Renaissance Tampa Hotel a jewel in the midst of the city

Today I had a meeting at the Renaissance Tampa International Plaza Hotel for a planning meeting of the upcoming Dress for Success Tampa Bay luncheon and fashion show. One of the committee members works there, so we decided to have lunch there as well.

Nestled to the side of International Plaza in Tampa, just on the cusp of Tampa International Airport, a newcomer to Tampa wouldn’t realize they are in for a treat. It’s a small Mediterranean jewel that’s delightful to visit.

I’ve been to the hotel twice for business reasons, but for some reason I did not have the opportunity to explore.

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This is Haven: Try this sophisticated, delicious Tampa restaurant

Due to my relationship with Tampa Bay Bloggers, I was treated to a three course meal with wine and cocktails at Haven Tampa. All opinions are my own.

When I heard the news Tampa Bay Bloggers was going to Haven, located next to and owned by the famous Bern’s steakhouse, I about fell off my chair with excitement.

 

 

 

 

 

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Hawthorne Bottle Shoppe uses vintage glasses, silver platters for eclectic whimsy

St. Petersburg is known for a lot of different things – its art scene, breweries and eclectic local stores that line Central Avenue west of downtown. Here you’ll find vinyl shops, brocante markets, consignment stores and enough hipster hangouts to fit in your disco purse.

New to the restaurant/brewery scene is Hawthorne Bottle Shoppe. Owned by Amanda King and Pegan Foster, the shop opened six months ago in February 2017.

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Safety Harbor’s Parts of Paris Bistro always a great dining experience

It was a very special night for us tonight.

We were almost giddy as we headed off to Safety Harbor to our favorite local restaurant – Parts of Paris Bistro. We first found “PoP” in December 2015 when a local friend and Safety Harbor resident told us she had had one of the best steaks ever.

A very unstuffy and quaint entrance on fourth avenue in Safety Harbor, with French and Floridian flags to greet visitors.

We fell in love with it the first time we visited. We’ve been for a Sunday brunch, or to pop in for a couple extra large hand-crafted martinis, and often for an amazing meal of steak, boullebaise, grouper or mussels.

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A fresh take on white linen dining at Armani’s in Tampa Bay

Due to my relationship with Tampa Bay Bloggers, I was invited to Armani’s to try their new Happy Hour, where they shared several menu and cocktail options with us. All opinions are my own.

In Tampa Bay we are blessed with a never-ending roster of restaurants from the beaches to Ybor City to South Tampa. When most people think of a restaurant in Tampa, they think of Bern’s, but most people who live here know that one of the best special occasion restaurants is Armani’s, located atop the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay.

It is perhaps one of the top three restaurants one thinks of when they think of anniversaries or other special events. The restaurant, known for its Northern Italian cuisine and floor to ceiling windows with amazing views, has been awarded 4 Diamonds award for many years.

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Checking out the new Wyndham Grande Clearwater Beach

As a member of Working Women Tampa Bay, I was invited to the new Wyndham Grande Clearwater Beach on a weekday evening to tour the Pallavi Spa.

Located just north of the Hyatt Clearwater Beach, the resort opened late last year. Rooms seem to run about $228 a night during July.

Of course I had to explore other parts of the hotel too, including the pool and the restaurant, Ocean Hai.

The entrance:

As soon as you pull into the drive, you step up several steps to see this:

And believe me, you feel like you’ve reached nirvana.

 

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Farmtable Kitchen at Locale Market impressive in both fare and decor

Farm Table Kitchen, located inside Locale Market at SunDial in St. Petersburg, FL.

I went for a business lunch recently and my  associate  suggested Farmtable Kitchen at Locale Market. I had heard about the market but I must have been sleeping under a rock for two years,  because I didn’t know about Farmtable Kitchen.

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It’s Officially Summer as Tropical Smoothie Cafe Celebrates National Flip Flop Day June 16

Since I started working with marketing for the local Tampa Bay Tropical Smoothie Cafe team, one of my favorite times of year is mid-June.

That’s because  everyone gets rewarded for wearing flip flops! And in Florida, that’s a no-brainer.

Some flip flop gals in the St. Petersburg cafe in 2016.

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Food, wine and friends around the table for Sunday Supper Movement

Due to my relationship with Sunday Supper Movement and the Food and Wine Conference, I was invited to attend a dinner and cocktails at Orlando’s Spanish Tapa Toro restaurant. All opinions are my own. 

Upon entering the Tapa Toro Spanish restaurant in Orlando, I feel like I stepped into a Barcelona restaurant.

From the Gaudi-inspired tile mosaics, to the bull-inspired chairs, to the music and Flamenco dancing. The elaborately prepared huge portion of Paella was amazing, the sangria and other cocktails delicious. Chef Wendy and staff were impeccable and worked so hard to keep all of us delighted with flavors.

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