04-07-2012, 04:59 PM
My sister and I will be having a 11 year reunion at WDW in October, and I wanted to do something just for us....and thought the GF Afternoon Tea would be perfect.
Do you dress up and wear a "fancy" hat? Or simply wear nice clothing you'd rear to a regular restaurant? I want this to be special and rememberable...what would you suggest?
04-07-2012, 06:17 PM
My friend and I wore park attire. I would suggest wearing whatever you want; you will see a wide range here.
04-07-2012, 11:01 PM
I agree you should wear whatever you want, and when we've been there most people just have on what they're wearing to the parks too (i.e. shorts, khakis, T shirts, etc.). It's lovely, but I'm afraid it won't be the "experience" you might be hoping for (with hats, etc.). ;)
My all time favorite trip report review (with pics) of the GF Tea was done by DISer oybolshoi (2006):
And now, to tea....Jason and I like to finish out a trip to WDW by visiting the Gardenview Lounge at the Grand Floridian. It's a quiet, relaxing environment in a beautiful setting and the food is tasty and filling. My parents tried this a few years back with us and my mom really enjoyed it, hence the reservation for 4 "adults" instead of 2.
Before parting ways after breakfast I reminded the parental unit that they needed to meet us in the lobby of the GF by 2PM. Please do not be late, I said, because afternoon tea is served in a relatively short time-span and I have arranged a surprise for you. Remember - 2PM, Grand Floridian, tea, surprise, good times not involving organzied or unorganized gambling...don't be late!
Well, Jason and I weren't late. We checked in a bit early and told the very nice lady at the podium that we were waiting on my parents. She asked if we were celebrating anything and I said, well, my birthday was last week.
Check out what happens when my mom isn't around to give off her cheer-dampening vibe: I was given a birthday button and a lovely pink rose (it matched my shirt!). And they also did something else later on but I don't want the story to get out of sequence so you're just going to have to wait for it.
The restaurant manager happened to be out there while we were waiting, too, and he saw our STL Mickey pins and we chatted baseball for a bit - really nice guy, especially when it turns out he's rootin' for the redbirds!
After waiting for 20 minutes Jason and I both were getting impatient and annoyed - nice podium lady offered us our choice of tables and we decided that we were going to have tea regardless of where the ancients had disappeared to.
While we were still waiting on the "kids", I decided that I needed a drink. Jason and I always order the Grand Tea when we're at the Gardenview, which comes with a glass of champagne, but I wanted to try the champagne cocktail, which is champagne, bitters, and a sugar cube. Very tasty - here, take a look.
Can you ever have too much champagne? I don't think so.
Hey, look what the cat dragged in! And only 30 minutes late!!
Jon was apparently irritated with my mom. And my mom apparently was irriated with me. I was irritated with them both, and Jason thought the whole thing was hysterical.
You wanna know why they were so late?
No, there was not a WDW transportation snafu.
Uh, uh...they didn't forget where they were supposed to be or even what time they were supposed to be there.
Are you sitting down? Oh, yeah...that was a stupid question, wasn't it?
Turns out they were late because they had lunch at the Animal Kingdom around 12:30. You're right, that should not have caused them to be so late. But...when Jon ordered his CS lunch he took the frozen lemonade (not a real lemon anywhere in it!) as his dessert option. The only problem with that is that he didn't want any dessert just then, so he insisted that they go from the AK back over to the Beach Club Villas and drop off the frozen psuedo-lemon thirst quencher before traveling over to the Grand Floridian to meet us for our reservation.
Jon's a smart man - PhD smart - but not even he can bend the WDW space-time continuem. :lmao:
As you may have deduced from the grumpy pics of my parents, everyone ordered the Grand Tea. I highly recommend this option because for $25 per person you will each get the following: Your choice of tea, a variety of tea sandwiches, scones, a jam tart, delightful devonshire cream to smear on the scones and tart, a choice of tea pastries, English trifle, or strawberries and cream (in season), and a glass of champagne.
