Florida Guide > Dining
A trip to Gaylord Palms
Well, after hearing so much about Gaylords, decided it was about time to go and take a look around this extremely large hotel complex. I decided to book a table at Villa de Flora and thought my excursion might make me feel hungary and I knew there were several eating places once inside. Better to be safe and book. A few friends said they would like to join me, so off we all went for what was going to be a fun evening.
We decided to go for Valet Parking, which was pretty inexpensive, and saved us getting drenched during one of the short heavy downpours that Florida is so famous for (and is indeed a relief from the hot balmy weather) which fortunately usually only lasts a few minutes.
As soon as we entered the doors, we could feel the wow factor surrounding us. As we walked through the corridors with their tapestries on the walls, we could smell the wonderful fresh flowers that were absolutely stunning and huge arrangements were just every few yards or so. Walking on from there we entered the atrium which is full of huge tropical palms of many different varieties, and other assorted mediteraneanlush foliage and plants. The atrium is really high and has a glass domed roof which gives the whole area a feel of being outside, and so light and airy.
We decided to have a look round one of the many shops in there, and I managed to purchase two beautiful necklaces at very reasonable prices which will come in handy for presents.
By now, the different smells were reaching our nostrils and we decided it was time to head for the restaurant. It was not too crowded even though there was obviously a Convention going on at the hotel. We were shown to our table which was laid for 11 as our party kept increasing as the word spread as to where we were heading. The table already had iced water for everybody, and dishes full of lemon wedges for us to add to the water. The waiter came with the wine list and took our order, and also explained that it was a buffet type dinner and just to help ourselves to whatever we wanted.
The choice was enormous, with several appetizers including 4 different salads, selection of cheeses, baskets of assorted breads, olives, tomato and basil soup and a seafood chowder. . For entrees there was chicken, beef, coconut prawns (to die for) with a mango sauce, fresh salmon, or the chefs table where I opted for a slice of rib and a slice of roast lamb. I then chose the garlic mash potato and oven roasted vegetables. You could also request that the chef cook you a pasta dish to order but no one had room for that.
No one really wanted desserts, but I had to try the bread and butter pudding with chocolate sauce, and the crème brulee! There were also several cheesecakes and a selection of homemade ice creams. By now we could barely talk we were so full, but when offered coffee, decided to find a small space for it. I had chamomile tea which was brought in a dainty teapot and piping hot.
We never finished the tour round Gaylords, but of course, we now have a good reason to return.
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Page added on: 23 September 2008
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