The US capital is best known for its iconic monuments and world-class museums, but there’s more to Washington D.C. than ancient history, discovers Nick Walton.
Arrive on the new direct Cathay Pacific service between Hong Kong and Washington D.C.’s Dulles International Airport. The new four-weekly flights – the longest in CX’s network at 13,122 kilometers – are operated using the airline’s brand new A350- 1000 aircraft and take just under 18 hours.
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Check into one of Washington D.C.’s most stylish addresses, the Rosewood, located in historic Georgetown. This regal retreat, which reopens this Spring after major renovations, is perched beside the C&O Canal at the heart of one of the city’s most coveted precincts and boasts just 49 guest rooms and suites. Be sure to fuel up at the elegant Grill Room, the restaurant’s fine dining restaurant, acclaimed for its lingering Sunday brunches, or find a cozy corner at Rye Bar, home to the city’s finest selection of its namesake whiskey. In the warmer months, explore the capital on a hotel bicycle before cooling off at the chic Rooftop Bar & Lounge and infinity pool.
Begin your explorations close to home with a spot of retail therapy in Georgetown, which has everything from designer fashion brands at Alice & Olivia, Relish, Rag & Bone and Billy Reid; and beauty products at the original Bluemercury on M Street; to hand-picked favourites curated by local style maven Marlene Hu Aldaba at Hu’s Wear and Hu’s Shoes; and spring essentials at Madewell. Afterwards, head for the waterfront hotspot of Fiola Mare for executive chef Anton Bolling’s take on timeless Italian and Mediterranean seafood – try the Adriatic Seafood Brodetto with black bass, branzino, seabream, langoustine and a saffron jus.
No matter the season, you can’t visit Washington D.C. without visiting one of the Smithsonian museums, most famous of which is the National Museum of Natural History. Opened in 1910, the greendomed museum on the National Mall was among the first Smithsonian buildings constructed exclusively to house national collections and research facilities. Current exhibitions include Narwal: Revealing an Arctic Legend, and Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World.
Head for The Wharf, a US$2.5 billion development on the Potomac’s historic Southwest Waterfront that’s home to restaurants, hotels, bars and exhibition spaces. Start off at the newest outlet of Rappahannock Oyster Bar, regarded as one of the best in the US. Here you can match oysters from Chesapeake Bay with wines from Oregon and the Russian River Valley or a locally-brewed Right Proper Pale Ale while rubbing shoulders with chic Washingtonians.
You won’t have to roam far for something more substantial. Already one of the hottest tables in town (so be sure to book ahead), Requin by award winning restauranteur Mike Isabella serves up modern French fare created by executive chef Michael Rafidi and paired with spectacular riverfront views. The Moules Marnieres with Pei mussels, linguica sausage, and crab fat butter is a spring sensation.
Head back to Georgetown and Blues Alley Jazz, the nation’s oldest continuing jazz supper club, which regularly hosts acts like the Dwayne Adell Trio, fusion group the Yellowjackets, and the award-winning Jamison Ross Trio.
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