Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Things to Do: The Mansion on O Street

Last spring, I purchased a LivingSocial deal for an Afternoon Dessert Tea and Scavenger Hunt at a place I'd never heard of called The Mansion on O Street. I'm a huge fan of architecture (especially old homes) and scavenger hunts so when I visited their website I knew it was something I had to try out for myself. While I probably wouldn't have paid $70 ($35pp) for it normally, I got it at great deal.

I arrived at the Mansion at 2:00PM with a friend for our reservation. Note, you need to book at least 1-2 weeks in advance because slots fill up quickly. We were warmly greeted by an older woman (whom we later found out is the Founder H.H. Leonards Spero). She showed us to our table and told us to help ourselves to the desserts. After we returned to our seats with our treats, we waited a while for the tea to come. The tea wasn't anything special and was served in mugs, not tea cups and saucers, which was a little weird but we went with it.

About 45 minutes, we chose one of the scavenger hunts they had available and were told we had free range over the house. We started in the basement and made our way to the kitchen where we were told we'd find the first of many hidden doors. We then continued throughout the house trying to use the clues provided to find the 3 items on each of the floors.

The house has 4 or so floors, it was hard to tell because the 3rd and 4th floors were expansive and there were secret doors everywhere that took you to random rooms and hallways and some led to stairs. Throughout the house, there were tons of items for sale (practically everything is up for grabs). Some of the most notable items (to me) were a Pee Wee Herman doll, a jukebox, and a sculpture of two elephants engaging in "relations". I don't know why that tickled me so. Another cool feature was most of the rooms, if not all, could be rented out since it is an Inn too. Some rooms were incredibly elaborate, one even had a glass table with a chessboard in the middle of the bathroom floor.

After the first hour or so of trying to find the items on the list, we became more interested in looking at all of the random artifacts that were all over the mansion. There were so many historical items, including letters from politicians/celebrities, signed photographs, and miscellaneous books on any topic you could possibly imagine. All of the books were on sale starting at $1.

Another interesting feature were the custom-made guitars that were spread out throughout the mansion. After speaking with the founder, we found out she had a relationship with someone affiliated with Gibson Guitars and he's donated several one-of-a-kind guitars to the Mansion over the years.

Nearly three hours later we left vowing to come back. I had willpower and only purchased one thing, a black marble elephant. Hey, it was only $22 (minus 10% since we did the scavenger hunt) which was very reasonable. Sure the elephant, along with most of the items in the mansion was used but as they say one man's trash is another one's treasure and there is something for everyone in that place.

The Mansion on O Street is definitely a place where I wouldn't mind getting lost again. They also have brunches, lunches, dinners and the venue can be booked for special events.

The Mansion on O Street
2020 O Street NW
Washington, DC 20036

1 comment:

  1. I had already been to the Mansion on O Street for a work function, but I stilkl bought the deal too and I'm going next month (for the husband's birthday. I gifure the buffet is pretty good!!)