Food Tour in Winter Park

Sometimes is impossible to be traveling 24/7 like I will like to, or at least to travel a lot more than I want. But thanks God I live in Orlando that the list of things to do don’t have an ending. No matter if you a tourist or local there are plenty of things to keep you entertain in Orlando FL.

One of my favorite places in Orlando is Winter Park, called like that because it was the “paradise park” during winter for a lot people from up North. Winter Park have this European look, with a classy feeling on the air. Nice, expensive stores and restaurants with the classic outdoor sitting. Winter Park is dog friendly, there is a bowl of water in every other entrance of restaurants and/or stores. You can see people of ages walking with their furry friends, sitting outdoors to eat and the furry friends could sit with them to eat.

There are so many restaurants that if you are not familiar with the area its difficult to choose where to go. It was my husband birthday few weeks ago,and I wanted to do something different. I wanted for us to try something new with the edge of feeling out-of-town. In my search I found this Living Social deal for a food tour in Winter Park. Boom! Perfect!!


Orlando Food Tour

We all met at 11 am at Prato, a modern rustic Italian Bistro. We were a group of five couples, I think and two tour guides. We absolutely loved their pizza! We have pizza with a choice of wine or beer.



The second place we went was the Ancient Olive, is an Olive oils and balsamic vinegar shop. I would never imagine that a place like this could be included in a food tour. Well let me tell you it was my favorite place. We were able to sample different types of food, snacks, dips, ice cream, drinks,olive oils, and more.











We went for a walk after our tummies were full of deliciousness. We learned a little bit of Winter Park history and saw some houses that could tell the story.



A wedding at Casa Feliz

We continue our tour to The Spice & Tea Exchange, this place is own by the same people of the Ancient Olive. Again a wonderful place, where you can’t imagine that you can taste so many good things. Here we bought some spices to mix with cream cheese and sour cream. We tried it here and it was an explosion of delicious flavors that you can eat with pita chips.









Then we went for some Thai food at Orchid Thai Cuisine where we had sample plates with different things to try. Then we went for dessert at Kilwin’s chocolate & Ice Cream. We finished our tour on a candy store; Sassafras Sweet shoppe. I don’t care much for candy and less for cotton candy that it was what they offered us, so that is the only part of the tour that I didn’t enjoy like the rest of the tour.

In general we had a wonderful time, I would recommend it to anybody. My next food tour will be on the east coast of Florida, when we do it I will tell you about it and we will compare the experience.

Until then,

xamlinnette 🙂



























Lets Put Our Pinky Up and Taste some Wine and Cheese


Feeling with desires of a romantic date? Tired of going to the movies and then dinner over and over again? Why not to try something different? Wine is always a romantic option, you can’t go wrong with that.

Jorge and I always have a bottle of wine at home. We add some cheeses and crackers and boom we have a “home date”. Believe me those are great. We enjoy the simple things.


Looking for that special thing to do, like always, I looked at Groupon and I found The Wine Room at Park Ave. Even though we always have a bottle of wine handy we don’t spend too much money on it. We love cheese and we have like two or three kinds of cheese but again nothing of the ordinary. When I saw this opportunity, curiosity levels went really high on me. I want it to try wines that maybe I don’t want to afford on regular basis. About cheese… What I can say, I love them all, but in reality I haven’t been very wild, I haven’t try anything fancy.


So here we were with a huge variety of wines and with no clue where to start. I read the menu, and all these cheeses names where like French to me (some of them literally). I could not understand anything from the cheese menu. We didn’t know what to order, I felt like I was a poor girl without education… Oh boy! Something I know, the best way of learning is asking.

Our server was great! He already had a list of suggestion for people like us, ( that don’t have a clue about fancy cheeses). He ask us few questions to see the things that we like or not, according to our answers he came up with a suggestion of three cheeses. While he was putting the order we went to explore…

With the Groupon, we bought a card with a value of $50 dollars. Every time you want to try a wine you go to the Enomatic wine dispensing machine, insert the card like an ATM, choose the wine you want to try, and the machine will deduct the amount of money from your card. Each wine have an information card on top of the wine. There are 3 options of amount(1oz, 2.5oz, 5oz) that you can poor in your glass of wine, each with a different value.


The server came back with these:(with bread and nuts)


  • Le Roule – is a soft cream cow cheese with herbs and garlic from France. On the above picture is on the right by the wine glass.IMG_3652

  • Comté Fort Saint-Antoine – Is a hard cow cheese from France with a medium flavor.

  • Meredith Marinated Feta Goat Cheese – Are cubes of soft cheese with extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, and herbs. 

