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October 8, 2009updated Feb 07, 2013

Willard Hotel Celebrates Terra Cotta Warriors Exhibit

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

The Willard InterContinental’s famous Peacock Alley undergoes a sultry “Chinese-esque” transformation this fall with Tea Chinois, a dramatic Afternoon Tea experience. The Willard is also offering a Terra Cotta Warriors Package from November 18, 2009, through March 10, 2010. The package includes breakfast for two; a thematic amenity; and two “any date, any time, with front of the line access” tickets for the exhibition.

Celebrating Terra Cotta Warriors: Guardians of China’s First Emperor exhibit opening at the National Geographic Museum on November 19, one of the capital’s most noted event designers, Ayran Kanter of Eventscapes and Kelly B. Jenkins of Capital Décor and Events, have re-imagined the grand Peacock Alley promenade where Afternoon Tea is served, with a multi-sensual experience inspired by Chinoiserie, the 17th- and 18th-century Western esthetic representing fanciful European interpretations of Chinese styles.

The design team worked with Willard Pastry Chef Courtney Goldian in creating exquisite edibles which are visually tantalizing, incorporating sophisticated European and Chinese flavors, with such items as, ginger and fresh fruit petit four, Mandarin mousse and green tea meringues. A broad array of Chinese Tea will be added to the traditional Tea offerings. These will include organic Lapsang Souchong; Pu-erh Toucha with Rose; organic Dragonwell; Rose Silver Needle and Thousand Days Red Jasmine.

In creating the eye-popping Chinoiserie-inspired ambiance, designers Kanter and Jenkins incorporated Victorian and Asian elements taking into consideration the scale of the famous Peacock Alley promenade and Afternoon Tea salon. This includes such elements as towering bamboo stalks, hanging silk lanterns, dramatic dragon banners set behind the elegant drapery, tables decked in tasseled silk runners and subdued red and bronze lighting, gobo-lit red carpet and Terra Cotta Warrior film projected into spaces along the promenade’s ceiling.

An American institution and leader in Sustainable Hospitality, the Willard InterContinental is located in the heart of the nation’s capital on Pennsylvania Avenue, near the White House, the Smithsonian museums and the downtown business and theatre districts. The Willard is the Washington D.C. hotel of choice for heads of state and leaders of the world’s business, cultural, social and political elite. The hotel’s 332 well appointed large guestrooms include 40 elegant suites. Dining options include The Willard Room fine dining restaurant and Café du Parc, the popular French bistro with seasonal outdoor seating and traditional Afternoon Tea in Peacock Alley. The luxurious Red Door Spa offers a wide array of pampering treatments.

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