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…]

Epcot Food & Wine Festival Food Pictures and Review: Hawai’i and Ireland Booths

We’re back with another fun review from the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

The festival has already been going strong for over a week, and we have lots of favorites to bring you — some returning, and some brand new!

I know you are just as excited to Eat AND Drink Your Way Around the World at the festival’s Marketplace Booths as we are here at Disney Food Blog!

Today, we’re heading to two of my favorite stops on the journey around World Showcase — Hawai’i and Ireland!

Hawai’i

Introduced only a couple of years ago, Hawai’i has quickly become a fan favorite with hearty dishes and fun drinks.

Hawaii Marketplace Booth

Fans of the Hawai’i booth are happy to see that two food favorites have returned in 2013! There are also some great beverage choices here.

Kona Brewing Company beers Big Wave Golden Ale and Pipeline Porter are returning. But last year’s Chardonnay is replaced by a Gewurztraminer in the wine category (YUM!). Cocktail lovers can enjoy a brand new vodka-based option!

2013 Hawaii Marketplace Booth Menu - Click for larger image

I was very excited to sample the Kālua Pork Slider once again! During a recent chat with Epcot chefs, I learned that the pulled pork used in this dish is slow-cooked on the premises. This is the real deal! (If you’d like to make it at home, check out this fun recipe.)

Kālua Pork Slider with Sweet and Sour Dole Pineapple Chutney and Spicy Mayonnaise

Although the Tuna Poke with Seaweed Salad and Lotus Root Chips isn’t my personal favorite, lots of guests think this is tops for fresh flavor — and it’s a great representation of an authentically Hawai’ian dish.

Tuna Poke with Seaweed Salad and Lotus Root Chips

An exciting addition to this year’s booth line up is the [Read more…]

Guest Review: Epcot Food and “More Than Just” Wine Festival

As we all gear up for the 2012 Food and Wine Festival, welcome Heather Jones with a fun exploration through last year’s events!

I was so excited to experience the Epcot Food and Wine Festival for the first time. But I was thinking that Disney might be doing the festival a disservice by calling it “Food and Wine,” because there are so many more drink choices than just wine.

Don’t get me wrong I love a nice chilled Chardonnay or a spicy Shiraz. But there’s also a huge variety of beer, cocktails, and sake to be had as well. I guess they can’t call it the “Food and Booze Festival.” That wouldn’t sound very Disney!

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Signage

Beer Review

Let’s start with some beer, shall we? Our first stop was the brand new Hawaii booth for the Kalua Pork Slider and the Tuna Poke along with a Kona Longboard and a Pipeline beer.

Kalua Pork Slider

Tuna Poke

The Pipeline is dark and flavorful porter (I just love a dark beer!) and the Longboard is a tasty, light lager that paired well with the Poke.

Kona Long board and Pipeline Beer

Another favorite beer for me was the [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: September 11, 2011

Donald Duck announces new lunch!

It was an exciting week with the announcement of a new character meal hosted by Donald Duck that will be offered at Tusker House in the Animal Kingdom.

And we’re getting so close to the 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival now that we’re already planning our touring strategy. You can too — just check out the information in our mini-guide below! We got some great reviews this week!

Latest Disney Food News

  • Starting December 4th, a Tusker House character lunch will be offered in addition to Donald’s Safari Breakfast!
  • Disney Parks exclusive wines will be debuting at the Food and Wine Festival!
  • Downtown Disney’s Raglan Road announced a Thanksgiving meal in addition to its regular lunch and dinner menu.
  • ‘AMA’AMA at Disney’s new Aulani Resort in Hawai’i is now serving guests! Check out this dinner review.

The DFB Mini-Guide to the 2011 Epcot Food & Wine Festival e-Book Review

We’re honored that our newest Mini-Guide is getting such positive reviews! One of the most recent is from Kristin Ford with the Orlando Sentinel’s A Mom and A Mouse! Here’s some of what she has to say about the Mini-Guide…

Like her other projects, AJ Wolfe’s new e-book is thorough. She, of course, explains the many components of the festival, such as seminars, celebrity chef meet-and-greets, signature tastings and concerts. It’s all valuable information laid out in an easy-to-find and easy-to-read format. …I especially like the “With the Kids Strategy” in The Disney Food Blog Mini-Guide to the 2011 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Wolfe offers ideas to engage the kids throughout the park so that the family is moving around World Showcase, allowing parents to sample much of the food.

Read the rest of the review here. Thanks to Kristin and the Orlando Sentinel!!

The Disney Food Blog Mini-Guide to the 2011 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival e-Book has over 125 pages of information you need to dive right into the festival. Start YOUR planning with the purchase of your guide.

On to the Round-Up!

Meet the World in Progressland Has a compilation of photos of Tokyo Disney Resort’s popcorn stands! This is from 2009, but it’s awesome! Love the Roastie-Toasties!

The Disney Blog tells us how to eat cheap at Disneyland!

Main Street Gazette takes us to the River Roost Lounge for evening entertainment and eats! Yee-Haa!!

Eating (and Drinking) Around The World shows us how to make Tuna Poke, Aulani Style!

All Ears Net‘s Jack Spence talks restaurants at Epcot’s France Pavilion. We love it when he does that.

DisMarks has released their 29th Disney Blog Carnival! Lots of great articles on your favorite topics over there.

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We’re thinking today of the men and women who lost their lives on 9/11/01 and of the friends and family they left behind, many of whom are still fighting fear and loss with strength and resilience.