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April 11, 2009

Brewing tea in the bathroom of the Luxe Hotel

So I'm sitting here on our bathroom floor in our hotel, the Luxe Bel Air -- a hotel normally way out of our league, but we got a great deal on our room (much better than the rates on the Web site). What they say about travel right now is true.

Why am I sitting on the bathroom floor typing? Because the success of our trip hinges on Gailor having a natural awakening this morning. We have different body clocks, and when we met in the Los Angeles airport yesterday, I found that her solution to having to get up at 4 a.m. to make her flight from Chicago was not to go to bed. ... 

I'm sitting here and not in the hotel lobby because the one thing the Luxe lacks is coffee and tea in the lobby, something a Holiday Inn Express would have.

I, of course, woke up very early by Pacific time, so I decided to do something I vowed I would never do -- make a cup of tea with the room's Mr. Coffee machine, which is set up on the bathroom counter.

I finally produced a, let's call it a beverage, that was very hot and strong and in a blind taste test I couldn't tell you what it was. It doesn't taste like anything I've ever tasted before. Because it's the Luxe, the tea bags are very fancy: loose tea in some sort of long, thin metallic paper with holes in it. The wrapper says: Serengeti Tea Co. Ticolino High Tea Blend.

What it produced was, I guess, black tea that had overtones of coffee from the Mr. Coffee machine; but the coup de grace was the nondairy creamer I put in it.

Maybe if I bought a carton of milk and stuck it in the bar fridge for tomorrow...but I can't get around having to boil the water in the Mr. Coffee.

I think we're going to have a great time here. I got off the plane yesterday morning, and it was like someone had given me a couple of Valium. Please be patient if your comment doesn't get published right away. I'll do my best, but my guess is that I won't be getting any help from my friends on Easter weekend; I didn't want to ask.

I think we're going to have a great time, but it probably wasn't a good sign that Gailor ate my  turn-down chocolate last night. 


(Photo courtesy of the Luxe Web site) 

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 10:05 AM | | Comments (11)


Gailor sounds more sensible every day.

Immersion heaters are great for this kind of thing. Mr. Coffee just isn't going to get hot enough. I've also been known to travel with one of those plug in pitcher water boiler things (Mr. Coffee doesn't get hot enough to make coffee, either). Immersion heaters are easier to pack, though.

Funny how luxury sometimes isn't so luxurious.

Have a wonderful time! We'll survive.

What a selfless daughter you've raised -- making sure her mother limits her intake of sugar and carbs before she goes to bed.

Excellent point. :-) EL

Is this what they call "living Large"?

Ms E

I trust the bathroom floor of the Luxe was comfy.

And you can get your Easter buffet there too.

... loose tea in some sort of long, thin metallic paper with holes in it ... isn't "loose tea," in my humble opinion. Something like that can't include larger leaf sizes -- which make better tea than the fannings or dust in the bags -- or possibly let the leaves circulate in the water uninhibited. They are, however, very high on the cool factor scale -- so what a shame you were alone in the bathroom instead of in some swanky restaurant!

Though I am not known for traveling light, on the occasion trip where I will only have a carry-on, there is still room for a nylon mesh strainer insert and a snack-size plastic bag of decent tea. My usual travel bag can easily take a mug-top tea infuser and a couple of two ounce tins.

As one who frequently travels with a partner who sleeps about 4 or 5 hours later than I, you could always do as I do, EL. I scope out the hotel or nearest breakfast/coffee shop and go alone. I'm always so incoherent anyway before coffee, it really doesn't matter that I'm alone, and besides everybody else in there is usually alone and with a lap top.

Whereas the success of our trips hinge on my partner's sleep (vs me waking her up by talking on the phone or watching tv or flipping pages loudly) I find it best to just leave. It's much more comfortable than the bathroom floor too.

Oh - and my real point is you'll surely have much better tea in the restaurant than with Mr. Coffee.

L.A. woman sunday afternoon....

Into your blues, yeah


In my experience ALL parents and children have different body clocks. It just is exacerbated when time zones get thrown into the mix.

In the few times I went to the Left Coast, it took me a few days to get acclimated to the time zone change, but it was a little easier for me since my company's branches out there pretty much worked on Eastern Time anyway, to coincide with the Stock Exchange in NY.

Just when I was in sync, it was time to fly back.

Speaking of tea... does anyone else find it subversively hilarious that the Republicans are having their "tea bag" parties or rallies or whatever they are? I think they have no idea how many of us out here are snickering...

Mary, the people who come up with their astroturf campaigns are notorious for not having a sense of humour, and not being familiar with pop culture.

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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