Tag - downtown Phoenix

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FOUND:RE – Phoenix’s Newest Boutique Destination
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The Teapot – Phoenix, AZ

FOUND:RE – Phoenix’s Newest Boutique Destination

FOUND:RE Hotel in Phoenix, AZ

What do excellent service, amazing farm-to-table-to-farm food, cozy rooms, and a painting of a Burt Reynolds/Britney Spears hybrid have in common?

Downtown Phoenix’s newest boutique hotel- FOUND:RE is a combination of the aforementioned. While the present hotel (located near the artsy Roosevelt Row) is new, the building itself is from the 1970s, and served as a hotel (Lexington and a Best Western) and restaurant. The hotel’s designers knew the space needed an overhaul, but loved the structure’s old bones; so they sought to expose them. The name “FOUND:RE” was chosen based on the concept of ‘foundry,’ which ties to the industrial, urban aesthetic of the hotel, but with the focus on arts and discovery. “We wanted to play more with the “FOUND” portion of the name – separating it with industrial rivets “:” and spelling the end like the abbreviation for “regarding”… It opened so many possibilities for us to communicate our message in a playful way:  RE vive, RE vitalize, RE fresh, etc.  You’ll find this wordplay at work in signs all around the hotel,” Parley Stock- Director of Sales and Marketing, explained.

Having said that, the city’s latest destination also pays homage to Roosevelt Row and its funky, urban, and artistic culture. The hotel’s lobby features numerous photos, sculptures, paintings, and mixed media pieces by local artists, such as: Randy Slack, Cheryle Marina, Shauna Thiboult, Diego Perez, Ronna Nemitz, Travis Ivey, and Linda Ingraham. What really captured my eye, in a comical, yet borderline genius way, was the massive painting of a nude Burt Reynolds with a blonde Britney Spears- esque wig that was hanging over the reception desk. That piece is called- “That was Then, This Is Now,” but is mainly referred to as: “Burtney,” which is Slack’s vision of Burt Reynolds’ 1972 spread in Cosmopolitan magazine. I also thought that Linda Ingraham’s “Reveries”- five large scale portraits with matching throw pillows, really draws attention to the lounge area. You’ll find whimsical art all over the hotel, from the reception area, to the event rooms; the fitness room, and the pool area. Most of the artwork is also for sale.

I stayed at the hotel over the course of two days in one of their 8th floor suites. The reception staff was really attentive, friendly, and delivered a breezy check-in. The suites even have their own separate elevator. The overall hotel room hallways have grey walls, with the room doors a lush navy blue. Each room number plaque was handmade by local artist- Cheryle Marina. The suites are large with rolling barn-style doors that close off the living room with the bedroom. The decor, I would say, has an urban industrial inspiration with furnishings and artwork that were done by local artists. The bar has a mini fridge, a Keurig with a small variety of coffee and tea, and a cocktail mixer kit. There is a restroom off to the side, with the large shower area (I do literally mean ‘shower area’ because of how big the space is) at the back of the bedroom. There are two shower heads in the space, which is also equipped with C.O. Bigelow bath amenities. The shower itself is enclosed in glass, but with no door (it’s still easy to keep water in the designated area, just try not to splash around). On one side, the glass was frosted, with the saying “Not so sexy,” while on the other side, the glass is clear, with the saying “Sexy.” I guess it just depends on your mood. Other bathroom amenities that made my stay comfortable was a bathrobe and slippers. There is a small area to hang clothing, but the rooms (all 105 of them, in fact) are equipped with industrial-style luggage carts. The custom carts were locally designed by Bang Bang Designs. A good night’s sleep was easily had, due to the cozy bed. There were plenty of outlets for keeping my devices charged. The rooms also come equipped with tablets, where guests could order room service (coming soon at the time of this post), order spa treatments, and request housekeeping and guest services. I LOVED the large balcony. Mine overlooked downtown Phoenix and the mountains. I was even able to catch glimpses of the sunrise and sunset on both days. There is a nightly turndown service, where they leave Salted Serenity caramels and a postcard.

