Winds in the East: Disneybounding at Garden View Tea Room

December 18, 2018

"Winds in the east,  | mist coming in | like something is brewin' | about to begin"

Mary Poppins is one of my (many) all time favorite movies. I remember watching it on VHS (yes, that dates me back a bit) when I was little and fawning over Mary's Jolly Holiday dress and the entire carousel scene. Clearly I was drawn to fashion as a child, somewhere between the ages of "dressing like a fairy princess" and "chicken fingers/mac&cheese diet" (honestly, not all that unlike my current self if we're being honest). So when I heard there was a Mary Poppins sequel, I was a bit skeptical at first. No one can live up to the epic performances of the dream team that is Julie Andrews & Dick Van Dyke, but after seeing the previews for Mary Poppins Returns, I think it may come close. We'll have to wait and see, but more on that later after I've seen it.

So in keeping with the MP theme since the movie is about to be released, today I'm sharing this fun dapper Mary look I did when I was at the Grand Floridian for afternoon tea. I may not be a literal fairy princess here, but I definitely felt like one.

Really though, why don't people dress like this anymore? Can we just go back to yesteryear when the norm was crinnolins under everything and everyone basically dressed like they were going to a cocktail party when they were really just going grocery shopping? I will gladly trade in my jeans and boots for patio dresses and big fancy hats!

Vintage 50s dress - similar here & here
The inspiration for this look was clearly Mary's Jolly Holiday dress (see here if you need a visual & a really interesting read on the original costume), but with a definite authentic vintage twist. I'm all about giving old & often forgotten frocks a second chance at life, and this 50s lace party dress was no exception. I found it online, in one of my late night searches for vintage, and instantly knew it was the perfect Mary dress as soon as I laid eyes on it - then again it was also very late (er...early) and was a definite impulse buy, but no regrets here (that illusion lace neckline though!!). Unfortunately, she was very well-worn and had several tears and rips on the back of the bodice, but nothing my trusty sewing machine & a little creativity couldn't fix! I stitched up the rips, carefully took in some of the fabric to hide the tears, and added red bows all along the hemline (♫ just a spoolful of ribbon ...)!

And then we have Mary's hat. You know - that hat; the beautiful white tulle one with the chinstrap that would be so impractical today but was just the pinnacle of fashion back then? Apparently, it was also huge in the 80s, because the hat I wore as part of my Mary costume was actually my mom's wedding hat. Yup, that was a thing in the 80s, when giant balloon sleeved bridal gowns & headband veils reigned supreme, apparently so did hats with your wedding dress. Granted, it's a pretty epic hat with so many beautiful beaded details - all it needed was a little touch of red.

For shoes, I kept it simple and went with my trusty white wedges. I added the red belt as a nod to Mary's corset, and pulled elements from the Jolly Holiday scene to incorporate as accessories, like my carousel horse necklace and vintage penguin brooch.

Carousel necklace - Amazon | Vintage brooch - Etsy; similar here & here

If this isn't just the perfect outfit for tea at the Grand Floridian, then I don't know what is! I felt like I fit in so well with the whole aesthetic of the resort, especially with that whole Victorian era feel. I was there with several friends, and we all dressed the dapper-part (including Jess who went full Mrs. Banks with her sash - that's commitment to detail, y'all!)

With our dapper squad assembled, it was time to head in for afternoon tea. I had always dreamed of getting to do a high tea at GF, but it had never worked out (mostly because I am usually at Disney with Barry, and he's not really into the whole let's-dress-up-and-sip-tea-and-lift-our-pinkies kind of afternoon). But if you happen to have a couple of hours and need a reprieve from the parks, gather your gal pals and book an afternoon at the Grand. *Pro tip: make a day of it and start at the spa in the morning for manicures. You get to use the spa amenities like the whirlpool for free, and there's a wonderful relaxation lounge with comfy recliners, snacks, cucumber water, and complimentary wine!

The actual tea was honestly very reasonable. There are different tiers, so if you want to splurge you can get the highest level package that comes with champagne, but the basic level "Bedfordshire Tea" was fine for me, and still came with a generous amount of food for $35. The Bedfordshire includes finger sandwiches, scones, a tray of pastries, and your choice of tea. We all chose a different type of tea so that we could sample several kinds.

Some of the pastries were seriously too cute to eat, but they all met their demise eventually (nothing comes between me & my macarons). They also do some seasonal pastries, which is a nice touch. Since we were there in the fall, the swan pastries were filled with pumpkin spice cream. I'm sure they do something similar for the holidays, and probably have a seasonal tea blend on rotation as well.

The Garden View afternoon tea was an experience I won't soon forget and a tradition I plan to start whenever I'm there with girlfriends (and/or when Lilly is old enough to enjoy it)! I can't wait to go back and I may or may not already be planning my next outfit for tea...

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