‘Quill Bar interior, Jefferson Hotel’
courtesy of ‘Jenn Larsen’
Maybe you don’t live in the city proper and it looks like you may get stuck in DC tonight. Or you just can’t take the sight of those four walls anymore and need a change of scene. If your tastes tend to the luxurious, The Jefferson is offering a Winter Storm Special rate of $195 a night tonight and tomorrow.
These are for the Deluxe Rooms which have a usual rate of about $380 a night, and judging from my visit last year post-renovation I’m actually debating checking in for a long hot soak in a soothingly beautiful bathtub. The rooms are truly gorgeous and serene.
Though restaurant Plume will be closed, never fear – Quill bar is open, and you can cuddle up in a cushy chair and read by the light of the glowing glass bar. The staff is gracious and you can pretend all this insanity doesn’t exist. Book by calling the hotel directly at (202) 448-2300. I’ll at least trudge on over for a drink!
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.
"Jeffersonian Truth" by Jenn Larsen, on Flickr
If someone asked me to define elegance, I would have to toss out other words like simplicity and restraint, covered with a kind of luxury that has nothing to do with pretentious opulence but everything to do with exquisite comfort. It’s a hard sell in our over-the-top world, but I think there is a yearning to return to that kind of old-fashioned mystique. And the reopened Jefferson hotel, debuting after a 30-month renovation, is a breathtaking example of elegance, lovingly presented with true beauty.
Think I’m exaggerating? Well, I’ve taken plenty of photographs for you to see for yourself. While touring The Jefferson, fellow author Cathy and I were spinning around like tops, ooo-ing and aah-ing every little detail. And there are many – the Beaux Arts hotel was specifically renovated by design firm ForrestPerkins to evoke the Jeffersonian spirit. He’s everywhere, but in a refined way, nothing kitschy at all, oh no. Perhaps it’s the next best thing to being in Monticello – which features prominently in murals and custom toiles – even the spa’s “vinotherapies” pay tribute to Jefferson’s philosophies and interests.
But why are locals going to go? For two reasons – Quill and Plume. Continue reading