Tea by the Sea

On December 2 I had the opportunity to preview Tea by the Sea at the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades. Despite being a native Los Angelina, I didn't know that this Getty existed. Like most people, I was only aware of the Getty Center off the 405. Both comprise the Getty Museum.

Join the Getty Villa for Tea by the Sea, a special dining experience and garden tour inspired by the Mediterranean herbs, vegetables, and fruits that grow at the Villa. Tea by the Sea gives you the opportunity to take a vacation to Rome without leaving the city and relax while enjoying exquisite delicacies and panoramic garden views.
Guests will deepen their understanding of ancient Roman Cuisine and will be indulged with a menu that includes Prosciutto and Brie with Fig Jam on Artisan Wheat Bread, Shrimp and Cucumber Tea Sandwich with Tarragon Aioli and the famous Mrs. Garrett’s Original Carrot Cake. The event will take place at the Founder’s Room, an elegant space featuring floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Villa.

What a find!! Let me tell you, if you have not been there, the family-friendly Tea by the Sea is an excellent introduction to the art and history of Roman culinary habits. You'll also get an entertaining lesson on the medicinal properties (real and imagined) of many of the plants that we still use today. The Greeks and Romans had a use for everything.

Let's take a walk after dinner
Did you know that you can eat more if you lay on your left side? It's been scientifically proven because your stomach can expand more. Romans didn't sit up and eat as we do, they reclined and ate off of low tables.

Did you know that myrtle berries were used to freshen breath? Nothing close to minty fresh though.

I learned these little tidbits while on a docent-led walk through parts of the museum and through the Mediterranean herb garden.
The herb garden was important in ancient times serving multiple purposes. Formal gardens were used for pleasure and relaxation after dinner. While on the walk you will get an up-close and personal look at the ingredients used in the formal tea.

The Menu
House-Baked Scones and Tea Breads - the cranberry scones were flaky and went so very well with the clotted cream and jam that were provided.
From Tea by the Sea

Freshly brewed tea and traditional accompanients -- the house black tea was simply divine! The scent reminded me of Earl Grey, but it wasn't nearly as strong and I was able to drink it without sugar. If you are a tea connisiuer you will definitely enjoy this brew. Unfortunately, it is not for sale.
From Tea by the Sea

Grilled Bocconcini Sandwiches with Olive Vinaigrette - I ate three of these.
Prosciutto and Brie with Fig Jam on Artisan Wheat Bread - I don't do ham, but my guest loved them.
Shrimp and Cucumber with Tarragon Aioli on Foccaccia - the grown-up version of a tuna sandwich. Simply delicious
From Tea by the Sea

Domestic cheeses with dried and fresh fruit -  This was the first time I had ever had port cheese, I am now in love with it. There wwas also grapes, Brie, and dried apricots. All of the flavors blended together nicely, you could go from one item to the next and not be jarred from the experience by clashing flavors.
From Tea by the Sea

Mrs. Garrett's Carrot Cake - Not the usual oversweet carrot cake. It was very dense and the cream cheese frosting was light and not very sweet, but it complemented the carrot cake very well.
Mixed Marscapone Tartlet - I love tarts and these were scrumptious.
From Tea by the Sea

Tea by the Sea at the Getty Villa is $36 per person and will be served Thursdays at 1:00 p.m. A free, advance ticket is required for Villa admission. Tickets for the Villa are available at www.getty.edu  or by phone at (310) 440-7300. Reservations for Tea by the Sea are available at www.getty.edu/visit/events/tea.