Best afternoon tea photo
(Park Hyatt Tea Cellar; Photo by Michael Temchine)

Best afternoon tea

Becky Krystal | The Washington Post  |  Updated 11/29/2012

Partake of this civilized tradition with variations that range from orange pekoe to green to oolong.

 

British Pantry and Dining Room

Aldie, VA

This charmingly decorated establishment will appeal to the true Anglophile. Sample top-notch scones around lace-covered tables under watchful photos of Queen Elizabeth II. Your food (sandwiches or bite-size savories, in addition to sweets) comes on a classic multitiered caddy, and the Pantry serves the popular PG Tips brand. Daily 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; $24.99 per person.

 

Empress Lounge

Washington, DC

The sunken lobby and panoramic window provide the perfect setting for a jewellike display of sandwiches and sweet confections, including Spanish vanilla cake and creme brulee. Expect impeccable service and thoughtful touches such as rock-candy stirrers. Wait, is that a chocolate fountain? Yes, it is. Thursday through Sunday, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.; $32 per person.

 

Tea Cellar in the Park Hyatt Washington

Washington, DC

Here, tea is treated with the reverence you'd find at a wine tasting. Servers are happy to guide patrons through a menu that ranges from humble herbals to rare, decades-old, large leaf varieties from China. The low armchairs in this contemporary space are perfect for sitting back to appreciate the aroma of the tea served in clear glass pots. Saturday and Sunday, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.; teas $8 to $300.

 

Teaism

Washington, DC

Customers at the local chain's Zenlike Penn Quarter location can pick tartlets and scones, or an Asian menu that includes a make-your-own-sushi kit and mochi, sticky-rice cake. Fair warning: You'll want to eat the green tea ice cream first. Daily 2:30 to 5:30 p.m.; $20.

 

Tea on the Tiber

Ellicott City, MD

You might have to remind yourself to eat decorously in this formal Victorian tearoom, where waitresses wear frilly aprons and caps. The buttery scones are seriously gulp-worthy. In addition to the three-course menu and traditional teas, this purveyor offers its own chai. Varying times Thursday through Sunday; $25 per person, including tax and tip.

 

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