Monday, October 25, 2010

Yes, I Took My 3-Year-Old to Afternoon Tea at the Biltmore

CC prepares for a spot of tea at downtown's Millennium Biltmore Hotel.

Sometimes I feel like an Indiana Jones-style adventurer when I'm out exploring the city on any given day. Of course, instead of a dusty leather jacket and whip, I'm usually sporting a travel-size pack of Kleenex and Band-aids.

Now that I think about it, maybe that whip would come in handy. (Just kidding. Sort of.)

In any case, my latest adventure involved a gorgeous afternoon tea at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown L.A. to celebrate my friend and former Variety colleague Lisa, who recently scored an awesome job at L.A. Weekly. Another friend and Variety veteran, Shali, invited several journo friends to toast the occasion, that is with Earl Grey or Bombay Chai.

Shali (pictured right) was more than gracious when I asked if I could bring CC. "Bring her!" she emailed, without the slightest hint of trepidation.

So I did. I said that I was determined to make a little lady out of my daughter if it killed me -- and it might. (Notice the hint of terror in my eyes in the photo to the right. Thanks to Justin Chang for the pic.)

The Biltmore, across from Pershing Square, is truly magnificent. Lots of architectural ornamentation and history that dates back to the 1920s. And no surprise that we saw at least three different brides and their parties walking down into Rendezvous Court, where we were seated.

But were we formal? Not in the slightest.

CC immediately donned her purple foam crown and pulled out her plastic pink hippo to accompany the service. She sipped from her "Baby Tea" (aka milk) and sampled a mini chicken salad sandwich on cranberry wheat bread; scones; and, of course, pastries.

And then she wanted to play. There was some running around, some climbing under the table, and then she decided she wanted to put on a show next to the nearby Baby Grand piano.

And on her trip to the loo, CC insisted on trying to engage the poor woman behind the door next to her in conversation.

"Whooooo iiiiiissss iiiiit?" CC chirped to no avail.

I smiled, I gritted my teeth and ultimately accepted that my child is 3 years old and curious. I explained to her that not every place is a playground and that sometimes we need to sit still.

I'm not sure how much of that sank in, but I'm still happy I took her. I got to see my friends, had the chance to explore the Biltmore, and CC got a taste of something elegant that will be available to her whenever she wants.

After all, L.A. is her oyster -- well, maybe more like her animal cracker.

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