We have just booked our flights to Florida for our summer holiday, and if I don’t blog something about it, I honestly think I will internally combust. Excitement, is building and it really is a few weeks away yet. So, getting myself into the Florida frame of mind, I’ve been looking at holiday snaps and thinking about all of the amazing places we have eaten in.
So if you are planning a trip to Orlando, or interested in what’s available, this post is all about The Ana Mum Diary’s top 5 of favourite places to eat in Orlando. Each time we go, we find new places to eat, but we also have old favourites that we visit every year. So in a Top of the Pops fashion, counting down from 5:
5 Ohana (Polynesian) $$$
This is such a fun Disney dinner experience, and the food very different to anything I had tried before. Not a great selection for a veggie (or pescatarian ) like myself, but Tall Dad raved about the meat skewers that were cooked in the 18ft oak fire pit.
However, this is so much more than the food, and that is why I included it in the top 5. I have two very lasting memories of The Ohana, the first being the atmosphere. Throughout the meal children were encouraged to get involved coconut racing and listening to stories told by the Ohana staff, in a family style Polynesian dinner, there is dancing and hula hoops racing. The second memory is that when the meal is finished, you can sit down and listen to the music piped into the restaurant, as you watch the fireworks over the castle. Truly magical!
4 Olive Garden $$
This is a huge American chain, but the service and quality of the food really make up for this, it’s also very reasonably priced too. They often have offers and specials, so you also need to look out for those on the site if you are doing your holiday planing, or on the menu if you are there. Its known as the home of the never ending pasta bowl, so great after a hard day at the parks, or shopping. As the name suggests, it is Italian, and is also very family friendly. If your family is anything like mine, Italian food means, everyone even the youngest in the group are going to enjoy it. There is a great children’s menu, but I would also recommend the flat breads and pasta dishes which are delicious.
3. Bahama Breeze $$
This is always on our list of places to eat. It has a Caribbean feel, with island-inspired seafood, chicken & steaks, and an excellent selection of cocktails, both alcoholic and non. This would be a place we would have a slow leisurely evening meal, as it has a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere. If you eat here and love fish, you simply must try the firecracker shrimp – buttermilk battered and crispy fried with a spicy red pepper sauce…simply amazing! Great also if you love rum, as it has a huge selection.
2 Sweet Tomatoes $
This is our go to place, when we are tired, hungry, and want a tasty but healthy meal. As you enter it has a huge long counter full of gorgeous salads and dressings. Everything from prepared salads to spinach, beetroot, eggs, seeds, nuts and dressings to make your own. Probably over 50 different salads and extras. It is self-serve, and once you have filled your plate, at the end of the salad area you pay for your meals. You can choose to drink water, or for a little extra, add never-ending beakers. Root beer bring a favourite of Miss N’s. But that’s not all, you can refill your plate with more of the fresh salads, which are constantly replenished. But also there are bays, with servers behind, that have other things available – made from scratch soups, speciality breads, and pasta. All of which are included in the price. To complete the meal, there is an area where you can help yourself to fruit, and ice cream, including a fat-free frozen yoghurt, which is my favourite!
We also love that each month has a theme, you still tend to have a lot of old favourites there, but they also add things to the menu. So it may be a cuisine from a particular country, or this month for example, it is ‘Berry Berry’ month so they have added new salads – Strawberry Fields Salad, with caramelised walnuts, as well as raspberry lemonade to the drinks and raspberry muffins to the deserts.
1 **Seasons 52** $$$
The winner in my eyes when eating out in Florida is Seasons 52. We usually eat in the bar area, in what we call a funky booth, and listen to the pianist, who actually plays a piano which is behind the bar. The restaurant has apparently been extended though, my hubby (Tall Dad) was there recently with work, and ate in an outside area, so I can’t wait to check this out next time we are there.
They don’t have a specific children’s menu, but are happy to make anything from the menu, into a child’s portion. I do think children would need to be used to eating out in a restaurant, as its not the kind of restaurant that particularly caters for children, we have never has a problem though.
The food is seasonal, fresh, and healthy. It often has unusual things to try. The wine is incredible, some of the nicest I have ever tasted. The staff, are exceptionally knowledgeable, and the service is fabulous. We tend to only go there once on a holiday, usually our wedding anniversary, or a birthday. Its the kind of place, that feels like a you are being wined and dined, I love that it also has valet parking.
We once went on a Friday in the evening, and the restaurant was very busy. I soon found out, after a visit to the powder room, that it was ‘date night’ as I inadvertently heard women calling their friends with updates on dates. It seems to be the place that the locals eat, and know about.
If you go, I would recommend that you leave room for the deserts, they come in shot glasses, and are miniature versions of traditional ones such as Key Lime Pie, Pecan Pie and Rocky Road. Leave room for two or three!
We have never been disappointed at Seasons 52 and that is why it is my top place to eat in Orlando!
I also thought it would be fun to add some fellow bloggers favourite places to eat, just so I could illustrate the diversity of food in Orlando.
Amanda Jane : Cheesecake Factory at Millennia Mall
Mel (Diary of a Jewellery Lover) :Yachtsman Steakhouse at the Yacht and Beach Club
Kate (Kate Takes 5) Rainforest Cafe
Marrianne (Maris World) : House Of Blues
Jennifer (Jennifers Little World) California Pizza Factory
Helen (Actually Mummy) : The Longhorn Steakhouse
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I honestly can not believe that it is already nearing the time that Miss A starts school. I remember these exact feelings when Miss N started school over 5 years ago. It is exciting, but its nerve-racking all at the same time. I know I won’t be having any more children, so this is my last ‘baby’ at home. Miss A (4) is extremely excited about it. Since she started her preschool, she has grown and developed so quickly, and I think she will be more than ready for the challenge that school presents.
