Café Kiln offers a variety of ways to cultivate creativity. Paint and glaze a blank piece of pottery, fuse glass, tile your own mosaic, or nurse a tender hunk of clay into form. The all-inclusive art emporium doesn't charge a studio fee, and all supplies (glaze, tools, instruction, paints) are included. Start by selecting your piece of pottery or mosaic shape. Consult stencils and stamps for design direction if you're stumped on the design—with more than 100 colors to choose from, Café Kiln rivals the Crayola Big Box with its wardrobe of hues. Mosaic creations will be ready for you to take home that day. Allow a week for pottery pieces to be fired and glazed.
A quaint teashop with a Scottish flare, Moffat's Cup of Tea at first seems as if it would be more at home in the Highlands than basking under Florida?s perennial sunshine. With its bright-green walls and purple trim, however, the shop has adapted well to its tropical surroundings. The vibrant decor lifts guests? spirits as they sit down for afternoon tea, which is often accompanied by freshly prepared sandwiches, pastries, and fruit. Steam rises over tables draped in lace as the staff pours selections from more than 35 varieties of tea into cups of English china, each delicately painted with a stamp to verify its dual-citizenship. After taking tea, guests can peruse the gift room's selection of teas, pots, and other fine wares.
Stroll through an Oldsmar farmers market early in the morning and you might run into Andrew Koumi rifling through baskets of tomatoes in search of the ripest ones. The mastermind behind Green Market Cafe, Andrew was still in college when he hatched the plan to open an eatery that served healthy takes on sandwiches and soups. When discussing the inspiration behind the restaurant with reporters from the Tampa Bay Times, Andrew explained, "I wanted to create a place where I'd like to go and eat everyday."
Arms laden with bags of produce, Andrew returns to his caf?, where his chefs fold the fresh vegetables into crisp salads and toasty grilled flatbreads. Because everything is made to order, chefs are able to accommodate special requests, adding extra tomatoes or picking out any raisins that look too much like a California Raisin. Diners chitchat over cups of organic tea inside the colorful dining room, an open space tinted with greens, purples, and pinks to please the eye. The building is also home to Frozen Yogurt, the cafe's sister shop, which serves the wholesome yogurt that is included with all Green Market Cafe entrees.
Il Ponte Cafe’s chefs bake a bridge between Italian classics and the flavors of the greater Mediterranean. Herb-crusted salmon basks in rich lobster sauce, seared atop a grill until patterned with perfect lines or a cross-hatched portrait of the chef. The spears of kebabs thrust through both land and sea meats, accompanied to the table by freshly made hummus, and a lively fattoush salad casts off parsley, tomatoes, onions, pickles, olives, pita crisps, and feta cheese into a leafy lagoon of romaine and iceberg lettuce.
A brief look at Chinese Tea Culture's website reveals what a wealth of tea knowledge there is to be explored. For starters, there's the sheer volume of tea varieties: black tea, white tea, green tea, and oolong tea. Each has a handful of sub-varieties, and each of those sub-varieties has half a hundred health benefits. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. There's fruit tea, flower tea, chai tea, rooibos tea, and many, many more.
The website can be searched by ailment as well, as certain herbal remedies can be used to treat issues from sleeping disorders to digestive problems. Many of these all-natural, organic loose leaf teas can be brewed together to maximize health effects, and the experts at Chinese Tea Culture are happy to provide recipes and brewing instructions. Customers can improve a delicious cup of tea with the store's tea accessories, which include strainers, tea pots, candles, and home decor. Chinese Tea Culture demystifies the ancient healing art of blending, brewing, and sipping tea, and makes it fun as well.
The bartenders and servers at Cork N Brew Bistro bar and lounge pour an array of beverages that pair with small, Tapas-style plates. Diners can cook dishes themselves on a lava rock, a stone slab heated to 824 degrees Fahrenheit by an oven imported from England. The food itself arrives raw, allowing guests to prepare it to their desired level of doneness. Each cut of protein?such as sea scallops, filet mignon, or lamb tenderloin?is served with a side of house-made dipping sauce.
Inspired by a love of travel and the art of pairing food and drink, Cork N Brew Bistro has crafted a menu of flavors that blends seamlessly with a selection of old and new world wines and 22 craft beers. In addition to signature lava rock dishes, diners enjoy small plates of bar fare ranging from a hot baked pretzel nugget to a cured meat and cheese plate and a variety of flatbreads. On the weekends, live music adds to the lounge's atmosphere.