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A tea tower at the St. Regis
A tea tower at the St. Regis
St. Regis Hotel [Official]

8 Places to Enjoy Extravagant Afternoon Tea Around D.C.

Tea time, anyone?

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A tea tower at the St. Regis
| St. Regis Hotel [Official]

Afternoon tea might be rooted in English traditions, but the elegant pastime lives on in many of D.C.’s most luxurious hotels (and a few other special spots). According to legend, Anna Maria Russell, Duchess of Bedford, popularized afternoon tea time in the 19th century because she got hungry between meals. The practice really became fashionable among England’s upper classes during that same century.

Several favorites have departed the list with this update. The afternoon tea at the Washington National Cathedral is currently on hiatus during the Covid-19 crisis. Brothers and Sisters in the trendy Adams Morgan Line Hotel has closed. Elegant and popular Lady Camellia has paused its service to focus on the tearoom reopening at the Waterfront Old Town Alexandria. And, the Four Seasons, making a return after a 10-year hiatus at the last update, is on hiatus again.

The pretty Parisian Ladurée in Georgetown and the Tavern at the Henley Park are new to the list. Also to know are a few pop-up tea events, like the Cherry Blossom Le Goûter at Opaline that starts pouring every Saturday between March 19 through April 16, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Here are 8 places around D.C. to find spreads of scones, pastries, and tea sandwiches served with steaming pots of tea.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Ladurée

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3060 M St NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 948-6350
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At this chic Parisian shop candy-hued macarons pop against a powder blue paint job for one of the most fanciful tea times around. Crystal chandeliers, a smooth white marble bar, and Bernardaud porcelain set a just-so tone. Savory food options include croissant sandwiches, quiche, and light salads. Tea is served all day.

The interior of Ladurée Georgetown.
Ladurée Georgetown has one of the prettiest tea settings around.
Ladurée [official photo]

2. Ching Ching Cha

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1063 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 333-8288
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Afternoon tea may skew English, but tea first came from China and unassuming Ching Ching Cha makes an excellent case for a Chinese experience. Locals and tourists alike enjoy selections from the extensive food and tea menu while busy servers keep cast-iron tea kettles brimming with hot water. A $16 “tea meal” (11:30 a.m. to 6:15 p.m.) that comes with three vegetables, a soup, and featured entrees like mapo tofu, curry chicken, or mustard miso salmon, is a steal.

3. The Tavern at The Henley Park

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926 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 414-0500
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Housed in a English Tudor-style building built in 1918, this historic hotel serves a quiet afternoon tea in its Tavern Room, where light streams in through lead glass windows. Choose from two menus (Royal tea is $48pp; English tea is $38pp) and indulge in a selection sandwiches, tartlets, dried fruit scones, and more. A selection of champagne cocktails are $14 for each drink or $28 for unlimited drinks. Tea is served Monday through Thursday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Reservations required.

4. The St. Regis

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923 16th And K Streets N.W
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 638-2626
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The St. Regis serves one of the District’s most sumptuous teas. Offered daily in the hotel’s grand lobby, guests indulge in fancy pastries and seasonal tea sandwiches, along with Dammann Frères teas and optional Champagne. Friday through Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Reservations are required, and the price is $65 per person.

St. Regis Hotel [Official]

5. Kingbird

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2650 Virginia Ave NW
Washington, DC 20037
(866) 709-6910
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The Watergate Hotel’s Kingbird restaurant got into a bit of (ahem) hot water a few years ago when a $400 tea appeared on the menu. Now there’s a weekend afternoon tea that’s a much more reasonable $75 for adults. It features retro bites and bottomless tea.

Kingbird/official photo

6. The Willard

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1401 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 628-9100
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Taking afternoon tea in the Willard Hotel’s plush, red-carpeted Peacock Alley is a D.C. tradition. In addition to traditional afternoon tea service — complete with live harp music — the Willard also hosts special seasonal teas. Make a reservation; afternoon tea often sells out far in advance around Christmas and cherry blossom season. Tea with a glass of champagne is $75 per adult; $40 for children with a glass of sparkling cider. Tea is offered on Saturdays and Sundays at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

7. Mandarin Oriental

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1330 Maryland Ave SW
Washington, DC 20024
(202) 554-8588
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For those needing a break from sightseeing on the National Mall, the Mandarin Oriental offers afternoon tea on weekends (Friday to Sunday) in the Empress Lounge. Choose from a selection of teas from around the world, served with savory bites, scones, and sweets. Advance reservations required.

