My favourite Georgetown hot spots

I quickly realised that Washington DC has a very cool foodie scene, and it’s growing. The city is full of different zones which reminded me of the London boroughs, each with its own style, foodie intrigues, and charm.

For us, Georgetown at the top of the list. Home to Georgetown University, this beautiful part of DC had a very Chelsea/Notting Hill feel to it, with some student vibes thrown in there. The university buildings were stunning, not dissimilar to our older universities and colleges in the UK, and even though it’s been a while since my uni days I couldn’t help but feel envious of the students who get to live on this gorgeous campus.

Georgetown University

Georgetown University 2

The first thing we did after visiting the University was head Georgetown Cupcakes. Friends had told us this cupcake shop had its own TV show, and we needed to see what all the fuss was about…

Georgetown cupcakes
OH MY…These cupcake are the real deal. I now understand why the queue is usually out the door and right up the street! Think about gorgeous little bites of fluffy sponge with butter cream icing and you’re pretty much there. Not too big either and the perfect sponge to icing ratio – I really don’t like cupcakes that have more icing than sponge!

cupcake shop window

cupcake shop interior

cupcakes

And there are plenty of flavours to choose from, including simple vanilla cupcakes with birthday springs – I like that touch! After much debate we chose our flavours and pulled up a pew on the wall outside. I can vouch for the red velvet and the marble chocolate and fudge vanilla cupcake, both incredible. At 3$ a piece, for a shop with it’s own TV show I didn’t think that was too steep.

cupcake box

birthday sprinkles

Mint choc chip cupcake

red velvet cupcake

After just a couple days mosying around Georgetown we felt very at home! Visiting the university and wandering the streets was a lovely way to spend an afternoon. One day we popped into Kafe Leopold for lunch – a delightful little Austrian delicatessens hidden down Cady’s Alley.

Kafe Leopold DC

Cady's Alley DC

Cadys Alley view

At Leopolds we enjoyed some sharing platters of meat and cheese and some afternoon tea sandwiches. The trio of sandwiches were very tasty and included smoked salmon and cucumber (that really made me feel at home!), a mini gruyere toastie on sourdough bread and a croissant with chicken salad filling.

Afternoon tea sandwiches Kafe Leopold

Cucumber and salmon

The cured meats and cheeses came with two lovely ramekins of spiced honey and current marmalade.

Cheese and meat platter

honey dip

Honey cheese and ham

And finally a cool and refreshing long island iced tea to wash it all down.

long island iced tea

The final foodie destination for this post is Dean and Deluca. Having been in a New York Dean and Deluca which sold coffees and lunches to go, this branch in Georgetown seemed like the mothership! I’m not sure if most of them are like that and I have only been in a smaller store in the past, but if they are, I’d be in heaven each time I ate there. This cafe was not really a cafe, but more of an enormous, upmarket food hall. Complete with a full deli counter, a wine hall, an espresso bar, fresh baked treats, a salad bar, and plenty of farmshop- esque items to buy, it took me a while to decide what to have for lunch.

Dean & Deluca hall

Dean & Deluca Housewares

fresh sushi rolls

Dean & Deluca maracons

Dean and Deluca baked goods

Dean and Deluca sweets

I opted for some fresh shrimp tempura sushi rolls and a peach and passionfruit yoghurt whilst Mr F&P had a toasted ciabatta with roast beef and salad. The sushi was so fresh and delicious and this large tray of rolls was only 7$ – if I went looking for that much fresh sushi in Edinburgh I’d be paying way more than that.

California make roll

sushi close up

roll in chopstick

toasted roast beef ciabatta

ciabatta close up

Even if you’re not brunching, lunching or dining in Georgetown, it’s just a really lovely place to mosy around, which after we’d had lunch and cupcakes (second visit!) is exactly what we did. Once you’ve had a snoop around the shops make sure you head down to waterfront a sit at one of the many open fronted bars and soak it all up.

Georgetown street

canal to waterfront

water feature

waterfront

chilling at a waterfront bar

If you like the look of Georgetown, Old Town Alexandria will also be right up your street. Alexandria is just across the river and you can take the metro to Kings Station from the center of DC. Unfortunately Georgetown doesn’t have a metro stop, but it is only about 15 minutes walk from the waterfront to the metro stop at Foggy Bottom.

