I recently got the opportunity to rediscover one of Tampa’s little jewels. I had a chance to go to an outting with my Tampa Bay Bloggers family to the Hyde Park Village blogger stroll. Hyde Park Village is in South Tampa. It’s cutesy, with restaurants, shops, and condos and an eat in movie theater. For me it’s one of those forgotten gems of Tampa. If you live near the area or are big on the South Tampa social scene then I’m sure it’s a place you frequent. Living in suburbia for so long I honestly just forgot about it. I didn’t even know what storefronts were still there. My circle of friends never mention visiting there. Clearly we have been missing out on a great bougie destination. Disclaimer: I received complimentary products, food, and drinks in exchange for featuring the businesses listed in this post. Full disclosure statement is here.
I almost turned down this opportunity to attend the stroll because as you well know, I’m not a fashion blogger and I do try to keep to the established theme of adventure throughout the site. Per usual, they reeled me in with the promise of food. I’m weak. What can I say? I just can’t pass up a foodie adventure. And I am so glad that I said yes! I did visit some of the shops and I also found some goodies that would be very relevant for travel or future adventures. So here’s the recap of the Hyde Park Village Stroll, my latest adventure in food and goodies.
As much as I love food, I cannot believe I was not hip to the culinary heaven that is Piquant, french bakery and restaurant. I feel like I have missed out on life. It’s super cute inside and you can’t help but say oo-la-la.
Owner and Executive Chef Rosana treated us to some scrumptuous treats. We had don monsieur sandwiches which are like the ultimate fancy grilled cheese stuffed with steak prepared at a live cooking station. We also had duck putin which are fries covered with cheese and of course duck. There was also a cocktail made with my all time favorite liqueur, St. Germain, passion fruit juice, sparkling wine, and vodka. It’s on the menu as the La Tour Eiffel. Everything tasted wonderful.
I also had a foodie adventure first with my new friends at Piquant. I had my first macaron and my first ever croissant doughnut. Do not, I repeat do not confuse this with the trendy “cronut”. This is not that. It’s a croissant doughnut and it was magnificent. On Sundays they feature a specialty croissant doughnut flavor. It’s always a surprise. For example the most recent creation was a banana creme brulee croissant doughnut. Record scratch. Yes, you read that correctly. Oh my! I was in lust with the plain sugar croissant doughnut. I’m almost afraid of how I will react once I finally get my hands on a flavored one. I’m holding my breath for one with Nutella. They told me it’s been done so I’m hoping for a repeat. Follow them on twitter and instagram @PiquantHydePark because they post about the flavor of the day and other specials happening in the restaurant.
Special thanks to Angeline the events manager and my fellow potter pal and Chef Rosana and Chef Ricardo. They were so fantastic that I spent half of my evening with them! It’s just that kind of place. I’m excited about visiting again. I can get a little taste of France right here in Tampa Bay.
Raise your hand if you’ve never set foot in a Tommy Bahama store. Me!! I actually own a nice Tommy Bahama perfume that was purchased for me but I’ve never been in a store. I thought from the window display it was geared toward the retiree community to be honest. I didn’t think there was anything in there for me. Well I am happy to tell you that I was completely wrong. The apparel is very much for the Jimmy Buffet crowd, however they sell a lot of vacation/island inspired items or things you need for the beach. They have cute beach chairs that are actually back packs and they also had a fold up cooler. I really need that cooler in my summer arsenal. It was lightweight and completely portable.
They also had cute accessories, all be it a bit on the pricey side. But my favorite discovery in the store was the wide variety of candles and scents for the home. My favorite scent was the coconut rum, ya know, in case you were feeling generous this Christmas lol Seriously though some of the candles and sets would make fantastic gifts for the home or to take with you on your next glamping adventure. They honestly smell like vacation. I love items that let you feel like you are getting away even when you can’t induldge your wanderlust right then.
I left with a new tote bag and they sent us a complimentary beach towel. Winning!
I visited Jux-ta-pose, part boutique and part art gallery, at least that’s how it felt to me. There were things for the home, clothing, and all types of decor. I came across the coolest little accessories for the person who likes to infuse their love of travel with their style. You can order custom charms, belt buckle, or earrings that showcase a miniature map of whatever city you choose. In the store they showcase Tampa of course but you could personalize for any location. This is such a neat idea as a gift for the wanderlust addict in your life or to immortalize a favorite travel destination.
What I like about the store is that it is so eclectic. The longer you look around, the more things you find that you want to buy. During my browsing I came across a product called goodwipes. These are deodorizing body wipes “for busy guys and gals”. I immediately thought this could be useful when I’m on a hike or some other outdoor activity. They were kind enough to give me a sample to review so stay tuned for that soon. I’m just waiting on the perfect opportunity to need to test them out.
Now I actually have shopped in the Anthropologie store in Hyde Park before. It’s been there for a quite a while and they have an eclectic selection of clothing, accessories and things for the home. I learned on the stroll that they offer an Anthro Personal Stylist session….FOR FREE. Say what now? Yes. You can contact the store to schedule your very own personal styling session with Meg Faulconer the current personal stylist. She can help you use key pieces you already have in your wardrobe or show you how to pair items they sell in the store.
I’m planning my own personal style session to help me with my travel style. When I look back at some of my pictures from my travels I’m not always pleased with my style. I struggle with balancing comfort but still being cute too. I consider myself reasonably stylish but when I travel sometimes it’s a struggle bus to figure out how to incorporate my stylish look without overpacking or feeling uncomfortable. I’m excited to see what suggestions Meg will have for me and of course I will feature them right here on the blog.
Level Salon an Aveda Spa
One of our last stops of the evening was at the Level Salon Spa. This is an Aveda spa featuring the wonderful line tha tis Aveda products. I haven’t been to this particular location but I am very familiar with Aveda spas and their product line.
As an African-American woman we have unique challenges with our hair. Since I love being active outdoors sometimes the weather and the humidity are not my friends. There’s nothing worse than being out for a hike and coming home looking like a chia pet because my hair has swollen or the opposite happens. It can also shrink down and get very tight and dry. Neither are good.
I was excited to learn on my visit to the spa that Aveda has unveiled a new product in their hair care line meant for curly girls. They have a new co-wash and a detangling mask. The benefit of the co-wash is that it’s conditioner but it is meant to use to wash your hair without stripping it of its natural oils and making it dry which happens with regular shampoo. I am a co-wash believer. I only use shampoo once, maybe twice a month. I do wash my hair often but not with traditional shampoo. As a natural girl with tight coily hair, I’m excited to see if this product works well on my type of hair.
I also visited Timpano for cocktails and small plates, J. McLaughlin (home of some very cute beach bags), and Bar Taco but they were too crowded but the time I made my way there. I heard great things and so I’m sure I will have a foodie adventure there very soon.
I really enjoyed the evening and making connections with local business small business owners. It was quite an enjoyable event and I look forward to working with them even more. I can’t wait to see the progress after the construction is complete. It’s going to be a nice place to eat and shop and enjoy Tampa life. Thank you so much to the Hyde Park Village organizers and Tampa Bay Bloggers for a fantastic evening!
Lauren G. , Outdoorsy Diva™
“Adventure is a lifestyle.”