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Afternoon Tea at the Grand Floridian’s Garden View Tea Room

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My two teenage daughters and I recently had a “girls only” trip to Walt Disney World, and I thought it would be fun to try something new, that Dad might not necessarily be upset about missing out on (it turns out that I was wrong about THAT assumption!), so I booked us for Afternoon Tea in the Grand Floridian's Garden View Tea Room (Garden View Lounge).


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The Tea Room is located on the first floor of the Grand Floridian, just off of the lobby.
It has lots of windows and is full of light and comfortable seating.

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As you enter, be sure to look down to see the lovely mosaics in the floor.


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Afternoon Tea is served daily from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. I decided that we would make the tea one of our main meals of the day, so I booked our Advance Dining Reservation for 4:30 p.m.
We arrived at about 4:15, because we had had a light early lunch, and we all very hungry. Although the Tea Room was not full and there were a number of empty tables, I was surprised when the hostess asked us to take a seat and that it would be a 10 to 15 minute wait. About 10 minutes later, we were escorted to a lovely round table near the window. The table could have seated up to six guests, and I could see that the reason for our wait was that the folks at the smaller tables in the room were still lingering over their tea and goodies. Because we were the last party seated for the day, I am not quite sure why this was a problem.

In any case, we WERE seated, and after a short wait, were handed our menus. I must say that it took some time to read through the menu to decide what we wanted to order, as it is extensive.

The menu includes the Tea Room's tea selections (green, white, black and infusions), selections for “full” afternoon tea service (including a savory selection like tea sandwiches or cheeses and pates, scones, jam tarts, pastries, tea and an alcoholic beverage, priced from $23 to $38) and a la carte items (scones, jam tarts, strawberries and cream, tea sandwiches, etc. priced from $3.50 to $14.50). We decided to go for the full service, since this would be an early dinner for us.

For our tea selections (which, a la carte, are $6.25 per person), I chose the Gardenview Blend: “A signature blend made exclusively for Gardenview Tea Room.” It was a lovely, traditional black tea. Daughter Number 1 (DN1) chose the Nobo Whole Fruit: “Full bodied and rich in sweetness. An array of berries and apple, accompanied with hibiscus, rose hips, and cornflowers,” and Daughter Number 2 (DN2) chose the Harmony: “A tranquil blend of sweet chamomile blossoms, peppermint, allspice and orange blossoms for a mild and sweet taste.”

It appeared that the other diners were being served their tea from traditional ceramic pots covered with velvet tea cozies to keep the tea warm (sorry, I wanted to get a picture of those, but somehow didn't). They must have run out of the ceramic pots, as our tea was served from glass press pots.


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I chose the Prince Edward's Tea: “A delicious array of assorted pates and English Blue Stilton, the "King" of English cheeses, served with marinated fresh berries, and Cumberland sauce. We then offer our delicious freshly baked scones served with rich Devonshire cream. Served with your choice of tea and a glass of our Fonseca Bin 27 Character Port. $24.50 per guest. Cockburn 20 yr Tawny Port $2.00.”

Yummy! I love Stilton, and it, the pates and the berries did not disappoint. I had to Google Cumberland sauce when I got home: “Cumberland sauce is a fruit-based sauce, usually used on non-white meats such as venison, ham, and lamb. Created sometime in the late 19th century, the sauce was named after the Duke of Cumberland who had ties in Hanover, Germany, where the sauce was invented.” Who knew? Anyway, it tasted great, and really worked well with all of the items on the plate.


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DN2 chose the Princess Kate Tea: “A Spring tea served with a classic dish of potted shrimp followed by a medley of cheeses, an array of seasonal fruits, and cheddar cheese biscuits. A scone, jam tart, and a selection of delicate pastries is accompanied by a glass of Veuve Cliquot champagne and your choice of tea. $38.00 per guest.”


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Since DN2 is not of an age to appreciate (nor legally imbibe) a lovely Veuve Cliquot, the waitress was nice enough to serve her glass of champagne to me


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and to substitute the port that was supposed to come with my meal for a nice glass of Martinelli's sparkling cider for her. DN1 decided that she would like a glass of sparkling cider too, please, thank you very much.


