D.C. is no stranger to extravagant afternoon teas, but once the fleeting cherry blossom buds start popping up along the Tidal Basin and the D.C. Cherry Blossom Festival kicks off the festivities, chefs and restaurateurs pull out all the stops.
From tables set with tiny cherry blossom trees trimmed with pretty desserts dangling from their limbs to boozy over-the-top versions, there are plenty of places to sip away the afternoon in the capital city.
St. Regis Cherry Blossom Tea
The St. Regis is celebrating the short-lived pink blooms with an over-the-top cherry blossom tea by setting the table with a cherry blossom tree whose limbs drip with dessert-filled ornaments. The savory bites are sprinkled around the tree’s base. Teas from Dammann Frères, including an exclusive custom-blended cherry blossom tea, alongside cherry blossom-inspired bites and treats. Cherry Blossom Afternoon Tea is available Wednesdays through Sundays, March 16 through April 24, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. for $75 per person, excluding tax and gratuity. Book on OpenTable or by calling the hotel directly. (923 Black Lives Matter Plaza NW)
Sakura Pink Empress Afternoon Tea
Chef Moosah Reaume at the Empress in the Mandarin Oriental is serving a decadent Sakura Pink Empress Afternoon Tea, which includes sweet and savory treats and various teas, including the special boozy variety ($122 per person). Tea is served at 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday. The Cherry Blossom tea is available from March 17 through April 17. Reservations required. (1330 Maryland Avenue SW)
Next door to the Mandarin Oriental, the Pixelbloom exhibit at Artechouse brings to life an interactive world of cherry blossoms. The exhibit is open to the public from March 12 to May 30.
The Willard’s Cherry Blossom Afternoon Tea
The Willard’s Cherry Blossom Afternoon Tea brings together cherry blossom decor, the strummings of a harpist, and spring teas, sandwiches, and seasonally inspired pastries in the lovely Peacock Alley. Tea is $75 for adults ($85 with a glass of champagne) and $35 for children ( or $40 with a glass of sparkling cider). Tea time is from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (90-minute dining restriction) on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from March 18 through May 1. Reservations available on OpenTable. (1401 Pennsylvania Avenue NW)