I was able to dine at the hotel’s signature restaurant- Match Cocktails and Cuisine. Match got its’ name from the concept of a foundry being a place where metals are forged in- fire. It is also a nod to their numerous menu items that come from the wood-fired Forno Bravo oven and wood-fired grill. They offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner; with all ingredients coming from local farmers. They use the “farm-to-table-to-farm” program, where they receive the produce from local farmers, then return the waste to Recycled City for composting. That compost then helps new local crops to grow. The constantly-changing menu is spearheaded by Executive Chef Akos Szabo, and focuses on globally-inspired sharable plates. I experienced their Christmas Day menu, where I had the following:

Chestnut Soup with Noble Bread, Match Cocktails and Cuisine, Phoenix dining

Starter Course- Creamy Chestnut Soup + Noble Bread

Eggplant Lasagna, Noble Bread, main course, Match Cocktails and Cuisine, Phoenix dining

Au gratin potatoes, Match Cocktails and Cuisine, Phoenix dining

            Entree- Eggplant Lasagna + Noble Bread + Au Gratin Potatoes

White chocolate peppermint cheesecake, dessert, Match Cocktails and Cuisine

Dessert- White Chocolate and Peppermint Cheesecake + Decaf Vanilla Latte

The lovely Lauren was my server that evening. She was incredibly hospitable and knowledgeable on the food.

The meal started off with the choice of a starter dish. I chose the Creamy Chestnut Soup with bread from Noble Bakery. It was almost like a creamy mushroom soup…only BETTER! The ingredients for this yummy dish (that I wish I currently had in my refrigerator) include: roasted vegetable stock, roasted chestnuts, housemade crème fraîche, thyme, bay leaf, Blis Bourbon maple syrup, Mirepoix (according to Wikipedia- a roughly chopped vegetable cut, usually a mixture of onions, carrots, and celery), and Minnesota wild rice. This is probably a seasonal soup, but I’d eat it anytime. It was just such a different flavor, and not to mention, comforting. The slices of Noble bread paired nicely alone, and for dipping into the soup. I chose the Eggplant Lasagna with Au Gratin Potatoes, and Noble bread as my main entree. Along with the griddled Japanese eggplant, other culinary ingredients included: over-dried heirloom tomatoes, wood roasted artichokes, mascarpone, ricotta, goat cheese, Bianco tomatoes, provolone, mozzarella, garden basil, and Pistou. The au gratin potatoes had Welsh cheddar mornay, russet potatoes, caramelized onions, Noble bread crumbs, and chives. The entree was filling, yet so good and fresh! I chose the White Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake for my dessert. It was HEAVEN… so much that I’m still dreaming about it… Aside from the obvious ingredients, it also had coffee crema and dark chocolate bark. I felt that it had the right amount of richness and incredible flavor.

Thank you FOUND:RE for being my home away from home during the Christmas holiday. I want to also personally thank: Carolyn, Francis, Dave, Gabriel, Lindsay, Max, Tracy, Parley, and Je-Hyen.

The next time you are visiting Phoenix and are looking for a great place to stay, ‘FIND YOURSELF’ at FOUND:RE.

** I was given a complimentary stay and food in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

The Teapot – Phoenix, AZ

The Teapot

818 N. 5th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85003
PH: (623) 522-6027
HOURS: Tues- Sun~ 8AM- 2PM

The Teapot on 5th, coffee shop, phoenix, restaurant

The Teapot on 5th, coffee shop, phoenix, restaurant

The Teapot on 5th, coffee shop, phoenix, restaurant

The Teapot on 5th, coffee shop, phoenix, restaurant

Nestled in a quaint renovated early 1900s home in downtown Phoenix, is The Teapot. It’s a coffee shop + restaurant + event space that is family friendly, and is just a downright great place to grab an authentic English scone and a latte. The space is airy, with lots of light filtering in on sunny days. The decor is minimal (though so Instagram-worthy), with lots of potted plants and succulents. A few children’s play corners dot the couple open rooms that make up the space. There’s a back door that opens onto a spacious porch and then to the backyard, where a fun-looking two-story playground and an assortment of toys are available. There is plenty of seating under the canopies for the parents to relax while their kiddos play. Even the yard looked pleasant enough to grab a blanket and have a nice little picnic.

