A Life worth Binge Watching 

S2:  This is 50 E5: What’s in the Pot?

My daughter Abbie is home from college for the summer, and one of my goals while she is home is to try some new places and unique experiences with her.   Last Sunday, we decided to attend a Victorian tea at the historic Hotchkiss House in Daytona on the river.  This property was acquired in 2012 by The Heritage Preservation Trust.  The Trust also owns Lilian Place next door, the oldest home on Daytona Beachside, built in 1884.  I have always been intrigued by the yellow house on the water, so to say the least, this was the perfect setting for an afternoon tea. 

When you step inside the Hotchkiss House, you’re immediately taken back in time to the Victorian era, as volunteers dressed in frilly aprons and bonnets seat you at your table.  From the lace doilies to the authentic Victoriana china, each table was a picture of the past.  As you would expect at a formal tea, the attendees were dressed in an array of unique and elaborate clothing choices from floral sundresses with hats, to full blown princess costumes with crowns. 

As soon as we were seated, a precious volunteer immediately approached our table with a beautiful glass teapot.   We could choose between an Earl Gray or a raspberry flavor, complete with dainty spoons and sugar cubes.  We sipped on our tea, with our pinkie fingers out, of course.  As we were enjoying our tea, our server emerged with plates full of a beautiful assortment of finger sandwiches, biscuits, salmon croquettes and delicious mini brownies.  As we sampled the tasty treats, the volunteers circled around, offering more tea.  To complete the experience, they served a fresh fruit shortcake with homemade whipped cream.  

The Afternoon Tea package included a tour of the Lilian Place Victorian Museum next door, so we walked over to check it out.  I immediately noticed how beautiful the property was, with the majestic oaks and incredible views of the river.  As you enter into the old mansion, the high ceilings, carved woodwork and pine floors are reminiscent of centuries past.  The antique furnishings, artifacts and period-themed decor have been donated by various individuals within the community.  I highly suggest you check out this local piece of history.  

As we leave behind the teapot of the past, we jump forward to a modern day hot pot experience.  Abbie had been telling me about this great place down in Boca that she discovered, but this Asian cuisine experience hasn’t made it to the Volusia/Flagler area yet. The closest one we could find was in Orlando, so we took a road trip!  

As we entered the Top Top Hot Pot Restaurant, the first thing I noticed was the big revolving buffet of small plates circling the center of the room.  The hostess sat us at this moving food station that included a sunken burner at each seat.  She explained that we would need to pick out a soup base and meat choice, which she would bring to us.  I picked the mushroom base, while Abbie decided on the Tom Yum.  We both chose chicken as our meat.  A few minutes later the waitress returned with big metal pots full of broth that she placed inside our burners and a plate of thin-sliced, rolled-up chicken pieces.  The rest of the recipe was completely our decision, as we could grab any other ingredients to cook in our pot as they passed by on the  rotating all-you-can-eat buffet.  There were noodles of every size and texture, vegetables, different varieties of meatballs and meat-filled dumplings as well as every seafood option that you could imagine. I chose the pork dumplings, Udon and ramen noodles, clams, crab and tofu.  I was not brave enough to try the quail eggs or fish balls, maybe next time….or not! 

They also had a sauce bar where you could mix up your own concoction to add to your soup.  I created a mixture of peanut and soy sauce with sesame oil.  I have to say, it was quite tasty! I am a fan of the Hot Pot and will definitely go again!  Word of caution though, the ingredients cook quickly and the soup is very hot!  

Don’t forget to join my Facebook page @alifeworthbingewatching for more photos and videos.  I’d love to hear your ideas for new adventures or experiences for me to try!

Melodye Lewis is a Friday columnist for Flagler News Weekly giving you something to talk about over lunch. Follow @ALifeWorthBingeWatching on Facebook. #ALifeWorthBingeWatching

 

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