Located across from Santa Anita Park on West Huntington Drive in Arcadia, the newly opened Le Meridien Pasadena Arcadia pays careful attention and tribute to the residents and history of the surrounding San Gabriel Valley community. At Longitude 118, the hotel’s bar and lounge, their unique high tea and highball cocktail program combines a traditional high tea with Asian flavors.
Afternoon tea offers a nod to the European heritage of the Le Meridien brand and serves a fresh take on the traditional cocktail hour. The menu offers a selection of classic High Tea, Champagne Tea and Highball and High Tea, which include premium hot tea, a full menu, a caviar canapé and Hibiki Harmony Highball. Available Thursday to Saturday from 11 to 17, there is also a special Junior High Tea for pinkie lifters from six to 12 years old.
The diverse selection of blended and hot teas includes Hong Kong-style milk tea with black tea, evaporated milk and brown sugar, Jasmine matcha milk with honey and almond milk plus oolong caramel, English breakfast, earl gray and yin zhen.
Starting with the salty, the finger sandwiches take a welcome detour from the usual classics. In addition to a salmon cucumber roll, there is a perfect lobster and egg salad starter as well as shiitake mushrooms with aioli and a strawberry with mascarpone sandwich. Scones with lemon curd and Devonshire cream are available in matcha and plain.
Sweetest of all is the generous selection of small pastries that start at the top with a taro-cream-filled mochi with salted egg yolk, a slightly divine cloud that practically floats on your plate itself. Rounding off the layered tray are vanilla red velvet mini cupcakes, rich matcha chocolate truffles, ginger crème brûlée and French macarons. On special occasions, you might find traditional Dango mochi balls on a skewer in sakura, green tea and plain flavor on the tray.
Part of the cocktail program includes craft cocktails from inspired tea-infused spirits, including a Fuchsia Fascinator, a blend of El Jimador tequila, nuit d’ete hibiscus tea-infused syrup and yuzu, and Show Pony, which combines Suntory Toki with matcha green tea. honey and ginger.
Le Meridien Pasadena Arcadia’s art collection tells its story
In addition to the ways in which the classic European and modern Asian elements merge in the kitchen, the hotel’s overall aesthetic is expressed in its detailed and tailored design and art elements. The hotel itself embodies a fusion of cultural atmospheres – a luxurious visual scheme of peacocks, Paris and a day at the races, honoring the owner’s love of haute couture (specifically Le Meridien’s historical relationship with the Hermès brand), the history of the place with its wildlife peacocks and famous racetracks and the important Asian presence in modern Arcadia society.
From the expansive stained glass window by Ron Dier, which presents itself as an abstract painting but dissolves into a monumental peacock tail, to the David Ellis murals in the dining room, which combine Chinese ink painting with aerial topography and wind in a mane of a fast horse and a pack with large-scale Mark Garry working to merge abstract painting with vintage street maps of Paris, at each turn there is a different visual derived from global and local stories.
French illustrator Serge Bloch’s charming original works on paper celebrating the fashionable fun with big hats for Derby Day, Cari Guerin’s classic line drawing of an Andalusian pony on carefully sewn and gold – leafed teabags and a range of magical, mysterious paintings by William Attaway including both equestrian and aviary spirits are just a few of the impressive works on site that create special, intimate art experiences at every turn.
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