The Mansion on O Street

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Tea at The Mansion

The tradition of afternoon tea can be traced back to the 1700’s in England, when there were only two main meals, an early breakfast and a late night dinner. When The Duchess of Bedford found she was often hungry in the afternoon, she created a secret meal which consisted of tea, bread, butter and later, depending on her whim, small sandwiches, cakes, tarts and biscuits, and had them delivered to her private room.

When her servants leaked this information, (especially when she invited other guests to her boudoir) the idea caught on and the concept of a small meal with tea became high fashion and continues today.

In keeping with this English tradition The Mansion offers two celebratory tea ceremonies: afternoon tea and high tea.

High Tea - When royals have tea today, it is the only meal that is not served by their staff allowing them to talk freely in complete privacy. Our high tea service honors the private nature in which these meals originated by allowing the host to determine if they would like butlers to serve tea or if the host wishes to do this themselves. Presented with our velvety loose brewed teas, by our butlers at the table, this ceremony offers you a choice of delicate tea sandwiches, creamy ripening and rich hard cheeses, fresh seasonal fruit, scones, and sweet pastries to enjoy. Menu

When you have finished your tea feel free to embark on a self-guided tour, or better yet, take one of our many treasure hunts. You are welcome to visit with us for as long as you like.

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”This was one of the best family experiences we have had. My grandchildren, ages 5 and 15, thought it was great. My daughters, one who has been at several HIGH TEAS said that this surpassed everything she had been to.”

— Afternoon tea guest

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events: 202.496.2020 hotel: 202.496.2000 museum: 202.496.2070 PIR: 202.496.2024 the mansion: 2020 O St. NW, Washington, DC, 20036