We are beginning to wonder if there’s anything The Line Hotel can’t do. All-day breakfast, evening cocktails, late-night cookies, and milk, and – now – afternoon tea. “Brothers and Sisters,” the in-hotel restaurant, is a quadruple threat. Tea is a genius idea for posh travelers after a day of sightseeing on Pennsylvania Avenue or a galavant around N.W.’s Smithsonian Zoo, but it’s also something we locals should be getting our hands-on.
We booked our tea experience in partnership with Travelzoo, which offers more than 2,000 travel, entertainment, and local deals. Travelzoo experts review offers, find the best deals, and confirm their value. Travelzoo invited us in to sample the menu that comes with a voucher that covered high tea for two. At $40 a person, this is an exclusive high tea experience that would run way steeper at any other luxury hotel. This is how it works: first, you pick your tea flavor and your teacup that will be your sipping buddy during your hour and a half of whimsy. The chef’s choice of small savory bites and sweet treats tower your table as you nibble your way through a playful afternoon snack.
We selected our teas – Darjeeling and white tea – and our dainty teacups. While we waited for our tea to steep, a complimentary glass of bubbly came by to heighten our special (Monday) afternoon. Enjoying a wholesome cup of tea is the perfect activity for catching up with old friends or getting to know new ones, especially since the sampler of tea snacks is a conversation starter all on its own.
All the pastries on this two-tiered beauty were delicious and help sever the notion that sweets have to come after savory. There are no such rules at our high tea table. Olive oil cake, classic cookies, sugar-glazed scones, and berries with creme make this tray a fully-loaded sugar weapon. We wish there were a few more savory components to counteract all the sweet.
The savory bites served were crispy calamari, trumpet mushrooms, a ginger avocado salad, and prosciutto. The calamari wasn’t overly fried and was really tasty, but it was a mess to eat. The mushroom was cooked well and sat on top of a smooth, roasted red pepper sauce, but could have used a textural contrast. We enjoyed the fresh, citrusy ginger salad with creamy avocado the most. Everything except the prosciutto seemed to have underlying Asian-influences. Though it’s a nod to some of the other Asian inspiration throughout the space and menu at Brothers and Sisters, it made the spread feel a little fragmented. The silky ribbons of prosciutto were high quality and melted away in your mouth. It was served with a sweet and fluffy cultured butter but was not served with a base of bread or crudités that would ideally hold up some of the richness.
We looked at the clock and hours had gone by. Afternoon tea at Brothers and Sisters is a posh opportunity to try something new. If the savory dishes don’t sweep you off your feet, the pastries and tea definitely will. High tea is relaxing, well-priced, and sure to get your blood sugar pumping. Now, if only they had a way to teleport me home…
The Bitches Say: four Champagne flutes.
We’d love to see some more well-thought-out savory components, but we’ll be spending more afternoons here than we probably should.
High tea is served daily from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.