Review: Tea at Garden View Lounge at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

Editor’s Note: The menu for Afternoon Tea at Garden View Lounge has changed since this review was written, and many of the items featured here are no longer available. For more details, see our news post about the changes.

Today, we’re taking in afternoon tea at the Garden View Lounge. This charming spot, which occupies the far end of the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa’s cavernous lobby, is the perfect place to relax, dress up a bit (perhaps), and slow down, while you enjoy traditional offerings and steaming pots of tea.

Menu Cover

Menu Cover

It’s become a rather hot ticket, though, so if you like what you see, be prepared to make your advance dining reservation well in advance.

Tea at the Grand has become a tradition of sorts for my mom and me, and so we were excited to head there for this special treat.


Upon entering the Grand Floridian, take a moment to notice the details of the soaring atrium. With natural light flooding the seating areas during the day, the large birdcage, and the beautiful domed skylights, it really is lovely.

Lobby and Atrium Garden View Lounge

The Lobby and the Atrium Put the “Grand” in Grand Floridian

I’ve often heard people suggest that the Grand suffers from a “lack of themeing”. I’ve never thought so. To me, the setting is beautiful — elegance with a light touch, befitting Florida’s subtropical climate. And even with families around me rushing to catch the monorail, I’m transported when I enter it to a less-rushed time and place.

Whether you visit during the day or evening, you are likely to catch some form of live musical entertainment here. During the day, you’ll enjoy piano music. In the evening, be sure to catch Grand Floridian Society Orchestra playing jazz standards from the bandstand located just outside of Mizner’s Lounge on the second floor.

Piano Music in the Grand's Lobby

Piano Music in the Grand’s Lobby

The Garden View Lounge is located at the far end of the lobby, directly opposite from the main entrance.

View of the Tea Room from the Lobby

View of the Tea Room from the Lobby

Flanking either side of the lounge are these adorable mosaics of inlaid marble.

Mrs. Potts Mosaic

Mrs. Potts Mosaic

Be sure to look down occasionally while walking around the Grand! They redid the floors a few years ago and added mosaics like these throughout. They are absolutely stunning.

Chip Mosaic

Chip Mosaic

Garden View is also the setting for the Perfectly Princess Tea Party, a character and storytelling experience.

Tea Info

Tea Info — Click to Enlarge

The Lounge itself is an open-air spot, separated from the rest of the lobby by a wall featuring “windowless” windows.

Flowers Garden View Lounge

Looking Into the Lounge from the Lobby

We arrived a few minutes early for our advance dining reservation, and were told that our table would be ready shortly. I’m not sure what all of the luggage by the hostess stand was about! There was a full house inside, however. And it seemed as though a few people were dressed up for a special occasion of some sort.

hostess stand Garden View Lounge

Hostess Stand

We relaxed nearby in the lobby. Soon, our pager went off, and we were shown to our table.



Marble statues flank both side entrances of the lounge. Other than that, the space is sparsely decorated.

Entering the Lounge

Entering the Lounge

The center of the room is dominated by [Read more…]

News! Book Now for New Year’s Eve Dining Events in Epcot

It’s never too early to start talking about holidays, and that’s especially true when it comes to Disney World planning.

New Year's Eve Toast

What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?

Today, we’re bringing you early news of a few 2014 New Year’s Eve dining opportunities. And the good news is — you can book them today!

Keep in mind, however, that other NYE dining events are likely to be announced. So if you don’t like either of these options, hang tight. Your favorite may appear before it’s all said and done!

New Year’s Eve at Epcot World ShowPlace

If you’ve ever spent Christmas week at Walt Disney World, you know that the crowds can be massive. Disney meets the need for expanded dining capacity by offering a few extra spots to dine. And back for 2014, guests can take advantage of a special dining event held at Epcot’s World ShowPlace.

Party for the Senses at World Showplace Pavilion in Epcot (Photo copyright Disney)

World Showplace Pavilion in Epcot (Photo copyright Disney)

Fantasia 2014 is a dining event geared toward the whole family. Guests will enjoy scenes and songs from the Disney animated classic while they dine on a full buffet spread. The menu includes items with international flair:

  • An array of Soups and Salads such as: Fresh Greens, Antipasto Salad with Basil, Seafood Harvest Chowder, Grilled Flatbread and Hummus
  • Hot Food Items including: Chimichurri-baked Mahi Mahi with Mango Chutney and carved Deep-Fried Turkey Breast with Garlic and Cranberry Sauce
  • A Dessert Station that features Carrot Spiced Cream Cheese Cupcakes, Guava and Apple Turnovers, and a Chocolate Fondue with various Dippers
  • An extensive Kids Menu, to include Fried Chicken Fritters, Baked Mini Corn Dogs, and Mac and Cheese, among other items

You can book Fantasia 2014 between the hours of [Read more…]

News! 2014 WDW Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic Dates and Seminars

Back by popular demand, The Swan and Dolphin Resort at Walt Disney World has announced that it will hold its Fifth Annual Food and Wine Classic this Fall!

Coinciding with the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic offers even more great food and drink for Disney fans!

