Monday, December 2, 2013

Shopping & a Weekend Away at the KoP DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton and T Burke’s Lounge and Gastro Pub

When people think of a hotel restaurant, they think of adequate fare with standard rooms, and not much imagination.

I’m here to tell you that it’s time to chance your perception of hotels, especially King of Prussia’s DoubleTree by Hilton

This place is a destination for all things in affordable luxury. Not just for business travelers, this hotel is a place you’ll want to visit again and again.

Let’s start with when you walk in the door, immediately welcoming and accommodating, the front desk makes sure check in is quick and efficient, and I was given a delicious warm walnut chocolate chip cookie, which is what the DoubleTree is known for, along with impeccable customer service. 

Once I got to my room, I enjoyed the relaxing atmosphere, two queen beds and excellent amenities, coffeemaker, and super soft bedding and pillows. After chilling out with some wine and cheese, my best pal and photog Rach and I headed down to T Burke’s Lounge and Gastro Pub. The pub is warm and inviting, with small tables and candles offering a cozy, fun atmosphere.

The charming chef John Walsh sat down with us to discuss the entire small plates menu. He is looking for clients to create and enjoy their own small plates experience, essentially creating their own tapas entrees with a modern twist on classic American fare. 

The best part of Chef Walsh's creations is that you don't have to stay at the hotel just to enjoy his meals- go anytime! You don't have to be staying at the King of Prussia DoubleTree by Hilton just to enjoy drinks or dinner here- special occasion, after-works small plates with co-workers, date night or just a night out after shopping, you'll definitely enjoy your meal and the atmosphere.

We began with fresh cocktails, as the gastro pub means everything is created with fresh ingredients- mint in your mojitos, grated coconut or fresh juice are available. 

The first course was a fun surprise- shrimp and smoke, which sounds quite intriguing, and it was. The shrimp bisque was rich and satisfying and the bowl was atop dry ice- creating a smoking-soup effect.

After we settled in, Chef Walsh began to bring us the small plates, beginning with 4 hour braised short ribs over mashed potatoes and plum sauce, truffled mac and cheese in a small crock with fresh Wisconsin cheddar (for extra cheeseability, said Chef Walsh) and panko crumbs, gulf shrimp, Brussel sprouts with bacon and maple syrup.

Chef Walsh has studied extensively in many countries and his food demonstrates his delicious and eclectic style. The small plates offer quality restaurant style edibles in a hotel setting.

We then had mini ‘firehouse’ potatoes with a spicy sauce inside, creating a small burst of flavor when biting down! Several kind of flatbread was on offer, including Mexican and Italian versions.

We had also had little broiled chicken drumettes which were quite savory and atop the best bleu cheese I have ever had. Then came one of my favorite bites of the night: he brought out a chargrilled burger with the usual fixings, but with a sunny-side egg on top. 
The result- delicious! The flavors all merged delightfully. Add in a side of truffle fries with parmesan and it doesn’t get much better than that!

We were so full of delicious savory food, but we had to save room for dessert, which was an orange blossom honey covered with a chocolate hazelnut nougat, with whipped cream adorned with Pop-Rocks and crushed nestle crunch. 

Eventually, we had to leave the dinner table and go upstairs to our room to pass out from the food haze. The DoubleTree beds were quite conducive to a good night’s sleep!

In the morning, Rach and I tried out the hotel gym before breakfast- woo more food! Breakfast included a hot buffet with an omelet station, and all kinds of hot goodies- French toast, ham, scrambled eggs, waffles, plus muffins, croissants and fresh breads and jams.

After grabbing another warm cookie, we looked around the rest of the hotel. The King of Prussia DoubleTree has banquet facilities for trade shows, meetings and weddings, plus an outdoor pool and plenty of space for whatever you need.

I stayed at this hotel for a girls’ weekend, but it can be for anything you need- so try it out for whatever you need. Being so close to the mall and shopping, stay at the DoubleTree by Hilton on 202 and make a weekend of it- shopping, stay over, relax, eat, and shop some more! Get your holiday shopping done and relax at the same time!

A big thank you to my photographer Rachel Richards.

Special thanks to Jenn Shipman at the King of Prussia DoubleTree by Hilton, as well as a big thank you to Chef John Walsh at T Burke’s Lounge and Gastro Pub.

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