Florida Guide > Dining
Villa de Flora at The Gaylord Palms Resort
Having heard and read very favourable reports about the Villa de Flora restaurant at the Gaylord Palms Resort I felt we had to try it out for ourselves the next time we were in Florida. Just by chance the next time we were to visit our villa was at Christmas time and we had also heard about the seasonal attraction “Ice! ”.
Our first stop was the amazing winter wonderland called “Ice” in the exhibit hall. Two million pounds of ice, sculptured into holiday figures and scenes including penguins and polar bears. It was extremely chilly in there, nine degrees to be exact and I was very thankful to have taken my hat and gloves with me although the hotel does provide you with thick overcoats – believe me, you will need them!
At the beginning of your self-tour of “Ice” you are given a voucher for a free hot chocolate which you can exchange inside the main atrium of the hotel. We walked over the hotel side but decided instead of having our hot chocolate we would have a meal at the Villa de Flora. Although we knew it was a buffet we were not sure what kind of food they were serving so my wife went and had a look around whilst I waited in the reception area. I was feeling rather under dressed when a family arrived and the wife was dripping in diamonds and the husband was wearing a dinner jacket. When my wife came back and said the food looked wonderful, I told her that I didn’t think we could eat here as we were very under dressed for the occasion. I need not have worried though as there were plenty of diners wearing casual dress including jeans and t-shirts.
We were shown to our table via the buffet tables where the member of staff described the plentiful array of food on offer. My mouth was already watering and we hadn’t even sat down!
The restaurant is designed to resemble the grand dining room of an old-world mansion. The menu features meals from the different countries of the Mediterranean – France, Italy, Greece, and Spain. There is something for everyone, even the fussy eaters will find something to tempt their palette.
There was so much choice we couldn’t possibley try everything but our favourites were the coconut shrimp, a wonderfully tasting grouper and the roast meats especially the pork which melted in the mouth.
There were plenty of desserts including tiramisu and Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. Our waiter was extremely attentive and every time we left the table to go to the buffet, we would return and our napkins would be neatly folded as if my magic and the table all tidy again.
I consider the price, which was a mere $25, extremely good value for the quality and choices on offer. One thing to remember is to get your parking ticket validated, as when you exit the car park you will not need to pay the parking fee.
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