While it’s true that I can’t divulge any more wedding details quite yet, I wanted to take a minute to tell you about two stops on our minimoon! (John and I drove up to Connecticut for our wedding, and afterward, we drove back down to North Carolina. We stretched out the trip, stopping one night in DC, one night in Charlottesville, and one night in Richmond. We’re planning to take a longer trip, hopefully to St. Lucia or France, this coming spring!)
After a wedding the night before, a brunch that morning, and then a 7+ hour drive, we were both ready for some R&R by the time we arrived at The Jefferson Hotel in Washington, DC. Thankfully, that’s just what was in store for us! After extricating our bags from the back of my (jam-packed) SUV, we quickly checked in and were escorted up to our room. The Jefferson bills itself as Washington’s “second most prestigious address,” and even on the quick trip up to our room, the quiet luxury that permeates the property was evident. Everything is done in plush neutrals — black, gray, white, cream, gold — and calls to mind a more elegant era. The Jefferson did have a different feel than some of the other Relais & Chateaux properties that we’ve been lucky enough to stay at — I wouldn’t necessarily call it relaxed — but everything seemed fitting to its city location.
Being the history buffs that we are, John and I also enjoyed that The Jefferson keeps a collection of original documents signed by TJ himself in their foyer! There’s also this beautiful marble on the floor, meant to recall UVA’s Rotunda:
When we arrived at our room, we were temporarily distracted from the beautiful furnishings by a surprise gift waiting for us — chocolate-covered strawberries and champagne! Turns out my younger sister had called ahead to place the order as a special gift — so sweet!! Considering I still often think of her as being about twelve, John and I were bowled over.
But eventually we did recover, and had a chance to quickly check out our lodging for the night before heading off to dinner. It was beautiful! To give you a feel for the style, our room looked pretty similar to this:
A few more of our snaps, including one of us geeking out over the in-mirror bathroom television (so cool!):
Fun fact: The Jefferson actually purifies and bottles its own water on site in beautiful glass vessels (you can spot one in the right-hand photo above). I should also mention that our room had a separate tub and shower, which John considers one of the hallmarks of a luxurious hotel experience. Both were exquisite, with excellent water pressure in the shower (something high on my priority list!).
Before we knew it, it was time to head to dinner! We had reservations at DC Coast, an award-winning restaurant a few blocks over from The Jefferson.
DC Coast’s menu is inspired by America’s coastal regions — mid-Atlantic, Gulf Coast, and West Coast/Pacific Rim — which made me slightly nervous, since I’m not the biggest seafood fan. But I needn’t have worried, because everything we ate was delicious! Interestingly enough, my favorite part of the meal was not anything I ordered, but a surprise amuse bouche from the chef, with farro, chanterelle mushrooms, lobster, and asparagus. I almost licked the bowl clean, it was that good.
Another highlight of the meal was the white wine we had with our entrees, a pinot blanc that the manager selected for us. We loved the taste (very fresh, almost like apples), but thought it was especially sweet that he had chosen it in part because it’s one of the only wines that’s bottled with a glass cork, which he thought would make a special souvenir from our vacation. Awww!!
One other thing I have to mention about our time at DC Coast is the playlist. Almost as soon as we arrived in DC, John and I started reminiscing about our memories from our time spent there (he attended George Washington University our freshman year of college, and I visited him several times). Music was a big part of his life at that point (and so, mine, too), and the playlist on the night we visited included all of our favorite artists from that time in our lives: the Postal Service, Arcade Fire, the Shins, Death Cab for Cutie… mind you, these are songs from about seven years ago now, so it’s not like they’re hip and current! In addition, the playlist included swing and big band songs, which I obviously can’t get enough of. Who besides us would have thought those paired perfectly?? The manager of DC Coast, apparently! I can’t guarantee you’ll have the same serendipitous music experience if you visit, but I think it does speak to the care DC Coast extends to everything they do.
Being surburbanites in our daily lives, we greatly enjoyed being able to walk to and from The Jefferson, and we were happy to be greeted by this lovely facade on our way back:
The next morning, we were excited to head to breakfast at The Greenhouse, one of The Jefferson’s three dining spaces. It’s actually the first thing you see when you enter through the front doors, and makes quite an impression! That beautiful skylight is also original to the building, which we thought was very neat.
The Greenhouse is such a lovely, refreshing spot to start your morning! The food was delicious, too. Our fellow diners did seem to be businesspeople (maybe politicians?), which made me wonder if the clientele is different on the weekend. (We visited on a Sunday night/Monday morning.)
One the funniest parts of our brief stay? When the hostess brought over a plush little stool for my handbag to sit on. It was an entirely lovely gesture, but John and I just about died laughing (I guess we’re not used to such luxury?), and referred to the footstool throughout the rest of our trip :)
Footstools or no footstools, I’d highly recommend The Jefferson to couples planning a romantic trip to DC. Its serene, chic environment perfectly embodied grown-up luxury, and we loved being in the center of the city. (In fact, before we picked up our car, we walked just a few blocks over to peek at the White House!) And if you do stay at The Jefferson, you absolutely must visit DC Coast for a meal.
Huge thanks to these spots for their gracious hosting! I’ll be back with our stay at the Clifton Inn next week!