1) Getting dressed up and feeling fancy;
2) Wearing hats; and,
3) Eating baked goods.
I finally found the activity that combines all three. Afternoon tea! Think about it--the dress code is always fancy and the food is always delicious, adorably miniature, and sweet. And hats are not only accepted, they are frankly encouraged.
So on a beautiful Saturday a few weeks ago, my Mother and I took to The Willard, one of DC's finest and oldest hotels, to enjoy afternoon tea at their Peacock Alley.
It's basically The Plaza of Washington, DC.
The hotel actually has special meaning for my family; my Mother's Grandparents had their honeymoon there many many years ago. So it's always had these aura of romanticism and history for me. I've only been there once (to visit the Round Robin & Scotch bar), but I have been looking for a reason to return. What better reason than my Mom's birthday? Did I mention it was her birthday? Because it totally was.
She was a little bit excited.
Since it was still technically the Cherry Blossom festival, all the teas and food had a cherry theme. The food was amazing (especially the cherry and ginger scones OMG), but the service was strangely a bit off. You would think at a place as fancy as The Willard they would nail the details, but apparently all the serving staff seemed to find the concept of my seafood allergy completely perplexing. Maybe it was a language thing? But being served salmon sandwiches (twice!) was kind of a problem.
But you know what makes up for it? MINI PASTRIES.
Scones on the bottom, sandwiches in the middle (no crusts, of course) and desserts on the top. The scones were served alongside jam (apricot, cherry, and lemon) and Devonshire cream. Everything was fantastic.
All in all, the Willard tea was fun and delicious, but for the pricey cost, I think there are much better places in the area to get your tea fix. And it pains me to say this, y'all. But unfortunately, reality doesn't always live up to the dream.
However, this doesn't change the fact that it is my mission to stay as a guest in the hotel one day. This is an item for the bucket list and I am being very serious. I will walk around like I own the place, jump on the bed, and order room service. Just because I can!
The birthday cupcake was a very nice touch though, I must say.
Me and the birthday girl!
Peacock Alley (basically a hallway off the main lobby. But still very nice, and note the harp player in the left corner!).