LOBBIES, NEWS, RESTAURANTS

Brunchy and Brassy

Becca Clara Love and Cori Sue Morris are the founders of Bitches Who Brunch. Photo by Michael Woestehoff.
Becca Clara Love and Cori Sue Morris are the founders of Bitches Who Brunch. Photo by Michael Woestehoff.

Washington, DC (July 15, 2012) – Being early for once, I’m sitting in the hotel lobby of the newly renovated Madison Hotel to have brunch with Becca Clara Love and Cori Sue Morris, founders of the Bitches Who Brunch. It’s hot outside on this Saturday, which is no surprise this summer, but the cool grays and creams of the Madison Hotel lobby seem to have a cooling affect.

The girls walk up to the hotel. Over-sized sunglasses and small leather belts frame these women perfectly and seem to not be bothered by the heat. The doorman opens the glass doors and the ladies give him an acknowledging nod to show appreciation.

Our intention that day was to try the hotel’s brunch, however, the Federalist was completely closed. In a relaxed tone, Cori Sue, wearing animal print and coral, pulled off her glasses and proclaimed with her blinding blue eyes, that we head to the Hay-Adams instead. And that was that.

Asian edamame dumplings are one of the eccletic menu items on their Saturday menu.
Asian edamame dumplings are one of the eccletic menu items on their Saturday menu.

Becca is a little more reserved, but has a paradoxical presence of sweet authority.

We arrived at the Hay-Adams and took at seat in its noiseless restaurant called the Lafayette Room. Now keep in mind, Sunday is a day reserved for brunch here in DC, so many of the restaurants we walked by were just as empty. But that gave us a great opportunity to chat and understand who these bit-, er, ladies are.

The Washington Lobbyist: Why the name “Bitches Who Brunch?”

Becca: We started the blog in March 2010 because we’re both writers at heart (we both went to journalism school) but no longer work in professions that provide an outlet for our writing—and brunching and Bitching was something that we tended to do a lot. It came naturally; though I have to give Cori Sue the credit for actually coming up with the name.

TWL: Why such an upfront name?

 Becca: Why not?

 Cori Sue: Honestly, I love alliteration, so we were just chatting one day when I blurted out the name. I don’t think either of us thought too much about the word Bitch, or that there would be negative repercussions and, honestly, we haven’t had any. If Washingtonian and my Grandparents are cool with it, then it works.

TWL: I’m still getting used to it. I think I’ll never be comfortable calling a woman, well, you know. Tell me about the overall concept of the BWB?

Becca: “Becca and Cori Sue are brunching their way around Washington, D.C.” But really, Bitches is the website D.C. turns to when they want to know where to brunch on the weekends—or what to wear and where to party. The difference from other local blogs is that we can actually write. Did I just say that? Yes, yes I did.

Cori Sue: Yes, I mean, there are a lot of blogs out there. But, in addition to the fact we work our tails off to provide a service—several brunch reviews, event recaps and your Monday events calendar each week—I like to think our large readership likes our strong voices and great writing.

Becca holds court with her capivating conversation. Gnocci with spinach and a cream sause are well-made.
Becca holds court with her capivating conversation. Gnocci with spinach and a cream sause are well-made.

TWL: The writing and photography are great! Love hearing honest opinions and not another re-posted press release. Give me a short description of where you came from.

Becca: I’m a native Brit, but went to high school in Tampa, Florida, and journalism school at the University of Missouri-Columbia (M-I-Z!).

Cori Sue: I had a slightly random upbringing: growing up in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Plymouth, Minnesota; and St. Petersburg, Florida. I went to undergrad at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which still has my heart. I just finished my master’s degree in international affairs from George Washington University here in D.C.

TWL: Beautiful and educated. Awesome! If there are a few favorite DC hotel spots, where would you say they are?

Becca: But of course, the best hotel spot in D.C. is on the balcony at POV on the roof of the W. There is no better view in D.C. than that. Also, the two restaurants (POV and J&G) both have lovely brunches.

 Cori Sue: The Jefferson is right around the corner from my house and it’s just the classiest, most charming little hotel. Jefferson loved a great glass of wine and a good book—and I like to sit in the library room with both on a cold D.C. day.

TWL: Those are great places! Now, when you travel, where was a memorable stay outside of DC?

 Becca: I had a blissful weekend in a hammock on the beach at the Waldorf-Astoria’s Casa Marina hotel in Key West in January: Another memorable hotel brunch was in Jamaica.

 Cori Sue: The nicest hotel I’ve ever stayed at was the Faena in Buenos Aires—and I challenge you to find a more fabulous hotel. In January of this year, I was in Amsterdam for work and I stayed at the very quirky Hotel Arena, which had lofted modern rooms, paired with a lobby that had these crazy black drapes and Gothic staircases, and it turned into a salsa club on Fridays. It was just bizarre, but in a fun way. I actually got snowed in and they set up an ice skating rink in the front of the hotel.

Cori Sue has a persuasive charm about her. The eggs Benedict were very average.
Cori Sue has a persuasive charm about her. The eggs benedict were very average.

TWL: Very decriptive! I like hotels, lobbies in particular, obviously. It’s a comfortable and neutral place to bring friends to gather and plan your next move. What would bring you to a lobby?

 Becca: If I am in a hotel lobby I am probably heading somewhere. Unless it’s The Standard New York or a fabulous Las Vegas casino. In those cases, I want to stay and hang out.

 Cori Sue: I’d like to say at the bar with a book, since one of my resolutions was to relax and read more, but it’s more than likely sitting with friends or at an event. One of the great things about being a Bitch is all the fun parties we’re invited to and the new friends we’ve made. But, I would like a little more calmness here and there.

TWL: Overall, what is the pulse on hospitality here in DC?

 Becca: One of the most frequent questions we get (right after: ‘What’s your favorite brunch?’) is ‘Won’t you run out of restaurants to review?’ The answer is no, never. In fact, our list of places to try is ridiculously long—because D.C.’s chefs and restaurateurs are constantly coming up with creative new dining spots. It’s a solid, quality dining scene here, and there’s always something new to try. I love it.

 Cori Sue: Yep, we brunch every weekend, and I’m out on the town at least five nights a week, and I haven’t gotten bored of Washington yet. I’m proud of our little city.

TWL: What defines a good time a brunch?

 Becca: Friends + lots of laughs + phenom food + bottomless booze + great service = a great brunch

 Cori Sue: A chic ambiance. A great mimosa that’s strong and bottomless. The acceptance of my large sunglasses. Delicious food—preferably carbs (Hello, brioche French toast), and mac n’cheese. Of course, my friends—girls and gays but no boys allowed at my gossipy brunch session.

These lovely ladies also wrote about their experience at the Hay Adams and it is found on their site, TheBitchesWhoBrunch.com. Thank you Becca and Cori Sue for taking the time out of your busy schedule and sitting down with me to share a meal. See you in the next lobby and see you at brunch!

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