This event is always amazing and very well done. We can’t wait to go again this year!

2014 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Details

Mark your calendars for Friday, October 31, and Saturday, November 1, 2014. Seminars begin at 4:30 p.m. and the Causeway is open from 5:30-9:00 p.m.

Dining al fresco on the Causeway at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic!

Dining al fresco on the Causeway at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic!

This year’s event continues the tradition of fun and informative food and beverage seminars that focus on wine, cocktails, sake, beer, pasta-making, and more. The seminars are conducted by experts in each field and last for approximately 60-90 minutes.

At 5:30, the Causeway between the Swan and Dolphin comes alive as the staff of the Resort’s award-winning restaurants host tasting booths. In addition, there is live entertainment as you sample and stroll around the beautiful grounds!

Wine Seminar at the 2012 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Seminars

You can see details on all of the 2013 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Seminars here!

And new for this year, the Classic is adding a Cheese seminar!

Seminars this year include:

Causeway Tasting Booths with Optional Beer Garden Upgrade!

The Causeway between the Swan and Dolphin Resorts will have tons of great offerings again this year. And we can’t wait to see the menus! We’ll be back soon with full details for you!

Want a little more than just the standard tasting experience? Upgrade to the [Read more…]

Details! Food & Wine Weekends at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Bonnet Creek

We mentioned in August the exciting news that Food & Wine Weekends at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek would be returning in 2012 for the second year in a row!

Today? We’ve got a little more info for ya!

Billed as “the perfect complement to the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival“, Orlando Food & Wine Weekends will be held over all six weekends during the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

The Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek aim to “fill the gaps” around the Festival by offering visitors to Walt Disney World a delicious “home base” as they [Read more…]

Review: Victoria and Albert’s Chef’s Table at the Grand Floridian Resort

Today, we travel up the elegant stairway to the pinnacle of fine dining at Walt Disney World, Victoria & Albert’s at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.

Join me for an unparalleled experience as I take you behind the opulence to the excitement and camaraderie of the Chef’s Table! And let me tell you… it’s AWESOME!!

Victoria and Albert’s is the crown jewel in Disney’s culinary offerings. And while it is certainly expensive (that might be an understatement), I aim to show you that for the true food lover, the Chef’s Table experience is worth every penny.

By the way, if you read through this review and decide the Chef’s Table is not for you, you can also dine in the Dining Room to the more intimate Queen Victoria Room.

Victoria and Albert's Plate

Reservations for Victoria and Albert’s go quickly. It is recommended that you book as close to 180 days out as possible. As for cost, the menu is prix fixe, meaning that you pay a set price for the meal. Expect your meal to begin at $135 per person for the Dining Room, with an additional charge of $65 for wine pairings. That price includes six courses. Queen Victoria’s Room and the Chef’s Table menus may include up to thirteen courses, and prices start at $210/person for dinner and $105 for wine pairings. Keep in mind that these prices do not reflect tax or gratuity, so be prepared.

While Queen Victoria’s Room offers the height of elegant dining, the Chef’s Table provides interested guests full access to the restaurant’s culinary team in a meal that is as much performance as it is sustenance.


Once you check in for your reservation at the Chef’s Table, you are escorted through the well appointed (and very quiet!) main dining room. You’ll notice low light, beautiful fresh flowers, and the strains of harp music. The whole effect is quite romantic and very formal. There is a strict dress code here, and men must wear jackets.

Victoria and Albert's Main Dining Room

The Dining Room consists of a mere fourteen tables, beautifully set with spotless crystal and china. Very chi chi.

Victoria and Albert's Seating

We followed the debonaire Maître d’hôtel, Israel Perez, through this space and into the brightly lit kitchen. At that time, we were informed that Chef de Cuisine Scott Hunnel would not be joining us because of a conflicting event. In his place, Sous Chef Aimée Rivera would guide us through our meal.

Maître d'hôtel Israel Perez and Chef Rivera

Both Mr. Perez and Chef Rivera were phenomenal, and it’s clear that their passion and driving force is the comfort and enjoyment of their guests. Chef Rivera invited us to interact at will with the kitchen staff, and suggested that we voice any and all questions that we might have (Mua ha ha ha!!! She didn’t know just how annoying I can be!).

An interesting fact: once you are seated, you can’t [Read more…]

2012 Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic

Foodie fans will love the culinary delights offered at the Third Annual Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic being held during the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

When: Mark your calendar for October 12-13, 2012!
Time: 5:30pm – 9:00pm

This year’s beverage seminars include Riesling Rendezvous; Beer, Please!; Spanish Wines; Modern Mixology; Wine Blending, All Things Sake; and Base to Bubbles. These will be offered each day from 4:30-5:30 p.m. These classes will be taught by certified experts in hour-long sessions at a cost of $45, inclusive.

Bruleeing Oranges at the Modern Mixology Seminar

Award-winning restaurants from the Swan and Dolphin resorts will host tasting stations on the [Read more…]

First Look! Disney Fantasy Cruise Ship Specialty Cocktails

The Disney Fantasy was christened in New York City this week, and eager passengers await their first voyage on the newest Disney Cruise Line ship!

