Most any Inn or B&B will offer its guests a range of items to remember their stay via a gift shop. Somewhere to snatch up postcards, t-shirts and the like, while providing its own dash of local flavor. For the Lakeside Inn in Mount Dora, Florida, an historic treasure in its own right, the new Gatehouse is an ode to the traditions of classic Florida Inns, tip of the hat to gift shops and walk through a charming part of Florida all too often overseen if staying at a larger, more traditional hotel or motel.
The Gatehouse, very literally sits as guard to the entry of the Lakeside Inn property. Presented as all Lakeside buildings in summery yellow with white trim, one slips easily from Mount Dora’s novalesque charm into this historic property, where yesterday meets to day and greets visitors with a warm hello. Stop in front, park around the side of the main building, or walk from town, however you get here the journey is a pleasure.
From the moment you view its charming exterior you’re already immersing yourself into the special feeling of Gatehouse. No ticky tacky Florida souvenirs here, and while those are fun and have their place, this is a different flavor. Classic and sophisticated, warm and inviting, you feel as though you step into a shop that is run by a favorite aunt, all items lovingly chosen for the special and unique take on Florida.
Stacy Martin, your hostess, will likely be at work towards the back, finding the next artists to work with or designing something special for the shop, but you’re also likely to meet unofficial greeter, Buddy, a sweet and gentle dog who serves as welcome wagon and tail-wagg’n new friend. This is they kind of place Mount Dora is, this is the kind of charm and simple kindness you will take with you following your time in town, and as its signature offering, Lakeside Inn oozes the charm like no other.
That is why a stop at Gatehouse is so important. Here you’re going to find that Lakeside Inn t-shirt or hat to remember this gentle good place, but you will also find the book about Central Florida or town, the piece of art that captures the flavor of Florida, or perhaps even something special that recalls days gone by, such as a purse made from a citrus box. Unique, special, homey, charming, one-of-a-kind, and memorable. These are the words and emotions you will evoke in such a place.
Capture them as a fairy captures a star and sprinkles it in your dreams and bring a special part of Florida home…
All Photos are taken by and copyright Rori Paul. Subjects of all items photographed are the copyright of their individual owner and artists. Please respect these copyrights. Thank you.
Start your visit with a glance over the fun and playful yard and
lawn items. Florida is special with it’s year round summery feel
so you are sure to bring home a new friend to remember that Florida sun!
Playful and wild, that what this piece reminds me of.
He is one of my favorite pieces at Gatehouse as I can picture him as I kayak by…
Bring this bird home to remind you of all those you spied on your
Mount Dora and Florida vacation. Imagine the hours of enjoyment as you sit on
your porch this summer… fall… or in your office next winter…
Lynn Herrick can be found at www.lynnherrickartist.com
or purchase her work at Gatehouse.