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Florida Guide > Dining

Afternoon Tea at the Ritz-Carlton, Orlando Grande-Lakes Part 3

At the end of a great trip to Orlando, my husband and I received a great treat – afternoon tea at the fantastic Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Grande Lakes, courtesy of our son.

Having been warmly welcomed before being escorted to our table, we were now ready to tackle the mouth-watering display of delicacies which were presented to us on a towering 3 tier cake stand.
The pastries were some of the most delicious that I have ever tasted, and the lemon curd for the scones was utterly scrumptious – our server was happy to replenish anything we wanted, and I have to admit that we asked for more of the lemon curd – something I had never eaten before!

But it didn’t end there! Just as we were thinking we couldn’t manage another crumb a long white rectangular plate arrived with a large chocolate pastry with gold leaf decoration, a small pink meringue with a raspberry, and best of all, the words ‘Thank you from Andrew’ written in chocolate around the edge of the plate. What a surprise! Yet another delightful and very thoughtful touch which our son had organised for us. The afternoon had been truly wonderful.

The surroundings were so convivial and the food and tea so appetizing that we spent nearly 2 hours just enjoying the ambiance. I have to say that it knocked the Grand Floridian afternoon tea into a cocked hat. This was real luxury.

Our repast finished, and some pastries and scones remaining, our charming server brought us a ‘to go box’ and suggested we take the uneaten delights home! Quite unexpected, and something we would never have asked for, but we knew we would enjoy them later on that evening. Strangely we did not feel at all embarrassed to be taking the food home – we had seen other guests doing the same so it seemed quite natural – but I don’t think it would be appropriate in the UK.

There was no compulsion to go, and we were not made to feel that we should hurry, so we moved from the table to the comfortable leather sofas in the window, where the beautiful Florida sunshine was now streaming through.

As my husband relaxed and read the paper I investigated the hotel gardens and wandered through the hotel and out onto the steps leading down to the beautiful pool area. Camera at the ready, and the sunshine having now chased the rain away I was able to take some lovely photos.

We could hardly believe that we had spent nearly 3 hours enjoying afternoon tea, but at last it was time to leave. We took a final walk through the hotel and outside where the valets were waiting to collect our car. We sat on comfortable chairs and watched the comings and goings, which was fascinating. Huge shiny black cars, immaculately made-up ladies, couples with bulging bags of designer goods, all passed us by.

Then our car was there, looking rather small in comparison to the chauffeur driven vehicles that arrived constantly. With a final glance over my shoulder at the hotel we drove slowly through the golf course and back to our hotel. What a fantastic afternoon – try it, you won’t be disappointed!
Rita Fraser

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Page added on: 11 January 2013
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