Reviews of Garden View Lounge Tea
Reviewer: Anonymous Review Date: 01/13/2019
Rating: (1) Would Recommend:
This is the third time in ten years thinking that the tea would approve. I recently went January 10th 2019 and it was the worst experience.The table were not set up as we sat down with a sugar bowl and a tea cup, otherwise the table was empty. Not to appealing. For $50 it consisted of sandwiches that has stale crusts (My guess is they were pre-made and sitting around.) The scone was cold and stale so I did not eat it. The desert consisted of a small strawberry dipped in chocolate, 2 macaroons, and a swan with mouse. The tea was so weak tasting that it was like hot water with a hint of tea flavor. The waitress added more flavoring but it barely made a difference.It was very unenthentic as no loose tea was used to steep. I will never go there again. This is the 3rd time I gave them a chance and each time it progressively got worst. Not to mention the price increased to $50. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY!
Cons:Quality and atmosphere. Very unenthentic
Reviewer: mawdryn Review Date: 04/20/2018
Rating: (8) Would Recommend:
Had tea reservations here on March 26th. Check in was a bit disorganized. No one seemed to know what they were doing, which is odd, because things have always run smoothly for us in the past. This was our third time having tea at the GF.
Service seemed a bit rushed.
The food and tea were wonderful. We had fruit, cheese and crackers, tea sandwiches, and lots of yummy desserts.
Pros:Food and Tea Options
Cons:In Need of Refurb
Reviewer: Alson Review Date: 06/08/2017
Rating: (9) Would Recommend:
Have 2 daughters with birthdays during June so we decided to go on our last trip. Sunday afternoon at 2:30 was our time. Showed up a little early and were seated immediately. Party of 4, my 3 girls who range in age from 13 to 20 and me, the dad. The 2 birthday girls received a long stemmed rose. We had the 4 course tea and it was very nice. My daughters all enjoyed it and I did too. Out server was very attentive and explained any questions. The place was only about half full. I wore nice khaki shorts and a polo shirt and easily fit in. My girls all wore dresses because they wanted to dress up. The food was good and we enjoyed the experience. We took lots of pictures and would do it again. No complaints at all.
Reviewer: Momof4 Review Date: 03/03/2017
Rating: (9) Would Recommend:
I had tea with my 2 girls on Feb 28th. It was our first time here and we enjoyed it. The tea room is small and was very busy but our server, Amanda was wonderful. I enjoyed the light and airy feel of the room. We each ordered the Bedfordshire and I was surprised at the amount of food we received. We all liked and disliked different things but that was the point for us. We wanted to try things that we may not order off of a menu. We all agreed the curried chicken salad was our favorite. The pastries were good but very sweet so we did mostly tasting. We all ordered different teas and found them all enjoyable. I highly recommend giving this a try. It isn't a must do for me but definitely something different. It was a lot of fun spending the time relaxing with my girls.
Pros:Great service, relaxing
Reviewer: margesse Review Date: 03/01/2016
Rating: (1) Would Recommend:
I registered just to review this experience. Since 2006, my husband and I have enjoyed Afternoon Tea annually. It was always relaxing, and delicious, and with very attentive but not smothering service. I think I remember we used to pay about $35 for the tea, and that included a nice sized glass of sparkling wine or champagne; it is now $45 a person. For that increase in price, you get less delicious food, in smaller servings, with ugly china and not even real tea leaves in the tea pot. This past time...the server was terse and unpleasant. The food has all changed- no more generous portions and fresh trifle. Instead we were served hunks of boring cheese, stale crackers, and smaller portions of less tasty tea sandwiches. You now have to choose this or that, rather than just getting some of everything. The trifle that used to be served here was something I tried many times to recreate at home, but could never get it just right. The trifle I had in September 2015 was "seasonal", and it was awful. It was tart, and a small serving, and mixed with stringy citrus fruits which ruined the entire taste/texture of the dish. It was so bad I switched it out for the pathetic swan monstrosity that was offered as the other dessert choice, which was also not good. This experience was so bad, and I heard others seated after us comment negatively on the changes to the servers, who seemed to be indifferent. It still makes me so sad, and bothers me so much, that 5 months after I last ate here I felt I had to review it. I emailed and then spoke with someone from Disney about the experience, and they gave us a dining credit to use on our next visit to WDW, but that hardly makes it better. I loved this tradition with my husband, and we no longer have it. I would suggest anyone who loved it when they first tried the afternoon tea to pass, because you will be sorely disappointed.