IMG_3653Trying these cheeses was a unique individual experience for each flavor in my mouth. My taste buds were happy and asking for more. Our favorite cheese was the Le Roule, we didn’t have a choice that to go for a second round of that one. Each cheese flavor created a delightful moment, blended with bread, nuts and sips of wine all this together made a great romantic pinky up moment.

We tried different wines, ( about $3 dollars each pour, the price depends of what kind of wine).  I did like three  and stick with the one that I liked the most which I don’t remember the name now… Shame on my for not writing it down! Jorge tried few as well, but he kept looking and browsing around until he found a $200 dollar bottle. He came to me with this inquisitive face, wondering if it was OK spending $25 dollars just to try it. I suggested to him to try finding one a little bit less expensive. He found another bottle of $125, to taste it was  $12. He wanted to feel the difference in flavor of the more expensive ones. So we tried this one, well we didn’t feel much difference but probably is because we are not experts on the subject.


We had a wonderful night!  We definitely  are going back! Beside the tasting of cheeses and wine, the whole place create a perfect ambience for it. For those hours that Sunday evening, it felt like we step out of Orlando and went somewhere else. The Wine Room also offer other things on their menu.  If you want more information about their selection of wines, things on their menu and other things thing they offer, here is there link The Wine Room.

Until then,

xamlinnette 🙂


Historic Moments at “Casa Feliz” in a Sunday Afternoon

imageWalking through the bricked streets of Winter Park, we were getting closer to our destination. In a steady pace we kept moving forward, even though we were looking for a relief of the afternoon heat that was melting us away. Finally we got to the happy place, which has a sign by the entrance that read “Casa Feliz” that means “Happy House”.Once we enter the Andalusian style farmhouse, we were welcomed by the sound of a familiar American song, mix with rumba; Hotel California was being played by Luis Alfredo Garcia, the guest musician for that Sunday, with his classic guitar he gave this famous song a Spanish feeling. As soon as we opened the door we breathed a more refreshing environment. The classic guitar sound filled the 1933 historic house as the nice cool air did, giving us a very welcoming moment. We got there around 12:30pm, Luis Alfredo, the guest musician, had already started at noon, but it is normal to come and go as you please during the music performance at the Music at the Casa event every Sunday from 12 to 3pm.


Once we spot some chairs on the back, we sat and continued enjoying the rest of the song. We were at the very back of the salon, which was once the living room of the antique museum home; they had around 40 chairs arranged like a theater.


The smell of old wood and the next bolero that Luis Alfredo was playing, definitely can take you back in time. People kept coming, the room got almost completely full. I stared out through the glass door looking at a fountain in the interior courtyard with the flowing of the water, my thoughts transported me back in time just like in a movie. I wondered how Mr. Robert Bruce Barbour was so pleased with his beautiful house and exquisite architecture. I don’t think that Mr. Barbour was strict or tight at all about the style of his house, at the contrary he was very open, when he ask Mr. James Gamble Roger II to design the house anyway he wanted to, Mr. Barbour even said to Mr. Roger that if for any chance he didn’t like the style of the house after completed, he would sell it. But I guess he knew exactly what he was doing asking this young architect at that time, to build his house. Mr. Roger’s style flowed effortlessly from French Provincial to Spanish Colonial, and I think that was exactly what Mr. Barbour was looking for and indeed he loved his historical home.


A few songs later, after my mind stopped the wonders, Luis Alfredo was playing another rumba. The rhythm of the song was so intense that it caused me wanting to move to the sound of the music. My whole body wanted to dance, but I simplified my moves by just taping my foot on the floor following the pace. I kept looking around and while we were enjoying the music, other people were exploring the house with the official tour guide from Casa Feliz. A few more songs until Luis Alfredo played Piel Canela from Bobby Capó (a puertorrican singer and song writer) while he played the song all the Latinos or maybe puertorricans guests (I am not sure) sang along. You could know when he finished the song, because of all the happy applause and excitement that was in the crowd. Our musician for that day interact nicely with the guests between songs, with his heavy Hispanic accent he introduced his music and songs. His repertoire was extensive with some songs from Puerto Rico, others from Venezuela and others from around the World. Every time people recognized a song, they sang along. After the musician took a break, Jorge and I decided to explore the house; every room has a piece of history, we took some pictures, imagining how life was back then.


imageimageimageimageCasa Feliz once was a home for the Barbour’s, now is a Historic Home Museum that represents history and culture. Casa Feliz promotes historic buildings and sites in Winter Park and culture events like “Art at the Casa” and “Music at the Casa” featuring the work of local artists and musicians. The Happy House can also be rented for events and weddings. If you are interested in knowing more information about everything they offer, you may visit their website,

Bonus: video of Piel Canela By Bobby Capo