A Montage Resort in Laguna Birthday and Cheese Plate

IMG_6189I just turned 42 years old, yep that’s me. My dad still cannot believe it.  He shakes his head in disbelief every time I mention it. Strangely, I still feel like I’m in my twenties. Perhaps a better way to say it would be, I just turned 28 with 14 years experience. Yes indeedy, staying young at heart is my life’s plan.

The above mentioned birthday happened a couple of days before Santa’s arrival. This post is to pay tribute to the event and share a doozy of a find {psst – cheese plate}.  You see, each year, I never sit back to reminisce or linger over my birthday.  It’s always fuzzy come New Years Eve; wait did we celebrate this time around?  Oh yeah, silly me, don’t you remember those candles in between wrapping presents and fighting the masses at Costco?  Are you with me early Capricorn’s! Since I don’t want this post to be about only me.me.me, I also wanted to share a glorious cheese plate and how you can DIY.

So, while my memory is fresh, let’s start from the very beginning.  It’s a very good place to start. Let’s talk about A Montage Resort in Laguna Birthday and Cheese Plate.

The day before the big 42, I decided to paint the family room – wild hair.  I did have limited help from the little people, for about 30 minutes. Since DH was in New York, I had to get BUSY all by myself.  Come sunset, Mama was poop’d, but the room was presentable, resulting in an 8pm bedtime all around.  Beagles included.  There was a good amount of square feet that needed coverage and it was an exhausting task. What was I thinking?  I still do not have the answer.

But DH did get to come home, in the wee hours, to a newly painted kitchen/family room.


The next morning, unbelievably strong coffee arrived bedside, just like I like it.  It was after 9am.  Sleeping in was the first gift, 13 hours people, can I get a Hallelujah.  The tribe smiled and laughed while Daphney the beagle scampered around the pillows, wanting me to join in her juvenile playfulness. “It’s wake up time sleepy head”.


After breakfast we were up and running.  A dash to Costco was first on the list for fixin’s. Lawdy, pushing a shopping cart around those aisles was more difficult than maneuvering a Sigalert on the 405. Patients was a virtue.  We brought home the bounty and the crew put everything away.  Then before I knew it, the sitter, friends and chariot to the Montage Resort in Laguna Beach had arrived.

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Cocktails in the lounge at the Montage in Laguna, if you have never done this, think about putting it on your bucket list.  The Pianist Steve Siu, the holiday decorum, the sounds of the ocean, the libation, the perfectly mannered staff, sigh…. 42 had arrived just fine.  As I snuggled down into a warm cozy sofa with a glass of champagne, I listened and watched. I watched the expressions of my loved ones and listened to their laughter, I never wanted to forget this moment.

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An hour later, our table was ready, as planned.  Wine was decanted and poured, the mood was festive.

Enter Lauren Bright, the fromage expert at the Montage in Laguna Beach. She had a culinary halo glowing underneath her white kitchen attire. I even glanced around thinking a spotlight from the ocean’s edge had risen to highlight her face as she approached our table. She truly was sent from heaven above.

She asked a few questions and personal preferences. She was on a mission to bringing a palette of flavors to our palates. 15 minutes later, her mouth-watering work of art appeared.  I honestly had to fight off fingers and knives to get a least one semi-focused photo.  Everyone was eager to savor Lauren’s masterpiece, myself included.

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It was delicious.  Her cheese selection along with their paired accompaniments were out of this world.  Only more proof she was sent from above.  If you would like to recreate her cheese plate, Lauren was kind enough to write down her artistry. Did I mention how much I adore the Montage Staff?

La Tur – Cow, Sheep, and Goat Milk blend with Blackberries / Port / Chocolate compote

Marinated Soledad Goat Cheese rounds

La Grein – Cow Milk cheese from Italy with Sherry Caramelized Onions

Beemster XO Gouda – Cow Milk from Holland with Lavender Caramel  ** Favorite**

Roaring 40’s – Sheep Blue Tazmania with Creamy Wild Flower Honey ** Favorite**

To find some of these hard to find cheeses, Lauren recommended a cheese shop right down the street from the Montage, called Vin Goat in Corona Del Mar. Eric and John are the owners. Be sure to tell them Lauren Bright from the Montage in Laguna sent you.

Address: 3326 East Coast Highway, Corona del Mar, CA 92625

Phone (949)673-2200  Website http://www.vingoat.com

Hours: Tue – Fri: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm,  Sat: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm, Sun: 11:00 am -4:00 p

The dinner and company were delightful.  Beyond the sleeping in, strong coffee and Montage in Laguna, hugs and kisses from my tribe and friends were the best gifts of all. I cherish those the very most. They make me look forward to another trip around the sun.

Birthday love to all you, especially to my fellow Capricorn’s.




  1. Happy (belated) Birthday my gorgeous friend! It looks like a fabulous evening!
    Heather recent posted..Good-bye, My Love.

    • Thanks sweet Heather. I wanted to share that I am in mouring over your parting with diet soda, I wish I was as strong as you. Here’s to your better health than mine 😉

  2. MMMMM – I’m finding that cheese store!! And that picture is not you, it’s your darling little one, right?

    • Yes, the first photo is of my wee one. I thought the trumpet was celebratory, for the birthday and all. Let me know when you do a Vin Goat drive by. – xxoo

  3. Happy Belated sweet Kathleen!


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