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.

Atmosphere

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.

Entrance

Entrance

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…]

Photos and Review Part 3: Spice Road Table Market in Walt Disney World’s Epcot

Today, we’re back with more photos from Spice Road Table, Epcot’s newest restaurant!

Spice Road Table and Shops in the Morocco Pavilion

Spice Road Table and Shops in the Morocco Pavilion

The table service spot has been enjoying rave reviews from our staff and guests alike since its soft opening on Saturday. Business has been brisk, and we have enjoyed bringing you photos and reports of many of the menu items!

Spice Road Table

Spice Road Table

But Spice Road Table is only part of the story. When the new restaurant debuted, it was part of a newly renovated and expanded waterfront presence in Morocco.

Returning is the popular Art of Henna, where guests can have their very own temporary henna tattoos applied.

Getting Your Henna Tattoo is Part of the Fun!

Getting Your Henna Tattoo is Part of the Fun!

The entire front portion of the Morocco Pavilion has undergone a bit of a shift-around since Spice Road Table moved in. The Mo’Rockin stage, home to the popular Moroccan live band that plays here throughout the day, has moved to the other side of the walkway.

Mo'Rockin Stage

Mo’Rockin Stage

Also returning is the waterfront gift shop. Souk-Al-Magreb, Gifts of Morocco is your one-stop shop for authentic Moroccan clothing and other items. But it’s also a fantastic find if you’re looking to recreate some of the flavors you just experienced at Spice Road Table.

Souk-Al-Magreb, Gifts of Morocco

Souk-Al-Magreb, Gifts of Morocco

Today, we’re taking a little look around this interesting spot to get a look at all the Mediterranean delicacies that you can head home with as souvenirs!

Souk-Al-Magreb, Gifts of Morocco

Enter Souk-al-Magreb via the door from the World Showcase Promenade, or or you can take a stroll through the shop directly from Spice Road Table. If you come through the front door, the first thing you’ll see food-wise is this wonderful little display of spices in tagines. I kept thinking that the collection would cost a small fortune in the Spice Route Days!

Spice Display

Spice Display

Behind the curio housing the spices, the back of the round table holds a [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: February 10, 2013

Who’s gearing up for Valentine’s Day? Disney, that’s who!

True Love Week starts in Disney Parks tomorrow!

If you’re planning to be in the parks this week, you’ll find plenty of decorated treats and eats celebrating the holiday. And Disney World and Disneyland are both offering some great specialty romantic dinners!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Disney Dining News

In the news this week…

We’ve got additional food news, including restaurant closures, Mardi Gras at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney Anaheim, and LOTS more, on our Disney Food News Pin Board! Head over and check it out!

DFB Reader Finds

If you find a fun new food — or other awesomeness — in or from Disney, share a photo with us on facebook or twitter so we can add it to our DFB Reader Finds each Sunday!

Our Facebook Friend Lynda shared this photo of specialty Mardi Gras cupcakes from the French Market Restaurant in Disneyland. “Both Mardi Gras cupcakes were great. Front cupcake is Red Velvet. Back cupcake is Chocolate Raspberry. Break open the chocolate dome and you have a nice surprise of chocolate mousse.”

Mardi Gras Cupcakes.

And here’s an awesome Star Wars Valentine’s Yoda Gift from Target sent to us by Reader Jon.

Yoda Plush and Valentine Conversation Hearts!

The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013

This week we celebrated the grand launch of The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013 e-Book! This valuable resource is fully updated for 2013 visits, and is now available for purchase and download to help you make the most of your dining opportunities while in Disney World.

The fully updated DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013 e-Book is an instantly downloadable PDF guide, featuring over 400 full-color pages of photographs, information, and advice about our favorite things — food and dining in Walt Disney World.

It’s guaranteed to help you navigate your way to delicious dining on your next vacation! And if you’re ready to get yours now, head on over to DFBGuide.com to pick it up!!

For our Grand Launch Sale, use code: 2013 to get a $4 discount for a limited time!

If you purchased the 2012 Guide and would like to purchase the 2013 Guide, we’ve got a special discount for repeat purchasers. Email me here to get a limited-time, one-use, exclusive discount code to purchase the 2013 Guide at a $6 discount. Please include the email address you used to purchase the 2012 Guide in the body of your email.

Three Great e-Books: Over 30% Off!

For more detailed information and screen shots from the e-Book, head over to DFBGuide.com! With a 100% money-back guarantee, you have nothing to lose! :-)

Want even more savings?! We’ve bundled three of our most popular guides into one discounted price! Our DFB Guide & Snacks Bundle offers:

  • The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013, PLUS
  • The DFB Mini-Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks, AND
  • The DFB Mini-Guide to Epcot Snacks

All three are being sold together for the first time –and for a massively discounted price. Just $29.95 instead of the regular price of nearly $42.00.

Find out more about the DFB Guide & Snack Bundle here!

On to the Round-Up

Walt Disney World for Grown Ups goes to Epcot’s Via Napoli for Aqua Fresca.

Yesterland takes a look at the history of the Corn Dog Castle in Disney California Adventure.

AllEars shares an unexpected imagineering marvel at Be Our Guest restaurant in the Magic Kingdom.

DisneyCaribbeanBeach.com shares the new menu from Shutters at this tropical Disney World resort!

