The 10-foot-tall Gingerbread Mountain Village in the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort.
Gingerbread Mountain Christmas
The kids will marvel at this scenic home for Santa and his holiday friends.
Bakers will marvel at executive pastry chef Franck Riffaud’s skill with 22 pounds of dough, 300 pounds of icing and 18 pounds of chocolate.
And dessert lovers will mourn when they hear that the Gingerbread Mountain Village (pictured) will never be eaten, due to a month of uncovered exposure in the resort’s lobby.
Now through Dec. 31, Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, 7100 Four Seasons Point, Carlsbad. (760) 603-6800; parkhyattaviara.com.
One tea origin story has a Chinese emperor walking with a cup of hot water when a leaf falls in. He discovers it tastes great.
Fast-forward 2,700 years and now our holiday tradition includes tea time in resort settings. Because when you’re on vacation, you can lay off the coffee.
Victorian tea: All this talk about engaged royals has put us in the mood for the Hotel del Coronado’s Holiday Victorian Tea. Extend your pinkie and partake in many traditional tea varieties, served with finger sandwiches (the pulled citrus-braised ham sounds divine), classic tea cookies and tarts. Noon to 4 p.m. various days, through Dec. 31. 1500 Orange Ave., Coronado. $40 adults, $20 children 6 to 10; (619) 522-8490 or hoteldel.com.
Grand tea: The Grand Del Mar’s getting in on the fancy tea holiday action. They’re offering finger sandwiches, fresh scones with crème, French pastries, tea and hot apple cider in the lobby. 2 to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays through December 30. 5300 Grand Del Mar Court, San Diego. $42; (858) 314-1988; thegranddelmar.com.
Tea tangent: Check out Tea-Upon-Chatsworth in Point Loma. On Fridays, Halcyon Tea has tea tastings in South Park.
Chocolate tangent: Get a free truffle with an alcoholic beverage 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays at Eclipse Chocolat. Exotic offerings like ginger-salted coconut-milk truffles can be pressed against your tongue — for just a moment! Life is fleeting, chocolate is mood-enhancing, and the truffle roster changes daily, based on what William Gustwiller’s merry band of chocolate makers have whipped up.
Eclipse’s prices: wine glasses $6; half bottles $14 to $30; beers $4.50 to $6. And two truffles would cost you $5 outside of happy hour. 2121 El Cajon Blvd., North Park. (619) 578-2984; eclipsechocolat.com.