What’s afternoon tea like in a place where fairy tale dreams and pirate adventures abound? From traditional British tea service to exotic Far East offerings, you’ll be surprised at the wide range of experiences that are available for indulging in this beloved afternoon ritual. We offer a look at five places to enjoy a cuppa in Central Florida that might not be on your radar.
Krungthep Tea Time
Nestled in Winter Park, this combination tea shop and cafe offers up Thai-inspired sandwiches and dessert, with a dizzying array of tea options to accompany them. Tea is served hot or iced, and the cold varieties come in gargantuan glass mugs. While there are plenty of light, healthy options, our favorite selections come topped with milk and cream, like the pink-hued Nom Yen. As far as food goes, you won’t find the traditional cucumber or watercress-laced sandwiches here, but you won’t miss them when you dig into the exotic flavors of the Tomyum Goong, flavored with marinated shrimp, onion, pepper jack cheese, and topped with Tomyum mayo.
Be sure to save room for the real show stopper, though; dessert. Choose from sumptuous, over the top sweets such as High Hats, which arrive at your table looking like an inverted ice cream cone that has gone awry in the best possible way. But our favorite is the Brick Toast. Layers of buttered, rich toast combine with toppings like Nutella and strawberries for an unbelievable, crave-worthy treat. It's big enough to share, but you won't want to. Open daily.
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
Enjoy a refined experience just steps away from Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom at the Garden View Lounge, just off of Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa's elegant lobby. Each tea service offers a variety of courses, including traditional specialties such as scones, tea sandwiches and house made pastries. Guests who prefer to elevate their experience can also add Champagne.
Little ones are also welcome at the tea table, and Mrs. Potts Tea introduces the ritual to children in charming fashion. Small fry will enjoy their own selection of tea sandwiches, which include peanut butter and jelly in the mix. And don't fret if your little prince or princess aren't quite ready for a brewed concoction; Mrs. Potts' special "dark tea," aka chocolate milk, is also an option, but is served in a teapot with teacups for an authentic experience. Open daily.
American Girl Store
While most little girls enjoy playing tea party at home, the American Girl Store brings make believe to life. Treat your special girl to her own tea experience, complete with savory and sweet treats. The menu, geared toward the junior set, includes a vast variety of both savory and sweet delicacies. With hearty options such as Josefina's Rancho Mini Burgers and Julie's 70s-Style Pig-in-a-Blanket, this is tea that eats more like a meal! More traditional options, like cucumber sandwiches, are also on offer as are a variety of sweets, including the signature chocolate mousse flower pot. Pots of tea or hot chocolate complete the experience. Offered daily.
Waldorf Astoria Orlando
For a vacation-worthy indulgence, head to the sumptuous Waldorf Astoria Orlando to experience Royal Tea in the refined environs of Peacock Alley, inspired by the original in New York City. The traditional spread includes petite sandwiches filled with luxurious smoked salmon as well as egg salad and cucumber. An assortment of tarts, scones, macarons and tea biscuits provide a sweet counterpoint. Add Champagne for an extra indulgence as you listen to a live piano performance.
Joffrey’s Coffee and Tea Company
Tea doesn’t have to be fussy to be enjoyable. At this counter service location in Disney Springs, stop in for a delicious array of teas that include iced varieties, in addition to frozen tea concoctions and tea lattes. Especially delicious are the Frozen Chai and Frozen Matcha. A selection of loose-leaf teas is also available.
For a grown-up twist, enjoy a tea-infused cocktail such as the Tea Toddy, freshly brewed black tea, milk and honey, topped with your choice of Bailey’s Irish Cream or Maker’s Mark Whisky. Open Daily.