Lady Camellia offers comfort and ease with afternoon tea

Customers can stop in for afternoon tea at Lady Camellia or make reservations. (WTOP/Rohan Williamson)

Rohan Williamson, special to

WASHINGTON — A new crowd is walking through the doors at 3261 Prospect Street. The space, formerly home to a late-night pizza joint, has been transformed.

Lady Camellia Pastry and Tea Room opened in Georgetown in February, and offers patrons a place to enjoy afternoon tea that’s fuss-free and accessible.

“Welcome!” says manager Youma Seck, smiling warmly as guests come in. “Can I get you some tea and a scone?”

Seck’s personal warmth fits with the cozy atmosphere. Pink and peach hues give the room an Old English, New French feel, and the tables are set in gold-rimmed white porcelain.

“Tea has been around for 1,000 years,” Seck says. “We brought our business to D.C. because I think we match the D.C. environment and international taste. We have a niche.”

Lady Camellia offers a variety of loose leaf teas imported from India and China, such as Assam and tropical green tea. They also serve specialty scones, like cranberry white chocolate, in addition to macarons and tea cakes.

Han and Debby Kim, the owners, opened the tea room after two years of running their other pastry shop, Macaron Bee, on Wisconsin Avenue. On Lady Camellia’s website, the couple says they’ve always loved afternoon tea, but couldn’t find a welcoming and accessible place to enjoy it in the D.C. area.

“There is no dress code,” Han Kim says. “Everyone is welcome as long as they wear a shirt.”

With Lady Camellia, the couple says they’ve created a middle ground where “cultures and traditions can intertwine.”

Seck agrees the shop offers just that, “Upscale is not an accurate description,” she says.

“Lady Camellia is a place for all ranges of people, very young with their families, much older more sophisticated taste. Some people enjoy fruit teas, others have afternoon tea … 100 dollars’ worth. While some grab tea and a scone to go.”

For the afternoon tea experience, prices range from $12 to $27 dollars. It’s a great spot for an afternoon date or a place to unwind, Seck says. You can make reservations or just walk in.

“I tell the customers that even though we provide internet access and Wi-Fi, it’s better to just shut it off. You are going away from that, you are here to find an inner self, your peaceful state.”

Lady Camellia is located at 3261 Prospect Street. For more information or to make reservations, visit their website.

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