We’ve celebrated most major life events–birthdays, graduations, holidays–at this tea room. So it made sense to me, when I realized we’d be in Walt Disney World over Mother’s Day–to make an afternoon tea reservation at the Grand Floridian’s Garden View Tea Room.
I didn’t tell my mom what her surprise was for the day, but I did give her one hint while on the monorail heading toward the Grand Floridian. I asked her where we’d go for mother’s day if we were at home. Upon exiting the monorail she checked out the sign posting the various offerings of the Grand Floridian. As soon as she saw the words ‘Tea Room’, she knew where we were headed.
We approached the hostess stand maybe eight minutes before our reservation. Big mistake. We were asked to come back at our designated time–they wouldn’t even take our name until exactly 2:20, the time of our reservation. The woman was also not very nice about it.
After stealing some electricity for my iPhone at an outlet near the stairs, we returned to the hostess table and were seated at the first table inside the door. It was a smaller room than I’d imagined, but very comfortable. My mom took the sofa-esque bench that ran the length of the wall–I took the chair. There were pillows available for the sofa-area and I think this was the most comfortable my mother was all week. Thus, the Garden View Cafe earns an A+ for decor and comfort.
I chose the Grand Tea and my mother chose the Buckingham tea–the only difference was that mine came with pate (which my mom ate) and champagne (which I drank, of course!) The ‘meal’ was served in three courses–first, scones with jam and cream, second, several tea sandwiches served with an onion tart and pate, and finally the dessert options–a choice of two pastries.
The food was nothing to write home about, but it wasn’t awful either. I don’t recall what was in each sandwich, but I know that one was pear and blue cheese (quite good), one was cucumber and cream cheese (good) and one was a curried chicken salad (very good). There were two other sandwiches the likes of which I do not remember, but that likely just means that they weren’t fabulous. Perhaps one was shrimp?
The onion tart was excellent–one of the best things I ate during the entire trip (though it was only two small bites.) I liked the flavor of the pate but not the texture or how it looked–and I’ll eat almost everything. Oddly, my picky eater mother at most of it for me.
The scones were good, as was the cream, but the fruit tart that accompanied it was almost too sweet to be edible–I only had a small bite. Dessert was good–but when isn’t dessert good, right? I did, however, feel a little badly eating the swan. It was almost too cute to consume…almost.
The best part of the meal was being able to leave the craziness of the Magic Kingdom and sit somewhere air conditioned, comfortable, quiet, and beautiful. For that reason, I’d recommend this experience. If you are looking for fine dining–this isn’t it–though we both left comfortably full.