By Miriam Raftery
July 31, 2019 (Valley Center) – My daughter and I savored a soothing summer’s eve at Keys Creek Lavender Farm in Valley Center, partaking of an outdoor high tea on a shaded patio--an idyllic way to relax and indulge in some scrumptious treats.
After rambling down winding country roads, we arrived to be greeted with a hand-washing station complete with a lavender sugar scrub that left our hands not only clean, but soft and smooth. I recommend arriving early to take a stroll past lavender fields, albeit past the peak spring bloom season.
If you wish, you can walk a labyrinth and stop in the gift store; we did the later and took home lavender-scented soap, the scrub, and a marvelous lavender cream to sooth aching muscles.
Our tea tables were adorned with trays of roses dipped in sugar crystals – lovely to behold. The evening was warm and balmy, but an outdoor fireplace could provide warmth at other times of the year.
Tea time included an English black tea followed by a refreshing lavender tea. There were several traditional finger sandwiches (cucumber, chicken and egg salad), followed by a lavender scone with Devonshire cream and marmalade.
Next came an array of sweets including a fluffy meringue confection that melted in our mouths, lemon curd squares, tarts with summer fruit, and a chocolate treat.
There were no savories such as sausage dishes found at some other high teas, but the choices were ample enough to be satisfying without overindulging.
Alicia Wolff, the owner, is originally from South Africa and a most gracious hostess. She acquired the lavender fields property several years ago and has made many improvements, relishing the fruits of her labors. To fully immerse yourself in the experience, you can now stay overnight in one of several glamping yurts (rounded tents with beds – no roughing it here), or a provincial guest house; overnight visitors have access to a pool and spa
The farm makes over 40 lavender products ranging from essential oils to candles. The venue hosts a variety of special events throughout the year such as yoga and healing retreats.
Do allow plenty of time to get to the off-the-beaten track location, and don’t rely solely on GPS. There are several dirt roads before you reach a lot at the end to park and walk down to the high tea service area.
To learn more about Keys Creek Lavender Farm, make reservations for upcoming high teas or other events, visit https://www.kclfarm.com/.
For information or reservations of glamping yurts, visit https://www.airbnb.com/things-to-do/places/990780.
To view or book the provincial guest house, visit https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/14691489?source_impression_id=p3_1564634022_9OfrbaxRLFLnjVh1.