Afternoon tea, also known as "low tea" because i is usually served on low coffee tables, originated in England in 1661 and is a tradition that carries on today. Customarily, loose leaf tea is brewed in a teapot and served in teacups with milk and sugar. The tea is accompanied by small sandwiches, scones, and various pastries.
If a trip across the pond is not in your near future, you can still take part in this age-old tradition by visiting one of the following local restaurants that offer afternoon tea:
Rtiz Carlton Georgetown
3100 South Street NW
Royal tea and glasses of champagne are served Sunday through Friday from 2:00 to 4:00 PM and Saturday from noon until 4:00 PM.
Peacock Alley in the Willard Intercontinental Hotel
1401 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Organic teas, finger sandwiches, and pastries served between 2:00 and 4:30 PM Monday through Friday and 1:00 to 4:30 PM Saturday and Sunday.
The Jefferson Hotel
1200 16th Street NW
Afternoon tea served under the Jefferson's historic skylight in the Greenhouse room on Saturdays and Sundays from 3:00 to 4:30 PM.
1127 Connecticut Avenue NW
A wide selection of loose leaf tea, various sweets, and the Mayflower's own Royal Tea, served daily between 3:00 and 5:00 PM.
Washington National Cathedral
Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues NW
Every Tuesday and Wednesday at 1:30 you can enjoy a guided tour of the historic Cathedral followed by a traditional afternoon tea. Royal tea, scones, and sandwiches are served in the beautiful Pilgrim Observation Gallery, which overlooks a scenic panoramic view of the District.