Monthly Archives: April 2011

Victorian Tea at the Hotel Del Coronado

Hotel Del Coronado

The Hotel Del Coronado, affectionately referred to by locals as The Del, is a gorgeous hotel dating from 1888. At that time, afternoon tea was a popular Victorian ritual. According to hotel literature, it was a leisurely and sumptuous affair including small sandwiches, sweets and carefully prepared hot tea – the centerpiece of the table. Polite conversation was very important and unsavory subjects were taboo. Tea service at The Del was a daily event until the 1950s.

Today, this lovely old hotel serves up tea in the Victorian tradition once a year. These tea times start after Thanksgiving, from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm, and run right up through the end of December except for Christmas Day. During this period, there are other blackout dates when tea is not served. Reservations are absolutely required and should be made as soon as possible.

Hotel Del Main Lobby at Christmas

The teas, menu and service are exceptional! The surroundings are richly decorated for Christmas. After tea we recommend you enjoy a walk around this lovely hotel, stroll on the beach and check out the underground shopping mall.

For more information on the Victorian Tea, contact Hotel Del Coronado or visit their website,, where tea information is available by Autumn.

Hotel Del Coronado
1500 Orange Ave
Coronado, CA 92118

Below is a sampling of the 2010 Victorian Tea Menu:

2010 Petit Sweets Tray

Finger Sandwiches
Smoked Salmon Mirrors:
chive cream cheese & salmon roe on white bread
Duck Rillette:
duck & curried mango chutney on toasted brioche
Pulled Citrus Braised Ham:
ham with mustard fruit on dark rye crostini

Petit Sweets
Warm Black Currant Scones
Fudge Dipped Strawberries
Chocolate Opera Cake
Fresh Fruit Tarts

Tea Selections
Black Currant Chinese Black Tea
Mandarin Orange Green Tea
English Breakfast Tea
Chamomile Herbal Tea

2010 Prices: Adults $40.00, Children Ages 6-10 $20.00

Are you planning a tea party? You’re invited to visit Teapots ‘n More and browse our latest selection of teapots, tea accessories, teacups, tea miniatures and elegant tea sets.

Music For A Tranquil Tea

You’re having a tea party! The teas are selected; savories and sweets prepared. Linens pressed, silver polished, tables set and on down the check list. Fresh flowers, guest favors…check, check and double check!

What about the music? Is it really necessary?

While music isn’t the most important ingredient to a lovely tea party, it is key to the atmosphere you create for your guests. Think of it like the makeup on your face. With makeup, the goal is to enhance your natural beauty. You want people to say “you’re eyes are lovely”, not “you’re blue eye shadow is lovely”. Likewise with music, you want to choose pieces that will enhance the experience for your guests, not detract from it.

The logical next question then is which music to choose?

While the options are many, we submit the following observations. Music that contains words or is too loud competes with the conversation in the room. Fast paced or hauntingly slow music is usually less than peaceful. The best music will provide a tranquil backdrop to your gathering.

We’ve concluded that our favorite music for tea parties involves the stringed instruments by classic composers. You will find a short list of our favorites below. Feel free to add to our list. We love to hear your thoughts!

Tea Party Music Suggestions:

Bach Concerto for Violin & Orchestra in E Major, Mvt. I

Bach Double Concerto for Two Violins & Orchestra in D Minor, Mvt. II

Vivaldi Symphony in C Major, No. 44

Vivaldi Symphony in D Major, No. 30

Vivaldi Concerto No. 1 in E major, Op. 8 (Spring)

You’re invited to click Teapots ‘n More and browse our latest selection of teapots, tea accessories, teacups, tea miniatures and elegant tea sets.

Tranquility Tea Room in Thousand Oaks, CA

Last year, my birthday included a surprise visit to a new tea room! My family knew just how to make me happy…lots of good food, plenty of tea, a new tea adventure and the pleasure of their company. Perhaps you like tea adventures too, so we’re sharing our favorites in Southern California should you find yourself in the area and wanting a tea room. We’ve got more recommendations coming, so check back from time to time.

A visit to Tranquility Tea Room & Baking Co. was my birthday surprise!

If I Only Had A Heart - The Tin Man Table

The atmosphere was light and airy with charming details everywhere you looked. The owner, Candra Cogan, decorated the entire tea room with changing themes. We arrived during the Wizard of Oz theme and sat at the Cowardly Lions table. There were also Dorothy, Emerald City, Wicked Witch and Tin Man tables to name a few. The picture above is the Tin Man’s Table – “If I Only Had A Heart”.

The service was outstanding while the food was homemade, delicious and themed as well! We especially enjoyed the petite desserts and Wizard of Oz trivia quiz.

Theres No Place Like Home - The Dorothy Table

All the tables included fresh flowers, vintage dishes, lacy linens and other great details! Check out the ruby slippers at Dorothy’s Table! There were plenty of hats and shawls at the tables and more to choose from nearby.

If you are looking for a good, reasonably priced tea room for little ladies or a cozy gathering for friends & family, Tranquility Tea Room is a wonderful choice.

Important Note: Reservations are required.

Below is a list of highlights that make this tea room unique plus contact information.

Those Ruby Slippers!

– Highly themed and decorated tables

– A large collection of hand-decorated hats that are available for everyone to enjoy and most can be purchased.

– A changing theme & menu:
  January – March: Peter Pan
  April – May: Fairytale Princesses
  June – August: Mad Hatter’s Tea Party
  September – November: Wizard of Oz
  December: Christmas Tea Party

– A community minded business which supports the Lighthouse Women & Children’s Mission in Oxnard, CA.

– Original recipes with all baking from scratch.

Fun Fact: Every table has a bell for additional cheerful service!

Emerald City Table

Contact Information:
Tranquility Tea Room
2527 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd.
Thousand Oaks, CA 91362

You’re invited to click Teapots ‘n More and browse our latest selection of teapots, tea accessories, teacups, tea miniatures and elegant tea sets.

Toad in the Hole

Toad in the Hole…Yorkshire Pudding with Sausage

Toad in the Hole -

An easy and delicious English recipe!

Makes 4 individual servings.

4 custard cups or large muffin tins
4 Tbsp oil
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup flour
1 pinch of salt
4 thick sausages (preferably pork, but any thick savory sausage will do)

1. Precook the sausages, cut in quarters and set aside on paper towel.

2. In a large bowl, mix together flour and salt. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the eggs and some of the milk. Mix to make a smooth paste.

3. Gradually whisk in the remainder of the milk and mix again to a smooth batter.  Allow batter to stand for 15-20 minutes or up to 30 minutes.

4. Heat oven to 450 F. Place 1 Tbsp of oil in each cup and put cups on a cookie sheet. When oven reaches correct temperature, put cups in until oil starts to smoke and then take out of oven. (Watch carefully as this will happen rather quickly!)

5. Reduce oven to 400 F.

6. Place 2-4 sausage pieces in each cup. Remix the batter and quickly fill cups halfway.

7. Return to oven and cook for 25-30 minutes, until batter is puffed and golden brown. Serve immediately because the puffs will deflate as they cool.

Tip: For a spicier version of Toad in the Hole, try this recipe from There are many recipes, so if you don’t like these look around on your search engine of choice.

You’re invited to click Teapots ‘n More and browse our latest selection of teapots, tea accessories, teacups, tea miniatures and elegant tea sets.