Baby Shower - High tea or brunch recommendations?
I'm throwing a baby shower for a dear friend. I think it will be a pretty small group - 10-15 maybe? I'm from out of town and she doesn't really have a suitable place, so I'm hoping to do it out. I was thinking of maybe doing afternoon tea - I saw recommendations for the Mayflower and the Willard. Thoughts? Or I would like to consider a brunch or prix fixe Saturday lunch, too. It doesn't have to be so fancy, but not divey. Either a pretty room or a place will a small private dining room that we could spruce up a bit. Any thoughts? She's in Baltimore, but metro accessible in Maryland or DC would probably best. I would appreciate the assistance! Thanks! Good food is a priority, but atmosphere too considering the occassion.
Brightons at Harbour Court Hotel in Baltimore offers a lovely tea service. We had Royal Tea service for my mother and twenty lady friends celebrating a milestone (unspoken) birthday. Hats and gloves. It was proper hoot. Here is the tea menu: http://www.harborcourt.com/restaurant...
Inter Continental-Harbor Court
550 Light Street, Baltimore, MD 21201
A note on tea--you probably want to specify afternoon tea (tea, scones, sandwiches) when talking to vendors. The Jefferson Hotel serves afternoon tea--they are near the Farragut North Metro station.
High tea is not a "fancier" version of afternoon tea. It is actually a working man's supper. The "high" is a reference to the height of the table.
I've been to a high tea bridal shower at the Willard and to a baby shower at Mon Ami Gabi in Bethesda. Both were great. Bethesda has the advantage of being very accessible to far flung attendees.
In addition to the Willard and Mayflower, I believe the St. Regis also does a high tea.
I've never done high tea so I can't really give recommendations there (although I've heard good things about the Four Seasons, which I'm sure is pretty pricey).
For brunch or even an afternoon lunch I would consider Tabard Inn in Dupont Circle. They have a number of private rooms perfect for this type of occassion. The place is quaint and charming and the food is good as well.
I have seen baby showers at the semi private room (glass doors separating it from the rest of the restaurant) at Dupont Grille. It's probably affordable. I personally think the brunch has gone down hill a little bit, but its centrally located and their menu is pre-fixe.
Another option would be the upstairs private room at my favorite french bistro, Bistro D'Oc. It's near metro center and they have excellent french bistro cuisine at affordable prices. I'm almost positive they are open for lunch on Saturdays.
You should also check to see if Bistro Bis (near Union Station) still offers their $30 (or so) pre-fix 3-course brunch. I think they have a private room as well.
I had brunch at Bistro Bis yesterday morning (a Saturday) and didn't see any sign of a pre-fixe brunch. I don't know whether or not there's a private room (there's a back lounge area they might let you use and two conference rooms on the mezzanine level), but the main dining room was so quiet at 1 p.m. that it seems like a group would have the run of the place.
The dishes we tried -- duck hash landaise and frittata basquaise -- were solid, but not something i would go out of my way to return for. (The duck in the hash was overcooked, though interestingly flavored with a hint of anise; the frittata was undersalted.)