Cons:menu has changed significantly, higher price, worse service
Reviewer: CinCin Review Date: 11/18/2014
Rating: (6) Would Recommend:
This isn't a place you really go for a gourmet meal, but this is a relaxed respite from the hustle and bustle of park touring and the crowds and lines. I've been twice now and enjoyed my first visit in 2012 so well I made it a must do on my recent trip Nov. 2014. I am quite picky about food and made a couple of substitutions and they happily obliged. I dislike onion and seafood so I had them skip the egg salad and the shrimp sandwiches. I had a nice variety of roasted beet, chicken curry and cucumber watercress. I do like the variety offered. The tea was not quite the same as last time and had no leaves in it. There was no need for the fancy little strainer like it used to and it did not get stronger as it sat so the first cup was the same as the last cup. That was disappointing as this is a tea room. The scones were fine but a bit small and they came with a tiny serving of strawberry jam, lemon curd, and cream and not with the little jars this time. The strawberries were sweet and ripe and topped with a layer of whipped cream. This is a much more filling meal that it appears. I really didn't have room for the strawberries but ate a few anyway as it is my favorite dessert. The setting here was elegant and it was not crowded, very quiet, and the views onto the courtyard/garden area were beautiful. The Grand Floridian resort where this is located is beautiful and elegant and transports you to a Victorian age. The resort is lovely and certainly worth paying a visit to and spending some time at even if you aren't staying there. This was such a relaxing meal and there was the lovely piano music drifting in from the lobby. Overall, this is a bit pricey considering it is just finger sandwiches and a few pastries and fresh strawberries so this experience isn't really about the food so much as the atmosphere. Even though this was a bit different with the tea and the china was plain and not getting the little jars of lemon curd and jam for the pastries, I still enjoyed my visit very much and it still remains on my must do list.
Pros:relaxing, peaceful, elegant and a great getaway from the parks
Cons:pricey for what you get
Reviewer: AmyMC Review Date: 06/30/2014
Rating: (2) Would Recommend:
This used to be my favorite place in Central FL for afternoon tea. There are at least three or four other places that are better now.
I've visited this location more than 20 times over the past 10 years. As a "local", annual passholder and Tables in Wonderland member, I've raved about this place and brought friends, family members and co-workers here for the experience. No longer.
I'm not sure I can sufficiently convey how very, very disappointed I am with the changes made in the past year. Yes, it's been a little over a year since I was last here but I've always been able to count on Garden View Tea Room to provide a quality experience. Since I've always ordered the Grand Tea, that is what I'll be comparing.
First of all, the elegant Royal Albert china has been replaced with a cheap, dingy looking service that does not go with the decor at all. Also, the teapots are smaller. The flute of sparkling wine used to be served with a fresh strawberry on the side. No longer. The teapots are smaller and the tea strainers are just there for show - there are no tea leaves in that pot to be strained out. Some may be fine with this, but I enjoyed the tea getting stronger as the afternoon passed and had a habit of adding milk to the last couple of cups.
The first course of sandwiches was disappointing as well. As another reviewer mentioned, the bread is now regular bread instead of the thin-sliced dense bread normally served with afternoon tea. Also, there seems to be less filling in them, although it could just seem that way now that the bread has doubled in amount. The duck terrine and onion tart were the same.
The second course of scones was a shock. The scones are MUCH smaller than they used to be... and ours were cold and hard. They served the scone with a white porcelain tray of the condiments: a very small amount of Devonshire cream, a lemon cream and a rather runny strawberry preserve. The preserves seem a bit watered down compared to the small jars of Dickinson's preserves they used to serve. I'm certain it's much cheaper for them. The tart was the same. I usually don't eat but a bite of it because it's very sweet.
For the last course, we got to choose between the strawberries and cream, the English trifle and the pastries. We both chose the trifle. I must say that the presentation was very pretty as they are now in little glass pedestal dessert bowls. Unfortunately, the taste was not. At least for me. The strawberries tasted a little off, the whipped cream tasted oily, there was very little cake and the serving size was smaller than I've received in previous visits. I understand that having them prepared in advance adds a layer of quality and quantity control compared to just having the servers scoop the trifle out of large bowls into smaller ones... but this is NOT the quality to aspire to.
They are going to be refurbishing in July and will be operating out of Citricos during that time. According to our server, only the kitchen is being redone.
WE paid $37 each for the Grand Tea with no upgrade to the sparkling wine. According to the menu currently posted on here for May 2013, that is an $8 increase for much, MUCH lower quality.
