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Afternoon tea in DC?

Friend wants to celebrate a monumental birthday by going for fancy afternoon tea. What are your favorite places for such an event? We are thinking of Hillwood, Ritz or Four Seasons. Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

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    1. re: lisalisalisa

      Interesting, but I'm not sure what that means. And would it be appropriate to celebrate a birthday?

      1. re: beachgirl54

        I think it would be very appropriate for a birthday ... this from the Web site, "The Tea Cellar's sophisticated tea offerings, some of which are at the level of flavor and complexity of fine wines, not only introduce guests to the highest quality of tea, but also to the significance of water temperature and steeping time each tea requires."

    2. Four Seasons has a good one.

      The Willard used to have one that I enjoyed -- very nice room, pretty settings, nice selection of teas and little pastries -- but it's been a few years and I don't know if it's still offered.

      1 Reply
      1. re: weezycom

        I just made reservations at the Willard for tea

      2. I actually don't recomment the Four Seasons...at least not the one in Georgetown. I went there for tea a couple years ago with friends and we didn't enjoy the atmosphere or the food. The finger sandwiches and pastries were dry and the atmosphere was like sitting in a hotel lobby.

        My recommendations are The Mayflower on Connecticut Ave and The Hay Adams on 16th & H. I enjoyed the tea room at The Mayflower, very elegant and the food/tea was great. I haven't been to The Hay Adams but have heard great things about their high tea.

        If you're looking for something different...instead of an English tea you could have Chinese tea at Ching Ching Cha on Wisconsin Ave in Georgetown. This is a cute little Asian cafe and tea house...the decor is very feng shui! I enjoyed this spot as a change from the well-known English high tea.

        1. I don't know how different the Ritz in DC is from the one in Pentagon City but I went to the one in Pentagon City recently. It was really nice, piano player, fire blazing. I had the high tea (I think it was almost $40) for finger sandwiches, bite sized desserts, tea. The finger sandwiches were forgettable but I really liked the desserts. The first cup of tea was wonderful but then subsequent cups were too strong. I don't know if that's how all tea is here in the US, but I've been to Ritz Carltons in Boston, SF and here and they give you a pot of tea seeping in tea leaves. It makes a great first cup but I'd love to remove the tea leavees then, instead of having them sit in the tea pot for a long time, making bitter tea. Anyway, service was great, as always. I'm always impressed with the Ritz.

          1. Ritz in Georgetown was boring - food and ambience - when I went for tea last year.

            1. Teaism downtown (800 Connecticut Ave NW)also does a (more affordable and less formal) afternoon tea that is has an asian twist:

              AFTERNOON TEA
              Monday to Friday 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm

              Traditional Tea 20.00
              tea cured salmon tea sandwich, cucumber & wasabi tea sandwich
              ginger scone with butter & jam, 3 kinds of shortbread cookies, fruit curd tartlet, chocolate truffles & pot of tea

              Asian Tea 20.00
              rice ball with pickle & sesame, tea cured salsmon & nori, tofu with
              ginger, green tea ice cream, mochi, truffle & pot of tea

              I've never been, but it sounds interesting, although probably a bit more casual than you were looking for.

              1. I go for afternoon tea at the Jefferson Hotel every year for a birthday party and it's pretty nice. They give you sandwiches, fresh scones and little petit fours along with the tea. I like their scones, and the tea is loose (no joke, I've been offered bags at high tea) but there is not that much choice in teas.

                I've been dying to try the high tea at Blue Duck Tavern, is that the same as the Tea Cellar at the Park Hyatt?

                1 Reply
                1. re: caphill2320

                  Blue Duck Tavern is separate from the Tea Cellar, however, they are both in the same hotel (Park Hyatt).

                2. I'd definitely recommend the Tea Cellar at the Park Hyatt. I read about it in the Washington Post and went there with friends to celebrate new engagements. The hotel is beautiful. The tea selection is excellent and elegantly served in individual pots. They have a tea table with a selection of scones and pastries for $11 per person on weekday afternoons and there's also a separate menu to order a light lunch. It was great!

                  1. I like tea at the Mayflower. It's been a few years, but it was really lovely and I clearly remember a cellist playing on the balcony as we ate.