The Marketplace Co-op at Disney Springs welcomed a new shop this morning called the Dress Shop on Cherry Lane and we were on hand for the opening. The shop carries retro Disney themed dresses and accessories as well as a few dresses from Pinup Girl clothing (which has always been a favorite clothing store of mine for years). My understanding is Pinup Girl's pop-up shop is only available through Sunday April 2nd only. I was impressed they carried a wide range of sizes from XS up to XXXL in some styles. Dapper Day founder Justin J. as well as pinup model Doris Mayday were both on hand for the opening.
We have eaten at Art Smith's Homecomin' (formally called Homecoming) a couple of times now and have had a enjoyable experience both times. We have always had excellent, friendly service and the food reminds me of going to grandma's house for a wonderful home cooked meal but turned up a notch. Nothing fancy or ingredients I have not heard of just delicious food. My only complaint, if there is one, is our 2nd time there the food took a little longer to come out. This is not a big deal to me at a sit down restaurant especially when the food is worth the wait (which it is) but it was something to keep in mind if you are on a time limit and have some place to be.
The interior of the restaurant is open and bright with high vaulted ceilings. From the potato sack chandeliers, the sunny mural, and the antique bottles I love the southern comfort look.
As I said above the food we have tried as been excellent. Homecomin' specialty is their fried chicken. I have a confession... I am not big on fried chicken so I did not order it but two of my dining companions ordered it and said while it was not the best fried chicken they have ever had it was definitely delicious and worth ordering.
This is the Fried Chicken Sandwich: fried chicken, dressed with hot sauce, aioli, iceberg lettuce, tomato and house-made barbecue chips drizzled with icebox dressing. This sandwich was very tasty. I loved the flavor of the chips but the bbq powder on them fell on my white shorts and left little streaks when I wiped them away..just a warning to not be a messy eater like me!
Art Smith's famous fried chicken. Both people in our dining group said they thought this tasted very good. It was moist on the inside, crispy on the outside and was delicious. The description on the menu says served with creamy mashed potatoes, cheddar drop biscuits, and love. Can we just stop and appreciate that it says "and love".
There is a new tour being offered at Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival this year called the Royal Tea Garden tour. Being an avid tea drinker I knew this was one tour I wanted to try. This is different than the free English Tea Garden tour which is still offered daily in the afternoons. It is a $15 tour and goes more in-depth about the history of tea and history of the Twinings tea company. We were given tips on brewing tea and learned about the different tea blends and how they are made. Our tour guide, Jack, was fun, very knowledgeable, and made our tour very enjoyable. I loved all the new information and facts I received the on the tour.
The tour began at 9:30 am. We were told to check in by 9:15 am at the UK beer cart located by the Rose and Crown Pub.
Shortly after 9:30 am we were greeted by our tour guide, Jack, and headed over to the English Tea Gardens where our 45 minute tour began.
Following the tour of the garden we were escorted into the Tea Caddy shop where we were served 2 different kinds of scones and our choice of hot tea. I tried Buttermint which was a peppermint tea with a hint of vanilla. I enjoyed the calming flavor. It was a wonderful way to end the tour.
There is an old saying"there are only two kinds of people in this world, the Irish and those who wish they were". St. Patrick's Day lets us all celebrate like the Irish and Disney World is no exception. My first St. Patrick's Day at Disney World I celebrated at Rose & Crown in Epcot. There was plenty of green beer and a specifically drink called the Leaping Leprechaun (run, vodka, Irish whiskey, melon liqueur, sweet and sour, topped with Sprite) pair that with that with the corn beef and cabbage in the dining room and you'll have a great Irish celebration.
This year in Magic Kingdom at Casey's Corner on Main Street they are getting in on the fun by adding a new Irish inspired hot dog topped with corn beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and whole grain mustard.
For Dessert you can find a variety of St. Patrick's Day cupcakes: Contempo Cafe at Contemporary Resort, Main Street Bakery at Magic Kingdom, Fountain View at Epoct and Sprinkles at Disney Springs all have a seasonal cupcake. If chocolate is what you are craving the Ganachery at Disney Springs has 3 special flavors available until March 18th: Irish stout ganache, Irish cream ganache, and Irish whiskey ganache.
Goofy's Candy company had a variety of St. Patrick's Day treats.
Even the Daily Poutine got in on the Irish fun with an Irish inspired poutine!
Our tradition the last few years has been to celebrate at one of our favorite Disney World restaurants, Raglan Road at Disney Springs. When you step inside this authentic Irish pub with the live Celtic music, Irish dancers, and very delicious pub fair food you'll see why this is such a popular spot.
For St. Patrick's week Raglan Road has a Mighty St. Patrick's Festival. This year it is being held March 16th-19th. The craic (gaelic for fun) has a full line up of fantastic live music with featured bands, the always wonderful Raglan Road Irish dancers, face painting and delectable Irish cuisine by Irish chef Kevin Dunbon. Please note that on the actual St. Patrick's Day they are not taking reservations, it is a first come first serve basis, and there is $10 cover charge per guest over the age of 18.
Ah, Spring is in the air and it is once again time for one of our favorite Disney Events: Epcot's International Flower and Garden Festival. Happening March 1 through May 29, 2017, the festival is full of fun experiences for all ages. There is so much to see and do including stunning, vibrant garden and flower displays, Disney themed topiaries, in the festival center there are exhibits and seminars, outdoor concerts series, butterfly exhibit called Butterflies on the Go, Epcot's annual Easter Egg Hunt and of course outdoor kitchen kiosks offering a wide variety of foods and drinks it is easy to see why we like this festival so much.
First up I want to highlight the topiaries and flowers after all as the name suggests this is a flower and garden festival and Disney goes all out on their garden displays with their vibrant, beautiful gardens and their fun Disney topiaries. This year there are 23 unique topiaries around Epcot!
Disney also has a few wildlife habitats. My favorite is Butterflies on the Go. This unique exhibit lets you see butterflies emerge from their cocoons . I love being able to see so many different types of butterflies fluttering around.
Next up lets talk about a subject near and dear to my stomach, the festival's outdoor food kiosks. There are 15 unique outdoor kitchens with delicious food and drink options.
Last but certainly not least I want to talk about my favorite scavenger hunt that Epcot does: the Egg-Stravaganza. This is an Easter egg hunt done Disney style. You can purchase a map at various locations around Epcot and then hunt for Eggs around the World Showcase, placing the sticker of the egg you found in that country. After all of your eggs are found, return your map to the Disney Trader store located at the beginning of the World Showcase to select your reward for completing the hunt!
***Spoiler alert the slideshow below shows some of the eggs we found. They could be hints on where to find these so skip if you don't want to ruin your surprise if participating in the egg hunt this year!
As Epcot's Festival of the Arts Festival comes to a close I wanted to share a workshop I attended the final weekend of the festival. The festival had a wide variety of interactive workshops to choose from including drawing classes, macrame, watercolor, calligraphy, even a class to blend your own spices. I chose a workshop on floral design. The workshop was held in the Odyssey building.
When we arrived all of our supplies were set up in our work area for us.
There was an instructor at the front of the class giving us step by step instructions as well as additional instructors walking around the class offering assistance and getting additional supplies if needed. Everyone was very nice, helpful and made it a fun, relaxing environment.
This workshop was a great way for me to end Epcot's Festival of the Arts. I really enjoyed this festival and I really hope we can look forward to many more Festivals of the Arts to come.