Stop. Smell Roses – Union Tribune

by Lorna on November 15, 2010

A pair of teahouses offer a chance to slow the pace a bit

By Shay K. McKinley
August 5, 2004

Picture a softly lit room furnished with antiques and lace tablecloths, with classical music playing in the background. You sit amid this elegance sipping tea and sampling an array of sandwiches and scones.

Sound impossible in today’s busy world? Think again. Two San Diego teahouses offer not only great food and service, but also the chance to slow down and savor any occasion.

Aubrey Rose Tea Room

8362 La Mesa Blvd., La Mesa; (619) 461-4832.

One of La Mesa’s hidden treasures, the Aubrey Rose Tea Room is the perfect place to catch up with an old friend, treat someone to a special lunch or simply get away from the frenzied pace of daily life.

Aubrey Rose has the capacity to serve large groups or tuck away a party of two in a pleasant corner. Ornate curtains, lampshades and tablecloths decorate every nook of the room, while bubbling fountains and soft music add to the ambience.

Owner Lorna Wyatt is all grace and hospitality, pouring tea for her patrons and chatting with them about their day.

“Tea brings back a time of gentility and civility to our lives, and I wanted to share that with as many people as possible,” she said.

Aubrey Rose offers a selection of more than 50 loose-leaf teas and tisanes, or herbal teas. The house blend is a delightful tropical China black tea with peach, mango, apple, orange and guava flavoring. Another favorite is the Cream Earl Grey, with a more mellow taste than its traditional counterpart.

Wyatt offers two types of full-service afternoon tea: The Lady Anne Tea features assorted tea sandwiches; seasonal fruit; fresh baked scones with mock devonshire cream, lemon curd and fruit preserves; and various pastries for $18.95. The Queen Victoria Tea, for $23.95, adds on an extra sandwich, tea breads and a chef’s choice of a savory such as quiche.

Children can partake of the Princess Sophia Tea, which includes assorted sandwiches, seasonal fruit, “sconettes,” pastries and more for $16.95.

Walk-ins are welcome to enjoy the Cream tea – a pot of tea and a scone for $9.95 – if space is available.

The delicious variety of tea sandwiches includes a superb chicken salad with tarragon and pecans on date-nut bread; blue cheese with pears and walnuts on toasted wheat; and avocado and bacon with sprouts.

Wyatt’s pastry chefs vary the dessert offerings, but she confesses to a weakness for bread pudding with whiskey sauce and serves that regularly.

All of the teas served at Aubrey Rose are available for purchase, along with numerous tea accouterments. Aubrey Rose also carries antiques, fine bone china tea ware, bridal accessories, home decor, candles, linens and all things Victorian.

Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday; 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Reservations are recommended.

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