As a Tampa native I have had the privilege of seeing the city and neighborhoods within grow and change. With all of the anticipated redevelopment of downtown and the Channelside area, much of South Tampa is also seeing some welcome changes. Included in the positive change occurring has been development in the Hyde Park area especially with additions to Hyde Park Village shopping plaza.
I was invited along with some fellow Tampa Bay Bloggers (as members of TBBloggers) to the Hyde Park Village Bloggers Stroll. I was excited as this was my chance to explore and experience some of the new changes to my neighborhood shopping plaza.It proved to be a great opportunity for me to get in a few steps while exploring some of the recent additions (and some of my old favorites) in the neighborhood while meeting up with my blogger friends.
Here are the highlights:
Being a foodie, you know I had to see stop by the restaurants so our first stop was Piquant Hyde Park. This is a french inspired restaurant and bakery with innovative chefs that make really great food. The food I sampled at this event made me fall even more in love with this place than I already was previously. We sampled the Don Monsieur, Duck Poutine, Croissant Doughnut, Macrons (Lemon and Strawberry) and La Tour Eiffel.
I loved (not liked) all of the items we tasted. But I am a sweet fiend so you know the apple of my eye was the doughnut croissant. I almost tackled their Events and Catering Manager – Angeline as she brought them out of the kitchen.
You know I can’t talk about all of this food without sharing the deals with my Frugal Foodies. Even though the prices here are not really that expensive, if you want the deals pay attention.
Happy Hour is Monday thru Friday 3:30-7:00 pm. The Happy Hour menu includes a selection of both food and drAnk for $7.
Here’s an extra special treat for my fellow sweet fiends in the Frugal Foodie Crew, the owners shared with me that they also have a bakery happy hour. Yes! the owners Rosana and Ricardo really do love us. All bakery items in the dry case are 50% off from 5:30 pm to close, Monday thru Wednesday. (And FYI – the chocolate chip cookies are yummy, just sayin’).
After filling our bellies with the goodness at Piquant we visited some of the shops in the plaza as well.
Here were some of my discoveries:
Tommy Bahama isn’t a store just for the mature crowd like I thought. In addition to clothing there is also a variety of household items available at a reasonable price point. Among my favorites were the candles, some of which were under $20 and perfect as gifts for any occasion.
J. Mclaughlin has a summer sale going on now through August. Items on clearance are 60% off or more. I found several $150 scarves marked down as low at $19. With my mother’s birthday coming up this is a good option for something affordable yet beautiful to give to a woman who has just about everything.
Juxtapose is a great boutique with an array of great items for the individual and the home. Many of the items are sourced from local vendors which allows the shopper to support local business. As a Tampa native I was enthralled with all of the city specific goods available for purchase. There were so many great things I was drawn to in the store but I fell in love with the scent from one of their signature candles. I am putting that on my Christmas list (hint, hint to all my friends reading).
Level Salon is a full service Aveda salon. Its a one stop shop for hair, nails and massage. We were offered a free hand massage and left the salon with a few freebies to try.
I made an amazing discovery that all of my frugal fashonistas would love while visiting Antropologie. The Hyde Park Village location offers free personal styling sessions with their resident stylist Meg Faulconer. Meg will help you create a wardrobe that fits your style and your lifestyle by merging new pieces with some of your favorites from your closet. After completing my closet raid challenge, I was totally in awe with her styling of this very cute dress in 5 different ways as displayed in the picture below.
We finished up the night at Timpanos. And man o man, was this a great way to end a fun filled evening! The restaurant was filled, apparently us bloggers are not the only ones hip to the amazing food and drink that they offer at this establishment. When we arrived the buffet was looking a little lean so I was a little disappointed but not for long. We made it just in time for another round of treats to be delivered. When I tell you I was in fat girl heaven, I am so not joking.
The buffet included meatballs, salmon and tuna tartar, flatbreads, calamari and an array of sides. Included in the sides were mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus, brocollini, polenta, mushrooms, and the highlight for me: the truffle mac and cheese.
But oh no that was not it, they also served us a sampler of cocktails including the Cucumber Blood Orange Cosmopolitan, Pear-Perfect Martini and the La Catrina cocktail.
For my Frugal Foodie Crew, Timpanos has happy hour daily Monday through Friday from 3-7 pm. The menu includes several items including the drAnks, flatbreads and tartar featured in the pictures below.
I was having so much fun that we totally did not get to all of the stores included in the event. You know I was having a blast if I missed out on free food and drAnk samples. I know it was a shame, and I am actually sad to say that I did not get to Wine Exchange or Bartaco. I am definitely trying to figure out how to right that wrong real soon.
Take the time to go check out Hyde Park Village, there is literally something for everyone. I am so excited about the changes occurring and I can say with certainty I will be back more often.