I won't go back again... and it's just so very disappointing
Pros:Still great service
Cons:Quality of experience has diminished GREATLY
Reviewer: JoanneS Review Date: 06/25/2014
Rating: (3) Would Recommend:
My friend and I were looking forward to enjoying a nice quiet tea. I made the error of telling the server I was lactose intolerant and the lovely tea took a bad turn. He had the chef come out and talk to me about my "issue". I was given NO choice as far as food goes. They told me they would bring me a plate of sandwiches, and while my friend enjoyed a nice variety of tea sandwiches, I got salami on white bread, and turkey loaf with tofu cheese. (also on white bread) And, when I say white bread, I mean Wonder bread. When it was time for dessert, my friend got her choice of pastries, while I was given no choice, but delivered a bowl of JELLO with frozen strawberries in it. I paid $30 for salami sandwiches and Jello. I was not a happy camper. Others may enjoy this, but for the lactose intolerant, this is not a good choice.
Reviewer: hsminnie Review Date: 06/12/2014
Rating: (6) Would Recommend:
Sadly, this family tradition is not what it once was. We've been traveling to WDW with our daughters since 2002 - when they were 10, 7 and 2. It is traditional for us to have tea one afternoon while dad gets a break. This time, because they grow up :), only my husband, our youngest daughter (now 13) and I were on the trip. Bob agreed to come to tea for the first time, and it was Abby's first trip as a tea drinker.
50% of the joy at the cafe is the setting. No matter how crowded the GF lobby becomes, the cafe is always a tranquil respite with beautiful views and good service. It also used to be a place to have good tea and delicious food. Some of this has changed - for the worse.
The tea is still good. In fact, our server made a special brew for my coffee loving husband (they were out of the tea he chose) and he loved it. Abby enjoyed the Imperial English Breakfast and I had the Gardenview Blend. Simple choices, good flavors. :)
We were told a la carte ordering was no longer an option - unless it was in addition to one of the 'packages'. This was frustrating because I knew Abby would not like the sandwiches. (1 picky eater of three - not too bad, lol.) We all chose Buckingham Palace.
The sandwiches used to be on thin sliced, dense 'appetizer' breads. Now, they are on regular breads. I did like most, but the pear and gorgonzola - my past favorite - has lost something in translation. I'm wondering if they prepare it differently, or if it was just the bread texture. The salmon is a 'spread' type filling, rather than a slice of smoked salmon, which I would have preferred. Our server brought Abby some PB&J when she noticed she only took one bite from her others. That was really sweet - and not necessary.
The onion tartlet is still yummy. I only take a bite or two - but they are delicious bites :).
The raisin scones are delicious, the jam tart is still an icky pile of goo to me.
Then, it was time for the best part. The VERY best part. Fresh, sweet strawberries with Devon cream. It's amazing. It was. It isn't now. They brought a dessert dish filled with pre-sliced strawberries in Cool-Whip. Cool-Whip. I recognized it because my husband started baking this year, and we discovered the joy and ease of fresh whipped cream. Cool-Whip is distinguishable because it tastes like oil. The strawberries were tiny slices and old. They had that fermented taste. Ugh.
Bob and Abby chose pastries. The eclair was ok - pastry can only survive so well in air - and the filling was sickly sweet. Bob had a chocolate peanut butter thing and they were ok with them.
Not that you would need it, but if you want more tea it's an extra charge. Abby loved the china, the tea cozy and the sugar cubes :). We all loved the relaxation the cafe provides.
We'll try to budget for this in the future, but I don't know if it will be a trip requirement. If they would allow a la carte purchases, definitely. But it's difficult to put aside $95 (tax and tip) for substandard eats. To reiterate, the service and ambiance is always a treat. We sit at our table for an hour or more and enjoy. It is always just a shame to see things slip from customer focused to profit focused in such a blatant way :(.
Pros:Ambiance, staff, tea (the actual beverage)
Cons:Food quality reduced, no a la carte selections
Reviewer: Fitzboyzmom Review Date: 01/08/2014
Rating: (10) Would Recommend:
I can't say enough nice things about this place. We arrived almost 45 minutes past our reservation, and past the time they were seating people. Long story short, it took us almost 90 minutes to get from Wilderness Lodge to the Grand Floridian. I had been emailing the manager at the restaurant to let them know we were coming, but her last note said that they could not take us it was too late. However, when we arrived, the hostess was very gracious and told us to relax and come right in and relax.
This was a special thing we were doing for my step mom and kind of a surprise, so I was so happy that they let us in.
The tea was very nice and the food as well. A really nice thing to do with the ladies, although my son enjoyed his Mrs. Potts tea (chocolate milk). I can't wait to go back.