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Travel back in time at the Garden View Lounge
Imagine the setting…. you have been transported back over a century to the Victorian era to be warmly welcomed at a hotel entrance by a kindly gentleman dressed in a white suit, straw boater hat and spats. Then on entering the lobby the pure scale and opulence of the surroundings takes your breath away. There are huge elegant chandeliers suspended from ceilings that stretch up over five storeys, beautifully sculptured stained glass domes that allow a myriad of colours to dance across the walls, and an open caged elevator to a mezzanine floor that is home to a musical quartet playing a variety of popular light classics.
Fast-forward to the present day and that is exactly what you will encounter with a visit to the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa in Walt Disney World.
We were here for afternoon tea at the Garden View Lounge, aptly named with a proliferation of highly scented flowers and colourful shrubs swaying in the gentle breeze outside our window seats.
The menu offers such delights as The Grand Tea and Buckingham Palace, but on this occasion we both plumped for Prince Edward’s Tea.
What an inspired choice that turned out to be.
The delicious array of duck and cherry terrine, chicken and pork roulade, country pate en croute, and English Blue Stilton, served with marinated fresh berries and Cumberland sauce, brilliantly complemented by a glass of Fonseca Bin 27 Character port was an absolute delight. To follow we were treated to freshly baked scones served with lashings of Devonshire cream.
Of course the Garden View Lounge prides itself on the selection of teas it has to offer its guests, ranging from English Breakfast - a pure China black tea, to Organic Green Tea - with citrus and gingko, and just about everything in between. We were fairly unadventurous with our choice and went for a classic Assam, but were sorely tempted by the flavoured teas, especially the Chinese Jasmine.
A word of warning though, the bone china teapots are large and heavy when full, so be careful when pouring.
This is a truly elegant way to spend an afternoon, the ambience, service levels and attention to detail, all in keeping with the Victorian theme, are absolutely first class.
Some may think the prices a little bit steep (around $20) but believe me you are treated royally and it is an experience not to be missed.
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