We wanted to share a few of the specialty cocktails you’ll find on board — you know we’re all about prioritizing any on board credit you may have received! ;-)

Adults-Only Restaurants

The Fantasy’s adults-only restaurants, Palo and Remy, will offer some delicious ways to complement your meal!


The uber-posh French restaurant, Remy, features a cocktail that is expertly handcrafted at your table. The signature cocktail “Collette” combines Taittinger Champagne and pear vodka, then is garnished with fresh blueberry, dried apricot, and mint leaf.

We loved this one! :-) The cool science-y part? When vodka is mixed with champagne, the champagne loses its bubbles! The sugar being released from the piece of candied apricot re-creates the effervescence! Taste? Incredible.

Collette Champagne Cocktail

Remy also boasts two wine lists! A special list of nearly 200 wines features vintage French wines, and Remy’s Vault holds the exclusive list with rare wines from around the globe. The latter lists includes a 1947 Château Cheval Blanc, which was the wine requested by the food critic from “Ratatouille” and retails at $25,000 per bottle. You’ll also find a 1961 Château Latour, which was also featured in the film.

Bottles from the Vault are presented by a white-gloved sommelier in an elegant velvet box with the wine on a silver-plated plaque.

White Gloves found near the Remy Vault of wines

Check out our review of Remy aboard the [Read more…]

News! Valentine’s Day Menus at Disneyland Resort

Valentine's Day Cookies

Disneyland Resort restaurants will be offering unique items and special menus to share with your loved one on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2012.

The Plaza Inn will feature a Strawberry Cream Puff ($4.99), and a Valentine’s Day sugar cookie topped with red, pink, and white sprinkles will be offered at Pacific Wharf ($2.99).

Steakhouse 55‘s dinner package will cost $55 (natch!). Enjoy Strawberry and goat Cheese Spinach Salad with Candied Pecans, Rosebud Champagne Sorbet, and a Surf & Turf entree of Filet and Scallops with Lobster Mashed Potatoes and Broccolini.

Cozy up like Hollywood legends at Steakhouse 55

For dessert, dig into a Chocolate Raspberry Tart.

At Blue Bayou, savor Roasted Muscovy duck breast, apricot pine nut stuffing, grand Marnier orange sauce, and roasted parsnip potato puree for $33.99.

While you dine in this twilit restaurant, consider the Valentine’s special dessert — Caramelized pear galette, mascarpone frangelico foam, and espresso crème anglase for $7.99.

Toast your sweetheart at Wine Country Trattoria, Alfresco Bar, or the Cove Bar in Disney California Adventure with a romantic dessert package. For $25, you’ll get two glasses of Magicale (Disney sparkling wine), 4 chocolate covered strawberries, and a single rose.

Sounds delish!! Where will YOU be headed on Valentine’s Day?


News! Waldorf Astoria Orlando Chocolate, Wine, and Romance Weekends in February!

Looking for a phenomenal date night with a special someone? Ready to enjoy a romantic getaway that includes some serious chocolate? We’ve got the perfect plan for you!!

Indulge at the gorgeous Waldorf Astoria Orlando during the Chocolate, Wine, and Romance weekends all through February! (For those of you who can take advantage of this, I’m jealous!!!)

You remember last year’s Bar du Chocolat? It’s back! Along with some other great events and opportunities to try! Check these out…

Friday Night Flights

Friday nights just got better! Stop by Peacock Alley for a special flight of chocolate martinis!

Chocolate Choices

At the resort restaurants guests can experience delicious desserts — chocolate style! The chocolate bar dessert at Bull & Bear is absolutely decadent (believe me on this one!).

Chocolate Bar Dessert at Bull and Bear

On Friday and Saturday mornings, try the special chocolate items at Oscar’s breakfast buffet, including heavenly chocolate croissants.

Chocolate Royal Tea

Waldorf Astoria offers a signature tea, which will be enhanced in February with decadent chocolate croissants and other sinful treats. This will be held February 10th at 3 p.m. (Additional charge applies and advance reservations are suggested.)

Bar du Chocolat

You remember this one from last year! Enjoy a Chocolate Extravaganza on Friday and Saturday nights showcasing nearly 30 intense chocolate treats (priced per piece) when Peacock Alley becomes a chocolate-lover’s dream!

Choose from chocolate treats created by pastry chef Kurtis Baguley, including exquisite handmade chocolate truffles, exotic chocolate cakes, creamy chocolate mousse, and indulgent bon-bons. I got to try a few of the truffles and they were amazing! Stay tuned for a review in a week or so! :-)

Chocolate Sensation

As you listen to lounge trio Harvestown in Peacock Alley on Friday and Saturday nights, savor a wine glass rimmed in
drizzled chocolate, then filled with a [Read more…]

Tables in Wonderland: July 2011 Events

Tables in Wonderland has announced July 2011 events! Details can be found below the photos. Click on photos for larger version!

click on image for larger version

click on image for larger version

Sunday Brunch at Narcoossee’s

Featuring the Wines of Domaine Chandon-Moët & Chandon USA

Location: Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Date and Time: [Read more…]