Thursday, March 10, 2016

Cherry Blossoms in Bloom at the Willard InterContinental

Willard InterContinental Lobby

From our friends at the Willard InterContinental...

The Willard InterContinental, one of Washington, DC's most historic hotels, celebrates the 2016 National Cherry Blossom Festival March 20 through April 17. Replete with real cherry blossom trees, the Willard offers an unmatched celebration toasting to the hotel’s unique history with Japan with festive offerings including a Cherry Blossom Afternoon Tea, Japanese inspired cuisine and specialty cocktails at the Round Robin Bar, as well as a variety of programming designed to promote traditional Japanese art and culture.

Over the past 156 years, the Willard has embraced its history with the Japanese after hosting Japan’s first ever delegation to the United States in May 1860. Comprised of three Samurai ambassadors and an entourage of seventy-four, the Japanese delegation came to Washington to meet with President James Buchanan to ratify the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation in an effort to build a close relationship between the two nations. Fifty-two years later, in honor of their enduring friendship, Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo gifted Washington, DC with 3,000 cherry blossom trees. 104 years later, Washington, DC continues to commemorate this gift with the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

In celebration, the Willard InterContinental creates a visually stunning display of real cherry blossom trees throughout the hotel’s lobby and Peacock Alley. Visitors to Peacock Alley will also be able to view handmade Kimekomi dolls by Akiko Keene of the Washington Japanese Dolls and Crafts School.

The Willard’s famous Cherry Blossom Afternoon Tea will be offered as part of the hotel’s festivities. Seated in the blossom-laden Peacock Alley amongst the soothing sounds of the Japanese Koto, guests enjoy a broad selection of Ronnefeldt teas, Japanese-inspired savories by Executive Chef Serge Devesa, as well as decadent pastries by Pastry Chef Jason Jimenez. Cherry Blossom Afternoon Tea is offered March 18 to April 17, Thursday through Sunday, 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM. Price is $52 per adult, $22 for children up to 12 years of age. For reservations, please call (202) 637-7350.

The Round Robin Bar will offer Japanese inspired bar bites, including Japanese Crab Onigiri with sweet and sour sauce served with a seaweed salad, and a Kukuni Pork Belly Sandwich served with Asian relish and a spicy teriyaki glaze on a Japanese Bun. Cherry blossom themed specialty cocktails will also be available throughout the festival, including:

• Sake Blossom: Sake, Chambord, Yuzu Juice, and Simple Syrup
• Matsumoto Manhattan: Yamazaki Whisky, Carpano Antica, Apricot Jam and Brandied Cherry
• Kyoto Cocktail: Shoshu Rice Liquor, Grapefruit Juice and Peychaud’s Bitters

New this year to the Willard’s Cherry Blossom Celebration is the addition of a variety of programming celebrating Japanese culture and art. Offered on April 2, 10, 16 and 17, from 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM, the Willard will feature Japanese music and dance performances, martial arts routines, as well as Japanese Calligraphy, Shiori and SUMI-E Brush Painting Demonstrations. Please refer to the hotel’s website and social media platforms for the latest programming schedule.

Stay “In the Know” regarding the Willard InterContinental’s Cherry Blossom celebration by following the hotel on Facebook (WillardInterContinental), Twitter (@WillardHotel) and Instagram (Willard_InterContinentalDC) Visitors to the hotel are encouraged to share their photos from the Willard’s Cherry Blossom celebration using the hashtag #WillardInBloom.

About the Willard InterContinental Washington, DC:
A most celebrated historic Washington DC hotel, the Willard InterContinental Washington DC, has been the focal point for elegant dinners, meetings, and social events for more than 150 years. An iconic institution, the Willard has hosted almost every U.S. president since Franklin Pierce in 1853. Located in the heart of our nation’s capital, two blocks from the White House, the Willard InterContinental, recently named one of the “Top 10 Best Hotels in Washington, DC, 2016” by U.S. News & World Report, offers 335 spacious and elegantly appointed rooms that exude a unique blend of contemporary luxury and historic charm. For more information, visit

About Café du Parc:
Café du Parc, a French bistro located next to the Willard InterContinental, embraces true classic bistro cuisine interpreted for the American palate, with accompanying international wine selection. A 3-Star Certified Green Restaurant, Café du Parc serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as offers homemade specialty pastries and illy coffee. Café du Parc features Parisian-style outdoor sidewalk seating during the warm spring and summer months. For reservations, please call (202) 942-7000. For more information, visit

About the Round Robin Bar:
Located just off the lobby of the Willard, the Round Robin has been a lively meeting place for Washington, DC’s political and social elite since the days of Abraham Lincoln. Long celebrated as one of the best in DC, this legendary bar was known as the nexus of “Rum Row” and the “E Street Corridor” - plying its trade to luminaries such as Mark Twain and Walt Whitman. Today, this fashionable downtown spot draws a smart, stylish cross section of DC movers and shakers. Open Monday through Saturday, 12:00 PM to 1:00 AM and Sunday from 12:00 noon to midnight.