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Fairmont Grand Del Mar’s Downton Abbey Afternoon Tea

Where to Have Afternoon Tea in San Diego

Delicious sandwiches and delicate pastries await

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Is there a more archetypal English institution than taking afternoon tea? Tiered towers of dainty yet deliciously moreish finger-sandwiches and savories followed by petite-fours for dessert — it’s the best way to spend time between lunch and cocktails.

From a classic Cream Tea of scones, jam, and clotted cream (correct placement of the latter depends on whether adopting the Cornish or Devonian method) to luxurious High Tea affairs accented with a glass of champagne, here are 10 spots around San Diego to savor this great British treat.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. The Grand Tea Room

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145 W Grand Ave
Escondido, CA
(760) 233-9500
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Located in Escondido’s historic downtown district, Louisa Magoon’s elegant yet cozy salon serves five types of afternoon teas – from a simple Cream Tea to the two-hour Grand Tea – ranging in price from $14 to $33. Sandwiches and savory pastries, scones with cream, lemon curd, and preserves, and petite desserts can all be ordered a la carte. Over 40 gourmet loose-leaf teas also feature.

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2. The London Bakery

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632 Main St
Ramona, CA 92065
(858) 888-1838
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A transplant from London’s East End, Joanne Bennett opened up shop just under four years ago in Ramona. Jams, lemon curd, and clotted creams are all made in house while her high tea menu is modeled on the Ritz and includes finger sandwiches, mini pastries, scones, and a pot of fresh steeped tea.

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3. Marlene's Tea & Cakes

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Camino del Sur
San Diego, CA
(858) 756-4320
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Less than 20 minutes east of Solana Beach, Marlene’s serves afternoon tea from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Priced at $35 per person or $30 for children 12 and under, highlights include cucumber sandwiches, a mini-beef Wellington, plus dainty desserts like tiramisu parfait. 

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4. Fairmont Grand Del Mar

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5300 Grand del Mar Ct
San Diego, CA
(858) 314-2000
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Afternoon tea in the Library or Lobby at The Fairmont Grand Del Mar is a luxury worth treating oneself to. The three-course service includes scones and jam, fluffy petite pastries and dainty finger sandwiches, plus gourmet Tea Forté selections. Priced at $54 per person, or $65 for the “Royal” experience, which includes a glass of champagne, service is available every Friday through Sunday between 2 and 4 p.m. Reservations require 24 hours in advance.

Fairmont Grand Del Mar

5. La Valencia Hotel

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1132 Prospect St
La Jolla, CA 92037
(855) 476-6870
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Currently on hiatus, La Valencia’s tea service resumes with six spring dates from April 4 through May 9 (to coincide with Easter and Mother’s Day weekends). Available each Saturday afternoon tea will be served from 2 to 4 p.m. in The Med. The service can also be booked as a special event; however, some menu restrictions will apply based on seasonal availability and group size. 

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6. Aubrey Rose Tea Room

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8362 La Mesa Blvd.
San Diego, CA
(619) 461-4832
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Nestled in the La Mesa Antiques district AubreyRose has been serving its English-style tea since 2003. The Queen Victoria ($31.95) and Lady Anne ($28.95) each come with a selection of sandwiches, savories, seasonal fruit, scones, and petite sweets, plus unlimited loose-leaf tea. There’s a walk-in only cream tea too ($16.95) while a glass of Champagne can be added for $7. 

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7. Coral Tree Tea House

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2490 Heritage Park Row
San Diego, CA
(619) 291-5464
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Relax in Victorian-era splendor at the historic 1887 McConaughy House in Old Town while tucking into assorted miniature sandwiches, warm savories, freshly baked scones and as many pots of fresh-steeped tea as you can handle. Reservations for Afternoon Tea, the Princess Tea, and Queen’s High Tea cost between $22 and $42 and are taken Thursday through Sunday from 11 a.m. 

Yelp

8. Shakespeare's Corner Shoppe

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3719 India St
San Diego, CA
(619) 683-2748
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Hands down the most authentic British afternoon tea in town, Shakespeare’s generous spread includes sausage rolls with Branston pickle and scones with real Devon double cream. In addition to the afternoon tea ($29.95) and cream tea ($14.95), special event teas based on English themes, like Agatha Christie, Dr. Who and Harry Potter, are held throughout the year. Perfect for picnics, afternoon and cream teas can also be ordered ahead and boxed up to go. 

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9. Morning Glory

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550 W Date St
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 629-0302
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CH Projects ode to non-basic breakfast might not be the first place that springs to mind when thinking about afternoon tea, but their midday tiered tower of sweet and savory treats is a feast for the senses. Pair with a pot of tea (there’s chamomile and Earl Grey among others) or a Pimm’s Cup from the cocktail list.

Eater San Diego

10. The Westgate Hotel

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1055 2nd Ave
San Diego, CA
(619) 238-1818
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French interiors, crystal chandeliers, and a live harpist set the scene for an elegant afternoon tea at The Westgate. Choose from a dozen tea selections before devouring handmade savories, including housesmoked salmon sandwiches, buttermilk scones and assorted petite-fours. Served Friday through Sunday from 2:30 to 5 p.m. it’s priced at $39 or $42 with a glass of Champagne.

