Sunday, April 28, 2019

Day 6 - Coral Tree Tea House

When we stopped at the Welcome Center in Oceanside, a lady told us about a Victorian tearoom in San Diego's historic Old Town. I called from my cell phone and made reservations for 11:00 a.m. Saturday morning. 

Below is the view from our car as we drove from our motel in Mission Valley towards Old Town.  

There was far more to do in Old Town than I realized.  We only went to Heritage County Park where the Coral Tree Tea House is located.  Next visit we will take the Hop on Hop off Trolley to see the entire area.  The Cosmopolitan Hotel in Old Town has an Afternoon Tea with a Spanish/Mexican menu:  Skirt steak with mango salsa and avocado cream;  Spanish egg salad; Gazpacho; and Churros with chocolate.  Doesn't that sound like a fun twist on tea time food?  It'll be on the itinerary for next time.

Heritage park is a quaint village adjacent to Old Town. Situated on 7.8 acres of land, are a synagogue and six houses that were saved for their historical significance to the City of San Diego. The architecture of the houses are Victorian Italianate, Queen Anne, Stick-Eastlake, and Classic Revival. Public and private funds paid for the acquisition, relocation, and restoration of the buildings.

 Temple Beth Israel ~ the City's first synagogue, built in 1889.

~ Senlis Cottage ~
1896 Vernacular-style, modest working-class cottage

Sherman-Gilbert House 
1887 Stick-Eastlake Style House [Transitional between Carpenter Gothic and Queen Anne].  Note the "widow's walk" and circular windows.  This was the first house to be moved to Heritage Park in the spring of 1971.  [Click on photos to enlarge]

Each of these houses used to have shops and businesses in them, but they're all empty now with the exception of McConaughy House where the Coral Tree Tea House is located. 

~ Burton House ~
1893 Classic Revival

~ Bushyhead House ~
1887 Italianate

~ Christian House ~
1889 Queen Anne

The Coral Tree is the centerpiece of the village, located in a court in the middle of the village.

The historic McConaughy house was built in 1887, and is also Stick-Eastlake architectural design.  After the founding of Heritage Park, the house was moved by a group of attorneys. It's the only one of the six houses that was moved completely intact. The attorneys restored the house and occupied it for about 15 years.

The tearoom opened at 11:00 a.m. and Jerry was one of the first guests to enter.

Pam, who co-owns Coral Tree Tea House with her cousin, bought it from the attorneys and opened in 2000 as a gift shop. They added the tea room seven years ago. The blue hydrangea tapestry above the fireplace surround was beautiful.

The table in the corner below was originally our table, but my hubby felt it was to cramped for his 6'3" body, so Pam graciously moved us to a table in another room.

Pam, the owner on the right, and our wonderful server, Frances, on the left.

We ordered the Afternoon Tea option as opposed to the Queen's High Tea.  The only difference was the addition of an Apple Waldorf Salad and $7.

Bottom Tier:  Savories -  Spinach Pie; Sweet Pepper Corn Puff; Cucumber sandwich with Dill on White Bread; Sun Dried Tomato Cream on Wheat Rounds; and Chicken Salad with Pineapple on White Bread.

Middle Tier:  Scones - English Toffee and Chocolate [the House Scone] and Apricot with White Chocolate, served with mock Devonshire Cream.

Top Tier:  Desserts - Lemon Tea Cake; Rocky Road Brownies; and Blueberry Cheesecake Parfaits.

We began our tea with the House Blend - A black tea with essence of chocolate and coconut.  Then we switched over to Rain Forest - A green tea with peaches and raspberries.  Both were very good.

By the time we were ready to leave, the tearoom was completely full.  From our experience Afternoon Tea is alive and well in southern California.  If you are in the San Diego area, this is a delightful tearoom to visit.

We left Heritage Park and traveled to Coronado Island where the famed Hotel del Coronado is located.  It's listed as one of the top 10 resorts in the world.    Next post...


  1. I dont' think I will ever get to California, so I am really enjoying seeing all these wonderful locations and tea rooms through your eyes.

  2. Once again, everything looks delightful, and makes me wish for an afternoon tea tray here at my desk this morning!


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