The Cottage – 2013 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

The Cottage booth, located between Canada and the UK Pavilions

The Cottage

The Cottage booth is located between the UK Pavilion and the Canada Pavilion – this is the same booth structure and the same location as the Ireland booth during Epcot International Food & Wine Festival … it definitely hasn’t been the crowd-maker that the Ireland booth is. Nora was able to chat with Jennifer (one of the Cast Members) while Nick was making his photos, the big question… are the Flower and Garden Festival booths this slow all the time? We’ve only gone over during the week and weren’t sure if the locals were coming out on the weekends to try the food and beverage offerings. The CM said that the booths were very slow, that some of the other cast members had already gone back to their regular posts because there wasn’t any need to keep them on at the Festival booths.

Unlike the Smokehouse and the Bauernmarkt, there isn’t any place set aside for seating; we were able to get a stand up table along the water’s edge when it was time to taste.

The educational poster at this booth was about tea… there were 14 teas being offered at the booth (Twinings)…

Tea

Learn about TEA!

The featured plantings are : Potato (in the biscuit), Kumquat (in the chutney), Tomato (in the salad), and Chocolate (in one of the trifles).

Featured Plantings: Potato, Kumquat, Tomato, Chocolate

Left to Right: Mustard, Kumquat, Chives, Mint, Chocolate, Tomato, and Potato

The Cottage Booth at Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2013 - 03

Jennifer was eager to tell us about the featured plantings…

... especially the Chocolate plant... kind of denuded

… especially the Chocolate plant… kind of denuded

The Cottage Booth at Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2013 - 05

Tomatoes and Potatoes located at this end…

The Cottage Booth at Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2013 - 06

the dark leafed plant is an impatiens (not edible)

Baby kumquats

Baby lemons

Green Tomato

Green Tomato

On to the food!

Menu

Menu

We reviewed the menus for the booths ahead of time and ranked them in terms of what looked most interesting to us… The Smokehouse was #1 and the Cottage was #2. We like good tomatoes, we like smoked salmon, and we like brie cheese… And trifle, what’s not to love (well, if it’s too sweet, forget it!). Once, years ago, our group of friends (minus Judy) stayed at Fort Wilderness, on that occasion nora had made a large Southern banana pudding… when attempting to describe what it was and why it was great for breakfast, she told Harry that it was like trifle, well after that Harry didn’t want to taste the banana pudding (nora forgot that trifle often contains sherry, not necessarily suitable for breakfast!), but we got the trifle/banana pudding kerfufle cleared up when Sandy tried it and let him know that banana pudding doesn’t contain sherry… And by the way, the trifles at the Cottage don’t contain sherry either.

Waterkist Farms Heirloom Tomatoes with House-made Mozzarella, Minus 8 Vinegar and Basil

Waterkist Farms Heirloom Tomatoes with House-made Mozzarella, Minus 8 Vinegar and Basil

This was an adequate caprese salad (thankfully the basil was micro-basil and not overwhelming)… that said, the fresh mozzarella was rather bland (as it usually is), and the tomatoes differed widely in flavor (the yellow tomato had the most flavor). The vinaigrette was pretty simple, there was some black pepper but not enough to be off-putting. The slivered onions were a nice touch.

Golden tomato, black pepper, onion, mozzarella, and vinaigrette

Golden tomato, black pepper, onion, mozzarella, and vinaigrette

All-in-all, this wasn’t anything to write home about, it was just “eh”

On to the Biscuit… Our friend Judy had tried this last week when our largish group was touring the Festival, she shared a quick bite with us, at that time our reaction was “whew, that’s a dry biscuit”…

Potato, Chive, and Cheddar Cheese Biscuit with Smoked Salmon Tartare and Sour Cream

Potato, Chive, and Cheddar Cheese Biscuit with Smoked Salmon Tartare and Sour Cream

Thankfully, our serving wasn’t dry. The biscuit had a nice moist crumb and the pretzel salt on top was definitely welcome. Neither of us could detect the cheese in the biscuit flavor-wise (although we could see it) and nick thought that the chive was very prominent in the biscuit. The salmon was slightly lemony, and it wasn’t very fishy.

Smoked Salmon Tartare topped with Sour Cream and a tiny sprig of dill

Smoked Salmon Tartare topped with Sour Cream and a tiny sprig of dill

To make eating it easier, nora spread out the salmon and the sour cream (removed the dill sprig as well). Overall, this was okay; there wasn’t anything wrong with it but there wasn’t anything notable.

