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Florida Guide > Dining

Victoria and Alberts at the Grand Floridian

From the moment our car was taken from us at the hotel entrance for valet parking, until the moment it was brought back to us at the end of the evening, our experience at the Victoria and Albert Restaurant in Disney’s Grand Floridian resort to celebrate a birthday was superb.

Our table had been booked several days in advance (booking is highly recommended) and the day before our reservation we had a call from the restaurant to discuss and special dietary requirements. They made a note of the fact that one of our group was intolerant to wheat products and said that the chef would create special dishes for him.

When we arrived at the restaurant we were welcomed and taken to our table which was in the corner of one of the sections of the opulent restaurant. The décor is stately and elegant with fresh roses and candles on the tables. Everything around us was beautiful right down to the table linen, crockery and cutlery. Our napkins were put on our laps by our waiter and our personalised menus were presented to us. Once we had taken the beautifully crafted menus from their enveloped, and had marvelled at the number of courses we would be having, we had all the items on it explained to us. For most of the seven courses we had a choice of three items. We were asked to make our selection for the whole meal so that they had time to prepare everything perfectly. Alongside each menu item there was a suggested wine which would complement the dish. We didn’t have to have those wines of course, we could choose whatever we liked.

The wonderful meal began with the home made bread (special rice bread for our wheat intolerant diner) just before our appetizers arrived, which were exquisitely presented. Just in case we had forgotten what we had ordered, it was all explained to us once again by our waiter before he silently moved off to stand at a respectful distance, keeping his eye on our water and wine glasses, ready to top them up should the need arise. And so the meal continued with beautiful dish after beautiful dish of this wonderful feast being put down in front of us. Everything looked lovely and, although the portion sizes were not large, they were just right: any bigger and we would not have been able to do justice to the whole meal.

While we were eating we were waited on without fuss, but there was always someone ready to come to our table if we needed anything – they seemed to be mind readers. If anyone left the table for a ‘comfort break’ they came back to a fresh, clean napkin. At intervals during the evening a harpist serenaded us with beautiful, gentle music.

The whole meal took about 3 hours from start to finish, but we could have taken longer if we needed it as there was no suggestion that we should hurry up because they had people waiting for our table. It was an evening I would highly recommend, even if you don' t have a special occasion to celebrate.

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Page added on: 10 January 2009
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