Four Seasons Offers Royal Tea; Named #1 Hotel in Washington

Georgetown’s Four Seasons Hotel — the only Four Seasons in Washington, D.C. — has brought back high tea on Saturday.

At the same time, it was awarded “the #1 hotel in Washington, DC and #10 Best Hotel in the USA” by  U.S. News Travel, a global authority in rankings, consumer advice and information.

Washingtonians and Georgetowners know this is a special place.

The Four Seasons at 2800 Pennsylvania Ave. NW has brought back “afternoon tea in a whole new way with bubbles, bite-sized baubles that taste as good as they look, and delicate petit-fours, fit for a Duke or Duchess,” it tells The Georgetowner. “Fascinators, plumes and pearls are encouraged in this fabulous interpretation of an afternoon tea. Join the ton — a Regency term for ‘high society’ — every Saturday for a culinary event not to be missed.”

Executive Pastry Chef AJ Thalakkat is no stranger to a royal tea. As former executive pastry chef of Victoria, British Columbia’s iconic Empress Hotel, he understands the subtleties involved to create a fine afternoon tea. Dainty pastries, inspired by the British Royal Family’s preferences, are served on a traditional three-tiered tea stand with porcelain tea pots.

“I am so excited to bring a royal twist to the classic afternoon tea at Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC,” said Thalakkat. “My favorite cake is the Battenberg. Airy layers of sponge cake, held together with jam and topped with marzipan. The cake is as beautiful as it is delicious.”

Afternoon tea menu includes:

  • Royal tea scones — Classic scones with raisins served with clotted cream and strawberry lavender preserves as served at Buckingham Palace.
  • Caramel banana cake — This was a popular recipe at Kensington Palace for Princes William and Harry as young children. They both loved any recipe with bananas in it and this was one of their favorites.
  • Chocolate biscuit cake — This chocolate cake was Queen Elizabeth II’s favorite afternoon tea cake.
  • Raspberry lemon tart — A royal favorite when raspberries were freshly picked from the palace gardens, served in a gluten-free tart shell with lemon curd.
  • Battenberg — This cake was created honoring the marriage of Queen Victoria’s granddaughter Victoria to Prince Louis of Battenberg in the 1880s.
  • Earl Grey fruit cake — A favorite of Prince Philip, he enjoyed this cake with soft salted butter.
  • Shortbread cookies — Lady Sarah Armstrong Jones, Princess Margaret’s daughter, loved these cookies. She would take a dozen cookies back to college with her when she visited The Queen. Chef AJ added his seasonal twist to this recipe with spiced apples.

Savory dishes include a house smoked Scottish salmon topped with ossetra caviar, a specialty of Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC. The salmon is cured overnight with touch of cloves, fennel, star anise and a special chef’s secret seasoning before being smoked to achieve the velvety, smoky and slightly salty taste that the dish is known for.

Enjoy afternoon tea every Saturday at Seasons Restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC. Reservations are from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Full afternoon tea with a glass of bubbles is $95; children under 12 years of age, $55. Parking is complimentary. 

Now to the awards.

U.S. News Travel, a global authority in rankings, consumer advice and information, recognized Four Seasons Washington, DC as the #1 hotel in Washington, DC and #10 Best Hotel in the USA in its annual evaluation of hotels that offer high-quality amenities and exceptional experiences.

“Our entire team stands for special,” said Marc Bromley, Regional Vice President and General Manager of Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC. “Our Hotel being chosen as #1 in DC and #10 in the US is a testament to this. We constantly look to go above and beyond to create that special moment for our guests.”

In 1979, Isadore Sharp introduced his idea of luxury hotels to the U.S. upon opening the Four Seasons in Georgetown, the first one outside Canada and the United Kingdom.

According to the company, for more than four decades, Four Seasons Washington, DC has maintained this unrivaled position as the hotel of choice for royalty, diplomats, industry leaders and celebrities alike, and today is the only hotel in Washington to be awarded Five Stars by Forbes and Five Diamonds by AAA in acknowledgement.

The 13th annual Best Hotels rankings evaluate more than 35,000 luxury properties across the United States, Europe, Bermuda, Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean. The methodology considers a hotel’s star rating and both expert and guest sentiment by collecting annual awards from distinguished travel publications and TripAdvisor user scores, the combination of which helps determine each hotel’s rank.

Executive Pastry Chef AJ Thalakkat of the Four Seasons in Washington, D.C. Courtesy Four Seasons Hotel.


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