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Florida Guide > Dining



Our holiday in Orlando was drawing to a close when my husband and I received news of a special treat, organised by our son back in the UK – afternoon tea at the spectacular Ritz-Carlton at Grande Lakes, Orlando.

We braved a huge downpour to arrive at this amazing hotel and were delighted to be greeted by name before being escorted to our table in the magnificent Lobby, which overlooked the extensive golf course to the rear of the property. Having been personally welcomed, we were then handed over to our server, who offered us the menu to choose our favourite tea from. There was plenty on offer, from traditional English breakfast tea to green teas, Earl Grey to herb teas - or as the Americans say ‘erb’. We made our choice and after a short time she reappeared with two large silver teapots which she placed on the individual silver warmers. She promised to return to pour our first cup of tea and then disappeared. This lady obviously knew that English tea should be left to ‘brew! ’

As we sat waiting, another lady arrived with a card which she said was from our son. This gold embossed card contained a personal message from Andrew, and I had to admit to a lump in my throat at his thoughtfulness as I opened it. We just wished he was there to join us.

After a few minutes, in which the tea properly brewed, our cups were filled with fresh tea, using real tea leaves and a silver tea strainer – what memories that brought back as I recall my grandmother pouring tea from a silver teapot with just such a tea strainer. I am afraid that these days we usually resort to the ubiquitous tea bag at home!

Then it was time for the arrival of the food, which appeared on a beautiful tiered cake stand. The top layer contained delicate sandwiches, ham, egg mayonnaise, smoked salmon and caviar, and cucumber and cream cheese – not a crust in sight, and each one a different shape – round, tear drop, diamond.

Below this was a plate full of the most delectable looking pastries – a magnificent chocolate slice, mouth-watering carrot cake, a coconut delight, an apricot tart and a raspberry tart – one each, so no fighting about who was having what! Finally, on the lower tier, there were four scones – most unusually they were lemon with poppy seeds, and beside them two little dishes with piped Devonshire cream and lemon curd.

What a spread – we hardly knew where to start!
Rita Fraser

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Page added on: 11 January 2013
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