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  • Author
    • CinCin

      Registered: October 2010
      Location: Texas
      Posts: 49
      Review Date: Mon November 17, 2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 6 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): relaxing, peaceful, elegant and a great getaway from the parks
      Cons: pricey for what you get

       
      This isn't a place you really go for a gourmet meal, but this is a relaxed respite from the hustle and bustle of park touring and the crowds and lines. I've been twice now and enjoyed my first visit in 2012 so well I made it a must do on my recent trip Nov. 2014. I am quite picky about food and made a couple of substitutions and they happily obliged. I dislike onion and seafood so I had them skip the egg salad and the shrimp sandwiches. I had a nice variety of roasted beet, chicken curry and cucumber watercress. I do like the variety offered. The tea was not quite the same as last time and had no leaves in it. There was no need for the fancy little strainer like it used to and it did not get stronger as it sat so the first cup was the same as the last cup. That was disappointing as this is a tea room. The scones were fine but a bit small and they came with a tiny serving of strawberry jam, lemon curd, and cream and not with the little jars this time. The strawberries were sweet and ripe and topped with a layer of whipped cream. This is a much more filling meal that it appears. I really didn't have room for the strawberries but ate a few anyway as it is my favorite dessert. The setting here was elegant and it was not crowded, very quiet, and the views onto the courtyard/garden area were beautiful. The Grand Floridian resort where this is located is beautiful and elegant and transports you to a Victorian age. The resort is lovely and certainly worth paying a visit to and spending some time at even if you aren't staying there. This was such a relaxing meal and there was the lovely piano music drifting in from the lobby. Overall, this is a bit pricey considering it is just finger sandwiches and a few pastries and fresh strawberries so this experience isn't really about the food so much as the atmosphere. Even though this was a bit different with the tea and the china was plain and not getting the little jars of lemon curd and jam for the pastries, I still enjoyed my visit very much and it still remains on my must do list.
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      AmyMC

      Registered: June 2014
      Posts: 1
      Review Date: Mon June 30, 2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 2 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Still great service
      Cons: Quality of experience has diminished GREATLY

       
      This used to be my favorite place in Central FL for afternoon tea. There are at least three or four other places that are better now.


      I've visited this location more than 20 times over the past 10 years. As a "local", annual passholder and Tables in Wonderland member, I've raved about this place and brought friends, family members and co-workers here for the experience. No longer.


      I'm not sure I can sufficiently convey how very, very disappointed I am with the changes made in the past year. Yes, it's been a little over a year since I was last here but I've always been able to count on Garden View Tea Room to provide a quality experience. Since I've always ordered the Grand Tea, that is what I'll be comparing.


      First of all, the elegant Royal Albert china has been replaced with a cheap, dingy looking service that does not go with the decor at all. Also, the teapots are smaller. The flute of sparkling wine used to be served with a fresh strawberry on the side. No longer. The teapots are smaller and the tea strainers are just there for show - there are no tea leaves in that pot to be strained out. Some may be fine with this, but I enjoyed the tea getting stronger as the afternoon passed and had a habit of adding milk to the last couple of cups.


      The first course of sandwiches was disappointing as well. As another reviewer mentioned, the bread is now regular bread instead of the thin-sliced dense bread normally served with afternoon tea. Also, there seems to be less filling in them, although it could just seem that way now that the bread has doubled in amount. The duck terrine and onion tart were the same.


      The second course of scones was a shock. The scones are MUCH smaller than they used to be... and ours were cold and hard. They served the scone with a white porcelain tray of the condiments: a very small amount of Devonshire cream, a lemon cream and a rather runny strawberry preserve. The preserves seem a bit watered down compared to the small jars of Dickinson's preserves they used to serve. I'm certain it's much cheaper for them. The tart was the same. I usually don't eat but a bite of it because it's very sweet.


      For the last course, we got to choose between the strawberries and cream, the English trifle and the pastries. We both chose the trifle. I must say that the presentation was very pretty as they are now in little glass pedestal dessert bowls. Unfortunately, the taste was not. At least for me. The strawberries tasted a little off, the whipped cream tasted oily, there was very little cake and the serving size was smaller than I've received in previous visits. I understand that having them prepared in advance adds a layer of quality and quantity control compared to just having the servers scoop the trifle out of large bowls into smaller ones... but this is NOT the quality to aspire to.


      They are going to be refurbishing in July and will be operating out of Citricos during that time. According to our server, only the kitchen is being redone.


      WE paid $37 each for the Grand Tea with no upgrade to the sparkling wine. According to the menu currently posted on here for May 2013, that is an $8 increase for much, MUCH lower quality.


