1. Another Wedding Trend We Love

    Is wedding season in Washington, DC a myth? While we definitely see an upswing in ceremonies and receptions at The Jefferson between April and October, we are also finding that brides and grooms want to step outside of the conventional wedding date box! A December wedding is a festive way to kick off the holiday season when family members are already beginning to gather, and planning around any three-day weekends in January or February has its advantages as well!

    This trend means that our Catering and Conference Services team always has weddings on the brain. We were able to sit down with one of our Catering & Conference Services Managers, Meagan Stroud, to chat about another wedding trend our team loves. Read on to see how you can incorporate this custom treat into your special day.


    What is your favorite wedding trend of the moment?
    MS: Specialty cocktails!

    What makes them so great?
    MS: Specialty cocktails are a great way to incorporate a personal element into a wedding, especially a custom cocktail. You can make “His” and “Hers” cocktails, one designed for the couple, one with your wedding color… They’re also a great way to offer more than wine and beer, without offering a full bar.

    How do you create specialty cocktails?
    MS: Our Quill bartenders are great at making something special and unique, based on whatever inspiration you give them. Sometimes it’s a favorite liquor or wine, such as gin (which inspired a combination of Bombay Sapphire, peach nectar, lemon juice, simple syrup, peach bitters and Peychauds). Other times it’s been a specific color, such as a deep blue (which was created with a combination of gin, lemon, Crème de Violete, St. Germain and simple syrup).

    We’ll toast to that! These days a memorable wedding is all about the details, and specialty cocktails add a signature touch to any bar or table. We love the custom color idea, and are excited by the fun photo opportunities these cocktails present.

    For more information on planning your wedding or private event at The Jefferson please contact Meagan Stroud at 202-448-3253, or MJ Carbone at 202-448-3259.

  2. Halloween in Washington, DC

    Halloween is one of our favorite holidays here at The Jefferson, and we love to see how the different neighborhoods in DC get into the spirit. Whether you’re traveling from near or far to take part in the city’s festivities, here are our official recommendations for a successful Halloween weekend in Washington, DC!

    Día de los Muertos: Family Festival at the National Museum of the American Indian

    Join the Smithsonian Latino Center and the National Museum of the American Indian in their free Día de los Muertos family festival on Saturday, October 31st from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is an ancient indigenous celebration that honors our ancestors and the cycle of life. The day’s events will include food demonstrations by the museum’s Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe and a cultural presentation of La Danza de los Tecuanes performing Dance of the Jaguars and Dance of the Old Men.

    Scary League: A Story League Halloween at the Kennedy Center!

    This year The Kennedy Center will host Story League’s special Halloween show starting at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday night. Story League puts on comedic storytelling events all around the DC area. This Halloween special will feature scary-funny stories by comedic storytellers in costume! Free general admission tickets will be distributed in the States Gallery starting at approximately 5:30 p.m., up to 2 tickets per person. Learn more about this and other shows over on The Kennedy Center’s website.

    Get into the Halloween Spirit at Quill

    If you need some seasonal libations before you hit the town this weekend, then look no further than Quill’s new fall cocktail menu. With innovative new concoctions and updated classics, this menu has something for everyone. We recommend the Tipsy Squirrel or the Ichabod’s Bane to get in the Halloween mood.

    Whatever your plans entail this weekend, we hope everyone has a safe and spooky time!

  3. A Wedding Trend We Love

    If there is one thing our Catering and Conference Services team can tell you, it’s that it is never too soon to start planning your special day. They have seen a lot of beautiful ceremonies and receptions here at The Jefferson, and with that comes a lot of different wedding planning experiences.

    We sat down with one of our Catering Managers, Megan (MJ) Carbone, to chat about a current wedding trend she is excited about. Who knows, her recommendation may take the cake right off of your wedding planning plate!


    What is your favorite wedding trend of the moment?
    MJ: Naked Cakes!

    Sounds good… but what is a naked cake?
    MJ: Naked cakes are stripped down versions of wedding cakes. They feature the exposed cake layers, with a small amount of frosting and/ or powered sugar. They are normally decorated with fruit or flowers.

    What makes this trend so great?
    MJ: A naked cake is perfect for an untraditional bride or a bride who is a little more health conscious… or just doesn’t like icing (like me). Who says you need to have pounds of fondant or tons of icing to make a memorable wedding cake? Sometimes less is more!

    There are so many small details to consider as your date approaches, the more you can decide on ahead of time the better. A naked cake is a fun twist on a traditional wedding staple, and we hope this trend gives you some inspiration for your special day!

    For more information on planning your wedding or private event at The Jefferson please contact Meagan Stroud at 202-448-3253, or MJ Carbone at 202-448-3259.

