Tampa has a new hot spot that everyone is buzzing about and it is still 4 months away from its grand opening!
The Epicurean Hotel is sure to be a tremendous hit not only for visitors but happily for local foodies, culinary students, roof top loungers, and particularly for wine enthusiasts.... oh and there is the whole accommodations part lest we forget that is bound to be phenomenal hotel considering they won't even have a formal front desk to check into - versus a personal host for each guest.
We were so lucky to have seen a contest on the Epicurean Hotel's Facebook Page to enter to win a day with their adorable "epic bicycles" to ride around Tampa and take some cool photos to upload to social media and to tag #epichotelbikes. The grand prize was to be tickets to their Grand Opening Gala, overnight accommodations and dinner for two at Elevage. My mouth was already drooling... I couldn't wait to enter the contest and told lots of friends about it as well.
|This is the only photo on this post not taken by us, this picture is from the facebook page of Epicurean Hotel for the contest.|
Happily, my husband and I and seven other duos were picked from all of the entries to participate in the bike photo contest finals. We were to tweet and post our pictures around town evoking the essence of Tampa by utilizing the bikes. You can check out the hotel's twitter account here.
Articles have popped up here, and here and here..... describing the fantastic venue which is slated to be open in December/January. One of my favorite articles displaying samplings of what is to come was beautifully written by fellow blogger Katie on her blog Ruffles and Truffles which you can read here.
I was so excited about the bike contest!!! When we arrived at the adorable model hotel room that they setup earlier this year during construction to pick up the bikes, we were delighted to find a bottle of wine with a neat chiller bag and card welcoming us!
We were off on our adventures... first stop was of course at Bern's Fine Wines and Spirits which is a partner with the hotel. They will be relocating this fine shop across the street and into the hotel which will allow a great space for shopping and especially tasting!
And aren't these bikes adorable? Guests will be able to use them when staying at the hotel.
We made our way over to Mangroves for some brunch and relaxing on their outdoor cushiony patio overlooking the Soho area.
Riding around, enjoying the sites, tastes and friendly people of Tampa - we stopped off at The University of Tampa which has a beautiful historic campus right on the Hillsborough River next to downtown. A couple of students were nice enough to snap a picture of us resting in the shade.
Suddenly, inspiration struck us! My husband wanted to take some panoramic pictures with the bikes on the floating docks.
Then I had an idea ... I wished there had been an easy way to get one of these beautiful bikes onto a paddle board- but that was risky and might not look the way I had imagined it for a cool picture....so, how could I incorporate the water better....?
I wanted to reflect the beauty the skyline along with the Epic bikes. Check out the neat wine bottle we brought with us for photo shooting- we had to get one with a bike on it of course (by the way it tasted pretty delicious too)!
I tested different angles....
Still not quite there yet....
Until I finally believed I had taken just the right picture.....encompassing just about everything I wanted it to..... and it was really cool!
THIS was the winning photo.... there was no Doubt in my mind! I am by no means a photographer but this picture evoked Tampa and the Epicurean name to me in my heart. We happily soldiered on to continue enjoying our day around Tampa with the vintage bikes....
There were plenty of other pretty spaces for adorable photos throughout Tampa and we stopped, shopped, ate, drank and enjoyed the beautiful sunshine and scenery.
We had so much fun and cannot wait to get to experience the Grand Opening prize at this beautiful hotel. With such genius marketing already in the works and the exciting restaurants and event spaces - the Epicurean hotel will surely live up to its namesake -it should be Epic!
A special thank you to ALL my friends & family and strangers who voted for my winning photo- I could not have done with without you! :) A very special thank you to my husband for spending that wonderful day with me and helping hold the bikes while I took the winning photo......