Having gone to boarding school in Virginia at Foxcroft, it is always a thrill for me to go back to my teenage stomping grounds in Washington, DC. Our eleven year old, Alberto and I headed to DC for a squash tournament in October. I had heard wonderful things about The Jefferson hotel and thought this would be a great chance to stay there. It is centrally located, only a few blocks from the White House and the National Mall, and a quick 16 minute direct walk to Squash on Fire (2233 M Street, NW) where the tournament was taking place, five minutes via Uber.
The Jefferson is a chic boutique hotel. The interior architecture and design is classic with an aesthetic attention to detail. The ambiance in the public rooms has a quiet elegance. The bedrooms and suites are luxurious and the bathrooms are well-appointed with a TV in the mirror, double sinks and a large walk in shower. The beds are very comfortable and the hotel is situated so you do not hear any city traffic. It was very peaceful.
We enjoyed a delicious breakfast each morning in The Greenhouse. The setting is lovely and the service impeccable. They have a wide variety of options on the menu with a classic slight southern twist that only DC can do. Who doesn’t love a roasted tomato with your eggs and yummy Virginia ham? The lemon ricotta pancakes are to die for!After a full day at the squash courts, and often evening matches, we loved popping into The Quill at The Jefferson for a bite of dinner. Their delectable, elegant version of pub fare includes a vegetarian croque monsieur, truffled mac and cheese, roasted tomato soup, a delicious burger, grilled salmon or filet mignon. There is something for everyone on the menu. The food is beautifully presented. The seasonal cocktails are loads of fun – very creative – “Pie in the Sky” anyone? That has Wheatley Vodka, Pumpkin Syrup, Allspice Dram (shaken in a coupe). The wine list has a nice variety, as well.
The beautiful fall weather in DC is conducive to walking. The Jefferson offers guidance through their in-house historian, Susan Sullivan Lagon, PhD, who has created some terrific walking tours, which can be found on their website here. Alberto and I enjoyed learning about “Famous Dogs and Animals in American History.” Susan is available at the hotel in the Book Room on Saturday mornings.
If one is a squash player, the tournament venue, Squash on Fire is well-worth a visit. It is in a fantastic location, near Georgetown in an upscale residential area. It’s across the street from SoulCycle, down the street from Nobu and other great restaurants. As the saying goes, “necessity is the mother of invention.” A group of “squash dads” developed the Squash on Fire facility (built over a fire house), so that their kids and people in their neighborhood could have a place to play! It is a world class, membership-free club. Anyone can book a court or a lesson, play in round robins, clinics and camps. And if you’re not a squash player, stop in for a delicious meal or cocktail at the Upper Westside Café. They did an amazing job feeding all the players and their parents during the tournament.
We tried two other great restaurants in the neighborhood. North Italia is a bright and lively eatery with delicious handmade pastas, pizzas and salads. Bluestone Lane is located in the West End Library. It is an “Aussie-style” café with very healthy choices – lots of avocado and breakfast all day with many coffee options and wellness drinks. Both are worth a visit.
It was a treat to see DC through the eyes of the squash playing community there. They are so fortunate to have an amazing facility in a great location that is open and available to all-comers. And we highly suggest a stay at The Jefferson. Their welcoming hospitality made us feel like home-away-from-home.