Sunday, July 17, 2016

The New Red Bee Honey Barn in Weston CT

Social Media Promotion: Sponsored

Back in March of this year I started following the progress of Red Bee apiary's new honey barn and loved seeing Marina's dream and vision for the Red Bee Honey Barn come to fruition. Marina is the owner, operator, chief beekeeper and honey-maker/taster at Red Bee Honey. In other words, she's the Queen Bee!

So you can imagine how thrilled I was when Marina and her right hand bee associate, Kristine, extended an invitation to a small group from our local Connecticut Bloggers group to be the FIRST to attend a honey tasting and lunch in the Red Bee Honey Barn!

The Red Bee Honey Barn

Marina has been beekeeping since 2000, when visiting a neighbor's apiary and realizing her true passion in life. She is now a best selling author, sought after speaker, and frequent television talk show guest on the subject of bees, beekeeping, and honey. In addition, Marina is the founder and president of the American Honey Tasting Society.

We arrived in the early afternoon and Marina gave our group a tour of her farm and apiary and explained the origin of honeybees to the states and the importance of bees to the ecosystem. It is because of the pollination work of those busy bees that we benefit with the production of green vegetation, juicy fruits and vegetables, as well as seeds, nuts, and berries. And in addition to the benefits those foods provide to us, think of all the wildlife that is dependent on that vegetation and food for survival.

Yes, bees are important!

Some members of our group were brave souls and were willing to don bee keeping suits in order to get up close and personal.

While other members acted as chicken whisperers.

After our outside tour, we descended on the new Red Bee Honey Barn for a tour and tasting. The first floor of the barn acts as the storefront and office, and also has a cozy seating area available for intimate tastings.

While the second floor is large and roomy and can accommodate a large group.

We sat at the beautifully set table and proceeded with the tasting. Much like wine, we learned how pairing different foods with honeys brings out the flavor sensations and profiles.

Marina led us through a wide spectrum of honey pairings, from a light Linden Honey partnered with goat cheese and lemon zest, to a deep dark Buckwheat Honey accompanied by a fire-roasted tomato.

Red Bee Honey Tasting

Below is a delicious Red Berry Honey paired with some earthy Bleu Cheese and a sweet date.

Red Bee Honey Tasting

Just like with a wine tasting, Marina walked us through the sensory as well as flavor profiles.

After our tasting Marina provided our group with a true "Farm to Table" luncheon, with a delightful salad made with fresh lettuce picked right from the garden, egg salad made with eggs from her free range chickens, and a delicious cucumber sandwich, again, made with cucumbers right out of the garden. Of course, the salad was accompanied by a flavorful honey dressing!

Farm to Table Salad and Sandwiches

My lunch! Delicious!

And after lunch we sampled a delicious dessert, made from chocolate covered honeycombs. Yes, honeycombs are edible!

Chocolate covered honeycomb

Be sure to check out Red Bee Honey and if you have the opportunity you simply must attend one of her upcoming honey tastings (see upcoming events ==> HERE). Look for Red Bee Honey in local stores in Fairfield county and I know that in the Hartford area Hartford Prints! carries her honey. Don't see it in your favorite CT store? Tell them to contact Marina!

And you can always purchase her honey and line of skin care products online at

Red Bee Honey Apiary and Honey Barn

82 Lyons Plain Rd,
Weston, CT 06883-3020

Follow Red Bee Honey on social media!
Big thanks to Marina, Kristine, and Andrea for being the consummate hosts to our group and for providing us with an educational and rewarding experience!

For more pictures of this event visit the 

Home Place facebook page HERE

and while you're there - don't forget to "like" us!

You can check out my fellow Connecticut blogger's experiences at:

Disclaimer: Our group was invited to this complimentary honey tasting by the Red Bee's management and marketing team, however, all opinions are our own.

© Home Place 2016

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Weekend Brunch at Barcelona Wine Bar in West Hartford

Social Media Promotion: Sponsored
This post contains affiliate links

You didn't think Sunday Brunch could get better right?

Well, it just did!

How could that happen, you ask?

How about adding a SATURDAY brunch to your weekend?

That's right! Barcelona Wine Bar in West Hartford has a Sunday AND Saturday brunch!

