If you’re anything like me, then you secretly hold a grudge against your parents for never hiring an English nanny like Marry Poppins. Not just because jumping into a chalk painting would be the highlight of my life, but because (if we’re all being honest) there’s nothing quite as sophisticated, homey, and delicious as an old-fashioned English tea party. This is pretty sad to admit, but I don’t think my first real tea experience was until 3 years ago, when we visited the tea room at Harrods in London. After the skies opened, I thought I remembered angels singing; but maybe it was just my taste buds. Now we keep our eyes open for tea spots wherever we travel, and found one at one of our favorite resorts, The Grand Floridian.
The first time we ever saw the Garden View Tea Room at the Grand Floridian, we we both did the classic: “wait, how long has this been here?” Out of all the times that we had strolled through the main lobby of the Grand Floridian, we had never noticed it. At the far end of the lobby, it’s not like it’s hidden; maybe its quaint, garden-theming is easily overlooked with the grandiose features of the lobby. But let me make this clear, the Garden View Tea Room should NOT be overlooked. Not only is it in the lobby of the Grand, the north wall is solid windows which give guest a clear view of the resort grounds (which if you’ve never seen them, are BEAUTIFUL).
As we walked up to the tea room, we were greeted by Mrs. Potts and Chip in the marble floor (which is how you KNOW it’s gonna be good). The space is fairly intimate with only about 20 tables, which really helps with the sophisticated, “I’m fancy” vibes that we were already feeling at the Grand. The room is plush and floraly, with large, arched windows and white wood accents; it’s basically a real-life, grown-up version of the quintessential kids tea party. The marble-topped tables and floral china make the room the perfect combo of uppity and inviting.
Alright, now to the best part, the tea. If you’re a tea hipster, you’re just gonna have to hang with me for a second, because all the tea that they serve is made by Twinings, and it’s delicious. If you’re thinking: “I could just go to the store and buy this tea right now”, you would be wrong; all of the teas that are served at the Garden View Tea Room are loose-leaf and top quality. There are even three signature blends that, as the menu states, are “blended exclusively by a Master Tea Blender for the Garden View Tea Room”. And I don’t know about you, but I’m gonna trust that anyone who has earned the title, “Master Tea Blender” knows what they’re doing. I recommend the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party blend, a delightful Ceylon tea with hints of vanilla.
But it wouldn’t really be a tea party without the treats. You can choose from 5 different pre fixe menus, which range from $30 person to $175 for two people. Although two glasses of Veuve Clicquot and caviar as the first of four courses would have matched our mood, we chose the Bedfordshire package, which includes a pot of tea and three delightful courses.
Not only do you get your own, fancy tea pot, but they bring out a little velvety cover to keep your tea warm (so thoughtful of them). The first course is an assortment of finger sandwiches, which are just as tasty as they are adorable. Next comes a buttery scone and jam tart (the scone was my favorite of the whole meal). And if that wasn’t enough, you can choose a “Finale” of strawberries and cream, house-made pastries, or an english trifle. Everything we tasted was amazing, and you can’t really go wrong with anything you order here.
And if the food and ambiance wasn’t enough, in classic Disney style, the service was impeccable. Our server was incredibly kind and professional. If I was super rich, I probably would have asked him to be the Martin to my Lindsay Lohan so that I could have tea every day of my life. But I’m not, so for now I’ll just frequent the Garden View Tea Room.
Make a reservation! Since there aren’t a ton of tables, the reservations fill up pretty quickly
Save it for a rainy day: if you get rained out of the Magic Kingdom, take the monorail over to the Grand and see if they can squeeze you in. It’s a perfect way to dry off and warm up.