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High Tea for the Holidays—Or Any Winter Afternoon

Afternoon tea originated in the United Kingdom and traditionally consisted of loose tea with milk and sugar served with sandwiches, scones, cakes, and pastries. This isn’t a tradition commonly followed in the United States, but since the weather is beginn

The Willard Intercontinental afternoon tea includes a selection of tea sandwiches, orange and raisin scones with Devonshire cream and a variety of preserves, fresh pastries, and a pot of freshly brewed tea. Choose two flavors from the caffeinated black teas: English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Leaves of Provence, and Celebration; the lightly caffeinated green teas: Green Tea Passion and Jasmine-Mint; or a caffeine-free herbal-and-fruit blend: Chamomile Citron, African Amber, and Verbana Mint. Tea is served every day through December from 2:30 to 5; $39, $49 with a glass of Champagne. Call 202-637-7305 for reservations.

The Hay-Adams hotel is holding holiday tea in the Lafayette every Sunday from November 30 through December 28. Choose from a selection of sandwiches, cranberry scones with cream and organic strawberry preserves, and a pastry plate with a fruit tartlet, chocolate cake, and more. Twelve varieties of tea are available including Cranberry Autumn and Cinnamon Spice. Tea is served from 3 to 5; $40 for adults, $33 for children ages 12 and under. Call 202-638-6600 for reservations.

Café Promenade in the Mayflower Hotel offers a selection of small sandwiches and sweets during its afternoon tea. Some choices include fresh mozzarella, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomato spread, and a balsamic glaze on pita bread; smoked salmon with cream cheese on pumpernickel toast; banana-nut bread; and a chocolate eclair with a chocolate-covered strawberry. Ten flavors of tea are available including Ginger Twist and Wild Blackberry. Tea is served Monday through Saturday 3 to 5 and Sunday 3:30 to 5:30 all year; $25.95 or $32.95 with a glass of Champagne; 202-347-2233.

Park Hyatt’s tea cellar features more than 50 teas from China, Japan, Sri Lanka, and the Himalayas. Tea is served daily from 2:30 to 5 all year; $14 plus the cost of tea (ranging from $6 to $300). Call 202-789-1234 for reservations.

Fyve Restaurant Lounge at Ritz Carlton Pentagon Row offers three pricing options for afternoon tea. Enjoy two scones and tea for $29; sandwiches, scones, pastries, and tea for $36; and add a glass of champagne for $40. Tea is served Monday through Sunday 2:30 to 4:30 pm; 703-412-2760.

Ching Ching Cha House of Tea features more than 70 varieties of tea. During afternoon service, the menu includes homemade steamed dumplings, savory tea snacks, and Chinese desserts. Tea is served Tuesday through Saturday, 11 to 9 and Sunday, 11 to 7; $25. Call 202-333-8288 for reservations.

Teaism offers mugs of tea all day at all three of its locations, but during an afternoon-tea special, enjoy sandwiches with such fillings as cured salmon and cucumber/wasabi, or a ginger scone with butter and jam, shortbread cookies, a fruit-curd tartlet, and chocolate truffles. Tea is served Monday through Friday 2:30 to 5:30; $20. Call 202-835-2233 for reservations.

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