So, of course we traveled to West Hartford's beautiful downtown Farmington Avenue shopping and restaurant district to visit Barcelona Wine Bar WeHa-Style and sample their weekend brunch!

Bloody Mary Bar
Design your own Bloody Mary!

I started with a Bloody Mary from the Bloody Mary Bar! So much to choose from but I stayed with my favorite heaping spoonful of horseradish and added some briny olives (stuffed with blue cheese) and some pickles! YUM!  I garnished it with a cucumber, radish, and lemon. And, of course, a thick piece of bacon (or two!) as a stirrer.

Bloody Mary Bonnie Style

Also a popular favorite at brunch was this cool refreshing White Sangria

We also learned about the Porron - a shared drinking vessel that is a cross between a wine carafe and a watering can. One tilts the spout without it touching the lips, opens wide, and drinks away! Of course, the cowboy was the immediate expert. Go figure.

And this is why I love him!
The wine in the porron was a delicious Spanish wine, Ameztoi Rubentis Rosado, Getariako Txakolina.  Nice and fruity and light.

And then the food fest began! What I like most about Barcelona's Brunch, is that although they do have specialty brunch small plates and tapas on the menu, you really have the opportunity to order anything you like! This means you don't have to limit yourself to breakfast-type items, and because we went in the early afternoon, we wanted to try a bit of everything!

Below are some of the items we sampled.

 Pork Belly Bocadillo
with Egg and pickled onions

Spicy Meatballs in a Ham-Tomato Sauce

Grilled Asparagus
With Egg, Shallot, and Truffle

House Made Bacon Steak
Served with a Whole Grain Mustard Sauce

Pickled Beet Salad

Lemon Blueberry Pancakes
With a creamy whipped ricotta topping and sweet maple syrup

Roasted Bone Marrow
Served with beets, green onion, and capers.

Manchego Cheese and Jamón [ham] Croquettes
Served on a creamy bed of garlic aioli drizzled with smoked paprika 

Grilled Duck Hearts
With Red Chimmichurri

Torrijas (French Toast)
Served with a delicious coffee vanilla syrup

Huevos a la Flamenca
served with spinach, manchego cheese and a baked egg

Watermelon Salad
Pickled Red Onions and Feta Cheese

Paella Mariscos
Seafood Paella with prawns, clams, mussels and squid

Patatas Brava
with salsa brava and garlic aioli 

Mangalica Cheese Gravy, Egg, Ricotta

Sardinas  in olive oil

Jamón Serrano
Sliced Spanish Ham

Grilled Summer Squash
in a Red Pepper Aioli Sauce

And, believe it or not, after all that food we found some room for desserts!

Churros with Hazelnut dipping sauce

Dulce de Leche Crepes
topped with coconut ice cream

My personal favorites were

  • Pork Belly Bocadillo, a delicious breakfast sandwich with a bit of an earthy spice to it 
  • Huevos a la Flamenca, a nice balanced dish full of flavor
  • Watermelon Salad, the salty cheese brought out the sweetness of the melon
  • Torrijas, this 'french toast' type dish was executed PERFECTLY, the bread was correctly saturated with the egg mixture making the inside almost custard-like, and the outside crisp and cinnamon-sugary. Hands down the BEST Torrijas I've ever had!

If you are looking for a weekend brunch spot Barcelona Wine Bar in West Hartford is a great place to visit! There's so much to do in the area, and brunch specials are available SATURDAY and SUNDAY!

Barcelona Wine Bar in West Hartford

971 Farmington Avenue
West Hartford, CT 06107
(860) 218-2100

Disclaimer: We were invited to Barcelona Wine Bar's Saturday Brunch by members of the restaurant's marketing and management team, however, all views expressed our are own.

© Home Place 2016

Friday, July 8, 2016

Summer 2016 Flights of Fancy in New Haven CT

Flights of Fancy Summer 2016!

Mark your calendars and purchase your tickets NOW for the upcoming

Thursday, July 14, 2016 from 4-8 P.M.

Join the fun for an evening WINE STROLL that includes shopping, noshing, and wine tasting.  AND, if you have your wine glass from a previous Flights of Fancy you can receive $5 off registration!