Designing Disney tours Pizzeria Bella Notte restaurant at Disneyland Paris.

Running at Disney enjoys breakfast at the BoardWalk Inn’s Kouzzina, including allergen-free waffles!

Main Street Gazette stops by the new Boulangerie Patisserie les Halles in Epcot’s France pavilion.

Orange County Register reports on Disney California Adventure’s Lunar New Year treat — Boudin sourdough loaf in the shape of a snake.




Guest Review: Grand Floridian Cafe Breakfast in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

Join us in welcoming Emma S. with a review of the Grand Floridian Cafe’s elegant breakfast.

Visitors to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort are certainly not lacking in restaurant options: from character buffets and tea parties to gourmet, multi-course dinners, the Grand has it all when it comes to dining!

With so many eye-catching choices, there’s one little restaurant that can get overlooked. The Grand Floridian Café occupies a charming corner on the ground floor, offers meals all day long, and usually has availability for walk-ups. One morning my brother and I decided to give the breakfast here a try.

An elegant menu board!

Grand Floridian Cafe Tablescape

Atmosphere

As soon as you enter the Grand Floridian Café, you feel any [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.

Atmosphere

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…]

Cars Land First Look! Fillmore’s Taste-In in Disney California Adventure

When you’re in Cars Land and you are drooling over Radiator Springs Racers (which are totally worth drooling over), don’t forget to check out the fun little details Cars Land has to offer. 

One of my favorite sights caught my eye as I was walking over to Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree. On my way to ride, I got completely distracted by the psychedelic glow of Fillmore’s Taste-In. So much so, that I went over to check it out before hitting the spinning tractors!

Fillmore's Taste-In

Atmosphere

Fillmore’s signage is cleverly made of mufflers dangling from hubcaps, and his tent is just a “prop.” My guess is that inside is a storage area. The actual store consists of stands filled with what Disney calls “healthier” snacks and drinks.

Fillmore's Signage

Just like Fillmore’s character in the Cars movies, the Taste-In makes groovy “natural” snacks available to help you refuel and keep you racing! I was lucky to get to see Fillmore’s at night; the colors were spectacular, changing every few minutes (hence the crazy glowing [Read more…]

Guest Review: Grand Floridian’s Afternoon Tea at the Garden View Lounge

We’re welcoming back guest author Melissa Sue as she shares a review of the Grand Floridian’s afternoon tea!

My husband, Rob, and I headed to the Grand Floridian for an afternoon tea experience in December.

Grand Floridian

Atmosphere

After hopping off the monorail we found the waiting area for the Garden View Lounge, which is located on the bottom floor of the Main Building lobby. The waiting area is extremely charming — though too small — and has Beauty and the Beast characters Chip and Mrs. Potts inlaid into the tile floor. How cute!

Mrs. Potts is the perfect Disney touch outside the tea room!

This Chip won’t blow bubbles in your tea!

The check-in podium was easy to locate and well-appointed. Unfortunately, there were only two seats in the waiting area, so we were mostly standing while we waited.

The check-in podium, on the south east side of the Main Building at Grand Floridian.

And, boy, did we wait. I should preface this by saying that the Tea Room was obviously either overbooked or understaffed the day of our tea. Our party of two waited for [Read more…]

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…]

Disney Cruise Review: High Tea at Palo

Dining in Disneyland columnist Heather Sievers brings us on Board the Disney Magic’s Mediterranean Cruise for High Tea at Palo!

Although this was my third Disney Cruise, my husband and I had never had a chance to dine at The Disney Cruise Line’s upscale (and kid-free) Palo. We’d heard amazing things, but were always so happy with our dining room experiences that we never strayed from our nightly servers.  I now ask myself, “What the heck were we thinking?!?”

Palo is an Adult Exclusive Restaurant Located on Deck 10 Aft

On this last cruise, an 11-day Mediterranean Cruise, we had not one, not two, but three chances to visit Palo; and honestly, I wish we had made even more reservations than that.  Each visit was for a different meal.  We tried the brunch (amazing), we tried the dinner (amazing), and we also visited the High Tea. This was my first “fancy” official type high tea and I will tell you this: high tea at Palo would be hard to top.

High Tea Place Setting

High tea is offered on sea days only and reservations are a must. It takes place at 3:00pm and will set you back a mere [Read more…]

Review: Sanaa at Animal Kingdom Lodge

Found at Disney World’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Sanaa is a full-service restaurant offering fantastic meals with Indian and African influences.

From the floor-to-ceiling windows of the restaurant, guests have a fantastic view of the safari animals on the Sunset Savanna, meaning you’ll have a stellar show of zebra, giraffe, African birds, and several other breathtaking animals.

And while the animal viewing is a great draw for Sanaa’s guests, the interesting menu, food quality, and great service will surely bring them back time and time again. And the new test-phase of the Dine with an Animal Specialist program is surely going to bring plenty of folks to Sanaa!

Atmosphere

Sanaa is located in Kidani Village, which is the Disney Vacation Club Villas section of Animal Kingdom Lodge. It sits next door to Jambo House, the main and original part of the Lodge.

Outside of Sanaa

A major complaint about Sanaa is its distance from the parks and other resort hotels in Disney World — you will have to use a Disney Transport bus, your own car, or a taxi to get here — but with all of the great [Read more…]