When I want to go and experience a quaint, relaxing and comfortable girls day lunch, a tea room always seems to be top choice. We are lucky to live in an area where we have many to chose from, specializing in many different foods and or themes. One of my most favorite places to go for this experience is the Garden Gate Tea Room in Mount Dora.
If you haven’t visited Mount Dora before, firstly you need to, and secondly its a wonderful little lake front historic town! Its famous for its festivals, arts, dining and especially its antique stores. They often have art fairs and festivals, there’s always something to do when visiting.
There are so many restaurants I love here, but the Garden Gate Tea Room is always my most favorite!
Nestled in the heart of historic Mount Dora, The Garden Gate Tea Room is such a wonderful establishment, I end up spending the majority of my birthdays and celebrations here. They have a wide range of different teas, and despite my British heritage I actually find myself favoring their iced tea! My favorite is their Southern Belle peach iced tea, which comes served with the sugar around the rim of the glass, its so refreshing! I love their menu, as being a vegetarian I love that they have a delicious vegetarian option, the asparagus sandwich melt, and sometimes the quiche of the day. I feel neither are rushed just to simply accommodate vegetarians last minute, they are wonderful options.
One of their most popular dishes is their “famous Herb-crusted Rosemary Baked Chicken Pie”, everyone I go with who orders this cannot believe how it just melts in your mouth. It’s so popular they do end up selling out some days, but don’t fret as, really, any of their options are just wonderful.
They also offer “Afternoon Tea”, which does require at least a 24hr reservation in advance, and costs $17.95 per person. I can tell you it was worth every penny! I let them know in advance one of us was vegetarian so they ensured that I had a starter in place of the salmon souffle salad normally served first.
After this you are presented with a three-tiered tray of chef’s assorted sandwiches (again vegetarian ones are made by request).
Next are the desserts, my favorite! This featured a selection of chocolate covered strawberries, lemon curd cookies, fruit and their home made Cream Puff Swans filled with Chantilly Cream, so good!!!
No afternoon tea is complete without fresh home made scones! Theirs are served with clotted cream and jam. There is much debate on the appropriate way to layer ones scone, from what I have been told it is proper to spread the jam first, then apply the cream going around the scone in a circle. But hey, who are we to judge how to eat your scone, as long as it tastes delicious thats all that matters!
My favorite feature of this tea room is the simply stunning, shabby chic inspired decor. From the light blue paint, to the antique artifacts placed around the cafe, you feel so cosy and comfortable there. You wont be able to stop looking around at all the antique mirrors, lamps and twinkling lights.
For those with a sense of style, one may also select a hat from their collection to wear during tea! I like to try them on after my lunch and take silly selfies in the mirror, but thats just me!
The ladies who work there encourage you to take your time and take as many pictures as you’d like, and will happily take any groups pictures for you. Make sure you go down the stairs and look into their larger seating area too, its simply stunning. You can also get a glimpse into their garden from there, which is available for private functions.
If you have not been already I strongly suggest you take the time to visit this wonderful cafe, it does close at 2/3pm, so ensure you come early or book in advance.
After lunch, you can walk off your food and browse the many stores they have here, or drive a mile or so down the road to the lake and miniature lighthouse for a peaceful relaxing afternoon.
You can visit www.thegardengatetearoom.com for more information or how to book your visit ahead of time, and also take the time to look at www.mountdora.com for ideas on how to make the most of your visit.
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