Participation is $20.00* and includes the exclusive Flights of Fancy wine glass, a sample of each featured wine, a map of participating shops, entry into the grand prize drawing, validated parking, coffee and dessert.

Flights of Fancy is sponsored by The Broadway Merchants Association, The Wine Thief, The Shubert Theatre, and organized by the Town Green Special Services District.

Online registration will close at 11:00pm on Wednesday, July 13.

Walk-in registration will be available and will open at 4:45pm on Thursday at The Shubert. Note: Tickets will be $25.00 if purchased at the door.

And there's live music, raffles and more!

Purchase your tickets here ==>


  • Thursday, July 14, 2016 from 4-8 pm


  • $5 parking offered at the Crown St. Garage only with parking voucher provided at check-in of event.


  • Check-in is at the Shubert Theater  (247 College St.) in New Haven.


Oaxaca (228 College St.) Serving:  Trimbach Riesling 2012 (France) . Special: 15% discount off the check for participants that day only. 
Elm City Social (266 College St.) Serving: M. Chapoutier Belleruche Cotes Du Rhone Rose (France). Special: Happy Hour prices offered to participants during event. 
Campus Customs (57 Broadway) Serving: Fairview Pinotage 2014 (South Africa). Special: 20% off 1 item 
Canditopia (1022 Chapel St.) Serving: Sauska Villanyi Rose 2015 (Hungary). Special: 20% off 1 item and in-store chocolate tasting. 
Derek Simpson Goldsmith (1094 Chapel St.) Serving: Ca'Furlan Prosecco Extra Dry NV (Italy). Special: 20% off anything that is not bridal jewelry. 
Hull's Art Supply & Framing (1144 Chapel St.) Serving: Plungerhead Zinfandel Old Vine Lodi 2013 (California). Special: 20% off 1 item. 
idiom (1014 Chapel St.) Serving: Valckenberg "Der Stift" Riesling 2014 (Germany). Special: 20% off 1 item. 
J. Press (206 College St.) Serving: Charles Smith Merlot The Velvet Devil 2014 (Washington). Special: 25% off 1 item. 
L'Occitane en Provence (1042 Chapel St.) Serving: Domaine Filliatreau Saumur Fouquet 2014 (France). Special: 10% off total purchase 

Merwin's Art Shop (1052 Chapel St.) Serving: Evolucio Ferment 2013. Special: 20% off 1 item. 
Trailblazer (296 Elm St.) Serving: Marietta Cellars Old Vine Red Lot Number 63. Special: 20% off 1 item 
SHiFT Cycling (199 Crown St.) Serving: Bodegas Peique Ramon Valle 2012. Special: Free class pass for participants. 
Yurway Boutique (1130 Chapel St.) Serving: Majas Cotes Catalanes Blanc 2015. Special: 20% off 1 item. 
Yorkside Pizza (288 York St.) Serving: Josh Wines Legacy & Chardonnay. Special: 1/2 price beer or wine. Free pitcher of soda with purchase of $25 or more. 
Wave Gallery (1046 Chapel St.) Serving: Stadt Krems Gruner Veltliner. Special: 20% off 1 item 
The Wine Thief (181 Crown St.) Serving: Roc des Anges Effet Papillon Côtes du Roussillon Villages Rouge and Blanc 2014. Special: in-store wine tasting


Ashley's Ice Cream (280 York St.) Serving:  one scoop of ice cream 
Denali (13 Broadway) Serving: assorted appetizers. Special: 20% off 1 item. 
J. Crew (29 Broadway) Serving: assorted appetizers. Special: 20% off 1 item 
FroyoWorld (46 High St.) Serving: frozen yogurt sample. 
Therapy (1022 Chapel St.) Serving: dessert. Special: 20% off entire store. 
Hello Boutique (1090 Chapel St.) Serving: Cheese, crackers and fruit. Special: promoting sale items 20-50% off. 
Harvest Wine Bar (1104 Chapel St.) Serving; assorted appetizers. Special: 20% off check 
Kiko Milano (11 Broadway) Serving: assortment of snacks. Special: 20% off 1 item 
GANT (268 York St.) Serving: assortment of appetizers. Special: 20% off 1 item

*Some exclusions may apply. Participation is limited to 650 attendees. Must be 21 years of age or older to participate. Valid ID required. Must be present to win.