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The potted shrimp were to die for. DN2 usually won't touch shrimp, but she devoured these, and only shared one very small bite with her mother!


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DN1 decided that she “only” wanted the British Cheese Plate: “A selection of traditional British cheeses, served with an array of seasonal fruits. $14.50” As you can see, there were plenty of wonderful cheeses and fruits on the plate, including the wonderful Stilton (which DN1 doesn't really like, so I got even more for myself!).


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Once DN2 and I finished our first courses, we were each served a scone with clotted cream and jam, and DN2 also got a jam tart, and some pastries. I think that it is a very good thing for my waistline that I cannot get clotted cream at my local grocery store, I love it SOOO much! The girls didn't quite get it.


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At the end of the meal, we were each brought a lovely, long-stemmed rose.


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Mad Hatter: Would you like a little more tea?

Alice: Well, I haven't had any yet, so I can't very well take more.

March Hare: Ah, you mean you can't very well take less.

Mad Hatter: Yes. You can always take more than nothing.

Note: The Tables in Wonderland card can be used for a discount for tea in the Garden View Tea Room. There are no other discounts currently available, and the Disney Dining Plan is not accepted.


Garden View Lounge Afternoon Tea Menu

Rate and Review the Afternoon Tea


The previous post in this blog was Disney World: What's New, What's Next August 5, 2011.

The next post in this blog is A Quiet Meal at the Turf Club Bar & Grill.

Comments (28)

Richard:

Many thanks for posting but, "our tea was served from glass press pots"; I'm sorry, but I would have returned those and asked for my tea to be served properly.

I had considered taking afternoon tea at the GF myself but if it is served in this manner then it's not proper afternoon tea and, unfortunately, I now think I will give this one a miss.

Lisa Zitek:

I have always wanted to have a go at this afternoon delight and you have tempted me even more so to make that a prime reservation for me on my next trip, even if I have to go it alone. Thanks so much for sharing the experience.

By the by, I noticed in one of your photos a lovely journal, I believe, that has what looks like an adorable cat crossed with Audrey Hepburn's character from "Breakfast at Tiffany's". Might I ask where you cam across such a small treasure?

Cheers!

Lisa

Rebecca:

Thank you for the post! I LOVE this place and go often. I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure what kind of tea you get makes a difference to what kind of tea pot you receive. The waitress explained it once, but I forget exactly what the reasoning is.

The Princess Kate tea is new! And the pastries look different too. I'm going at the end of the month, and I'm thrilled they have new things to try. =)

Barbara Amick:

Always enjoy the Tea Room, the last time we were there was June of this year. They seated us before 2 when the room first opens. Always have the tea pots, never the press pot. Everything was going along well until a large party arrived, so the young lady had too many guests to take care of. We didn't have our dessert and needed to catch a plane, three cast members were at the podium in full view of what was going on and never tried to help.
After I mentioned this to our cast member the manager came along and asked us what he could do, when the cast members saw him they started to come into the room to help. It was my daughters birthday, it was noted when I made the reservation, plus I recomfirmed it upon check in. Nothing special was done to celebrate the event, so I wasn't pleased with the end of the tea.

Judy:

My sister and I have had the high tea many times and have always had our tea in a teapot. I think the difference was that you each choose different teas. The press is for single servings and the pot for more than one. My sister and I usually drink the same tea. The tea for two is in one teapot. Just a thought. The tea is lovely, and we have booked it again for our October visit.

Terry Horton:

My husband and I had tea there this past May and our teas were served in the ceramic pots with the velvet tea cozies. We had the Grand Tea which was incredible...but I think I my favorite dish in the whole service was the scone, clotted cream and strawberry jam, tart course....next time I'm getting that two or three orders!!! Well..probably not, but I sure would like to!! The champagne we got was St. Michelle. Very nice.

"Doctor" Don Collignon:

Often the type of tea or tisane ("fruit teas" are among these) are served is French Press pots because it works best for that type of tea/tisane. They are also used for coffee, such as at Kona Cafe.

