22 June, 2011

The Duchess Dines . . .

Farm Shop at the Brentwood Country Mart; The Terrace at the Langham, Pasadena

As the Duchess's pocketbook thins, the Duchess does not.  Case in point, this weekend:  two yummy meals out on the town with the lords and various other compatriots in tow. 

First stop Farm Shop at the Brentwood Country Mart.  The Country Mart is a virtually ideal location for parents with relatively young children, as they can run mostly amok without interference.  It's also very easy to spot your children there--their colorful attire and bright cheeks really stand out against all the white jeans.

Farm Shop was good, not great, but a big improvement over the formerly empty space it now occupies.  The Duchess had a vegan salad with quinoa, avocado and butter lettuce along with a green tea soy latte.  Her children dined on biscuits with butter and marmalade, and Lady T. dined on the coddled eggs.  This was a rare non-alcoholic meal:  with no wine, champagne, mimosa or any other libation ordered, the bill still came out to about $70 total, with tip.  Pretty steep for a "casual" and so-so brunch with the fam.

On Father's Day we piled into the Duchess-mobile and headed over to The Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena.  At the weekend when the traffic is light, it's a hop, skip and jump.  We love the Langham, particularly for its extremely kid-friendly vibe.  It is becoming customary, say, to spend the morning at the Huntington Gardens and Library, then to have brunch on the Terrace at the Langham.  The lords especially love it; the hotel is set on twenty-three acres of land; there is much room to move.  The Terrace overlooks the hotel's pool, and the hottub is right around the corner from the restaurant.  The food is fine, not delicious, but certainly acceptable hotel food.  The Terrace offers a kids' menu at reasonable prices, crayons to boot.  The Senator and Duchess grab a newspaper (gratis in the hotel lobby) as we walk in and catch up on our reading while the lords explore the surrounds.  $14 per glass for mediocre champagne (!), but what's a Duchess to do?  It was Father's Day after all.

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