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Vegetarian Fare at Thali Too in New Haven CT

Social Media Promotion: Sponsored

In the Broadway Historic District of New Haven, is Chef Prasad Chirnomula's  casual and fun dining experience, Thali Too. This all vegetarian restaurant features traditional Indian food in a unique setting amidst the Shops at Yale.  At Thali Too, you can dine inside or out on their spacious patio, and they also offer food "to go".

Thali Too on Broadway in New Haven
(next to the Yale Bookstore)

Chef Chef Prasad was the winner of both the 2011 & 2013 Elm City Iron Chef Competitions, and has also been featured at area food and wine festivals (Greenwich Food & Wine Festival, and Savor CT, Foxwood Resort Casino's Wine and Food Festival).

In addition to Thali Too in the Yale district, Chef Chirnomula is the owner/operator/chef at four other restaurants in Connecticut, Thali in New Haven, Westport, and Ridgefield, and Oaxaca Kitchen, also in New Haven.

Thali Too has a really unique menu - it's a tablet that allows you to view pictures of the items and offers a full description of the menu selection. What a great option this is for newbies to Indian Cuisine and Vegetarian food, like me!

Thali Too Menu Tablet

We started our tasting with some cocktails!  Of course!

Pictured left to right below are the TAJMO COCKTAIL (Svedka Vodka, Triple sec, fresh lime juice and cranberry juice), the MUMBAI MARGARITA (Matador Tequila, Lime juice, Stirrings All Natural Orange Liqueur with a spicy lemon chili rim) and FAITHFULLY GINGER (Gin, Elder Flower, Ginger, Lime and Turmeric)

L-R Tajmo Cocktail, Mumbai Margarita, Faithfully Ginger Cocktail

First on our tasting was BHEL POORI (CHAT) a sweet, sour ,and spicy emulsion of chat, puffed light rice and lentil noodles. This was sooo good and the flavor combo was incredible.


Next, we cleared our palates with a great Mediterranean style salad, complete with stuffed grape leaves!

Romaine lettuce, Bulgarian feta, olives, red onion, stuffed grape leaf, 
naan bread with garlic & lemon oil vinaigrette

There is also a flat bread pizza available. This is a great item to share!  The one we sampled was deliciously crispy and topped with my favorite eggplant!

Naanizza Flat Breads
Paradise Flat Bread with roasted eggplant, 
artichoke hearts & portabella mushrooms

We then munched on some nan bread served with a delicious chick pea dipping sauce. This was another of my favorites. The chick pea mixture was billed as spicy, but I found it to be moderately spicy. Not overpowering at all.

Spicy chick peas and deep fried nan bread

Next was an Indian version of a 'taco' - served with a deliciously crisp salad!

Corn tortilla, spiced paneer, and cilantro pesto, cucumber salsa

Another favorite was the Falafel which was served with a side of the most amazing crispy fried vegetables.

Nan bread, chickpea and herb falafel, Tahini

The showstopper of the evening was the Dosa! A humongous crepe-like bread, served with dipping sauce. This was a fun item to share with friends! You just rip off pieces of the bread and spoon some of the toppings on your plate to dip (and double-dip!!) to your pleasure!

A thin rice crepe served with dips

We then moved on to desserts, sampling GULAB JAMUN and some VANILLA ICE CREAM.


Deep fried milk balls in just so slightly sweet honey syrup

And Yummmm!!!


Here's a quick picture of the interior of Thali Too.

And a picture of the outdoor dining area - my favorite area to eat in the summer!

Thali Too is a wonderful place to get some traditional Indian food and Indian Street Food. And it's located in such a great area with some wonderful retail outlets like J. Crew, Yale Bookstore, Urban Outfitters, and more. So much to do - and steps away from beautiful Yale  University where you can view some amazing Gothic architecture!

Be sure you stop and visit Thali Too soon!

Thali Too

65 Broadway
New Haven, CT 06511
 (203) 776-1600

Disclaimer: We were invited to Thali Too by members of their managment and marketing team, however all views expressed are our own.

© Home Place
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