‘Town and Country’
courtesy of ‘Don Feduardo’
You might have seen this already. Tonight’s last call will truly be the last for (insert-cliché-here) bar Town & Country at the Mayflower, closing to make room for a relocated Thomas Pink store in what appears to be a complete renovation of the hotel’s ground floor.
The Social Chair and I stopped by last night to have a round and toast the bar’s history, but this was actually my first visit there. I’ll miss it in theory (I love the room) but the cocktails she and I had were underwhelming at best. Have you been? Are you going tonight? Any favorite memories?
And if you need a replacement old-school, wood-paneled room for your drinks, don’t fret! There’s still Blue Bar, the Occidental, Round Robin, Off The Record …
Tea time at home by Corinne Whiting
A few years back, a loveably zany Irish friend of mine lugged tea bags with her from her Drogheda cupboards to the communal hostel kitchens of Buenos Aires, Rio, La Paz and Cusco. I’ll admit that I didn’t really get it. (“If only I had brown bread right now too,” she’d sigh dreamily, nearby mate drinkers looking on curiously as she downed cup after cup of her smuggled vice.) To say that Edel is a tea enthusiast is an understatement.
I didn’t understand her tea passion…that is, until I moved east to windswept Scotland, where a steaming cuppa is sometimes the only sure way to chase the chill from one’s bones. There I also learned to appreciate the soothing and intimate ritual of gathering with friends over a shared refreshment that requires time—time to steep, to cool, to sip, to savor, to merely pause and take it all in.
Coffee culture seems the more visible beverage addiction in most US cities (DC included), while the army of tea devotees tend to fly under the radar. But I suspect they’re out there. So where can a tea lover get a fix here? The options include spots pretentious and proper, casual and cozy, and those somewhere in between.
"Afternoon Tea" by Jenn Larsen, on Flickr
I’ve done my fair share of tea in this town. Afternoon tea has been a serious obsession of mine since I had the luck of spending several summers in England during college, basically living on tea as a poor student. It’s also a favorite way of my girlfriends to get together. Over the years in Washington I’ve had afternoon tea everywhere – Henley Park Hotel, Four Seasons Hotel (sadly no longer serving), The Jefferson Hotel, etc. Noticing a trend? Afternoon tea here is mainly a hotel thing, with Teaism being the notable exception (or Ching Ching Cha if you want an Asian tea experience).
With my absolute favorite afternoon tea spot being closed for renovations (that would be the venerable Jefferson, where the scones came out warm and fragrant at the perfect time), I thought I would try The Mayflower Hotel. They serve afternoon tea daily from 3pm-5pm in Cafe Promenade, a soaring orchid and mirror filled room.
There are many ways to enjoy teatime, and if your tastes run to the gleaming china and sparkling silver variety, The Mayflower delivers on the upscale. If you require attentive and charming service, you’ll definitely find it here. The tea selection itself is quite nice, all served loose in individual pots with lovely silver strainers on the side. The usual suspects are featured such as Earl Grey, darjeeling, and some great greens like sencha or oolong. They even have an enchanting wild blackberry tea that’s a black caffeinated blend, as opposed to the usual herbal tisane. The aroma drove me into a dreamy state, longing for spring…
So where does The Mayflower fall short? Well, frankly, the goodies. Continue reading