I was asked by Stuck On You, if I would like to review a couple of items from their site, and I thought it would be a nice idea to choose some school related ones for Miss A.
I already know, that we are going with packed lunches at school. I would gladly go with school ones, but both of my girls prefer a packed lunch, and then a hot evening meal in the evening. So I went for the personalised lunch bag and a PE Kit bag too.
We are delighted with them. They are great quality, both fully lined, and the printing on them is beautiful.
The Lunchbox : £18.99 which is personalised with Miss A’s name and a with our choice of design too. It’s been made of a water-repellent fabric, with an easy wipe clean inside.
The PE Bag (Library Bag) : £18.99 also personalised, I was really surprised have great the quality was, very thick, and perfect I thought to carry Miss A’s PE Kit in.
I would definitely recommend Stuck On You, for fantastic personalised loveliness, check out there site, including some art smocks and aprons, that are on our list for next time!
Well I also have a little giveaway for you next week, so keep a look out!
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In less than a weeks time, I will be at BritMums Live! I am extremely excited, and even a little bit giddy at the thought of going again. Last year was great, I attended Cybher, Blog Camp and BML, and met people who I had been chatting to online for years. It felt so strange that I knew so much about them from reading there blogs, but had never actually met them before. I made some great relationships with brands, and I laughed and cried at the most amazing and poignant speeches and blog posts that were read out throughout the event.
This year feels different though, just as exciting but somehow I feel even more nervous. Maybe because this is the first bloggy thing I’ve been to this year so far. But I love a challenge, and somehow I always seem to enjoy things if I have a little bit of nerves too.
I already know what I’ll be wearing (sort of) thanks to my personal stylist session, though I’m still not sure what I’ll be wearing on what day yet – shakes fist at the weather! I have also treated myself to a biker jacket, as recommended by Lucy, which I love so much, I may never take it off!
So in this post, I thought I would announce who is sponsoring me to attend the event as well as tell you a little about myself.
Name : Amanda, but I answer to Gidders (my twitter name) just don’t call me Mandy!
Blog : The Ana Mum Diary
Twitter : @gidders1
Height : 5 ft 9
Hair : Very blonde – I should point out I started going grey at 13 so I am actually nearly white in places!
Eyes : Blue
Is this your first blogging conference? : No this will be my 3rd!
What are you most looking forward to at Britmums Live 2013? : The whole experience, I honestly couldn’t pick one!
What are you wearing : THIS I am more than a little obsessed with satchels, it rare to see me without one, so I will be carrying one of those….oh and my new biker jacket of course.
What do you hope to gain from BritMums Live 2013: I can’t wait to meet more of my blogging friends, as well building relationships with brands. There are also some great workshops that I cant wait to attend!
Tell us one thing about you that not everyone knows : Hmm…. I was once crowned ‘Strawberry Queen’ that is both embarrassing and bizarre! I wanted the prize money to buy a tennis racket to impress a boy I liked at school. I may have revealed a little bit too much about myself there!
What’s your tipple?: I am really not choosy, a glass of prosecco is lovely, but anything apart from gin, that’s the work of the devil!
And so this year I have been really lucky to have been offered a sponsor for the event, who have kindly paid for my train, ticket and hotel. So I would like to announce my sponsor is…..
Look Again! (twitter @lookagainUK)
Look Again, are a new online home and fashion site. What I love about the site is, fashion wise you can shop by your body shape as well as the trend. So if you are looking for something with a pop of colour, you can filter your search that way. Or if you are, like me pear shaped, you can find items that will suit you. I LOVE this! The home section has everything from Range Cookers to Graham and Brown wall paper, excuse me while I lose a couple of hours browsing!
So I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you to Look Again, and I look forward to working with you!
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Now amongst my loves, I have a penchant for leather bags, and shoes. I like them to be good quality, and reflect me. Even in my childhood I loved good shoes, and bags. I remember pleading with my Mum, to buy me a pair of beautiful patent red shoes (with matching bag) when I must have been 7 or 8 years old, like my life depended on it. I love a slightly vintage but classic style, this is reflected I think even in the way I style my home.
I was asked if I would like to review some shoes from Hotter Shoes - Carly ‘Live, Love, Comfort and Style‘. It was a new range on me, but I was intrigued to find out if they really were as comfortable as they claimed. The shoes I chose, I think have the kind of vintage, classic look to them I like, and I absolutely loved them when they arrived.
I’ve been wanting to use the Vine app for a while for a review, so here are my shoes on the move!
I do really struggle with shoes, I’m a size 8 and it looks like my girls have both inherited my large feet, as well as a high instep. It takes me days of wearing, to break shoes in, and this always seems to result in blisters. Don’t let on I told you, but when I lived at home, I used to ask my Dad, who was a size 9 to wear my shoes to break them in a little for me….
This is, hand on heart first pair of shoes that have not needed me to break them in. I wore them for the first time on Saturday night, whist partaking in a glass of Prosecco with Penny from Alexander Residence, Jen from Love Chic Living and Annie from Mammasaurus, and the next day, I was blister free, and they hadn’t hurt me at all during the night. They are lovely soft leather, and have comfortable cushioning inside of them. It sounds dramatic but Hotter shoes, as a bit of a revelation to me, and I cant wait to buy another pair, I’m thinking heels or wedges next time.
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