Our friends J. and S. were visiting from out-of-state for the holidays and one thing on their must-do list was to have “English style afternoon tea.” We knew just where to take them: Marlene’s Tea & Cakes! If you have friends and visitors from out-of-town, consider taking them out for high tea at Marlene’s Tea & Cakes, a hidden San Diego gem that only locals seem to know about!
Marlene’s in a beautiful part of San Diego, off the beaten track, smack dab in the middle of a residential community called Santa Luz. Situated in the central coast/valley ecoregion of San Diego County, two-thirds of the community landscape is comprised of native grasses, drought tolerant, and native trees and shrubs. That alone is worth the visit, to see the native side of San Diego. (NOTE: Ignore the other one-third of the landscape: the lawns and golf courses!) Nothing evokes “home” for me like the sights and smells of California coastal sage scrub and soft chaparral! And to all you cyclists out there, it’s also a great community to ride through with rolling hills, interesting scenery, and little traffic!
My favorite thing about Marlene’s is the menu–it changes monthly. For that reason alone, I have visited Marlene’s more than any other tea house (see previous posts here).
I love a tea house that regards its tea service as seriously as the food. The tea varieties here are top notch and Marlene brews every pot of tea personally to make sure it’s brewed properly (thank you, thank you!) 🙂 You can’t go wrong with any of the teas. Even the water is special here–depending on the time of the year, it could be flavored with strawberries, cucumbers, lemon, or a combination!
“In Britain, a cup of tea is the answer to every problem.
Fallen off your bicycle? Nice cup of tea.
Your house has been destroyed by a meteorite? Nice cup of tea and a biscuit.
Your entire family has been eaten by a Tyrannosaurus Rex that has traveled through a space/time portal? Nice cup of tea and a piece of cake. Possibly a savoury option would be welcome here too, for example a Scotch egg or a sausage roll.”
― David Walliams,