Much-needed food and last sips of bubbly at the Thomson Reuters brunch
Thomson Reuters has come to fill a grand need if ever there was one on White House Correspondents’ weekend. Food, coffee, champagne — in that order. The official winding down has begun, but a hundred or so beleaguered and blurry-eyed survivors of the weekend ascended to the rooftop of the Hay-Adams Hotel on Sunday morning for one last glass of bubbly and some much needed sustenance.
“We haven’t eaten in like 30 hours,” said Stephanie J. Block while standing in line for shrimp cocktail and bagels with husband Sebastian Arcelus, who plays Lucas Goodwin on Netflix’s “House of Cards.” Block said the couple would barely get 50 feet into a party before fans approached to talk favorite Washington-on-TV shows.
“It’s where the fakers meet the shakers,” Arcelus joked. During this unique weekend, awestruck goes both ways. “Suddenly you find yourself talking to the head of infectious disease at the National Institutes of Health, people doing really important things.”
And so the celeb-journo-politico mixture continued for a few more hours before everyone decamped to their corners until next year. Madeline Stowe of ABC’s “Revenge” glided with all of her Victoria Grayson poise through trios of Foreign Affairs and National Journal staffers. Fox’s Jennifer Griffin worked the room, while Darren Criss of “Glee” chatted with other twenty-somethings who could as easily have been television extras as young reporters.
“I kicked someone at Buzzfeed last night” one young journo admitted. Was it as rowdy as last year? Not quite, but “we had a drunk friend try to get in several times before we had to tell him to go home.”
Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) said this was his only event of the weekend — the only one his five-year-old had condoned. ”If this is for nerds,” he said, “then I fit right in.”
The brunch, with its mellow vibe and open wrap-around terraces overlooking the White House, has become a favorite event of many looking for a relaxed setting to exchange weekend war stories – and coat empty bellies with some hardy food.
Top Chef’s Spike Mendelsohn was wrapping up a jam-packed couple of days. The “Good Stuff” owner had somehow fit in a concert at Merriweather Post Pavilion between The Hill, Google/Netflix and Funny or Die parties Friday night and MSNBC on Saturday.
“People should stop hating” he said about the hyper-critical attitude that has come with the explosion of events surrounding the correspondents’ dinner. “People should feel lucky to have such an amazing event. Less complaining and just enjoy.”
He served one of the most popular dishes of the brunch — a black and white shake — a go-to for his regular customer, Secretary of State John Kerry. But the brunch has become a favorite event of Mendelsohn’s for another reason.
“It means its almost over.”