Sitting in the middle of historic Mount Dora like a pub at the heart of a small British town, in the rolling green countryside, the Windsor Rose Tea Room & Restaurant is at home here as it would be across the pond. Out front and mere blocks from the lake, rather than the Atlantic, British and American flags fly proudly, displaying the mixing of flavors and owners who bring to delicious culinary delight the flavors of both lands.
We had been in Windsor Rose once before, for a Meet & Greet for the local merchants now marketing association, Visit Mount Dora, but on that evening, I’d not been able to really try the food. We returned this Saturday morning to be enlightened.
Big Breakfast, as they call, it, is served only on Saturday and Sunday at present, with lunch and tea available throughout the week. We’d figured it would be a buffet, based on the name, but a little research showed it was off the menu, and delighted to find both American and British cuisine on hand. I truly love England, but I’ve never been the biggest fan of all their foods, so I was admittedly nervous.
Laura and I joined friends for breakfast. Settling into a corner table, you cannot help but be taken in by the sweet, gentle setting, surrounded by artifacts and photos of this ode to England.
Her Majesty, QEII (that would be Queen Elizabeth II) is here, but so too are dozens of images of her linage, from Great-Grandparents through to the coming generations. William and Kate grace the walls in their most popular relaxed look, but so too are they seen on commemorative china wear. As with all things royal family, they tend to pop up often on cups and cozies.
Sit at your table and relax, take in the menu, one for Big Breakfast and an expanded one for lunch or Tea, and settle in. This is a place to enjoy time, to take in the atmosphere and to enjoy the simpler pleasures of an England too many will never joyfully experience: English time and place are gentle and peaceful compared to what most Americans know and perpetuate.
Your wait staff is dressed in formal attire, a nod to that upstairs-downstairs formality so many Americans find quaint yet would never go for in their own lifestyles, with good graces and crisp black and white to set the tone.
Our food was brought out, each of us trying something different, grasping an Americana, with Brian reaching out for more British fare. The portions are good, solid and filling. The food as wholesome and hearty as eating with friends in the English countryside, the Mount Dora location almost lending itself to a sense of place that cannot be found in a big city like Chicago or New York.
Each of us enjoyed our meals greatly, chatting throughout, but all engrossed in the task at hand: eating and enjoying. Juice, tea or Champagne mimosa are available, and be prepared to enjoy this meal as something more than just eating out.
We plan to return for a lunch and/or tea, finding the experience and food a delight. Big Breakfast too returns to our must-do list, enjoying this experience so much we cannot wait to enjoy again.
For more on the Big Breakfast, lunch or tea, visit Windsor Rose Tea Room & Restaurant. Also, Windsor Rose offers a range of events open to the public or talk to them about hosting your next event.