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  • Writer's picturewinnykaygee

Momentous Montage Holiday Afternoon Tea

Updated: Jan 8, 2022


30801 South Coast Highway

Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Phone: (949) 715-6000 or (949) 715-6420

Average cost: $$$ (includes unlimited champagne and starts at $95 with additional champagne upgrades)

Dress code: Resort casual

Parking: valet was complimentary when we mentioned our afternoon tea reservation

Notes: deliciously satisfying afternoon tea with tasty savory items and beautiful desserts in a modern setting and stunning ocean views. Call for reservations or book via Open Table.

Recommended: celebrate and indulge at least once a year to get into the holiday spirit! The property is absolutely gorgeous and you can access the walking paths outside to get some vitamin sea and enjoy the breathtaking views of the ocean, or wander down to the beach for a post afternoon tea stroll.

Felt so great to be back at one of our favorite Orange County splurges this Thanksgiving holiday weekend! Tim and I headed over for a friendsgiving afternoon tea with Ryan, and the Montage immediately made us feel extra welcome by letting us know we were in for a "historic moment," as we were their very first afternoon tea reservation since the pandemic. I replied that we had been eagerly waiting to return, so of course we had to book the first rezzie that became available!

We were worried that the Laguna Canyon traffic would make us late for our reservation, but because this was the first tea service, the Montage team was actually running a little behind schedule. But with gorgeous views like these, we definitely didn't mind!

Soon we were escorted to our table and enjoying the live piano music by the talented Steve Siu while our wonderful waitress Bellen poured us some Nicolas Feuillatte champagne:

A note about the champagne: The $95/person for afternoon tea comes with unlimited Nicolas Feuillate champagne, but if you're interested in other types of champagne, for an additional $20 (total of $115/person), you can choose Veuve Clicquot "Yellow Label" champagne, and for an additional $35, you can up your champagne game to Bollinger "Special Cuvée" champagne (total of $130/person).

Montage Laguna holiday afternoon tea menu

The Montage offers a selection of different teas, and is fine with guests ordering more than one round to try different teas throughout afternoon tea service:

- HOLLY BERRY SANGRIA: pink peppercorn, hibiscus, cranberry, spices

- HERBAL PEPPERMINT: spearmint, peppermint

- LYCHEE-HIBISCUS GREEN TEA: hibiscus rose hips, blackberry, pear

- SPICED CHAI: cloves, ginger, allspice

- MONTAGE BLEND BLACK: Chinese Keemun black tea (very smooth with no astringency/tannin taste)

- SWEET ORANGE CINNAMON: orange peel, stevia leaf


Once we selected our teas, first up were some savories on a marble tiered server:

Montage Laguna holiday afternoon tea savory tea sandwiches: cucumber, salmon, and tiger shrimp

I started with the English cucumber with minted cream cheese - so refreshing and a unique twist on the typical cucumber tea sandwich with bread:

Montage Laguna Beach afternoon tea: cucumber "sandwich" (with no bread)

Next, we enjoyed the tiger shrimp roll with creme fraiche nestled in a brioche bun and topped with celery leaves. This was so delicious we asked for seconds!

Montage Laguna Beach afternoon tea: tiger shrimp roll with brioche bun

Our second helping:

Rounding out the initial trio of savory items was the oak smoked salmon with lemon crema, and fennel pollen, topped with trout roe:

Montage Laguna Beach afternoon tea: salmon and roe tea sandwich

Our waitress was so thoughtful; she said the Bayonne ham Vol-Au-Vent is her absolute favorite, so she brought us each an extra ham vol-au-vent:

Montage Laguna Beach afternoon tea: ham puff pastry (vol au vent)

Truly so delicious: thin, slightly sweet, delicately flavoured ham that is reminiscent of prosciutto nestled on top of the flaky layers of puff pastry, all balanced out by the sweetness of the rehydrated fig. Incredible and by far our favorite savory item of the day!

After we enjoyed all of the savory items, it was time to sample the abundant sweet desserts:

Montage Laguna Beach holiday afternoon tea: dessert tiers

Given that I have less of a sweet tooth, I was really happy to learn that like most high-end tea places, we could ask for second helpings of the items we liked (like the tiger shrimp roll and the ham vol-au-vent). For sweets, I started with the scone, which was fluffy and lovely with clotted cream and and housemade strawberry jam. Then I moved onto the butterscotch cake, which was super smooth and rich, but not overly so, especially when paired with the Montage blend black tea and champagne.

Montage Laguna Beach holiday afternoon tea: butterscotch cake

I thoroughly enjoyed the Montage's signature orange-drenched almond torte - very moist with pleasant texture, and the citrus flavor was fragrant and really made this dessert sing:

Montage Laguna Beach holiday afternoon tea: signature citrus almond cake

The almond tart was also yummy, with great nutty flavor and fragrance and a well done crust (certainly no "soggy bottoms" here)!

Montage Laguna Beach holiday afternoon tea: almond tart

Another delightful dessert was this profiterole filled with delicious creamy custard and topped with a thin and glossy Montage chocolate disc (at this point the chocolate disc had melted slightly because there was so much natural light streaming in).

Montage Laguna Beach holiday afternoon tea: profiterole (cream puff)

Last but not least, this chocolate éclair had great texture and was a smooth note to round out a delicious afternoon tea! Compared to the Peninsula afternoon tea experience, we left very satisfied but did not feel as weighed down, likely due to the more decadent items from the Peninsula.

Montage Laguna Beach holiday afternoon tea: chocolate eclair

Given that we were so close to the beach and Treasure Island Park, we definitely took advantage of the Montage's location to walk around outside afterwards. When the weather is this glorious, I'm always extra thankful to live in beautiful and sunny So Cal! We didn't venture all the way down to the beach, but we took our time and enjoyed the walking paths above that really showed off the incredible blue skies and seas. The plants and flowers along the walking path are so beautiful that you really can't take a bad photo here:

Very grateful for this year's #MontageMemory. Until next time!

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