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I need a recommendation for a place to take someone who has never been to Tea before. I've been to the Hay Adams and liked it. Any other recomendations?

The Ritz at Tysons has afternoon tea (expensive!), and I suspect the Four Seasons does too - Ching Ching Cha is your inexpensive and interesting alternative.

Cheers,
Rocks

ETA: Click.

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The Ritz at Tysons has afternoon tea (expensive!), and I suspect the Four Seasons does too - Ching Ching Cha is your inexpensive and interesting alternative.

Cheers,
Rocks

Those were the exact places I was about to suggest! All The Ritz's have it (and all on the pricey side, but don't go to Pentagon City location because it's *really* dark in there). Four Seasons has it (also a bit pricey), as does The Henley Park Hotel.

ETA: I believe the Empress Lounge has tea service right now at The Mandarin as well.

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The Ritz at Tysons has afternoon tea (expensive!), and I suspect the Four Seasons does too - Ching Ching Cha is your inexpensive and interesting alternative.

Cheers,

Rocks

ETA: Click.

While I love Ching Ching Cha, I don't think it's a good recommendation for the first time someone goes to tea if the are looking for an English tea. They are very different experiences and tastes.

The Four Seasons is a lovely tea.

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Those were the exact places I was about to suggest! All The Ritz's have it (and all on the pricey side, but don't go to Pentagon City location because it's *really* dark in there). Four Seasons has it (also a bit pricey), as does The Henley Park Hotel.

ETA: I believe the Empress Lounge has tea service right now at The Mandarin as well.

I like the Pentagon City location for tea and their food is the best tea food I've had in the area.I like to think of it as cozy.

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The tea at the Mandarin is a buffet in the Empress Lounge instead of the traditional tiered tray. At $32 it's not a budget option, but then unlike the other places you can stuff yourself with as much pastry as you feel like eating. I understand their moon cakes are currently on the buffet, along with some other unusual selections.

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The tea at the Mandarin is a buffet in the Empress Lounge instead of the traditional tiered tray. At $32 it's not a budget option, but then unlike the other places you can stuff yourself with as much pastry as you feel like eating. I understand their moon cakes are currently on the buffet, along with some other unusual selections.

I just got back from tea (or what they call the pastry buffet) in the Empress Lounge at the Mandarin. It is really a pastry buffet more than what you might think of as a traditional tea. They only have three sandwich selections which are the weakest of their offerings- egg and watercress, smoked salmon and cucumber and curried chicken. They also had warm (but clearly not fresh out of the oven) scones with strawberry jam , lemon curd and clotted cream. I have a bit of a cream tea obsession following a vacation in Cornwall a couple years ago. Their clotted cream was more like a whipped cream enriched with butter rather than the gooey, sweet Cornish variety. Very acceptable given the setting, but still doesn't hold a candle to the real thing. The dessert buffet had an impressive selection of pastries and was attractively displayed. It included a wide range of goodies both fruity and chocolatey. Our favorites included a tartlet with a shortbread base, filled with pastry cream and topped with raspberries (also available with blackberries or blueberries), chocolate mousse domes, and a custard with mango curd. Also available, a chocolate fountain with various goodies to dip in it, chocolate truffles and some cookies that looked like they came out of a costco container. Tea selection is expansive and they also have a variety of french press coffees or cocktails that you can get with the buffet instead of tea. Or for a $5 up charge, you can get tea/coffee and a cocktail.

It might be a tight economy, but the place was packed. As other have said, its not cheap at $32 per person. But it is all-you-can-eat and some of those ladies were making multiple trips to the buffet. The desserts were very good, but not excellent. For comparison- I'd say a step above what you'd get at the Bellagio Buffet. Biggest complaint- the tea came out at a rather tepid temperature. I was there celebrating a friend's birthday. Its fun to get dressed up on a Saturday afternoon for calorie splurge in a luxurious setting. We both agreed we are going to need to look for excuses to go back.

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Ducked into Natalia's Elegant Creations in Falls Church yesterday for some Nectar of Life* (espresso). Noticed the attached flyer for high tea service.

Cozy-yet-refined seating area, with a quiet soundtrack and immensely welcoming staff. Assuming it was not crowded, sounds like another option for high tea in the $20 price point. Could be followed by a trek down the block to browse the Antiques Annex and other shops down the street.

*not the brand, the concept

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Ducked into Natalia's Elegant Creations in Falls Church yesterday for some Nectar of Life* (espresso). Noticed the attached flyer for high tea service.

Cozy-yet-refined seating area, with a quiet soundtrack and immensely welcoming staff. Assuming it was not crowded, sounds like another option for high tea in the $20 price point. Could be followed by a trek down the block to browse the Antiques Annex and other shops down the street.

*not the brand, the concept

Charming but a minimum of 3??? I like people but my idea of heaven right now would be tea by myself with a good book. (It's been a long spring break!) Sigh...

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Any recent experiences? We're going to tea in Georgetown, tentatively decided on the Tea Cellar but could change our minds and go to Mandarin or Ching Ching Cha (have asked the others if they'd prefer finger sandwiches/pastries or dumplings/custard tart, will see what they say).

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Any recent experiences? We're going to tea in Georgetown, tentatively decided on the Tea Cellar but could change our minds and go to Mandarin or Ching Ching Cha (have asked the others if they'd prefer finger sandwiches/pastries or dumplings/custard tart, will see what they say).

It's going to be completely up to stylistic preference whether you go to Mandarin or Ching Ching Cha - the two could not be more different.

One is dressy, hyper-upscale, and very expensive.

The other is casual, old-world enthralling, and not very expensive at all.

Not once have I ever sent someone to Ching Ching Cha who has been disappointed.

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Tea Cellar was excellent - definitely recommended. The food was at a buffet rather than being brought to your table, but they had delicious and interesting food, both savory and sweet. Sorry I didn't remember to post soon after, as I've forgotten the details, but I know they had both food that was both traditional (scones with clotted cream and jam) and nontraditional (unusual sandwiches, gazpacho). The buffet was all you can eat and the price was more reasonable than at most places, I think.

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I chuckled at this. My wife gets her mani/pedi there and always tells me that we should try the lounge out. I keep saying "one of these days" but may have to come sooner rather than later...

You know, aside from the lounge at BourbonSteak (which is a really nice, upscale lounge), Sunday tea at The Four Seasons would be a really nice splurge that I bet your wife would love as a surprise. BTW, when did Bourbon Steak start using a space in between the two words?

I cannot mention High Tea without throwing in Ching Ching Cha as a fantastic, low-cost alternative. It is one of the great treasures of our city, and has been sitting right on the corner of Wisconsin and M in the heart of Georgetown for many, many years. It is one of the most underrated institutions in all of Washington, DC. It's the type of place that, when you walk out, you swear you're going to make it a regular thing in your life, and then somehow, the months and years fly by and you don't return. It's this phenomenon that makes me force myself to do something cultural a couple times a month here in this wonderful, world-class city, and I hope this post encourages other people to do the same.

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