      I won't go back again... and it's just so very disappointing
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      JoanneS

      Registered: April 2007
      Location: Peterborough, NH
      Posts: 70
      Review Date: Wed June 25, 2014 Would you recommend the product? No | | Rating: 3 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Peaceful Setting
      Cons: Food Choices

       
      My friend and I were looking forward to enjoying a nice quiet tea. I made the error of telling the server I was lactose intolerant and the lovely tea took a bad turn. He had the chef come out and talk to me about my "issue". I was given NO choice as far as food goes. They told me they would bring me a plate of sandwiches, and while my friend enjoyed a nice variety of tea sandwiches, I got salami on white bread, and turkey loaf with tofu cheese. (also on white bread) And, when I say white bread, I mean Wonder bread. When it was time for dessert, my friend got her choice of pastries, while I was given no choice, but delivered a bowl of JELLO with frozen strawberries in it. I paid $30 for salami sandwiches and Jello. I was not a happy camper. Others may enjoy this, but for the lactose intolerant, this is not a good choice.
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      hsminnie

      Registered: July 2008
      Posts: 6
      Review Date: Thu June 12, 2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 6 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Ambiance, staff, tea (the actual beverage)
      Cons: Food quality reduced, no a la carte selections

       
      Sadly, this family tradition is not what it once was. We've been traveling to WDW with our daughters since 2002 - when they were 10, 7 and 2. It is traditional for us to have tea one afternoon while dad gets a break. This time, because they grow up Smile, only my husband, our youngest daughter (now 13) and I were on the trip. Bob agreed to come to tea for the first time, and it was Abby's first trip as a tea drinker.


      50% of the joy at the cafe is the setting. No matter how crowded the GF lobby becomes, the cafe is always a tranquil respite with beautiful views and good service. It also used to be a place to have good tea and delicious food. Some of this has changed - for the worse.


      The tea is still good. In fact, our server made a special brew for my coffee loving husband (they were out of the tea he chose) and he loved it. Abby enjoyed the Imperial English Breakfast and I had the Gardenview Blend. Simple choices, good flavors. Smile


      We were told a la carte ordering was no longer an option - unless it was in addition to one of the 'packages'. This was frustrating because I knew Abby would not like the sandwiches. (1 picky eater of three - not too bad, lol.) We all chose Buckingham Palace.


      The sandwiches used to be on thin sliced, dense 'appetizer' breads. Now, they are on regular breads. I did like most, but the pear and gorgonzola - my past favorite - has lost something in translation. I'm wondering if they prepare it differently, or if it was just the bread texture. The salmon is a 'spread' type filling, rather than a slice of smoked salmon, which I would have preferred. Our server brought Abby some PB&J when she noticed she only took one bite from her others. That was really sweet - and not necessary.


      The onion tartlet is still yummy. I only take a bite or two - but they are delicious bites Smile.


      The raisin scones are delicious, the jam tart is still an icky pile of goo to me.


      Then, it was time for the best part. The VERY best part. Fresh, sweet strawberries with Devon cream. It's amazing. It was. It isn't now. They brought a dessert dish filled with pre-sliced strawberries in Cool-Whip. Cool-Whip. I recognized it because my husband started baking this year, and we discovered the joy and ease of fresh whipped cream. Cool-Whip is distinguishable because it tastes like oil. The strawberries were tiny slices and old. They had that fermented taste. Ugh.


      Bob and Abby chose pastries. The eclair was ok - pastry can only survive so well in air - and the filling was sickly sweet. Bob had a chocolate peanut butter thing and they were ok with them.


      Not that you would need it, but if you want more tea it's an extra charge. Abby loved the china, the tea cozy and the sugar cubes Smile. We all loved the relaxation the cafe provides.


      We'll try to budget for this in the future, but I don't know if it will be a trip requirement. If they would allow a la carte purchases, definitely. But it's difficult to put aside $95 (tax and tip) for substandard eats. To reiterate, the service and ambiance is always a treat. We sit at our table for an hour or more and enjoy. It is always just a shame to see things slip from customer focused to profit focused in such a blatant way Sad.
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      Fitzboyzmom

      Registered: November 2010
      Posts: 142
      Review Date: Wed January 8, 2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros):
      Cons:

       
      I can't say enough nice things about this place. We arrived almost 45 minutes past our reservation, and past the time they were seating people. Long story short, it took us almost 90 minutes to get from Wilderness Lodge to the Grand Floridian. I had been emailing the manager at the restaurant to let them know we were coming, but her last note said that they could not take us it was too late. However, when we arrived, the hostess was very gracious and told us to relax and come right in and relax.


