Afternoon tea is one of those timeless traditions that bring out the nobility in us all. No longer reserved strictly for special occasions, tea time is a great alternative to brunch when the weekend calls for a more formal meetup. Thankfully, so many restaurants in the District are leaning into the trend, offering tea and snacks that vary in both price point and diversity.
Here are the best spots for afternoon tea in Washington, D.C.
Located inside of The Watergate Hotel, Kingbird’s afternoon tea offers a “retro twist” on the age-old tradition. Afternoon tea is held Saturdays and Sundays from 2:00–3:30 PM. Your $55 tab includes a complimentary glass of bubbly and bottomless tea. Seasonal savory sandwiches and homemade scones round out an impressive menu of light fare. Read our brunch review here.
Kingbird, 2650 Virginia Ave NW Washington, D.C. (866) 709-6910
The St. Regis
Afternoon tea at the St. Regis is a lifestyle. Not just reserved for weekends, a mid-week option is available for guests to dine on a slew of elegant snacks such as lobster or foie gras. Variety is their specialty. The St. Regis serves tea either warm or iced and if you’re feeling regal, can opt for a champagne pairing. Adults pay $55 each and reservations are required.
The St. Regis, 923 16th And K Streets, NW, Washington, D.C. (202) 638-2626
This quaint little tea room tucked inside the streets of Georgetown is a fun alternative to the lavish decor offered at most hotels. The furnishings are Victorian-themed, making it very on brand for the afternoon tea culture. Their extensive menu ranges in price based on your appetite level ($18 – $38) and also serves a children’s spread in case you want to make this a family affair.
Lady Camellia, 3261 Prospect St. NW, Washington, D.C. (202) 333-2308
Brothers and Sisters
D.C.’s Line Hotel offers afternoon tea that’s a sharp difference from the conventional experience. Unique flavors such as Blue Flower Earl Gray and Bai Mu Dan are a couple of the complex options waiting for you to try. Hors d’oeuvres such as takoyaki hush puppies and soft chocolate chip cookies are also on hand for you to indulge. Tea is served daily from 4 – 5:30 p.m. and will set you back $40 a person. Read what the Bitches had to say about brunch at A Rake’s Progress (also inside of Line Hotel) here.
Brother’s and Sisters, 1770 Euclid St. NW, Washington, D.C. (202) 588-0525
Four Seasons Hotel Georgetown
Party brunch and afternoon tea normally don’t go hand in hand. At the Four Seasons, however, they’ve found a happy medium. After taking a decade-long break from the tea trend, the Four Seasons returned with a live DJ playing tunes you’d normally hear in your favorite European club. Aptly named D.C. Tea, sip on bottomless glasses of Moët champagne and a cocktail spread of tea-infused beverages while noshing on local favorites such as Chesapeake Bay crab rolls. Sip to your heart’s content every Saturday from 2-4:00 p.m. Tea with bottomless champagne goes for $75 a person and $60 without unlimited bubbly.
Four Seasons Hotel Georgetown, 2800 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. (202) 342 0444
The Park Hyatt
If you’re looking for a brief history lesson while tasting unique beverages, then the Park Hyatt has you covered. A resident tea guru presides over the Tea Cellar, providing options based on everything from caffeine strengths to tasting notes. Tea is ordered by the pot and ranges in price from $8 to $300 per serving. The Bitches also dined at Blue Duck Tavern, located inside the Park Hyatt. Read our review here.
The Park Hyatt, 1201 24th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 202-419-6755
Empress Lounge at the Mandarin Oriental
With over 10 teas to choose from and tasting notes for each one, the possibilities are endless at the Empress Lounge. Served from 2:30–4:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday, some must-try snacks are yuzu-lemon tarts or chive crepes with smoked salmon adorned with lemon cream cheese. Breathtaking garden views render a blissful escape from noisy tourists visiting neighboring museums.
Empress Lounge at the Mandarin Oriental, 1330 Maryland Ave. SW, Washington, D.C. 202-787-6140