Over the past couple of years I've really gotten myself to love tea. I started drinking some coffee on and off in the second half of high school, but tea was more of a thing for my parents. Then, one day, I just sort of started drinking tea (I have the feeling it had something to do with Once Upon A Time and the CaptainSwan tea that I love so much). Since then, I've always really wanted to try out the Afternoon Tea at the Grand Floridian, and when my mom approached me with the idea a number of months ago, I couldn't turn her down.
I must say that, while expensive, the our meal in the Garden View Tea Room was absolutely amazing. I'm fairly certain I haven't been that full in a long time, and everything I ate was exactly what you'd expect from The Grand Floridian. To begin, you're offered a choice between various packages for your meal, each with a few different options. Most are almost identical, but a few packages offer champagne or an additional cheese plate to go along with the rest of your meal. Once you've selected a package you're offered your selection of the various tea blends, some of which are unique to the Walt Disney World Resort. I personally selected The Bedfordshire Tea package, which comes with three courses, and the Mad Hatter's Tea Party blend, which includes vanilla and natural fruits such as passion fruit and pomegranate.
I want to stop for a moment and discuss this tea...since that's half the reason we're there, right? I sort of picked the Mad Hatter's Tea Party blend on a whim, knowing that I wanted to try one of the three signature blends made specifically for The Garden View Tea Room, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that this is honestly one of my all time favorite teas. I actually take my tea with a spoonful of sugar, or in this case, one cube of sugar, and that's about it, but this tea was almost sweet enough even without the sugar, and you could definitely taste the hints of pomegranate and passion fruit. I'm certainly looking forward to returning and trying the other two signature blends...if I can convince myself not to just order this one again.
From there, each person is served their own pot of tea, kept warm throughout your meal by a cover. I think I ultimately drank almost the entire pot, but we also sat there for about an hour and a half probably, and I didn't want any of the delicious tea to go to waste, despite the fact that I had plenty of other delicacies to try out. If you ordered a basic package without the additional cheese tray or champagne, you start with a plate of finger sandwiches, fruit, and cheeses, all of which were amazing. Starting in the front left of the picture below we had a cucumber sandwich, a beet and cheese tart, a chicken sandwich, egg salad, a couple of different cheeses accompanied by lavosh, an onion tart, and of course fruit, (The additional sandwich on the right is another Egg Salad).
Following your sandwiches you're brought another plate that features a scone and a jam tart, both of which I hope to eat every day for the rest of my life. We're still unsure about what the spreads for the scone were aside from the butter in the middle, but needless to say they were delicious as well. At that point we were already rather full, but we still had dessert waiting for us, which comes with your choice of either house-made pastries, strawberries and creme, or English Trifle. Having seen the Swan Pastry long before taking my seat in The Garden View Tea Room, I knew what I'd be having, and Frank followed suit while Mom went for the Strawberries and Creme.
My pastries came with the Swan that was made of puff pastry and a delicious vanilla creme, as well as the chocolate eclair you can see hiding in the background, with Mom's strawberries and creme sitting to the side. Ultimately the only thing I left behind was the strawberry, although I'm unsure if that was a part of Mom's dessert or mine. Either way, by the time I finished off the Swan and my last cup of tea, I felt like I'd eaten more in one sitting than I did all of last semester.
Overall, The Bedfordshire Tea package that I picked ran at $30, although other packages can run all the way up to $175 for two. The individual packages, however, remain under $50 per person, and if you love tea and are looking for a quiet way to spend your afternoon, I definitely recommend stopping by The Grand Floridian for some afternoon tea. I certainly plan on returning as soon as possible and look forward to sharing the experience with other members of my family, and avid tea drinkers, in the future.
Have a magical day!
(Note: This blog post was written on January 22 due to travel).