Recently the Washington Post had an article about the FCC's relatively new neighbor, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. While rooms at the hotel are in the range of $400-$8,000/night, so few readers - except perhaps MSTV members - could afford to stay there, the afternoon "tea" is vaguely affordable without mortgaging your house.
The Post's review:
"Known as 'Sweets and Savories,' the tea includes French press, cappuccino, espresso and a variety of fun lattes, or your choice of black, green, herbal and fruit teas. Nibble on little sandwiches or appease your sweet tooth with a truffle, cake, pastry, cookie or fruit. Dip it all in the chocolate fountain. You don't even have to limit yourself to just one tasty treat. It's a buffet, and you can go back for seconds.
Designed to fit the D.C. neoclassic vibe, the lobby is a rotunda with columns and two-story-high ceilings. The big windows provide a unique view of the Potomac as you savor your ginger coconut eclairs, mango cheesecake or caramel banana pot de creme.
After tea, if it's nice outside, walk out the back door to the footbridge that connects the Mandarin to the Tidal Basin.
But whatever you do, take time to indulge yourself. Sit and relax in a big, soft armchair with a pillow at the small of your back. Be warm and comfortable around the small tables in the Empress Lounge. Sip your favorite hot beverage. And feel like a million bucks.
Where is it? 1330 Maryland Ave. SW. (Odd, they don't just say it is next to FCC?) Tea is Thursday-Sunday from 2:30 to 4:30. For reservations, call 202-787-6868.
How much? For the spread, tea or coffee, $32 per person. Or you can have just tea or coffee for as little as $5."
So how do you get there from FCC? Take the elevator to the CY level, walk past security and handing in your visitor's badge, then by the 2 cafeterias and keep going into the part of the Portals that is not wholly FCC. Pass through a short corridor, go outside and up a flight of steps and there you are.