Baked Goat's Brie with Kumquat Chutney

Baked Goat’s Brie with Kumquat Chutney

Nora had read some good things about the Baked Goat’s Brie and was eager to give it a taste. We both like brie cheese, we went to senior prom together and we had dinner at a very fancy restaurant, one of the things that we ordered to share was baked brie cheese – so not only do we like it as a food, it has sentimental meaning… doesn’t food always mean more for you when there’s a memory attached to it?

interior of Baked Goat's Brie

interior of Baked Goat’s Brie

This didn’t disappoint – we both thought it was very good – now granted, if you don’t like brie cheese (or even the funkiness of brie cheese), you aren’t going to like this – it’s clearly a goat’s brie cheese. It was slightly warm and the cheese was just barely runny. The baked brie was just what your mouth expects from the description. The kumquat chutney has a hint of tart that prevents it from being too sweet. This was well-balanced.

close up - portion size was nice

close up – portion size was nice

Much like the food from the Smokehouse (re the America Pavilion) – this would make a excellent addition to the UK Pavilion year round. We could see pairing this exactly as it is with a small mixed green salad simply dressed with lemon juice, salt, pepper, and olive oil – it would be a lovely appetizer.

After all of these savories, it was time for sweets… We had the trio of trifles…

Trio of Trifles: Chocolate, Berry, and Ginger & Tea

Trio of Trifles: Chocolate, Berry, and Ginger & Tea

The chocolate and ginger & tea trifles contained a thick syrup layer

The chocolate and ginger & tea trifles contained a thick syrup layer

The berry trifle didn't have a syrup layer, instead, there were fresh berries

The berry trifle didn’t have a syrup layer, instead, there were fresh berries

We started with the chocolate trifle. Nora thought that the fudge layer (under the white chocolate mousse) tastes just like the fudge at Baskin Robbins Ice Cream shop, straight out of the gallon sized can (she’d know, she used to work at BR and used to eat fudge straight out of the can) – really sweet. Surprisingly, nick was a bigger fan of this trifle than nora was…

Chocolate Trifle - decorated with a chocolate sliver and chocolate pearls

Chocolate Trifle – decorated with a chocolate sliver and chocolate pearls

Nick thought that it had a good smooth, creamy texture and that the flavor was spot on. “Good chocolate dessert for Walt Disney World because you can tell that it’s chocolate.”

White Chocolate Mousse, Fudge, Dark Chocolate Mousse, and a bit of chocolate cake

White Chocolate Mousse, Fudge, Dark Chocolate Mousse, and a bit of chocolate cake

Next up, the more traditional Berry Trifle…

Berry Trifle - topped with toasted almonds

Berry Trifle – topped with toasted almonds

While this was delicious, we preferred the other two trifles (they were more unusual and had less whipped cream) – the berries were nice and firm and flavorful, the toasted almonds added another texture note… Nothing wrong with it at all, the berry trifle just didn’t stand out compared to the other two.

Our Berry Trifle contained a large blackberry

Our Berry Trifle contained a large blackberry

And lastly, the Ginger and Tea Trifle…

Ginger and Tea Trifle -- should be ginger and green tea trifle

Ginger and Tea Trifle — should be ginger and green tea trifle – yes, that’s candied ginger on top

Again, this was very smooth and creamy – almost more like a very soft pudding. The flavors were more interesting – tart, sweet, very well balanced. The deep green syrupy layer was a bit runny, but that didn’t affect the taste! This was our favorite of the three trifles.

Ginger & Tea Trifle - very smooth textures

Ginger & Tea Trifle – very smooth textures

Oh! We also tried a beverage that’s new to us…

Nick didn’t care for this very much – he said it was really salty, nora was fine with it (but not likely to go searching for it anytime soon).

Seagrams Orange Selzer Water

Seagrams Orange Selzer Water

Final Thoughts…

We’d order the baked brie and the ginger and tea trifle if they were offered on the Rose & Crown menu. They were both very good.

A note from the internet…

Nora noticed earlier, Disney Parks Blog has listed the top five sellers during the Flower and Garden Festival

  1. Pork Slider (we agree, very good)
  2. Beef Brisket (again, we agree)
  3. Potato Pancake (nope, we don’t agree with this one)
  4. Shrimp & Grits (haven’t tried this dish yet)
  5. Salmon Biscuit (eh, wouldn’t say “no” to it, but we prefer the baked brie)

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