Relaxing with a book and a good meal may be the introverted bookworm’s dream for a cozy weekend at home, but The Jefferson is harnessing the cozy vibes in its own space for diners looking to escape the city bustle with a menu of novels paired with food and drink.
The Jefferson hotel was once a luxury residential building in Washington, D.C. The apartment complex, built in 1923, was converted to a hotel in 1955. Later, in 2009, the hotel was brought into the 21st century with a makeover infused with European and Washingtonian style, and the rich, historic influence of its namesake, Thomas Jefferson. The careful restoration of original 1923 architecture was accompanied by important renovations such as an elegant spa, specialty room and suite accommodations, and a chef’s kitchen for the restaurants and room service.
The First Library program is inspired by Jefferson’s well-known love of literature. The hotel’s book room is a constant homage to Jefferson’s bookworm personality, with leather-bound books that feature his favorite subjects. The hotel has partnered with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and the D.C. Public Library Foundation to give proceeds to the youth of Washington, D.C. The library-meets-culinary program—Books & Bites—is an extension of the theme.
“The culinary program attracts diners who are bookworms and seeking a quiet respite from the city noise,” says Jefferson spokesman Juan Brizuela. “It’s also a wonderful program for solo diners to enjoy.”
The Jefferson hotel houses two restaurants and one cocktail lounge. Plume is the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant. The Greenhouse is a well-known D.C. brunch spot located under an original 1923 skylight, discovered during the 2009 renovations. Both restaurants feature the Books & Bites lending program, where diners can enjoy choice prose with their meal. Meanwhile, at Quill, the hotel’s cocktail lounge, customers can enjoy literary-inspired cocktails, and $1 of each order is donated to the D.C. Public Library.
“The culinary team has incorporated the offering of a library of books available to patrons who dine at The Greenhouse or order a drink at the bar of Plume,” Brizuela says. “Because of the holistic quality of The Jefferson—always creating an experience for guests and diners that is complete, consistent, and fully immersive—the culinary extension was a natural part of the whole First Library program.”