Monday, February 11, 2008

Afternoon Tea at Disney's Grand Floridian

One of our favorite activities when traveling is to have afternoon tea in local tea rooms. While in Orlando, we enjoyed tea at Disney’s Victorian themed Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.
Entering the hotel lobby was like stepping back in time. We were greeted by the sound of classic Disney tunes being played on the grand piano. We immediately noticed the crystal chandeliers, stained glass ceilings, mirrors and fresh floral arrangements. As we walked along the outer edge of the lobby, I was fascinated by several arrangements of child-sized furniture, each consisting of a table and chairs, a small console TV and a sofa covered with teapot fabric.
The Gardenview Tearoom is in the end of the lobby with the back wall of windows overlooking the flower gardens. There were families and couples of all ages enjoying tea when we arrived for our reserved teatime on Thursday. It was fun to see several little girls dressed in princess costumes trying to sit still with grandmas, moms and dads. One little gal just couldn’t resist a twirl or two in her pretty dress and a wave of her magic wand. Oh, how it made us miss our own little princess granddaughter! (But, never fear, a beautiful pink sleeping beauty costume and tiara, which set grandpa back more than a few bucks, is ready to go in the mail to her today!)
For a hotel tea, the Grand Floridian afternoon teas were very reasonably priced, in my opinion. GJ and I chose The Buckingham Palace Tea ($19.50 per person). The first two courses were served plated. The first course consisted of triangular shaped tea sandwiches on different breads, cucumber with watercress, Shrimp salad with dill, chicken salad with almonds, grilled pear with Gorgonzola and egg salad and a mini tart of caramelized onion and a cheese (forgot the name, but it was a bit sweet and very nice.)
AJ, our 8 year old, chose the Mrs. Potts Tea ($10.50). He is an experienced tea drinker, but couldn’t resist the teapot of chocolate milk (called Mad Hatter tea) that accompanies this children’s favorite. His sandwiches were tuna salad, ham and cheese and peanut butter and jelly on white bread. We ordered extra ham sandwiches (additional cost) for the hungry boy to wolf down while we enjoyed our second course of a raisin scone with Devonshire cream and raspberry jam and a raspberry jam tart. The final course was a choice of fresh strawberries and cream or a selection of freshly baked pastries. A difficult choice, but we went for the delicious fresh strawberries and cream. The 8 year old selected 2 chocolate dipped, decorated strawberries from the pastry tray.
I selected the “exclusive signature tea, the Gardenview Blend”, a blend of black teas served in a 4-cup teapot. GJ, being the non-caffeine drinker in the family, chose the Princess Breakfast Tea, an organic rooibos “flavored with vanilla bean and a hint of strawberries.” The entire tea was served on beautiful Royal Albert Old Country Roses china. The service was excellent. We were pleasantly full after this delightful, relaxing afternoon tea experience in the elegant but family- friendly Disney atmosphere
Comments from Linda: (1) I knew this afternoon tea was a big hit when on Friday afternoon GJ suggested we go back (we didn’t). (2) AJ’s chocolate and caffeine frenzy has come to a screeching halt now that we are safely home from our travels!


Rosemary said...

Enjoyed your review - thanks for sharing the photos. Looks like a great experience! Nancy

Steph said...

What handsome men! And Old Country Roses china is some of my all-time favorite. This looks marvelous!

Arleen said...

Oh how lovely! I stayed at the Grand Floridian in 1990. I had no idea they served tea; I would loved to have attended. Thanks so very much for the photos. I just joined the ATAA Yahoo group and learned of your photos there. I have a tea blog, too: ~ Arleen


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