NOTE: A $2 charge (per child, ages 1-8) will be added to the bill when you bring the kiddos, as it helps with the upkeep of the space and playground.

The Teapot on 5th, coffee shop, phoenix, restaurant

The Teapot on 5th, coffee shop, phoenix, restaurant

The Teapot on 5th, coffee shop, phoenix, restaurant

 

The Teapot offers two different menus: one for the tiny folk, and one for the “big kids.” Menu items include some breakfast and lunch offerings, as well as scones, cactus cookies, and other treats. I HIGHLY x 100 recommend the scones. I’ve been to several tearooms before, but NOTHING compares to the scones at The Teapot!

The Teapot on 5th, coffee shop, phoenix, restaurant

During my second visit, I was able to briefly speak with Jonathan about their coffee shop “oasis” in the city. It turns out that their three-year-old son, Leyland, was their inspiration. They, as parents, were finding it difficult to go out to eat at places they once enjoyed, because Leyland was just…well…being a toddler. “The Teapot was born out of necessity really. A lot of restaurants claim to be family friendly, but all you’d get are crayons or something. We wanted to create a true family friendly experience. We love this house. This house was once a residence, which means that it has an fully enclosed front and backyard, so from a parent’s perspective, it’s totally secure. It gives parents the opportunity to sort of let their guard down a little whilst the little ones run around.”

The Teapot on 5th, coffee shop, phoenix, restaurant

The Teapot on 5th, coffee shop, phoenix, restaurant

The Teapot on 5th, coffee shop, phoenix, restaurant

The Teapot on 5th, coffee shop, phoenix, restaurant

The Teapot on 5th, coffee shop, phoenix, restaurant

The Teapot on 5th, coffee shop, phoenix, restaurant

They held their soft opening March 2016. As word of The Teapot grew throughout the “mom community,” they had reached over 3,000 Facebook followers within the first month of being open. They then closed during the month of August to do some renovations and regroup. The grand opening took place in September, but have had a steady flow of loyal patrons ever since.

 

The Teapot on 5th, coffee shop, phoenix, restaurant

Just what inspired the name- The Teapot?  Johnathan gladly answered, “We wanted a name the kids could say. It’s a nice two syllable word. We wanted the teapot experience to be so fun, the kids would want to come back and nag their parents and say, “Take me to The Teapot!”

Ok…so about those scones… Jonathan, who also owns the Real London Bus Company, a party bus company that includes a fleet of authentic English double-decker red buses;  was born and raised in England. That company has always played a part in the English cliché. They didn’t really want to solely categorize themselves as an English brand in a sense, for The Teapot. They instead turned to making the scones because there was such a huge demand for them. Since the couple isn’t so “kitchen-savvy,” they decided to bring Raelynn’s mother (a retired chef) out of retirement. She is now their “pastry chef extraordinaire.” She creates traditional English scones, ranging from: original to blueberry; raspberry-coconut, and apricot almond. There are also other varieties of treats… and yes, cactus shaped cookies are one of them!

There’s a cozy little retail corner in the front room, where there are products made by local artists (some of who are customers).

The Teapot on 5th, coffee shop, phoenix, restaurant

Be sure to get on The Teapot’s Instagram, Facebook, and website…as they post event listings throughout the month. They usually have arts and crafts sessions, music classes…they recently held a flower crown making and cacti making class. The property is also available for private events.

They see themselves as not only a coffee shop, but a full-service restaurant. They will be including dinner soon, as well as serving beer and wine. The Teapot is at the top of my list for a whimsical getaway for coffee and a scone here in Phoenix!

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