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Tea at the Grand Floridian

Anyone who knows me even sort of well can tell you that I am an unabashed Anglophile.

I mean, I named my daughter Britton. And I have two degrees in British Literature. The love runs deep.

One of my favorite things about British culture is afternoon tea. I was first introduced to this wonderful experience during the first day of my London study abroad program. It was love at first dollop of clotted cream. 

Since I don't live in England, I have to find places that serve afternoon tea so that I can satisfy my inner Anglophile. 

When I found out that I could go to an afternoon tea at Disney World, I nearly exploded from excitement. Here were two of my favorite things in the entire world combined

I made reservations at the Grand Floridian for my sister and I as a surprise during our impromptu Sisters' Trip. (After the 4 Parks/ 1 Day Challenge, I figured I was going to owe her something more relaxing.) 

The surprise lasted five minutes into the next visit from my sister. "Can I tell you? Pllleeeeeeease?" I asked. 

I'm terrible at keeping secrets if you haven't figured that one out. 

Anyway, last Monday, we headed over to the Grand Floridian for our 4:55 p.m. tea time. 

We schlepped to the Grand Floridian in a bus. Not everyone can be so classy.

We were a little early, so Amber and I sat in the lobby soaking in the fanciness.

Grand Floridian hotel lobby
I'm pretty sure they charge you to breathe the air here. But what lovely smelling air!
As people who always, always, always stay in the value resorts, we were more than a little awed by the ambiance of the GF lobby. I tried to act fancy, but I failed miserably. I couldn't help it that I needed to sing (quietly) into my hand microphone when the pianist started playing Disney tunes!

Oh, don't mind me. I'm just lounging here on my chaise lounge furniture thing.
No one believed for a second that we'd actually shelled out the money to stay there. I tried to be on my best behavior!
A dapper man in a tuxedo serenaded us with classics (like Mozart and Beethovan and "Under the Sea" from The Little Mermaid) while we waited. I clapped when the pianist was finished with all of the Disney songs which embarrassed my sister to no end. It wasn't like it was loud clapping--it was more like golf clapping. Golf clapping should be allowed.

After about ten minutes of excruciating waiting, we were seated at our table. We had an excellent view of the Grand Floridian courtyard and the Polynesian. 

Walt Disney World
A good view makes the food taste better.

Dottie was our waitress, and she was great. Even though she was serving several other tables, she was prompt and answered all of our questions. When my sister said no way, no how was she eating cream cheese on the tea sandwiches, Dottie recommended that Amber get two servings of scones instead. 

Amber was more than happy as she loves scones and clotted cream. 

What should I get?

If you're not a tea connoisseur, there are three pages of teas. Surely you can find something that appeals!

Our first course was tea sandwiches (for me) and scones with clotted cream, strawberry jam, and lemon curd (for Amber). My tea sandwiches came with an onion tart, and Amber's scones came with a raspberry tart. 

I'm not sure if the sandwich flavors rotate or if they're always the same, but the sandwiches that I were: chicken curry, salmon and cream cheese, watercress and onion, egg salad, and one with something crunchy on it. My favorites were the watercress and the egg salad. My least favorite were the salmon (too fishy tasting) and the crunchy one (think the texture of a water chestnut, but on a sandwich). The onion tart was delicious!

Afternoon tea at the Grand Floridian
I would make a terrible food blogger because I always start eating before I remember to take a picture!

The second course (for both of us) was scones and the raspberry tart. During the first course, Amber kept raving about the lemon curd and practically scooped it up with a spoon. I couldn't decide between the lemon curd and the strawberry jam, so I piled both on my scone with all of the available clotted cream. Carb and fat heaven!

Walt Disney World, Florida
See? I had to go in for a bite of raspberry tart before I took a picture! And a note on the tart: I don't like raspberry, but that thing was AMAZING.
Walt Disney World, Florida
After I put lemon curd AND strawberry jam AND clotted cream on the scone. Yum.

The third course had options. We could have gotten an English trifle with spongecake, strawberries and cream, or a choice of two pastries. Amber and I both went for the pastries, choosing the Oreo trifle bite and a chocolate eclair each.

Disney World, Florida

On top of all of that food, we each got a huge teapot full of our choice of tea. I went with my absolute favorite, English Breakfast tea, and Amber got the Mango Oolong. We happily sipped our tea through the entire meal--the teapot holds at least four cups of tea!

Note: this meal is not for those on a diet. Besides, calories don't count when you're on vacation, right?

Overall, I had a wonderful time at the Grand Floridian tea. I could see my bringing the rest of the family back in the future to share it with them, too!

Interested in living the high life and/or pretending you're British for an hour? The Grand Floridian serves afternoon tea from 2:00-5:00 p.m. I'd highly recommend reservations as the place was packed while we were there. The Buckingham tea (which my sister and I both had) is $25.