During the months of March through May, the seaside community of Carlsbad in Southern California celebrates with their famous blooming ranuculus. Near the center of town is a field ablaze with a kaleidoscope of flowers. Restaurants, hotels and spas incorporate flowers into their wellness programs, cocktails and special dining menus.
Here are 10 Petal to Plate experiences that will bedazzle your senses:
1. Omni La Costa Resort & Spa gardeners have planted thousands of flowers around the grounds of the classic Spanish Colonial design resort. Known for The Chopra Center and La Costa Spa, the spa is the jewel of the resort. In 2018, the staff is taking the Spa experience to a new level offering weekly and complimentary floral and herb Art of Aromatherapy classes. Guests will learn how essential oils offer a multitude of positive and therapeutic affects in mood and health. Jasmine oil is soothing, relaxing and uplifting, while sweet orange oil calms ones nerves and stimulates lymph flow and digestion.
2. There is a new Petal to Plate facial at the Omni La Costa Spa Day offering the unique Rose and Neroli treatment and shoulder massage featuring all-natural skin care oils and products that will reduce inflammation and the appearance of fine lines.
3. Guests can also enjoy floral-infused craft cocktails at the Omni La Costa VUE overlooking the golf course. Mixologists create a cocktail made with flavorful delights of flowers like hibiscus, pansy, chamomile, rose and elderflower. While at The Spa, there is a Spa Day Menu offering healthy and light fare for guests before and after their treatments. They also make Signature Spa Bellinis and a Blood Orange margarita to help one relax, unwind and enjoy their spa moment.
4. Located between LEGOLAND and the Pacific Ocean, The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch are filled with colors of merlot, purple, salmon, pink, gold, yellow and white can be seen from the highway. Thousands of visitors stop to take a tour of the largest argritourism destination in Southern California, with acres of land in full bloom starting March 1 until May 13. Some of the flowers are cut, while others stay in the field for farmers to collect the seeds and replant in the same field for the next season. Flowers and bulbs are harvested and packaged to sell at the onsite Armstrong Garden store for the public to plant at take home.
Guests visiting the Flower Fields can ride in a wagon pulled by an antique tractor while listening to an audio commentary sharing the history of this one-of-a-kind farm. Even though ranunculus are the stars, another beautiful sight is a large American flag made with rows of red, white and blue petunias. There is an interactive flower maze made with blooming, colorful and fragrant sweet peas. Other exhibits include the history of the poinsettia plant, and a large greenhouse showcasing cymbidium orchids in a multitude of colors.
During April and May there are a variety of fun, special events that include live-music performances, flower arranging classes, photo workshops, tea in the gardens and sunset wine tastings with food at tables in the fields.
5. Attend a floral cocktail class at the nearby Sheraton Carlsbad Resort. At sunset, before dinner at Twenty/20, guests can arrange to take a cocktail class or sit back and have one of the creative mixologists make a pretty champagne cocktail named Fizz Blossom. It’s a refreshing lavender and lemon spritz made with vodka, lemon juice, lavender flower syrup, sparkling wine and purple lavender floral sprigs.
6. Dine at Twenty/20 restaurant for a “Petal to Plate” menu by Chef Eddie. Named for its picture-perfect views, Twenty/20 brings farm-fresh ingredients with a coastal California flair. Each dish is embellished with flowers to intensfy flavors and provide pleasing color. The hamachi crudo is decorated with cilantro flowers, citrus flowers and radish flowers. The Hibiscus Coconut Shrimp Ceviche has tangerine and chive flowers. His fennel arugula salad is brightened with fennel flowers and pansies. The mustard flower crusted lamb has beautiful arugula blossoms, and the rooibos-orange blossom cake is sprinkled in a mosaic of pretty flower petals.
7. Park Hyatt Aviara was built seven years after the first Arnold Palmer designed golf course was built 27 years ago in Carlsbad. This elegant property features 327 rooms with 43 suites. The lobby welcomes guests with a stunning floral display. While checking in, guests can sip a complimentary floral and fruit enhanced water or Arnold Palmer at a self service beverage station. Take the drink to the magnet window to appreciate the views of the property’s Palm Courtyard filled with flowers and gardens. Beyond is the Pacific Ocean.
8. Inside the Park Hyatt Aviara Spa guests receive a warm hand towel with the essence of eucalyptus, tea tree, pine and peppermint oil upon check-in. Marble steam showers have bottle of eucalyptus spray for spa guests to gain health benefits. In the lounge area are dispensers filled with plum, cocoonut and persimmon body lotion to soften skin and provide aromatherapy. Healthy snacks and fruit enhanced waters are available. This Spa also offers a two-room Couples Suite with a private whirlpool patio, and a 24 hour fitness center that is larger than a typical resort gym.
9. Enjoy lunch of dinner at The Argyle Steakhouse, next to the Park Hyatt Aviara Arnold Palmer Golf Course. It’s a fine dining restaurant offering an array of grass fed steaks and fresh fish. When ordering a steak, a knife concierge approaches the table to guide guests on the best steak knife for different cuts of beef. Executive Chef Pierre Albaladejo, Chef de Cuisine William Griggs and Pastry Chef Christopher Rull prepare a Petal to Plate menu that includes a Baja striped bass on a bed of local mixed greens with Valdivia Farm peas, grilled asparagus, Meyer Lemon marmalade, sliced Carlsbad strawberries and a honey-pollen vinaigrette. Rull makes an elegant Lemon Strawberry Shortbread dessert with Violette infused strawberry jam and fresh strawberry sorbet. Known as the Surfin’ Chefs, they have been known to teach guests how to surf, when arranged with front desk staff and concierge.
10. Guests will want to sip the Petal to Glass cocktail while overlooking the Aviara Golf Course. The mixologists make a delightful and colorful drink with Don Julio Blanco tequila, lemon juice, strawberry puree infused with honey syrup, champagne and delicate fennel flowers. Sit back, and take in the beauty of this Park Hyatt resort.
Click here for a list of other Carlsbad Petal to Plate offerings.