Encinitas is a little over an hour’s drive from Orange County (an hour and a half to two hours with traffic). It is a relatively new town that was incorporated in 1986 joining the communities of New Encinitas, Old Encinitas, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Olivehain, and Leucadia. It’s definitely a beach town but while, at the same time, having a tropical feel to it as if driving on the Big Island of Hawaii from mauka (mountain) to makai (toward the ocean).
A short drive from the freeway is The Kate Stanton Inn. Liz Clarke is the main innkeeper and shares her home with you, a home away from home. She has lived in Encinitas for almost 40 years and knows the community rather well. After a warm greeting and check-in with Liz and Carol (who has resided in Encinitas for over 20 years after moving from the United Kingdom), you are shown your room. Just like at home, you are welcome to the living space and outdoor patio. From the outdoor patio, you can actually see the Pacific Ocean to the west and San Elijo Lagoon Reserve to the north. It is the largest coastal wetland in San Diego County with nearly 300 different species of birds calling this beautiful place home throughout the year.
The Nantucket Room is a bright and airy 300 square-foot bedroom with bathroom en suite. This first floor room is decorated like a Nantucket beach cottage with traditional blue and white colors. There is also a wonderful cross-breeze from being on the corner of the house along with lots of shade on the south side. The room includes a queen bed, flat screen TV above an electric fireplace, private bathroom, work desk, rocking chair, chaise lounge, and private patio. The private patio has a tropical feel surrounded by fruit trees and flower bushes.
After settling in, Liz will serve up early evening cocktail or glass of wine. While sitting in the living room and relaxing, you feel so comfortable as if catching up with long, lost relatives. Conversations of childhood, how you met your mate, what you do for a living, and what your plans while in Encinitas come with ease. Resident mascot, guardian, and attention receiver, Kai, a mixed breed pup, is the friendliest and gentlest dog you’ll ever meet. She looks to be part Rottweiler, German Shepherd, and maybe Labrador Retriever. She has the cutest blonde “eyebrows” giving her a look of curiosity when she looks at you. After finishing drinks, it was time to head out for a dinner celebration. Stay tuned for the article on this.
When we returned, Liz and Carol had performed a turn down service with comforter pulled down and provided a cold bottled water and York Peppermint Patty as a sweet, minty touch before going off to Neverland. Such the perfect touch to end a perfect day!
In the morning, Liz prepared a lovely breakfast of what she calls “Lazy Innkeeper’s Eggs Benedict”. Hollandaise is easy to make but takes a lot of time and patience until you get the perfect consistency. She found that after making hollandaise sauce, most guests either didn’t want any or just wanted a little bit. So instead of hollandaise sauce, she melts cheese on top of the poached egg and calls it a day. It totally works! The flavor is reminiscent of an open-faced breakfast sandwich, but more luxurious. The eggs are poached to perfection and when you cut the egg, a gush of golden, silky yolk flows out, lovingly saucing the egg whites, ham, and English muffin below. A make-your-own-parfait of vanilla yogurt, granola, fresh blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries is absolutely splendid as light and creamy meets sweet and tangy.
After breakfast, it was time to do some work. But Kai had other plans. Kai wandered into our room and wanted some attention. After a doggy massage, she plopped down on the floor and took a nap. The hubby returned to the rocking chair to watch TV and the author returned to her laptop to finish some assignments before venturing out to the beachside of town for the Foodie Fest Encinitas. Stay tuned for the article on this.
After the Foodie Fest Encinitas, a food coma took over and it was couch potato time. The food coma turned into a nap until dinner time. Liz and Carol recommended a restaurant called Fish 101 which has a casual atmosphere and also has poke on the menu. Stay tuned for the article on this.
On Sunday mornings, Liz likes to serve bagels and lox for breakfast. Carol picks up bagels warm and fresh from Einstein Bros. Bagels along with a selection of cream cheeses. Standard accompaniments of sliced tomatoes, red onions, and capers are artfully displayed along with sliced and peeled mango and first-of-the-season peaches. The toasted, soft, chewy wheat bagel is the perfect base to the fluffy cream cheese, buttery cured salmon, sweet red onion, and salty capers. The sweet fruit paired nicely with savory fare.
After breakfast, it was time to head back to Orange County. The Kate Stanton Inn is a lovely home away from home in a cozy beach side town. Check in and stay a while the next time you are in the San Diego area.
For more information:
1904 Leucadia Scenic Ct.
Encinitas, CA 92024