Some more 'light' reading while I'm running around Disneyland! I come home today but knew I wouldn't have a full blog post about the trip ready to go.
In the meantime, I've been trying to catch up on all of my Disney dining reviews so here's another one to add to the list...the Garden View Lounge at the Grand Floridian for Afternoon Tea!
Last January, on the day my friend and I arrived to Florida for Marathon Weekend, we decided to kick off the trip with a little relaxing afternoon tea celebration at the Garden View Lounge at the Grand Floridian. I had been there with my mother a few years back and loved every second of it. I couldn't wait to go back!
When we got to the Grand Floridian, we quickly headed to the Garden View Lounge and checked in without a problem. Within seconds we were being ushered into the tea room and shown to our seats. The entire room is beautifully themed. It's smaller than I expected, but fits in with the Grand Floridian theme and perfect for a quaint afternoon tea.
|The view from one of the tables|
|Painted mirror in the Tea Room|
The tea menu is extensive and has a tea for everyone's palate. I wanted something bold with a lot of flavor so I chose the Masala Black Tea Chai. I love anything with cloves so I knew I'd love this. Unfortunately I honestly can't remember what my friend had but we both enjoyed her selection as well!
When the tea was presented, it was delicately poured into beautiful china using a tea strainer, and then the coffee pot was covered with a beautiful velvet tea pot 'koozie'. Forgive me but I honestly have no idea what the correct term is! So yea, there's a tea pot hiding under that red velvet!
|My tea and tea koozie|
Looking at the menu, my friend and I wanted to try everything! But we didn't really want to go too overboard. So we decided to each get the Buckingham Palace option and taste each other's selections.
Buckingham Palace - Our traditional tea sandwiches, scones and jam tarts complemented by fresh strawberries and cream, or a selection of freshly baked pastries, along with your choice of tea. $23.00 per guest.
We both received the tea sandwiches but asked for a few tweaks. I asked for no shrimp salad sandwich, and instead to just sub for an extra chicken curry. My friend, who's a vegetarian, asked for all of the sandwiches that didn't contain meat and wasn't picky about which ones were doubled.
Since the meal came with either fresh berries OR scones and tarts, we ordered one of each so that we could both try them.
The server happily said all of the requests were possible and then headed off to place our order.
|My tea sandwiches|
The tea sandwiches quickly came out and there was watercress & cucumber, chicken curry, a pear & gorgonzola sandwich, and an egg salad sandwich. Neither of us had the shrimp salad sandwich. My friend wasn't a fan of the cucumber and I wasn't a fan of the gorgonzola so we swapped those with each other. My favorite was easily the chicken curry. It had a ton of flavor, wasn't too overpowering, and was pretty much perfect. I could have eaten all 5 of those. The sandwiches also came with a small onion tart, which we both enjoyed.
|Our scone and jam tart with Devonshire Cream, preserves, and lemon curd|
Next up we dug into the scones and jam tart (we each had a plate of what is pictured). The server asked us which condiments we wanted (Devonshire Cream, preserves, or lemon curd) and we both asked for all three. The scone was probably my favorite, and the jam tart was good but not amazing. I loved mixing all three of the toppings together with the scone. Now this wasn't a scone in the traditional sense that we usually know here in the States. It was more like a buttery biscuit, but not as flakey. Make sense? Regardless, it was Yummy!
|Fresh Strawberries and Cream|
Since one of us ordered the scone and tart, the other ordered the strawberries and cream. In the past I remember this being a big bowl of strawberries and a dollop of Devonshire Cream on top. The presentation has definitely been kicked up a notch but I think I liked being able to control the cream content myself. The Grand Floridian logo was beautifully powdered onto the cream. We both enjoyed this and said it was refreshing after the sandwiches and scone.
Next up? The pastries! We had seen the pastry tray wandering around the lounge and kept seeing things we wanted. Our waitress came by with the tray when it was our turn and we both picked out two pastries. I knew I wanted a chocolate covered strawberry, as well as the raspberry cream filled swan. It was just too pretty to pass up! My friend ordered a chocolate eclair and some chocolate horn thing. I honestly don't remember what exactly it was.
|The pretty swan|
|Our pastries and strawberries|
I'm a sucker for chocolate covered strawberries so I easily could have eaten 20 of them. The strawberry was perfectly ripe and fresh. The raspberry swan was also enjoyable. I didn't try my friend's pastries but she enjoyed them too.
At the end of our meal, and after paying the bill, our server came by with a single pink rose for each of us. It seemed as though all the women in the restaurant received a rose on their way out. I thought it was a perfect touch and of course needed a photo.
|Ending the meal with a rose|
Overall, I LOVE the afternoon tea. The entire experience was perfect both times I've been. It's a nice way to get away from the parks and relax, or a nice way to ease into your vacation if you've just arrived. The dress code is casual so even though it's a 'fancy' ambiance, don't worry about going in your theme park clothing. There were people in dresses as well as people in shorts and flip flops.
To check out the full menu, allears has the menu posted here. Some of the tea selection varies regularly from what I'm told but the menu listed has most of the regular standbys.