Friday, December 25, 2009

Languid Brunch at the Langham

As a belated birthday present, Jenny and Chi treated me to the Sunday Champagne Brunch at the Langham Hotel in Pasadena. Formerly the Ritz-Carlton, the place exudes old world elegance, money and grace. The brunch was possibly one of the best champagne brunches I've ever had. Sergio agrees. The food stations were laid out interestingly, scattered in pockets all around the main dining room. We sat out in the Terrace, overlooking the pool area. Though it was not bright and sunny, the temperature was perfect for outdoor dining. Of course, the service was excellent. Glasses never empty, dirty plates and utensils cleared and replaced promptly and quietly. My favorite dish was a bacon (prosciutto?) wrapped date that sat on a bed of burrata cheese and arugla. I think I had like three of those. They had everything you would expect from a hotel champagne brunch -- just stepped up, higher quality, more refined variations and better tasting.

After the meal, we wandered around the hotel and grounds. This was Jenny and Chi's wedding night hotel so it is an even more special place, and they knew a lot about it! It was also all decked out for the holidays with fairy lights, poinsetta, a giant bear and cookies for Santa.

The phone booths were like little offices. We couldn't resist taking a mirror shot in one. The picture bridge featured hand painted scenery the entire length. I guess it used to extend over the pool but guests kept using it as a launching pad into the water. So, the pool was shortened years ago. I think if you tried really hard though, you could still make it. The famous Japanese inspired garden did not disappoint. Lots of weddings take place there. Wonder what it's like to live in one the storybook houses that run along the edge of the hotel grounds? The road in/out is basically private so it's pretty quiet. But then you get hotel guests wandering around taking pictures of your home, like I did. The last photo below is an actual home! It looked like something out of Hansel and Gretel.

Thanks so much Chi and Jenny! It was a wonderful experience and a perfect birthday present.

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