Tea For Two At The Garden View Lounge

If you're looking for a special way to spend the afternoon on your next Walt Disney World vacation, try a traditional British style afternoon tea served in the sun drenched comfort of the Garden View Lounge. Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is home to many elegant eateries, but the experience of afternoon tea is an unforgettable treat. Located on the first floor, just off the Grand Lobby, this charming space offers guests a comfortable respite each afternoon.

Garden View Lounge PodiumGarden View Lounge Podium
Mrs. Potts Floor MosaicMrs. Potts Floor Mosaic

The atmosphere at the Garden View Lounge is understated but elegant. White walls show off painted Victorian turned woodwork, and feminine garden accents, the splashes of color in the room come from deep rose and burgundy upholstered chairs, and grainte table tops.

Tables to accommodate parties of various sizes are scattered around the room. My daughter and I were seated at a table for two right next to the window, and honestly it was a little close to the table for two right next to us. I felt a bit like sharing a table with the couple seated next to us, which was disconcerting until they left. This didn't seem to be an issue everywhere in the restaurant, but things were a tad cozy at the start of our meal. If you prefer not to be able to listen in on others conversations while you eat, simple ask the hostess to leave a space between you and the next table over if possible.

Tables For Parties Of Many SizesTables For Parties Of Many Sizes
Light Pours In The Garden View LoungeLight Pours In The Garden View Lounge

Soft light pours through floor to ceiling arched windows and fills the room. The space is sunny, but not overly bright. Due to the small size of the kitchen here, accoutrements to tea service are displayed in the open on service counters adding to the feeling of afternoon tea. Having come from working in the hospitality industry, I very much enjoyed watching the servers prepare the tiered serving trays with delightful little pastries for each table to enjoy.

Feminine Garden DecorFeminine Garden Decor
Tea Cups At The ReadyTea Cups At The Ready
Tart Trays At The ReadyTart Trays At The Ready

The menu at the Garden View Lounge Menu offers three different levels of tea service, and a child's service. Each type of service includes a freshly brewed individual pot of tea. It's fair to say the types of tea you can choose from are from an extensive collection of international teas including several types of black, green, herbal tea blends. Some of the blends have been designed especially for Walt Disney World guests. I went with Earl Grey (my favorite) which had a delicate flavor that was brewed perfectly. Each of the personal tea pots hold approximately 5-6 cups of tea. Other standard Disney Dining beverages are also available at this location is tea isn't your thing but you want to have the experience.

On the beautiful afternoon I sat down for a meal, I chose the Cheshire Tea, which is the mid-priced tea serviceon the menu. The Cheshire offers guests a traditional afternoon tea experience including a selection of fruits and imported cheeses, a medley of finger sandwiches, traditional scones and accompaniments, and a choice of desserts.

The Garden View Lounge MenuThe Garden View Lounge Menu
The Cheshire TeaThe Cheshire Tea

The first part of tea service to come to the table was the imported fruit and cheese plate. What could have been a simple selection is elevated at Garden View not only with interesting and tasty mild cheeses, but an array of exotic fruits, fruit gelee, crisp crackers, and raisins on the vine. The plate was garnished with an orchid for an exciting pop of color.

Fruit And Cheese PlateFruit And Cheese Plate

A captivating selection of finger sandwiches are served, each one more delicious than the next. They may be small, but they pack a big punch as far as taste goes. Our selections sandwich selections were cucumber cream cheese, egg salad, curried chicken salad, poached pear, sun-dried tomato, and a small caramelized onion tart.

My daughter, who joined me for tea, is known to be a bit of a picky eater. I wasn't entirely sure that she would go for the sandwiches served, but she actually loved them. Nothing was overwhelming, the two most adventurous bites, the poached pears, and the chicken curry salad were perfectly seasoned to offer a hint of excitement to a traditional tea service.

Assorted Finger SandwichesAssorted Finger Sandwiches
Elegant Tiers Of SweetsElegant Tiers Of Sweets

The heart of a tea table is often graced with a three tiered tray full of scones, strawberry jam, jam tarts, lemon curd, Devonshire clotted cream, and pastry. Service at the Garden View is no exception to the rule, but the classic foods often beg a controversial question. Which lush topping should be on your scone first, jam or cream?

As if all of that wasn't enough, guests are offered their choice of two sweets from a tempting selection of seasonal delicacies by the pastry chef that can include macaroons, cream puffs, cakes, and chocolate covered strawberries. In addition, guests can order ahead for special items for an additional charge such as party cakes and white chocolate "glass" slippers filled with raspberry mousse.

Tea And Scones With JamTea And Scones With Jam
Macaroons And Cream PuffsMacaroons And Cream Puffs
Grand Floridian Monogramed Strawberries And CreamGrand Floridian Monogramed Strawberries And Cream

Afternoon Tea at the Garden View Lounge takes place daily between noon and 4:00 PM. The Disney Dining Plan is NOT accepted here so plan ahead for the additional cost if that applies to you. Reservations are a must if you want to ensure your spot for tea before your vacation. However, if you have an open schedule you should know that reservation slots open up daily, and checking in with the podium at noon can often gain you a same day reservation. It took me five trips trying to snag a reservation at the tea room, if I had known to check in at the podium at noon I would have enjoyed the experience much sooner.

Enjoying The Perfect Afternoon TeaEnjoying The Perfect Afternoon Tea

I loved everything about the experience of afternoon tea at the Garden View Lounge. The staff was friendly, the food delicious, and the tea itself an elixir to soothe the soul. The Cheshire Tea provided more than enough small bites to create a filling meal. The leisurely pace of the service and elegant surroundings lend a special enchantment to a wonderful meal. I highly recommend making it part of your next Disney trip.

Have you been to tea at the Garden View Lounge? Leave a comment below and share with me what your favorite part was.

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