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For many years now, my daughter and I have treated ourselves to tea at the Park Hyatt Aviara, formerly the Four Seasons. To clarify, this is not “high" tea which is more of a dinner, but rather afternoon tea: the one “with cucumber sandwiches cut ever so thin…” (from Howard’s End). Upon arrival, the valet took our car and we walked into a breezy Park Hyatt lobby with a breath-taking expansive ocean view.

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Afternoon tea is served in the Lobby Lounge and requires a reservation. The server approached us and indicated the table set for two. Although Alicia was perfectly cordial, I was disappointed to not see Vanessa, who has always been our server in the past. The two choices for afternoon tea are Traditional and Royal, with a large tea list. The Royal Tea includes a glass of sherry, sparkling wine, or port. I chose the Royal Tea with a glass of sherry. ($37) The menu doesn’t list a tea option for children, but it is available upon request with a choice of PB&J, ham or turkey and cheese, or grilled cheese sandwiches. ($15)

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The server brought out a three-tiered tray with finger “sandwiches”, sultana scones, pastries, and strawberry panna cotta. For slathering on your scones, the lemon curd, Devonshire cream, and jam are homemade and overflowing. Since we’re “regulars”, our preference for the sublime rose petal jam is indicated in their computer. Alas, it was missed this time and we had strawberry jam instead. My daughter with her PB&J sandwich couldn’t hold a candle to my tea sandwich selection: a curried chicken salad tart, a Carlsbad strawberry stuffed with Boursin cheese, roast beef, smoked salmon, and sliced cucumber! Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available if you mention it when making your reservation.

Our miniature pastries included an opera cake, a macaroon, and a fruit tart. I find that I end up drinking about ten cups of tea whenever we come here-they are very attentive to the empty teapot! A stop at the serene ladies’ room, the pleasant garden, and the gift shop rounded out our visit to the Park Hyatt. We left stuffed, and yet refreshed by the luxurious surroundings.

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Afternoon Tea is served Friday-Sunday from 2-4

Park Hyatt Aviara Resort 7100 Aviara Resort Drive Carlsbad, California 92011 760-448-1234 http://parkaviara.hyatt.com

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