      This was a special thing we were doing for my step mom and kind of a surprise, so I was so happy that they let us in.


      The tea was very nice and the food as well. A really nice thing to do with the ladies, although my son enjoyed his Mrs. Potts tea (chocolate milk). I can't wait to go back.
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      jjcscanlon

      Registered: September 2006
      Posts: 22
      Review Date: Sat August 10, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): atmosphere, welcomed respite
      Cons: none

       
      My husband and I, along with our teenage daughter enjoyed our Grand Floridian Tea experience. We had reserved a table for 3, but then my picky son decided to join us after he went and picked up some food for himself at Gasparilla Grill. I thought he'd stay at the food court, but he brought it to us - not sure they were happy with that, but didn't say anything to us about it (I wasn't happy he tainted the tea experience LOL).


      We all had the Buckingham Palace which was $25 per person, but included a pot of your individual tea choice (kept warm in it's own "blanket" cozy, traditional tea sandwiches (which you could pick and choose from 5 different varieties), a scone and jam tart with fresh strawberry jam, clotted cream and lemon curd and choice of pastries or English Trifle.


      The "courses" were spaced nicely and we did not feel rushed, but the amount of goodies you get certainly ensures that this outing can serve as a meal replacement - and looking at it that way, the price of the outing doesn't seem as bad.


      the Tea Room was at about 60% capacity, but they do encourage reservations as the room is on the smaller, (yet bright and airy) side overlooking the pool area.


      We really enjoyed all the menu offerings we chose and my daughter is still talking about wishing she had gotten the tea we had both had to bring home (a custom blend for the tea room called : Princess Breakfast Tea - A sweet custom blend of South African organic rooibos flavored with vanilla bean and a hint of strawberries. Rich in antioxidants and vitamins, and naturally decaffeinated.)


      Since we've been married 19 years ago, we've probably been to Disney over 40 times and we always try to do new things. The Tea was a first time for us and we will most likely do it again.
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      wendybarrie

      Registered: May 2013
      Posts: 18
      Review Date: Wed May 22, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Different and a nice midday pace
      Cons:

       
      This was my second time at tea, and I still love it, and find great value in it. I did not give it an excellent because I still think there is some confusion that comes along with the tea if your server doesn't work to sort and make things clear. We opted for three different tea menus, and we did not understand that one had two courses, one three and the other four, so when my friend received her second course we sat and sat until the server asked why she wasn't eating then explained she was the only one with that course, which was fine I wish he would have better explained. Also, make sure to ask about the sandwich selections and substitute where you find necessary.
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      ADJ

      Registered: December 2012
      Location: Denver, CO
      Posts: 9
      Review Date: Sat December 15, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Great service, they accommodated my special diet!
      Cons: Wish I could go here every day.

       
      Mom and I got the Buckingham Palace tea, Dad got the a la carte Stilton and scones. The food was great; Dad said it was the best Stilton he’d ever had, the portion was generous for $8. Chef TJ (who is the chef at 1900 Park Fare, and apparently also the Garden View Lounge) accommodated my dietary restrictions in fine style – I simply told him vegetarian and no dairy products, and I trusted his judgment. He brought out a gorgeous plate with a little of everything: spicy pasta salad, sublime edamame salad, vegetable sushi rolls, a couple of egg salad sandwiches. Instead of scones, I had sliced pumpkin bread from BabyCakes. The pastry course was a tower of dairy free cookies and soy ice cream with fruit and chocolate syrup. We had the Gardenview Blend (like a very mild Earl Grey), the Imperial English Breakfast and the Eros; all three were wonderful. The service was personal and warm. We were all very happy with our experience here.
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      dvcnut

      Registered: July 2010
      Posts: 51
      Review Date: Tue November 13, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): relaxing
      Cons: none

       
      This was my first visit to the Garden View Tea Room and I was pleased with my experience. I ordered the Grand Tea and was constantly told by my waitress to relax and take my time. I did, and left about 1.5 hours later full, rested, and happy I had given GVTR a try.
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      delana29

      Registered: August 2011
      Location: New Jersey
      Posts: 5
      Review Date: Fri October 12, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): relaxing and peaceful, beautiful setting
      Cons: none

       
      My sister and I had afternoon tea here on 9/22/12. It was our second time having tea, it is a nice way to take time to relax on a very tiring vacation. We had ADR and were late due to a horrible bus ride from AK (90+ MINUTES).


