Afternoon Tea at The Jefferson (Washington, D.C.)
We had afternoon tea at the posh landmark hotel, The Greenhouse at The Jefferson in Washington, D.C. The Jefferson is an historical luxury apartment building built in the Beaux Arts style by French architect Jules de Sibour. This building was converted to a hotel in the 1950s and eventually in 2007 with the current owners renovate the historic structure to a level worthy of its namesake – and its equally sophisticated present-day guests.
The staff at The Greenhouse is gracious and professional. The details of the dining rooms is stunning from the thick velvet drapes, black and white tiles, and marble tables. The stunning architecture is eye candy for those who love the classic, formal style.
We had Champagne afternoon tea ($55 per person), starting with flutes of Voirin-Jumel, Blanc de Blancs, Cremant, 1er Cru. It’s an elegant sparkling wine with minerally notes of citrus and limes. Dry and complex. Excellent as aperitif or to accompany the tea sandwiches.
The sandwiches served that day were cured salmon with fried capers dark rye, roast beef on rye, cucumber with grapefruit “caviar,” and egg salad. These sandwiches were delicious, balanced flavor and it works beautifully with our tea and glasses of sparkling wine.
The teas The Greenhouse serve are from a revered German tea brand Ronnefeldt, established in 1823. I had their white tea, Pai Mu Tan and Melon. Deep golden yellow, sweet liquor with a twinge of tannins to balance out the tea. My companions had Green Dragon and Herbs and Ginger teas.
Next up, our napkin folded into a basket, filled with freshly baked scones of plain and currant scones with a gentle dusting of powdered sugar. Not like these scones needed them but there, were raspberry jam, rich clotted cream, and thick yet vibrant, lemon cream. These scones were wonderfully light, fluffy crumb and crisp on the outside.
For our finale of this wonderful afternoon tea, were a tier of freshly made sweets to end on a sweet note. There were nicely crisp yet fluffy, brown butter doughnuts rolled in cinnamon sugar. Dulce de leche tarts with wonderfully buttery crusts and not too sweet. White chocolate almond cake pops that would be better left as cake cubes since the sticks pull out easily. Overlooking that minor issue, the cakes were wonderfully moist and creamy. The parfaits of milk chocolate and speculoos were rich and the spice gingerbread flavor made it intriguing to eat.
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The Greenhouse at The Jefferson
1200 16th St NW
Washington, DC, 20036
Tel. (202) 448-2300