  4. Home Sweet Hotel

    Monti here! As I am sure all of you noticed, I took an extended summer vacation this year (all the celebs are doing it!), but I have finally returned to rightful home at The Jefferson. After all those months of R&R I have the perfect mindset to resume my duties as Executive Canine Officer, or ECO for short!

    Part of my job as ECO is to serve as The Jefferson’s attaché to the canine community. That not only includes making sure things are up to snuff for our canine guests, but also fostering puppy partnerships beyond The Jefferson’s walls. In that vein, I would like to take some time to introduce you to my pal Rocky!

    Rocky is currently staying with the good people over at PAW Rescue, the same organization that found me a home at The Jefferson. Rocky is a 2 year old beagle mix, and he is full of love and affection. Our fiends at PAW tell us that he always seems to be smiling, and that he is very affectionate with people and would make a great addition to an active family.

    If you are interested in meeting Rocky or for more information about him or any of the other wonderful PAW dogs, please email pawdogs@yahoo.com.

    Now that I am back at work my schedule is pretty action packed and I don’t always have time to blog. If you would like to keep up with my adventures head on over to the Jefferson’s instagram and look out for the hashtag #TuesdaysWithMonti!

  5. Columbus Day Weekend in Washington, DC

    If you are anything like us, then Columbus Day weekend snuck up on you this year. Don’t worry, because we have everything you need to make your vacation or staycation a success! Read on for some ideas for the perfect weekend.    

    Relax in Style

    Whether you are looking for a solo adventure, a romantic getaway or fun for the whole family, The Jefferson is the perfect weekend escape. Visit our special offers page and peruse a range of packages and specials. Spend your stay relaxing in one of our beautifully appointed rooms and suites, or head down to Plume for dinner, or Quill to sample our new fall cocktail menu!

    See the Sights and Support Your Troops

    Now in it’s 31st year, the Army Ten-Miler will take place on Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015, beginning at 8 a.m. It is the third largest ten mile road race in the world, and attracts military and civilian runners from all over the world. Come out and cheer on participants as they make their way through a course which crosses the National Mall and begins and ends at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia.

    The Annual Columbus Day Wreath Laying Ceremony

    Head down to the Columbus Memorial Statue located at Union Station on Monday, October 12, at 11 a.m. for the national wreath laying ceremony. The event honors Christopher Columbus and the discovery of the United States. Each year Embassies and members of the general public come together to pay tribute to spirit of discovery.

    We hope you have a wonderful weekend, and a happy Columbus Day!

  6. Innovative Ingredients with Executive Chef Ralf Schlegel

    Last week we featured a behind the scenes look at our culinary team with Pastry Chef, Fabrice Leray. The response was so great that we had to give everyone another exclusive glimpse of the team behind DC’s only Forbes five star rated restaurant, Plume!

    This week we were able to sit down with Executive Chef Ralf Schlegel and bend his ear about an ingredient he loves working with. Chef Schlegel has been with Plume since 2011, and has been lauded for his creative dishes, which evoke enchanting versions of the familiar.


    What Ingredient are you excited about right now?
    RS: Spruce needle syrup.

    Why is it so great?
    Rs: It brings the forest to the table with a sweet touch – we made it in the spring and it takes about four months to ferment.

    What do you use it on?
    RS: The fall is the right time to bring this syrup to the table. I like to pair it with venison!

    With Chef Schlegel’s recommendation we just had to know more about this unique condiment. Upon further research we found that spruce needles are packed with vitamin C, and have historically been used to treat sore throats and coughs due to the needle’s immune stimulating properties. Spruce needle syrup is quite versatile and can also be used in teas and cocktails!

    To experience Chef Schlegel’s delectable dishes first hand, make a reservation in Plume by calling 202-448-2300.

  7. Fine Dining Confections with Fabrice Leray

    There is never a dull moment behind the scenes at Washington DC’s only Forbes Five Star rated restaurant, Plume. Fabrice Leray, our brilliant Pastry Chef, can definitely attest to that. He has been an integral part of Plume’s culinary team since its inaugural year in 2009. Fabrice has been kind enough to give us a look at what he’s currently working with, and how to make it at home! Read on for the full scoop.

       Blueberry Lemon Sable   

    What is your favorite ingredient of the moment?
    FL: Salted butter caramel spread.

    Why is it so great?
    FL: It is great on waffles, crêpes, cheesecake, ice cream, Macaroons… perfect for a foodie that likes a mix of salty and sweet.

    What dish do you like to use it in?
    FL: Lemon crêpes or churros.

