Black Dragon Afternoon Tea (Garden View Tea Room, Orlando, FL)

As I am a big fan of afternoon teas, I just had to try this one. The elegance of the tea room and the very cute mouse filled swan pastry convinced me immediately. Also, while having experienced afternoon teas in Canada, Australia, and the UK, I thought it was time for one in the USA :)

This was a special kind of afternoon tea - very Disney inspired :) Even so the food was rather "normal" and not following a Disney theme (unlike the "Tale as old as Time" afternoon tea I enjoyed in London), you could not forget that you were in Disney World.

The Garden View Tea Room

The Garden View Tea Room is located in one of Walt Disney World's Resort hotels - the elegant Grand Floridian, a Victoran themed luxury hotel. The tea room is located at the far end of the very chic foyer. It has an open window front facing the foyer on one side, and a floor to ceiling window front across, overlooking the outside. During the day, you can listen to gentle live music, either provided by the pianist playing in the middle of foyer, or by a small orchestra playing on the second floor balcony.

While I was there, we also had some surprise visitors: Cinderella and her Prince Charming stopped by and started dancing to the pianist's music. As the tea room has open windows facing the foyer, I was able to enjoy their visit as well :)

The Afternoon Tea

Beside the fantastic atmosphere and elegant tea room, I was also very pleasantly surprised by the afternoon tea itself. I had been reading a lot of reviews mentioning that the finger sandwiches would not be anything special and would disappoint... Here, I have to strongly disagree! The sandwiches were fresh, light and very intersting. Especially the poached pear with gorgonzola sandwich was a favorite. I had never tried one before and thought it very creative and delicious. Next to the mouse filled swan pastry and the very special oolong tea, the sandwiches were actually my highlights.

While they offered three different kinds of afternoon tea (with additions such as fruit and cheese platters), I decided for the "simple" Bedfordshire Tea, served on a three tier étagere:
  • Lower Tier: Cucumber sandwich, sweet curry chicken sandwich, egg salad sandwich, poached pear and gorgonzola cream cheese sandwich, fire roasted tomato with goat cheese sandwich, and sweet onion tart
  • Middle Tier: Raisin scone with lemon curd and clotted cream and a strawberry preserve tart
  • Top Tier: Mouse filled swan pastry, chocolate covered strawberry, chocolate and coffee macaron

Oolong Tea - Black Dragon Tea

They also offered a large variety of Twining tea. I took the chance to try out an Oolong tea. I had just recently read about it and was intrigued as I never really tried it before. The name "oolong" is derived from the Chinese name for "Black Dragon Tea". It is a very delicate tea and known as the "champagne" of teas. Oolong teas are semi-oxidized and their caffeine level is supposed to be on the milder side, less than black teas and the very strong and rough pu'er teas, but a little more than the mellow white and green teas. The tea room offered two very intersting sounding oolong flavors:
  • Castleton Moonlight Oolong (slight peach sweetness with lingering honey notes - the one I picked) 
  • Grey Dragon Oolong (combination of white silver needle tea with aromatic oolong flavors)

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