Courtesy Photo

1. The Grand Tea Room

145 W Grand Ave, Escondido, CA
Facebook

Located in Escondido’s historic downtown district, Louisa Magoon’s elegant yet cozy salon serves five types of afternoon teas – from a simple Cream Tea to the two-hour Grand Tea – ranging in price from $14 to $33. Sandwiches and savory pastries, scones with cream, lemon curd, and preserves, and petite desserts can all be ordered a la carte. Over 40 gourmet loose-leaf teas also feature.

145 W Grand Ave
Escondido, CA

2. The London Bakery

632 Main St, Ramona, CA 92065
Yelp

A transplant from London’s East End, Joanne Bennett opened up shop just under four years ago in Ramona. Jams, lemon curd, and clotted creams are all made in house while her high tea menu is modeled on the Ritz and includes finger sandwiches, mini pastries, scones, and a pot of fresh steeped tea.

632 Main St
Ramona, CA 92065

3. Marlene's Tea & Cakes

Camino del Sur, San Diego, CA
Facebook

Less than 20 minutes east of Solana Beach, Marlene’s serves afternoon tea from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Priced at $35 per person or $30 for children 12 and under, highlights include cucumber sandwiches, a mini-beef Wellington, plus dainty desserts like tiramisu parfait. 

Camino del Sur
San Diego, CA

4. Fairmont Grand Del Mar

5300 Grand del Mar Ct, San Diego, CA
Fairmont Grand Del Mar

Afternoon tea in the Library or Lobby at The Fairmont Grand Del Mar is a luxury worth treating oneself to. The three-course service includes scones and jam, fluffy petite pastries and dainty finger sandwiches, plus gourmet Tea Forté selections. Priced at $54 per person, or $65 for the “Royal” experience, which includes a glass of champagne, service is available every Friday through Sunday between 2 and 4 p.m. Reservations require 24 hours in advance.

5300 Grand del Mar Ct
San Diego, CA

5. La Valencia Hotel

1132 Prospect St, La Jolla, CA 92037
Courtesy Photo

Currently on hiatus, La Valencia’s tea service resumes with six spring dates from April 4 through May 9 (to coincide with Easter and Mother’s Day weekends). Available each Saturday afternoon tea will be served from 2 to 4 p.m. in The Med. The service can also be booked as a special event; however, some menu restrictions will apply based on seasonal availability and group size. 

1132 Prospect St
La Jolla, CA 92037

6. Aubrey Rose Tea Room

8362 La Mesa Blvd., San Diego, CA
Facebook

Nestled in the La Mesa Antiques district AubreyRose has been serving its English-style tea since 2003. The Queen Victoria ($31.95) and Lady Anne ($28.95) each come with a selection of sandwiches, savories, seasonal fruit, scones, and petite sweets, plus unlimited loose-leaf tea. There’s a walk-in only cream tea too ($16.95) while a glass of Champagne can be added for $7. 

8362 La Mesa Blvd.
San Diego, CA

7. Coral Tree Tea House

2490 Heritage Park Row, San Diego, CA
Yelp

Relax in Victorian-era splendor at the historic 1887 McConaughy House in Old Town while tucking into assorted miniature sandwiches, warm savories, freshly baked scones and as many pots of fresh-steeped tea as you can handle. Reservations for Afternoon Tea, the Princess Tea, and Queen’s High Tea cost between $22 and $42 and are taken Thursday through Sunday from 11 a.m. 

2490 Heritage Park Row
San Diego, CA

8. Shakespeare's Corner Shoppe

3719 India St, San Diego, CA
Facebook

Hands down the most authentic British afternoon tea in town, Shakespeare’s generous spread includes sausage rolls with Branston pickle and scones with real Devon double cream. In addition to the afternoon tea ($29.95) and cream tea ($14.95), special event teas based on English themes, like Agatha Christie, Dr. Who and Harry Potter, are held throughout the year. Perfect for picnics, afternoon and cream teas can also be ordered ahead and boxed up to go. 

3719 India St
San Diego, CA

9. Morning Glory

550 W Date St, San Diego, CA 92101
Eater San Diego

CH Projects ode to non-basic breakfast might not be the first place that springs to mind when thinking about afternoon tea, but their midday tiered tower of sweet and savory treats is a feast for the senses. Pair with a pot of tea (there’s chamomile and Earl Grey among others) or a Pimm’s Cup from the cocktail list.

550 W Date St
San Diego, CA 92101

10. The Westgate Hotel

1055 2nd Ave, San Diego, CA
Courtesy Photo

French interiors, crystal chandeliers, and a live harpist set the scene for an elegant afternoon tea at The Westgate. Choose from a dozen tea selections before devouring handmade savories, including housesmoked salmon sandwiches, buttermilk scones and assorted petite-fours. Served Friday through Sunday from 2:30 to 5 p.m. it’s priced at $39 or $42 with a glass of Champagne.

1055 2nd Ave
San Diego, CA

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