    Sounds delicious, can we have the recipe?
    15 oz. of Cream
    7 oz. of Isomalt
    10 oz. of Glucose
    3.5 oz. of Salted Butter
    .9 oz. of Soy Lecithin
    10 oz. of Sugar
    4.2 oz. of Cocoa Butter

    Step 1: Heat the cream, isomalt, glucose and butter together
    Step 2: Caramelize the sugar and deglaze with the warm liquids
    Step 3: Cook to 224.6 degrees and add the cocoa butter
    Step 4: Mix with a blender to get a nice emulsion
    Step 5: Bon appétit!

    If you would like to experience Fabrice’s dishes in person, make a reservation in Plume by calling 202-448-2300, and make sure you save room for dessert!

  8. (Land)mark Your Calendars

    It is no secret that Washington, DC is a city that prides itself on its rich history, which is why we are so excited to witness history in the making next weekend at the first annual Landmark Music Festival! If you caught our last post then you already know we can’t wait to attend. Read on to ensure your festival weekend is a success.

    The Beauty is in the Details

    2 days, 5 stages, 40+ artists- as if those numbers don’t already speak for themselves, it is safe to say this event is going to be huge. The festival takes place September 26th-27th at West Potomac Park, and will feature artists such as Drake, The Strokes, alt-J and CHVRCHES, to name a few. In true DC form this weekend isn’t just about kicking back, it is also about giving back. A portion of the proceeds will benefit The Trust for the National Mall.

    We’ve got the Golden Tickets

    So you really want to go to Landmark but you haven’t bought your tickets yet? No problem. We will be holding a good old-fashioned Instagram contest for a pair of two day passes to the festival! Simply follow @TheJeffersonDC and like our Landmark post to enter. A winner will be chosen today at 4:00 pm.

    Traveling From Out of Town?

    Book a room for at The Jefferson to round out an amazing weekend! Enjoy the music and fresh outdoors during the day and return to the hotel to relax and recoup at night. Check out our Special Offers page for some exciting packages and specials.

    We cannot wait for the festival to get here, and hope to see you there!

  9. Your Official Guide to Kicking Off Fall in Washington, DC!

    While it seemed like just yesterday you were pulling out your warm weather clothes, or counting down the days until your beach vacation, suddenly we have arrived at summer’s unofficial finale, Labor Day weekend. As the temperature falls, the pace of life quickens in Washington, DC and residents and visitors alike are hard pressed to find a dull moment throughout the city. The question is not ‘what should we do?’ but rather ‘what should we do first?’!

    The National Book Festival

    The city is jam-packed with events and activities in September all starting this weekend with The National Book Festival! We are especially excited about this year’s theme which marks the 200th anniversary of the Library of congress' acquisition of Thomas Jefferson’s personal library. The festival’s mantra this year is Jefferson's quote, "I cannot live without books."

    The festival will take place on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015, and features more than 170 authors, poets, illustrators and special presenters. You can learn more about the exhibits and event details on their website.

    Landmark Music Festival

    This fall marks the inaugural year of the Landmark Music Festival, the first of its kind in DC! The festival will bring five stages and over 40 artists to West Potomac Park over a two-day period from September 26th-27th. A portion of the proceeds benefit The Trust for the National Mall – an official partner of the National Park Service which brings awareness and funds to America’s Front Yard. Make sure you get your tickets and see the full lineup at Landmarkfestival.org.

    Hula at Hank’s Luau

    Still not ready to say goodbye to summer? Stop by Hula at Hank’s Luau at Hank’s Oyster Bar on Saturday September 26th at 11:00am to check out Hula Hank's Tiki Tournament, where Rachel and Brian from Quill will be competing against other bartenders in the city for the title of 'Best Tiki Drink.' Get your tickets on the official event page.

    You can check more upcoming events on out calendar page, or follow The Jefferson on facebook for future updates. Happy Labor Day everyone!

  10. Meet Shandy!

    Hello all, Monti here, reporting live from the field in Vermont! Since National Dog Day was this week, I thought it was a fitting time for one of my wonderful blog takeovers.

    While I am enjoying the last few weeks of my summer vacation, I wanted to take the time to give you an important update from a special friend at PAW Rescue.

    Meet my fellow Beagle pal, Shandy!!!

    The people at PAW can attest to the fact that Shandy is a very friendly girl! When she is taken for a walk, she wants to greet every person she meets. She has been great with all the dogs she has met as well - bowing and "talking" to them, in the hopes that they will want to come and play.

    Shandy came from a very rural area and when she first arrived was startled by all the strange noises and traffic near the big city- however, she is adapting fast and getting more confident every day.

    Shandy has a sweet and loving personality and is a nice medium size - just right for a family dog!

    If you are interested in meeting Shandy or for more information about her or any of the other wonderful PAW dogs, please email pawdogs@yahoo.com.

    Since my vacation is pretty action packed, I don’t always have time to blog. If you would like to keep up with my adventures head on over to the Jefferson’s instagram and look out for the hashtags #Vermonti and #TuesdaysWithMonti!