Linda Clark:

My husband and I started "treating" ourselves to afternoon tea several trips ago (we average 2 visits a year to the World), without our children. The last person who posted was correct, the type of tea pot you get is dependent on the type of tea you order. Some teas need to be steeped in the "pretty" tea pot and some need to be pressed. I love the velvet tea cozies they use with the ceramic teapots and I have been tempted to "pocket" one. We always try to get one tea in the press and one in the pot. The tea room is cozy and romantic. Try it on a rainy day. And the scones are to die for. We were in heaven when our server told us the last time we could order some to go. So if you want a great break from the parks, afternoon tea in the Garden View is a perfect way to spend an hour or two.

Stacey:

Rebecca is right, I know it was explained to me at least once before there that certain teas come in pressed pots instead of the pretty ones. But besides that, its too bad no one tried the sandwiches, they are great, and oh yes, the clotted cream is to die for!!! i always hope everyone else in my party won't eat theirs :-) Back again there in October, can't wait!!

Karen:

Four generations of "us girls" enjoyed this tea in July for my birthday. We ranged in age from 2-75. We all enjoyed different teas and menu items. The Gardenview Blend tea was delicious (we had tea pots with cozys) and I think our favorite menu item was the strawberries & cream. The two year old had Mrs. Pott's tea and she felt so grown up drinking from a real china tea cup. She did a great job. We had fun dressing up and it was a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the rest of our trip.

Lisa:

Thank you so much for this review and pictures! My mother and I talked about taking my daughters to this tea when we are there in December, but she thought the dress code might be too formal or strict for a 6 yr old and 13 yr old to enjoy. Can you tell me if what the attire was while you were there?

Jessica:

My mother and I tried the tea on our last trip, and we have decided that it is a must do every time!

The type of tea does determine which pot you get. My mother chose the Imperial English Breakfast and received hers in the ceramic pot, while I chose the Princess Breakfast (another exclusive for the Gardenview Tea Room) and mine came in a press pot. I believe the waitress said that it has to do with the size of the pieces in your tea. As a more herbal tea mine had smaller pieces that the cup strainer alone would not be able to get out, so the additional strainer in the press pot helps to keep floaters out of the tea. However, they gave us both cozies to use for our pots. I guess it depends on your server if you get the cozy.

Sabrina:

Glad you enjoyed your visit! Tea is a must do when my mother and I make our rare trips these days. Great for mother-daughter bonding, especially being in my 20s and away from home. Too bad no one got the tea sandwiches they are to die for. And the Nobo is my favorite tea there as well after trying numerous different ones. And I agree, clotted cream is fabulous!

Heather Macdonald:

I love the tea service at the Grand Floridian, I have a nut allergy and I was surprised to find out that they would pull a chef from Citricos to deal with my nut allergy and make me plate for my meal.

Emily:

This looks great, but the scone looks more like a southern-style biscuit ... was it scone-ish? (for lack of a better term... :)

Katie:

We always make a point to head over for tea when we visit WDW. So relaxing after being in the parks! Like some of the others mentioned, the teas are served in different pots. Last visit my mom and I had the lovely china and my father's came in a press pot. All tasted fabulous however.
I saw that someone asked about attire. We are usually dressed for the parks and have not felt out of place but we have seen some people more formally attired.

Joni:

Have had the pleasure of having High Tea there at least 4 times. Always great Except one time we were surrounded by Red Hat Ladys and had a nasty Guava swan pastry yuck. Guess I don't like guava or it had saat out too long this was the last seating we were at. so...
Looks like the pastry's have changed that is nice loved the little swans (with a different filling) Hope they still have those.
Would love a chance of tea sammys though. Not to my liking.

Alice McNutt Miller:

Thanks for all of your very nice comments! I'll try to answer a few of the questions that have not already been answered by others.

The cute journal that shows in one of my pictures is made by a company called teNeues. They have loads of great stationary products, and can be found on the web.

I wouldn't worry too much about the dress code being too formal for 6 and 13 year old girls. My girls did wear skirts, but as you can see from the picture, I couldn't get them to leave behind their fleeces! We saw other diners wearing everything from fairly fancy dresses to shorts and tee shirts.

