Food, Recent Posts, The Frugalista Life

All About My Curated Experiences 2022 Trip to Orlando

Imagine my surprise when I got an invitation in my email about Curated Experiences, a weekend of food and hotel lounging…I had to see what it was about, of course!

Last month, Robert and I were hosted to a stay at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes (fancy!) while we indulged in all the activities with this years event. I’m always excited to be a tourist in my hometown and this was a great opportunity. Our room had a lakefront view and we could pretty much look out and see a good number of rooms plus down to the area where events were held.

The entire weekend was jam-packed with different things to attend. Our first night included meeting several chefs from different restaurants like Knife & Spoon, Ghee in Miami, and Timpano in Hyde Park. I sampled pretty much everything and drank all that I could from a white wine to a frozen marg made with Michael Jordan’s tequila brand Cincoro.

Curated Experiences 2022

I woke up the next morning hella excited to just indulge all day. The morning started off with the “Coffee in the Kitchen” event. It had real intimate vibes with a live band and candles lining the hallway to the entrance. I walked in and a cold brew from local coffee brand Lineage and a blueberry pastry immediately. I really enjoy things like this where I can walk through, grab food, and learn about other small businesses. We got swag bags from Frog Song Organics and Mick’s Farms with persimmons, banana bread, and t-shirts!

Curated Experiences 2022
Dragonfruit bowls at Coffee in the Kitchen

Once we finished indulging in coffee and pastries, we went back to our room then headed down to JW Marriott’s Primo restaurant for MORE pastries and drinks at the Rise & Brunch event. We had several courses of food made by Orlando-area female chefs from several restaurants like The Ravenous Pig, JW Grande Lakes, and Cerveceria La Tropical, and Redlight Redlight Brewpub. TBH, everything on the menu was phenomenal and I enjoyed it all but if I had to choose a fave, it would be the Pecan Brioche Bostock from The Ravenous Pig made with Heirloom Apple butter and a Roselle Hibiscus Honey. Ugh…it was so crispy but flaky and fluffy; I was a little sad I couldn’t take a box of it with me (although I’m sure if I asked, I would’ve gotten one…dangit).

Curated Experiences 2022
Pecan Brioche Bostock from The Ravenous Pig

Stuffed from all the brunch goodies, we took a nap then got dressed for the Gala Dinner: Under the Starts, the last event of the day. I wore my wedding jumpsuit again and just through my hair up in a pineapple. I had a drink in my hand before I even sat down so I knew in that moment I was going to have BIG FUN. The night was so perfect TBH: a beautiful sunset with delicious dishes, and the best wine pairings. I’d say my favorite dishes of the night were the Squid Ink Rigatoni presented by John Tesar from Knife & Spoon and the Raspberries, Lime, Vanilla shortbread with a lime gin sorbet…two gorgeous dishes that were amazing. The night ended with an awesome fireworks show that bought out my inner child.

Squid Ink Rigatoni and Santa Barbara Uni Carbonara

The sweetest thing happened when we got back to the hotel: they left us a fruit tray and a note congratulating us on our wedding!

I woke up the final morning of Curated Experiences not wanting to leave! We went to Highball & Harvest at the Ritz-Carlton for breakfast. I went for my usual sweet and savory vibe with Blueberry Pancakes, chicken sausages, and some fruit. A sweet lady that worked at the restaurant gave Robert a little box of macarons so we snacked on those on the way back to Tampa.

Blueberry Pancakes, Chicken Apple Sausage, Fruit & Berries plate

And that’s it! We did a whole lot at Curated Experiences and all of it was really fun. Needless to say, we’ll be back next year.