I can’t tell you how hard it was to drag ourselves away from Georgetown at the end of our trip, and I’m sure there are countless places we didn’t have time to discover. However I know if, no WHEN, we go back, this is where we will look to stay, shop and hang out.

Welcome to Washington

Capitol Hill close up

Not even a full week at home and I’m already dreaming of going back to Washington dc! For two, full, glorious weeks Mr F&P and I were basking in the stateside sunshine, and we only just managed to drag ourselves home last Sunday. The reason for visiting was the Boyd-Lee wedding – one of the most beautiful weddings I’ve ever been to, but I’ll blog about that later! If you’re just here for the foodie chat, head over to my Georgetown post and you can read about some of our foodie adventures there…

But for now, it’s all about downtown DC. We topped and tailed our trip with some time in Washington and as a huge, no, ENORMOUS West Wing fan, I was beyond excited to check out the White House, see Capitol Hill and soak up the history.

We decided to have a Monuments Day and try and see as many of the greats as possible in one go. This was A LOT of walking, but totally worth it. I knew my first port of call had to be to The White House – I didn’t realise it was so close to everyday life in DC. From our apartment we were able to walk straight down 16th Street, one minute we were crossing the road and the next thing I knew the most iconic building emerged before us. Of course it was mobbed with tourists, but we managed to get a few good shots. You’ll notice the weather improved as our day went on, but looking back I am grateful for the morning cloud cover. There’s nothing nice about red, burnt tourist shoulders!

Walking down 16th Street
Strolling down 16th Street
White House first glimpse
A rather stormy looking sky as we catch our first glimpse of the White House
TAH DAAAAH!
TAH DAAAAH!

Numerous White House selfies later (on my part, Mr F&P played it much cooler), we moved on to see Lincoln, and stood on the very step Martin Luther King delivered his “I have a dream” speech from – quite an incredible feeling. We had spotted the Lincoln monument as we were driving into DC and the sheer size of the columns and steps even from the road was incredible, never mind up close.

Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln up close

Lincoln collumns

The view looking out over the National Mall to the Washington Monument was breathtaking. Click on the panoramic pic to see in full size!

View from Lincoln to Washington

Panoramic view

I was going to say that we wandered through the rest of the national mall, but it was more of a decisive stride, knowing we had a lot to get around. From Lincoln we passed through the gardens of the National Mall and saw the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, then Martin Luther King Jr Memorial, followed by a walk around Tidal Basin to see the FDR and Jefferson Memorial, and we stopped for a breather at the Washington Monument.

Vietnam War Memorial

names on wall

The forgotten war

Korean war pool

And over to Martin Luther King Junior. The memorial structure is a direct reference to the line “Out of a mountain of despair, a stone of hope.” from his famous “I have a dream” speech.

Martin Luther King Jr Memorial

From there we wandered through FDR’s impressive memorial space, and the sun decided to join us for this part of the walk too.

FDR

FDR and dog

And how you could not want a picture with FDR’s Scottish terrier Fala!

Fala

Then on to our last stop before lunch, walking round Tidal Basin to the Jefferson Memorial building.

Jefferson

View of Jefferson from tidal basin

A spot of lunch at the sculpture garden in the National Gallery of Art and we were re-energised and ready to take on Capitol Hill. I have no doubt the sunshine made this impressive building look even more awesome, and it certainly helped my photography skills.

A spot of lunch in the Sculpture Gardens at the National Gallery
Lunch with a view – Sculpture Gardens at the National Gallery of Art

Sculpture garden

And now for the fancy, sunshine filled photos….

Capitol Hill

Capitol Hill panoramic

Capitol Hill close up

Isn’t it stunning? Unfortunately we weren’t able to get inside and have a look around, but we stood in awe outside for quite some time and soaked up some of the rays.

There are still plenty buildings and museums I’ve not mentioned to be seen around the National Mall as we didn’t cover all of it. I’d advise leaving yourself two if not three days if you really want to visit all the Smithsonian buildings and really make the most of that part of the city. Entry to the museums is free which unfortunately means a lot of queuing, and a lot of coach and school trips. However we did visit the International Spy Museum which wasn’t free, but a must visit for Bond fans.

After our intense day of history we spent the rest of the week hanging out with friends and visiting other areas such as Georgetown, Adams Morgan and Old Town Alexandria, so stay tuned for more stateside ramblings.