My mom didn’t bake cookies, take me prom dress shopping or those other mother-daughter activities, but she did bring me along for one of her favorite rituals: high tea. I have fond memories of getting dressed up for hot tea, scones with cream and savory finger sandwiches in the beautiful surroundings of whatever hotel my mom selected that afternoon. I was delighted when I got to carry on this little tradition with my 4 ½ year old daughter Naomi during a recent trip to The Westgate Hotel in San Diego.
Naomi isn’t a unicorn and rainbows type of girl, but she does appreciate a nice restaurant experience. When I told her we were going to have an Enchanted Tea together, The Westgate Hotel’s princess tea experience, meeting princess Tiana and Rapunzel was just icing on the cake. She couldn’t wait to have hot chocolate, puff pastries, macarons and mini sandwiches. And I couldn’t wait to share this experience with just the two of us.
We sat at a sweet little table for two among other guests, most of them dressed up as their favorite princess. Our service kicked off with sparkling wine for me and sparkling apple cider for Naomi, followed by hot chocolate, organic Earl Grey tea and towers of tea sandwiches like strawberry cream cheese and cotto prosciutto, pastries and scones. Eventually, the princesses arrived, gathering the children for a couple of songs and individual photos. After we said goodbye to Tiana and Rapunzel, Naomi got a keepsake princess postcard and little toy frog to remember our special mother-daughter afternoon.
This holiday season The Westgate Hotel is offering three festive tea services. The Winter Wonderland Tea, which runs through Jan. 1, offers beverages, sweet and savory treats and tea sandwiches with a winter twist accompanied by a live harpist. Guests also receive a special ornament. On select dates through Dec. 23, families can enjoy Santa’s Story Time Tea, featuring a story time with Santa Claus, live holiday music and traditional tea service. Children can take photos with Mr. Claus and will receive a keepsake teddy bear. And for the first time ever, The Westgate Hotel hosts a Grinch’s Tea on Dec. 24. The Christmas Eve afternoon tea experience features photo ops with Grinch and Cindy Lou Who, entertainment, a take home gift and more.
If you can’t make it for the holidays, The Westgate offers regular afternoon tea service Thursdays through Sundays for mother-daughter tea time or a relaxing date without the kids.
Nina Harada is a mom, artist and Digital Editor of L.A. Parent.