The choices of tea are varied - they actually have a really cool looking tea chest that they will offer to you when you first order your tea so that you can smell each one and get a better idea of what it might taste like. I'm boring - I always get the Chamomile tea which has no caffeine in it and is described thusly: tea with the flavor of ripe apples made with the finest Chamomile flowers from Egypt. Jason ordered something along the lines of a Jasmine Spice tea - he always goes for the spicier teas.
Here's a picture of our little tea table with the tea service and fragrant beverages.
Most of the teas are served traditionally, in a tea pot, with the leaves steeping in hot water. Jason's tea (and I wish we could remember the name) was the only one I've seen served in a French press. He really liked this selection, so if you like a stronger, spicier tea with floral overtones you might want to try something like this, whatever it's called. Jon ordered a Russian Tea and my mom ordered Raspberry Tea.
Hee hee hee...about this time nice podium lady happened to wander by and as she did so she waved and said, "Nice of you to show up, mom and dad." :lmao: :lmao: :lmao:
Maybe that's why my mom is shooting daggers at me while she sips her sparkling beverage. BTW, here's a picture of said sparking beverage when it's first delivered to the table:
Look, it comes with a strawberry on the rim! Isn't that a nice romantic touch? And how about the look on my face? See, I told you I was annoyed with the Grimace. ;)
And in case you haven't ever been here for tea, they will place a velvet tea caddy over your tea pot to keep it warm. BriarRosie was right - it looks like something the Pope or one of his Cardinals would wear while leading a prayer service. Next time we go there I think I will wear it on my head in tribute to her.
Ready for some food? First comes the selection of tea sandwiches:
It's a little hard to tell from this shot, but there are 4 sandwich halves - egg salad, watercress and cucumber, a salmon paste, and I think some sort of shrimp salad. Those two little guys on the side are an onion tart and a meat of unspecified origin.
I traded the watercress / cucumber sandwich and the onion tart to my mom for her egg salad and half a flute of champagne. I'd say I got the better part of that deal!
Next up is the "scone" and jam tart:
I placed the word scone in paranthases because I think this is really just a biscuit with golden raisins baked into it. I'm no expert on scones, so I could be wrong, but doesn't this look like a biscuit to you? Don't worry - it was really good, soft and warm! And what you do is spread that cream over it and then smear the jam from that little jar on top of the cream and "scone" and then you eat it while rolling your eyes and making yummy noises in the back of your throat. If you have any cream left over smear it on your jam tart and chow on that puppy - wash it down with some champagne...bubbly good times!
Still hungry? Good, because now it's time for dessert. You will usually be given a choice between tea pastries or English trifle - once in a while strawberries and cream are also an option, so I like to mention it as a possibility. We all chose the trifle, which is angel food cake layered with a pudding-like substance and jam and topped with tons o'whipped cream.
Let's talk about this for a moment, shall we? In years past the trifle at the Gardenview Lounge has been the bomb - so good in fact that any other trifle I've ever tried has never measured up to it. This trifle on this day was, dare I say it....trifling. Not good at all. I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they were just having a bad day.
But this time I didn't care so much about the trifle because it was time for my surprise!!! And in honor of the many birthdays that I celebrated on this trip, look at what the GF staff gave me that afternoon along with my surprise:
No, silly, they didn't give me a smiling clone of my mom (although that's a good guess). They gave us both Happy Birthday tiaras and asked everyone in the lounge to sing the birthday song to us. My mom is smiling because she got something for free and because now she's celebrating her birthday which is only five months away.
She's also smiling because of the little prezzie I ordered for her and Jon:
That's right...Cinderella's Slipper! A white chocolate slipper filled with vanilla creme mousse dotted with raspberries and a raspberry-sauce filled tear drop for dipping. Oh, and in case that's not enough, there's a dark chocolate teardrop filled with milk chocolate mousse on the other side of the plate. This is so very yummy, and to the best of my knowledge it is only available at Grand Floridian restaurants or at TS restaurants within the MK. At $15 per dessert you may think it's a little pricey, but I love to order this because it's such a signature dessert and it's just good fun.
Hope you and your sister have a wonderful time! :cutie:
04-08-2012, 01:03 AM
Bendy's tea!!! :goodvibes
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