken with mango salsa served in a milk bun

As for the Pastries:

Chestnut Profiterole with Chantilly

Strawberry Romanoff with cassis jelly

Mango tartlet with vanilla patissier and lavender truffle

Financier pastry with berry yolk and rose petal

Caramel Lingot- a praline sable

Madeleine with candied violet

Macaroon with raspberry and poppy seed

Plain and Raisin Scones with fresh cream and preserves.

Then in December just before Christmas, I treated the girls (who dated my sons) to a Teddy Bear Tea offered by The Westgate in downtown San Diego. While it offered a full afternoon of entertainment with Santa, Mrs. Clause, a juggler and a story teller, the tea itself was an opportunity to chat with each other and have some simple fun around little presents.

DSC_3129Ts_25.jpgDSC_3075aTs_25.jpgDSC_3076a-1aTs_25.jpgDSC_3382aT_25.jpgDSC_3074aTs_25.jpg

The table and setting was soft and pretty with natural light peering through from behind us, by a large window. It was as sweet as I imagined it to be, but short of the harpist who usually plays during normal afternoon teas.

The event was designed to include activities for children whose parents brought them along for the Christmas holiday spirit. The kitchen was a bit frazzled, probably by the size of its turnout, with sandwiches getting dry before it reached its tables. But we had a fun time and since talked about doing it again. Only next time, at my home.

The girls were adorable and so of course were the teddy bears!

They joked that the highlight was storytelling, having lined themselves up with the other little children, after tea was served. No, they did not sit on Santa’s lap! Haha! We then hit the mall in Fashion Valley where we shopped for presents to give to our guys, and then had dinner afterwards. Below are the rest of the photos from that day.

DSC_3058aT-1s_20.jpgDSC_3113aTs_25.jpgDSC_3069a-1Tss_25.jpgDSC_3156amilk-2Ta_25.jpgDSC_3050a-1-2aTs_25.jpgDSC_3171b_25.jpgDSC_3164b-1_25a-1b.jpgDSC_3166a_25.jpgDSC_3175b-1-1aT2s_25.jpgDSC_3112aTs_25.jpgDSC_3105aT_25.jpgDSC_3125aTs_25.jpgDSC_3102aTs_25.jpgDSC_3056as_25.jpgDSC_3163b-3s_25.jpgDSC_3079aTs_25.jpgDSC_3123aT-1s_25.jpgDSC_3057as_25.jpgDSC_3127aTs_25.jpgDSC_3148b2-1Ts-1-2n_25.jpgDSC_3202aTs_25.jpgDSC_3189a-1as2a_25.jpg

And onto other places for tea, I also recommend the Tower Suite Cafe at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas.

Here is what composed their trays in January of 2012:

Smoked salmon and chive cream cheese sandwich

Deviled egg salad served on Brioche

Cucumber and watercress spread

Chicken salad sandwich

Prosciutto, asparagus and cream cheese sandwich

Scones with Devonshire cream and homemade jams and lemon curd

…and other pastry delights like macaroons and chocolate ganache petite fours

 

Have a wonderful Valentines Day 2012!

Blueberry Pomegranate Tea With Amaretto & Cointreau

Into your favorite teapot:

2 bags of Blueberry Pomegranate Tea from The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

2 Cups Boiling water

1 Oz. Amaretto

1 Oz. Cointreau

*Add more liqueur as preferred.  Recipe above is mildly infused.

Include a twist of lemon.

Enjoy!

Serve with White Chocolate Chip cookies with Cranberries and Macadamia Nuts

I’ll be baking the cookies in the morning for Valentine’s Day, so please come back for the photo and recipe!

And if I’m up to it, almost flour-less chocolate heart cake with ground almonds and Scotch infused raisins.

 

So here now are the cookies.  I simply followed the Nestle Toll House cookie recipe for chocolate chip cookies, and substituted the dark chips using real white chocolate chips by Ghiradelli.

Add to it about a cup and a half of chopped macadamia nuts and 1 cup of dried cranberries which I love to quickly infuse with triple sec liqueur by pouring about half a cup over it, then microwaving for about 45 seconds.  Add only the cranberries and not the triple sec into the cookie mixture.


Then I received a dozen of the sweetest chocolate dipped strawberries from our borrowed son, Nathan Martinez, who also brought me some roses.  There’s just no Valentine’s day without these little yummy goodies.  I must admit, they were luscious, sumptuous– delicious!   I thoroughly enjoyed them.

I hope you had a great day!

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Posted in Food & Drinks, Holidays, Recipes, Tweets Tagged , , , , , , |

Water Lilies

“Love is like dew that falls on both nettles and lilies.” ~Swedish Proverb

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Posted in Mother Nature, Photos, Quotes & Spirituality