Friday, December 27, 2013

Annual Christmas High Tea at The Shangri-La Hotel

I love traditions. And I love that we're creating new ones. (Have I already mentioned that in my blog?). Anyway, this is the third or fourth year that we've gathered together at the Shangri-La Hotel for a wonderful afternoon of high tea. Why do we always go back to the same place? We especially like their high tea for two reasons : 1) the pianist that provides magical Christmas background music, and 2) their high tea menu changes every season... and of course, with it being Christmas, the desserts on the third tier are all Christmas-themed. That's the way to get into the spirit! 

We didn't end up in a private room with our own personal pianist like we did last year (re: last year's post), but we enjoyed it just as much. It doesn't hurt too that we have a bit of a connection, so although it was a completely blinged out kind of high tea, it was very reasonably priced. 

Look at the gorgeous purple and gold sequins. The hotel was currently running their Arabian themed nights, and so we got a bit of their festive decor. 

Some of us got the small pots, and some got the big ones.

There is absolutely nothing better in this world than gathering together with your close ones and sharing a few laughs. This is what it's all about. This is what Christmas is about. I love every bit of it.

But of course, let's look at the spread of amazing, not-so-tea-sized food.

The mini sandwiches were amazing. There was the smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel, the curry chicken sandwich, a jelly sandwich, and a roasted vegetable and hummus pinwheel.

For dessert, there was a spiced eggnog cream, a turkish delight, a pistachio cake, and something that's similiar to a baclava. (Horrible descriptions... I'll rewrite them once I look for my photo of the menu).

I really did leave out a third reason why we always choose the Shangri-La for high tea. They make the best scones. Flakey and crispy on the outside, and soft on the inside. With the right amount of currants, which goes so well with their in-house marmalade and berry jam. They gave us bowls of clotted cream, which I initially thought was a waste... but surprisingly enough, we somehow manage to dig through most of it.

And that wraps up yet another memorable and fun Christmas high tea at the Shangri-La.

For the third year in a row, we coupled high tea with a night of Christmas caroling with the Vancouver Symphony and Orchestra at the St. Andrew's Church in downtown. I couldn't decide whether to go or not, because of the list of things I wanted to do back at home... but in the end, I'm glad I decided to go for the concert. Dan was so sweet to sneak away while the rest of us were shopping to go line-up at the door to make sure I got a ticket. 

Even though some of the songs are repeated every year (how many Christmas songs are there anyway?), I enjoyed it just the same. Sitting inside that gorgeous church, and listening to the choir sing and the symphony and orchestra play out the songs, it all somehow gives you a piece of tranquility. It's perfect for doing some reflecting on the past year. No matter what the year played out to be, every end of the year when I sit inside that church at the Christmas concert, I could only feel one thing - and that is, being thankful.

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