BETHESDA, Md. — Afternoon tea at the Strathmore mansion is an elegant affair. Guests sip a signature Strathmore tea blend, indulge in a beautifully catered lunch, all while listening to musicians who further the mood of sophistication.
“This is a lovely place,” said Paul Mickey, who’s played at the teas many times. “They have a crowd that is appreciative, respectful, and sometimes people will get up to sing a song.”
There are rotating themes for teas, which are often accompanied by a lecture or live concert. They are are held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.
The teas take place on the first floor of the Mansion at Strathmore, which used to be a private residence until Montgomery County purchased it in the 1970s.
Monica Jeffries Hazangeles, Strathmore President & CEO, said a community committee had the vision for the property to become a venue for the arts.
“This area has seven times the national average of live music attenders,” said Hazangeles. “So they knew right from the very beginning that it would be a place that would become home for the arts.”
The mansion’s upstairs is used as an art gallery. Exhibits showcase local artists.
Many locals know Strathmore for its 2,000-seat concert hall, the Music Center at Strathmore, which is just steps away from the mansion.
Strathmore’s influence in the arts community goes well beyond the 11-acre property. Hazangeles said programs are developed as a direct response to what community members have asked for.
“We have concerts for 2nd and 5th grade students – every single one in the county school system,” said Hazangeles. “Those were started in response to what our teachers wanted.”
There are also initiatives to help develop the passions and skills of local artists. The Artists in Residence program teaches professional development skills to musicians ages 16 to 32.
Each visit to the ever-evolving Strathmore invites people discover something new about the arts.