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Monday, March 26, 2007

A Cherry Blossom Warning: This Event is a Total Rip

Photo by Kerrin-Sue

I can only hope that I get this very important information to you in time: Unless you enjoy flushing $10 bills down the toity, I do not recommend signing up for the Cherry Blossom high tea on the Potomac. (Disclaimer: I speak only from personal experience. Results may vary.) Last year, two friends and I made reservations. We flinched a bit at the $50 per person price tag, which was significantly higher than the swanky tea services offered by The Willard ($37) and The Jefferson ($32). But the schpiel--plugged in nearly every local print and online Cherry Blossom Festival round-up--promised: "See the blossoms from the river on this two-hour cruise featuring seated, full tea service and historical narration. Reservations required." Here's what we got in return:

* A shabby boat that looked and smelled like a floating rec room, with damp industrial carpeting, plastic outdoor tables and chairs (indoors mind you), and fake flowers.
* A handful of Hershey's kisses (whaa?) on the tables and a plate of stale cookies.
* Inedible finger sandwiches on stale white bread and mystery filling. "Soup," poured out of a plastic drink pitcher. It was, I kid you not, pureed tomatoes. Only pureed tomatoes. Like its sandwich bretheren, it too was inedible.
* And the tea? We got a teabag. And a tiny pot of water without a lid on top for three people. When we asked for more tea, one member of the crew of surly men serving the tea came and poured water into the cups with our used teabags in them.
* As for the "historical narration?" The most bizarre assemblage of uninteresting trivia about the various industrial buildings that hunker along the Southeast waterfront, which was all there was to see, because the charter company had started taking bookings for this tea a week before the blossoms were even out.

Our shipmates and the three of us spent the duration of the seemingly interminable trip exchanging "Is this a joke?" glances. Within 48 hours, I'd sent a letter to Capital Yacht Charters stating that this was a bordering-on-fradulant experience based on the price and advertising and that I expected a refund for all three of us. They obliged. Quickly. Clearly, the company in the intervening year realized that they needed to change the way they were doing business. Yes, I see on the ad for this year's that they certainly have changed things. They've raised the price by $10.


Blogger I-66 said...

This is what passes for "full service seated high tea"?

I don't even know what that's supposed to mean, but I'm pretty sure it's not right.

2:08 PM  
Blogger Virgle Kent said...

to be part of "high society"

3:53 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

"We got a teabag"

Come on, Sixty, where were you on that one?

6:35 PM  
Blogger I-66 said...

The Bird is very sensitive about perverted smartassery on her blog. I don't wanna be censored!

...though really, if "full service" doesn't include a teabag, I don't want it.

7:28 PM  
Blogger Twoste said...

That sounds awesome. I'm gonna go. I'm gonna try it out.

9:01 PM  
Blogger roosh said...

so hard to please!

10:22 PM  
Blogger Brunch Bird said...

I-66, you are correct. Phil, you are filthy.

VK-Just start wearing a monocle and you're automatically in.

Twoste-Good. That's the kind of comment that's going to keep me from getting sued for libel.

Roosh-I know. Between this, the cupcake rant, and the hotdog review, I'm in danger of becoming snide. Or, refused service at every semi-fast food restaurant in town.

12:23 AM  
Anonymous Pelagius said...

Were you on the Spirit of the Potomac? We had our office party there last year. Stinky, greasy, buffet food and chubby girls in Jon-Benet Talent Show dresses doing an awful Vegas-style revue. But at least there was booze...

12:48 PM  
Blogger Needtsza said...

sounds like you need to use that london passport of yours, if you'd like some real tea.

11:05 PM  

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