Mandarin Oriental Hotel [Official]

8. The Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City

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1250 S Hayes St
Arlington, VA 22202
(703) 415-5000
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Ritz-Carlton properties in Pentagon City and Tysons Corner offer afternoon tea every Saturday and Sunday. They serve a selection of premium loose leaf teas designed in collaboration with Dammann Frères, along with seasonal pastries, canapés, and tea sandwiches. There are also scones, of course, served with clotted cream, lemon curd, and fruit preserves.

Ritz-Carlton Hotel [Official]

1. Ladurée

3060 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007
The interior of Ladurée Georgetown.
Ladurée Georgetown has one of the prettiest tea settings around.
Ladurée [official photo]

At this chic Parisian shop candy-hued macarons pop against a powder blue paint job for one of the most fanciful tea times around. Crystal chandeliers, a smooth white marble bar, and Bernardaud porcelain set a just-so tone. Savory food options include croissant sandwiches, quiche, and light salads. Tea is served all day.

3060 M St NW
Washington, DC 20007

2. Ching Ching Cha

1063 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007

Afternoon tea may skew English, but tea first came from China and unassuming Ching Ching Cha makes an excellent case for a Chinese experience. Locals and tourists alike enjoy selections from the extensive food and tea menu while busy servers keep cast-iron tea kettles brimming with hot water. A $16 “tea meal” (11:30 a.m. to 6:15 p.m.) that comes with three vegetables, a soup, and featured entrees like mapo tofu, curry chicken, or mustard miso salmon, is a steal.

1063 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007

3. The Tavern at The Henley Park

926 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001

Housed in a English Tudor-style building built in 1918, this historic hotel serves a quiet afternoon tea in its Tavern Room, where light streams in through lead glass windows. Choose from two menus (Royal tea is $48pp; English tea is $38pp) and indulge in a selection sandwiches, tartlets, dried fruit scones, and more. A selection of champagne cocktails are $14 for each drink or $28 for unlimited drinks. Tea is served Monday through Thursday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Reservations required.

926 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001

4. The St. Regis

923 16th And K Streets N.W, Washington, DC 20006
St. Regis Hotel [Official]

The St. Regis serves one of the District’s most sumptuous teas. Offered daily in the hotel’s grand lobby, guests indulge in fancy pastries and seasonal tea sandwiches, along with Dammann Frères teas and optional Champagne. Friday through Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Reservations are required, and the price is $65 per person.

923 16th And K Streets N.W
Washington, DC 20006

5. Kingbird

2650 Virginia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20037
Kingbird/official photo

The Watergate Hotel’s Kingbird restaurant got into a bit of (ahem) hot water a few years ago when a $400 tea appeared on the menu. Now there’s a weekend afternoon tea that’s a much more reasonable $75 for adults. It features retro bites and bottomless tea.

2650 Virginia Ave NW
Washington, DC 20037

6. The Willard

1401 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004

Taking afternoon tea in the Willard Hotel’s plush, red-carpeted Peacock Alley is a D.C. tradition. In addition to traditional afternoon tea service — complete with live harp music — the Willard also hosts special seasonal teas. Make a reservation; afternoon tea often sells out far in advance around Christmas and cherry blossom season. Tea with a glass of champagne is $75 per adult; $40 for children with a glass of sparkling cider. Tea is offered on Saturdays and Sundays at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

1401 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20004

7. Mandarin Oriental

1330 Maryland Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024
Mandarin Oriental Hotel [Official]

For those needing a break from sightseeing on the National Mall, the Mandarin Oriental offers afternoon tea on weekends (Friday to Sunday) in the Empress Lounge. Choose from a selection of teas from around the world, served with savory bites, scones, and sweets. Advance reservations required.

1330 Maryland Ave SW
Washington, DC 20024

8. The Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City

1250 S Hayes St, Arlington, VA 22202
Ritz-Carlton Hotel [Official]

Ritz-Carlton properties in Pentagon City and Tysons Corner offer afternoon tea every Saturday and Sunday. They serve a selection of premium loose leaf teas designed in collaboration with Dammann Frères, along with seasonal pastries, canapés, and tea sandwiches. There are also scones, of course, served with clotted cream, lemon curd, and fruit preserves.

1250 S Hayes St
Arlington, VA 22202

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