      We had a nice table by the windows. I had Russian Earl Grey and my sister had gingerbread tea, which was very good. It's great how they serve it in your own china pot with a tea cozy (just like our Scottish grandma).


      We ordered the scones with the Devonshire cream (to die for!!), strawberries and cream (beautifully served with a big GF in red sugar on top of the cream!!) and some pastries. Everything was delicious and fresh.


      The service was great as usual. Tables could be a little bigger to fit everything but we loved it and we plan to do it on every Disney trip. Great way to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the parks.
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      CinCin

      Registered: October 2010
      Location: Texas
      Posts: 49
      Review Date: Wed February 1, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): relaxing, great food, great service, quiet
      Cons:

       
      Mom and I had lunch here Jan 28. It was so quiet as compared to the parks and the other restaurants and we really enjoyed that. We were seated at window and had a beautiful view of the gardens and the pool. Even in January the gardens are full of color and flowering plants and it was a gorgeous view. I had the Buckingham palace and Mom had the Prince Edward's tea. It was hard choosing a tea because they all sounded so delicious. I finally settled on a gingerbread tea. I didn't care for the egg salad sandwich as there was onion in it and gave mom the shrimp one. The entire meal took a little over an hour and a half. We had a great time and enjoyed everything we ordered. It was fancy without being pretentious. The resort is beautiful and we enjoyed our visit as well. There were all ages in the tea room and although it was mostly just ladies, but it isn't just a girly place. My husband would have enjoyed dining here and on my next visit to WDW I will make sure to include this in our plans.
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      foxress

      Registered: December 2009
      Location: Sparks, Nevada
      Posts: 28
      Review Date: Sun January 22, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 8 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): The View, The Food, The Experience
      Cons: None

       
      My little girl and I really enjoyed our afternoon tea. She had the Buckingham. I had the Prince Edward. They were both very good, as was the tea. The service was wonderful, and we were seated next to the windows, so had a lovely view. It was a calming respite from the parks, and made for a lovely afternoon.
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      bamagrl72

      Registered: October 2011
      Posts: 5
      Review Date: Sun October 30, 2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 8 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Relaxing and Tasty
      Cons: None

       
      We've dined here twice. Previous visit ordered a tea service with the multiple courses and this time ordered ala carte. We ordered the sandwiches, scones and trifle + 2 pots of tea for the cost of 1 formal tea from the menu. Try and schedule your reservation after 3 to hear the pianist in the lobby.
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      Cherry Blossom Girl 2

      Registered: August 2011
      Posts: 4
      Review Date: Tue August 23, 2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 7 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Tasty vegetarian options
      Cons: servers can be a bit snooty

       
      I had been looking forward to this tea since I booked it 180 days out. I finished my master's degree in June and this was a part of a graduation present from my husband. Just for some background, I am married to a man from England, and I lived in England for a few years, so I understand tea room etiquette.


      We came over from MK for the 2 PM seating. We had been in the rain, so we were all a bit damp. We tried to clean up as best as we could. I went to the podium to check in and I was greeted with "Ma'am?" and a look of askance. No smiles, just the feeling that I was somehow bothering her. It was very anomalous to the service we had been receiving all week at other WDW restuarants.


      The service during the tea was marginally better, she seemed a bit reserved, it seemed like we were bothering her at times. I ordered the Grand Tea and was able to sub in vegetarian options for my sandwiches, the server seemed a bit put out by that, too. It was all very delicious--I highly recommend the grilled pear and gorgonzola and the egg salad. I also loved the onion tarts. I was very full, almost uncomfortably so at the end and I struggled to finsih the final course. We had ADRs for Via Napoli later that evening, and I was still very full at that meal and didn't really eat.


      I would still try it one more time. I really didn't appreciate being treated like we were hoi polloi, but I will chalk it up to a bad day. If received this same attitude the second time, I would not return.
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      mikat

      Registered: July 2009
      Location: ontario
      Posts: 32
      Review Date: Sat August 6, 2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 6 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): buckingham tea
      Cons: looong wait for service, price increase

       
      We came here because we had a spectacular experience last year, but this year we had no luck with GF servers. We were seated immediately, but then we waited for about 25 min before the sever even acknowledged that we were there- our DD 10 actually fell asleep on her sister (she'd been so excited and had been done up at the BBB) and we were getting ready to leave when he finally came by and said hello... and then left again for another 5 min. When he finally came and we ordered our tea selections it was lovely, but the service still wasn't nearly as good as the prev. year. We made the most of it and just enjoyed each others company and still had a nice relaxing afternoon- just hope for a better server next time. Also- Buckingham tea which I believe was 19.50 last year was 24.50 each this time.
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