Friday, June 12, 2015

Tea by the Sea ... in J. Paul Getty's Villa

From the Getty site
I'd been out of the area for quite awhile and missed out on the advent of many a new tea experience. Fortunately, I at last got to spend the day at the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades, CA overlooking the Malibu coastline.

The Villa has long been a favorite museum of mine. I'm a 'Greek freak' and anything from the Mediterranean in the days of antiquity makes me nearly giddy.  Add that to the fact that I'm an afternoon tea junkie, and the idea of attending the Getty's Tea by the Sea looked to be so spectacular, I feared spontaneous combustion.

I managed to keep my unbridled enthusiasm to a mild simmer, and purposely went to the museum solo, so as to while away my time doing whatever my soul desired. Touring the restored and expanded compound, designed to give the feeling of life in a Roman country house in the first century A.D., I was awed by the attention to detail. Architecture and horticulture were painstakingly researched in order to give the most accurate display of ancient Roman life possible in modern SoCal.

The tea service echoed this meticulous and loving approach to its source material. The menu was the most complex I've ever enjoyed at afternoon tea, with flavors chosen to exemplify Spring in the Mediterranean, and a custom-blend tea created to compliment the flavorful fare.

The food and service were outstanding, but the real star of the day in my eyes was not the satisfying meal nor the aromatic brew, nor even the incomparable surroundings, no, the highlight for me was Daniel, the fellow who oversees the afternoon teas along with the booming business conducted at the Villa's cafe.

But afternoon tea was not the end of the adventure. Having toured the exhibits and supped and sipped to my heart's content, I then walked off the tea comestibles by joining the Villa's Garden Tour where I learned about the herbs and edibles onsite, including those that were part of the tea experience.

In short, I had a ball, and cannot recommend the experience enough to museum lovers, especially those with a soft spot for ancient Greece and Rome.

My cell-phone images that follow are not the best, and I took too many to crop and edit in a timely manner, so I'll just pick a few random shots and throw them onto the page and let the reader scroll quickly by, to get an idea of the wonders that await at the Villa.

Thank you, Daniel. My visit was a memory I'll cherish.

Tea Travellers Societea

That's the ocean, visible through the archway as you leave the Villa