~ Victoria & Alberts ~
Victoria & Albert’s, located inside Walt Disney World’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, has long been recognized as one of Florida’s finest dining establishments.... and executive chef Scott Hunnel has once again been nominated for a coveted “James Beard award” in the category of Best Chef. (He has now made it to the semi-finals, and the winner will be announced at the awards gala being held on May 4th, 2105). This is an intimate restaurant setting, where the meals can unfold over the course of 2-4 hours (depeding on which experience you choose). Children under 10 are not permitted and there is a strict dress code to uphold the elegance and refinement that this restaurant exemplifies. The V&A atmosphere is worthy of the celebration of a special milestone or even just for a relaxing date night away from the excitement and energy of the parks. The decor is upscale Victorian, complete with Harpist ~ who plays many Disney classics throughout the evening. It is unlike any other experience on Disney Property, and had long been on my Disney bucket list!
We decided to visit V&A last May, on an adult’s-only trip that my husband and I took along with his brother and wife, to celebrate our birthdays (lots of May babies in our family!) We chose to sit in the main dining room, which is one of three options available when dining here. The other options include the “Queen Victoria Room”, where only four intimate tables reside, and the lone “Chef’s Table”, located inside the actual kitchen.
The main dining room is the least expensive option of the three, and features four main courses, with some extra surprises sprinkled in along the way. Each course presented several options, which proved to be quite a challenge for us.... everything looked amazing and it was difficult to decide between the options. Here is our menu from that evening, but please note that the menu changes frequently.
The dim lighting allowed for a relaxing and quiet environment but did not lend itself so well to good pictures. Hopefully you can get an idea of the type of cuisine and impeccable plating that the V&A team of chefs produce.
The meal lasted about 2.5 hours and by time we got up I was thoroughly stuffed. The current cost of the experience in the main dining room is $150 per person, with optional wine pairings beginning at $65 per person.
My husband and I were fortunate enough to return to Disney World in November for another adults-only trip, again with my brother and sister in law. We decided to try the Queen Victoria room on that trip, and were completely blown away. The prix-fixe menu in this room is set... ten pre-determined courses, no options given (although I’m sure substitutions are welcome, we stuck to Chef Hunnel’s menu). While the quantity of courses was double that of the main dining room, the portions were a bit smaller, as you can see from the following pictures:
There is a significant price increase in this experience, $225 per person with an additional $125 for the optional wine pairings, which we both did. This turned out to be a mistake as I can not handle more than two glasses of wine. At the conclusion of the meal I had ten half-empty wine glasses in front of me, which was actually kind of funny. My gracious hubby finished them off so as not to waste them.
The Queen Victoria experience took about four hours, which sounds long, but actually went by quickly! After both meals, we were offered a tour of the kitchen, and Chef Hunnel even took the time to pose for a pic. Definitely a highlight of my trip!
The coveted Chef’s Table reservation is all that remains on my Victoria & Albert’s bucket list now. Unsure when we’ll get there as it is really hard to snag this reservation, although we do currently have a reservation to visit V&A again in April. I guess you could say I have a bit of an addiction going..... and if you all try this wonderful restaurant, you may too! Don’t say I did not warn you.....