As for the scones, they do look like buscuits, but they were definitely "sconish," including currants.

And yes, they do have swan-shaped pastries. We didn't get one, and I was trying not to be too intrusive with my picture-taking, hence no picture.

Stephanie $:

I have been there before, and we had a superb time. For the poster inquiring about scones, the do resemble southern-style biscuits in England (at least in Oxford where we took tea while I was there). Not exactly sure why the triangle shape came into being. Also, they are textured like a biscuit, but the taste! So much better. :)

Reagan Herman:

My wife, daughter and myself started a tradition of having tea on the afternoon of our arrival to WDW several trips back. It's a great way to relax afer hustling through airports and flights all morning. I'm so looking forward to my glass of Port and Prince Edwards Tea with my girls next December. Love that Stilton!

Helen:

I love going to the Tea at the GF and I make it a point to go each time I go to WDW. I have always gotten my tea in a ceramic pot, but then I generally get a "regular brew" I have to admit though that I have never noticed the mosaics. I will pay more attention when I go again in December.
It sounds as though they made some additions to the menu, I would love to try the Princess Kate Tea.

Mindy:

I have been doing the afternoon tea at the Grand Floridian for many years now as a special "ladies only" event. I've brought my daughters, my mother in law and friends at varying times. It is true that the tea you choose determines whether you get a tea pot with a quilted cozy on it or a glass press pot. I always choose the Buckingham Palace service which comes with champagne and strawberries as well as an onion tart, several little sandwiches, scone with clotted cream and my choice of pastries or the trifle. I get the trifle. It is one of the most delicious, rich, flavorful desserts on property anywhere!! I last paid $25.00.

Anne Marie Geary:

My daughter and I always plan High Tea and we've never been disappointed.. I would recommend going there.. It's a experience to enjoy.

Anne

Lisa:

Tea at the Grand Floridian has become a tradition for my daughter and I. We always have Patricia as our server. She's wonderful.

The choice of tea determines your pot.

We recently went with my cousin who has an allergy, she wanted to have the tea sandwiches, so they made her ham and cheese (which is her favorite).

It's a fabulous way to relax and enjoy each others company.

Sarah S.:

Thanks so much for your review and the pictures. I'll be there in October with my daughters (5&6) and mother, and am very excited about it - Its great to see pictures of the food and the room, and hear other peoples observations and experience. I'm torn between two of the services, and with your pictures and comments... Actually you've made my decision harder!! LOL

Karen:

Thank you so much for this! I have a reservation for 4:50pm during my October trip.

It's a surprise for my friend. She knows we're going somewhere but hasn't figured out where yet (I kinda of hope she doesn't read your blog,lol, or she might).

I am really excited to try this out. I'm not a big tea drinker but will be trying some based on your descriptions.

Thanks again - have a magical day!

Karen

Denise:

Due to transportation difficulties, my Mom and I were 25 minutes late for our reservation, but they seated us anyway and it was a wonderful experience. This was a surprise for my Mom and she thoroughly enjoyed it. I picked the Gardenview Tea and she picked the Princess Tea and we decided it was better. I'll get it next time. Our High Tea is one of my favorite Disney memories.

Sue Owens:

My daughter and I have enjoyed the tradition of afternoon tea at the Gardenview Lounge since she was very young, about 3 yrs. old the first time if memory serves. She is now almost 19 and finishing up her freshman year at college. Dad has joined us on a few occassions but usually goes off on his own for a bit. We like to dress-up for our tea when we have time, but have also gone in park attire and not been out of place. The first time we went I ordered her the Mrs. Potts tea, which comes with chocolate milk. I must have one of the few who dont like chocolate milk! It's been tea ever since for her, usually a mild fruity blend. We were most recently there in March 2012, and I asked about the tea pots. They are currently in the process of finding a new china pattern that would be in use soon. It seems the beautiful Royal Albert pattern has been discontinued and they couldn't continue to get replacement pieces. This is probably my most favorite (mother-daughter) Disney tradition!

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 10, 2011 5:00 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Disney World: What's New, What's Next August 5, 2011.

The next post in this blog is A Quiet Meal at the Turf Club Bar & Grill.

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