Winter Park (Orlando), Florida
We had a weekend in Orlando before our international flight & we discovered this great little town just north of Orlando. It was a lovely place to spend the day!www.thebriarpatchrestaurant.com)
When we first arrived, there was a swarm of waiters and waitresses and customers waiting for a table. Every table was full and we soon discovered why - Absolutely delicious food and wonderful service!
I had the briarpatch benedict with Virginia ham & brie and Ike had a fluffy waffle with crispy pork belly. We debated coming back later in the day because there was so much on the menu we wanted to try! :)
Later in the afternoon, we walked by a young man giving out "Italian" pizza samples on the street - as we tasted he proudly said, "we pride in being as authentic to Italy as possible - even the water we use in our pizza dough is imported from Italy." It made us smile. (and as we walked away we wondered how much pizza would cost that used imported water.)
There was a tiny bookstore named "Writer's Block" (writersblockbookstore.com) with many different tiny rooms filled with books. It felt like it should be a used book store because of the causal arrangement and mismatched selves, but it was filled with new books. We browsed the covers and backs of newly released books as we wandered from room to room.
Our favorite shop was a spice and tea shop. Ah! Heavenly smells, beautiful colors.
My favorite clothing shop in Winter Park was a little boutique called "Violet Clover"
It was small, and had the sweetest girl working there and such simple & feminine decorations. I think I looked at every piece of clothing in the store, just because I didn't want to leave! :)
I loved this fun sofa sitting area & that they had a copy of Pride & Prejudice on the table :)
Down the center of Winter Park is a lovely city park - with a rose garden and Spanish moss hanging from the trees. It seemed to have been made for a picnic or a good book.
The East End Market was just a short drive from Winter Park (www.eastendmkt.com/). It is an indoor marketplace of small shops, with a community garden out front, third wave coffee, wine & cheese merchants, a lovely garden shop, with a church in the upstairs of the building and a lovely outdoor seating area. Quite hipster, but so enjoyable!
It was pouring down rain when we got there, which was disappointing - I would have loved to sit in this outdoor seating area! I didn't capture it very well in these photos, but it had an amazing variety of plants and trees.
This market had such a "community" about it. Ike & I found a table under a cover and chatted, almost yelling to one another at times over the heavy rain falling just feet from us, dreaming of what it would be like to attend the church upstairs and then to sit in this community courtyard/garden area to fellowship with our church friends while drinking coffee. It seemed like a special place!