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  • Writer's pictureVeronica Cline Barton

Veronica's #WritersDiary: #Christmas Tea with a California Twist!

Tea! Bless ordinary, everyday, afternoon tea!

Agatha Christie

Bring on the #holidays! I so agree with Dame Christie's proclamation--there is nothing better than afternoon tea. What a lovely tradition to sooth the soul and let the worries of the day subside. At the Ritz Carlton in Laguna Niguel, the view of the sun breaking through the marine layer was the perfect backdrop for a delightful, holiday afternoon. Best yet, the holiday decor theme throughout the main floor was surfing and sandcastles; a true, California Christmas!

The painted scenes and mixed composition mosaics on the boards were colorful and fun placed against the backdrop of holiday lights, causing many a smile amongst the dudes and dudettes. I was particularly drawn to the heart flanked by the waves scene used in the feature pic. The colors and designs used on these boards were an unexpected holiday twist.

The Christmas tree, sand sculpture was a stunning piece of work surrounded be sea elves. I was touched that they highlighted some of the top, animal rescue centers in Orange County too. Mustn't forget about our furry friends this holiday season!

Now, for the main event, let's talk about the food....

Our first decision of the afternoon was to select the tea to accompany our savory, sweet feast. Traditional blends and fruity flavors were available in black and green tea offerings. Hubby and I opted for the holiday blend--a mix of cinnamon, clove and orange that smelled as good as it tasted. I also had the chance to ask my favorite question in my faux, British accent: "One lump or two?" 😁🎀☕

For the savories, canopies featuring smoked turkey and provolone cheese; cucumber and dill; smoked salmon and creme fresh; grilled shrimp with aioli; and creamy egg salad were delectable combos that were quite pleasing to the palate. The shrimp was a bit of a twist to traditional tea offerings we've had in the past---but for this California setting it was delish!

For the sweets: macarons, a wide variety of petit fours and fresh, baked scones with my fav clotted cream and lemon curd. We took our time, relishing each bite. Best yet--there were leftovers to take home and enjoy as an evening snack! #DinDin #WinWin

As the sun started to dip into the horizon, we stared in awe at the dramatic sunset. A break in the marine layer let in sun rays that christened the waves below. As we sat sipping bubbly, I could wholeheartedly say---it was a very good day, had by all... 🎀🎄

The Ritz Carlton definitely put a beachy vibe to the afternoon tea experience---and for us--we now have a new, #Cowabunga Christmas tradition! It's Wednesday, time for #DearDiary:

Thank You to All the Christmas Cozy Mystery Readers!

#HoHoHo the book sales are starting to roll in and I am so grateful. I truly appreciate all the social media shout outs, good vibes and book reviews--the perfect gift to make an author's day! #ThankYou 💕✨🌹

More Christmas blessings this week from the writers of Twitter...

Author Cathleen Maza, Christmas Rose, 5

For Carolyn and her daughter, Kayla, this Christmas is tinged with sadness as they experience their first holiday without the man they loved so much. Carolyn's mother, Violet is coming to spend the week with them, determined to bring some Christmas joy to their home--but will Carolyn be receptive?

A surprise visit by her eccentric, Cousin Rose, known affectionately as Christmas Rose because of her over-the-top holiday exuberance, causes Carolyn to go into panic mode. She doesn't understand why her family won't let her grieve in peace. As the Christmas cookies get baked and her daughter, Kayla starts to laugh again, she realizes that it may be time to get back to the land of the living.

Author Maza tells a heartwarming tale of a family working through their bittersweet memories this holiday season. A perfect read to experience the joy and love of family at Christmas!

Next up in the #reading queue:

Looking for the perfect holiday recipe?

Enjoying afternoon tea at the Ritz has buoyed my taste buds this week! Sensational Writers & Holiday Recipes is the perfect go-to book to find delectable bites and libations this holiday season. Writers from the USA and UK contributed their fav holiday recipes and give their family stories behind the fab eats and drinks. I love reading and enjoying the recipes from writers I've met on Twitter. The eBook version is just 99 cents at your favorite bookstore--pick up your copy today!

Welcome to my world. Enjoy the rest of the #week and #weekend friends!

Crowns and Kisses,


P.S. The holiday excursions week it's a bit of pre-Christmas chill in Big Bear! Guess who'll be wearing her faux furry boots? Gemma and Rikkhe approve 💖👑

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5 opmerkingen

08 dec. 2021

Merry Christmas, Veronica! It looks like your holiday season is off to a fine start. I loved the photos and the descriptions of the sweets and sandwiches made my mouth water. Safe travels up to Big Bear and have a magical week! 😘👑

Veronica Cline Barton
Veronica Cline Barton
08 dec. 2021
Reageren op

#MerryChristmas Amy! I am loving this time of year, indeed...enjoy your week, sweet friend, xo!💖👑


Veronica Cline Barton
Veronica Cline Barton
08 dec. 2021

I'm more on the tradition side too, I think, UberHappy---at least when it comes to Christmas tea, LOL. But hey, the sunset was splendid and after a glass (or two) of bubbly, all is right with the world...Cathy's book is a fine tale---her first Christmas story! Big Bear is delightfully chilly---my boots are sooooo happy! 👢💖👑


Jena C. Henry
Jena C. Henry
08 dec. 2021

Thank you for inviting me to your tea! The savories…mmmm…then the sweets….perfect. What a wonderful way to celebrate your amazing writing year! I studied each photos- especially liked the animal rescue scene! I always love reading your books and visiting your world. Merry Christmas!


08 dec. 2021

That Christmas tea is different, and the food looks delicious. Very So-Cal, wake up with the waves vibes! It's adorable especially the hand painted surfboard with the pink bikini.

I think I must be a bit more traditional the I thought, as my fave colors are evergreen, holly-berry red and gold this time of year. Looks like you had a blast and well deserved after all your hard work this year!

Huge congrats to Cathy Maza for her lovely holiday story, which I also enjoyed reading a few weeks ago.

Thank you for sharing your TBR and lovely adventures with us all. Take care when you head to Big Bear. Here's hoping for snow. Have a great rest of your…

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