It’s Sunday. You want a cozy, low-key, sugary escape from the blaring horns and tourists, but something offbeat from your usual espresso and croissant. Luckily for you, there’s a perfect little nook up on Prospect Street in Georgetown known as Lady Camellia Tea Room. Adorned with gold picture frames, hints of white and rose, and a variety of sweets by Macaron Bee, Lady Camellia can be considered as the real life version of the set up you used to lay out for your dolls…
The menu is comprised of traditional high tea offerings at very reasonable prices, making it much more approachable than some of the more “uppity” tea rooms across the city. You can choose from four options depending on how hangry you are – at the low end, $12 gets you your choice of scones or croissants and a pot of tea, but at the opposite end, $27 gets you an additional array of tea sandwiches and pastries.
If $27 for all of that doesn’t already seem worth it to you, let me change your mind.
All of the sandwiches can be made gluten-free. This is something that is rare of tea rooms, even though it’s something as simple as carrying gluten-free bread (all hail Udi’s). Lady Camellia is proud to serve their egg salad, cucumber, brie and apple, or smoked salmon and crème fraiche for you sans gluten.
Most of the pastries and all of the macarons are gluten-free. Macaron Bee, formerly on Wisconsin Ave, has set up a new camp and now handles all of the sweets for Lady Camellia – and they know you don’t need gluten to please a sweet tooth. You might not be able to go ham on their scones and croissants at the moment, but the owner whispered to me that they are experimenting in the kitchen – patience is a virtue! We all know gluten-free baking is a science of its own. In the meantime, set yourself up with some of their seasonal crème brulee or panna cotta, both of which are served in that perfect “I just want a bite” size.
This is, of course, after you have downed 15 of their hand-made, beautifully crafted and creatively conjured macarons. They have several “core” flavors: pistachio, red velvet, and milk chocolate to name a few, plus the seasonals, like pumpkin and passion fruit. Dairy not your thing either? All of the jam filled one’s are yours for the taking. But the real gem is the Cookies ‘n Cream. The days of you not being able to have an Oreo are over. Get. Some.
The teas are packed with flavor. Not surprising, as they are also done by Macaron Bee. There are just about 20 options, ranging from the caffeine heavy black teas to decaf tisanes. If you want some more sweet with your sweets, the Vanilla Rooibos is extremely difficult to withhold from chugging. All teas are also sold at the counter along with the pastries so you can continue to sip at home.
So the next time you’re looking for a place to sit and chat with your friends over something sweet, ditch the coffee shop and head to Lady Camellia for an afternoon by Macaron Bee. Don’t be discouraged by the 4 to 5 tables and ocean of tourists, just show up on the earlier side to snag both a table and your parking spot. Because everyone owes it to themselves to put their pinky up and play British for an afternoon, especially the gluten-sensitive.