We were up early to pack and load the car. Pretty slick at this by now. We checked out and drove the 11 miles to the JW Marriott. We arrived about 1030 and they had a room ready for us which was great. What a stunning place. Very nice rooms and public rooms. We unpacked and headed out to the pool. The pool is massive and arranged in little bays amidst tropical landscaping. No issue at all over beds. There were masses. All the bays are linked by a lazy river and they supply colourful rings to float around on. We stayed down there till about 4pm. It was really hot and we went in the water many times and stayed in for ages. Went round the lazy river a few times too. they have a soda deal going where you buy a large insulated mug perhaps 2 pints for $12 and you can then refill it endlessly for free. Excellent value.
Just a lovely relaxing day. Felt very tired from the sun by the time we came in. Had a bit of a nap. Had made dinner reservations in Highball and Harvest, one of the Ritz Carlton restaurants. It is pretty casual and a very European vibe. You enter through a massive open bar with live musicians playing and a really buzzy atmosphere. The restaurant itself serves modern Southern food paired with rather exciting cocktails. All of the produce served comes from local farms including the farm at the Marriott/Ritz itself which supplies all of the vegetables..
We started with a couple of cocktails: Bob had a Doc Holliday which was a mix of Blueberry Jam, Tito’s Vodka, Ruby grapefuruit and house ginger beer. It was served in a copper mug and was really delicious. Refreshing not too sweet. I had a Dill or No Dill. This was a mix of Sipsmith’s gin, Elderflower, Cucumber , dill and lemon. Absolutely delicious and refreshing.
We shared a starter which was Crab Cake and Fried green Tomato. Served on a bed of Cajun Remoulade and Sweetcorn Chowchow. The crabcakes were very well seasoned and fresh.
Then for mains, I had Shrimp grits. This was a dish of Canaveral Bay Shrimps served on a bed of Anson Mills grits, Charred Tomato BBQ sauce, Aragula and Fennel and crisp onions on top. The grits were cheesy and creamy almost like a risotto. It was very rich and I enjoyed it. very filling though. Bob had Chicken Picnic which was an excellent choice. He got several pieces of buttermilk fried chicken which were so succulent. I think the chef must have brined them or maybe sous vided them before frying. There was also a corn bread pudding and a small dish of spiced watermelon. The spiced watermelon was a genius touch. Just right after the chicken to cleanse the palate. We shared a pimento mac and cheese on the side.
The puddings looked amazing but we were just too full up to try one or even share one. Sad.
Walked back through the walkway to the Marriott and turned in. This weekend is going to be a lovely end to our bi trip.