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As I mentioned in my Oyster Club post last week, our trip to Mystic to check out Inn at Mystic was largely influenced by friends’ recommendations. The Engine Room was another must-visit, according to many people, so we made a point of visiting for Sunday brunch. Mystic is a beautiful town, and it turns out it is great for eating and drinking too!

Engine Room Mystic

The Engine Room is a big, open, light-filled space, simply gorgeous. It’s in a former marine engine repair room and features lots of wood and windows and even a DJ at brunch. So much fun.

Also fun? The Bloody Mary bar order form. I usually go for an Irish coffee or mimosa at brunch, but I loved this form and all of the options. I like my Bloody Mary extra spicy with lots of pickled veggies. I wish I had also gotten the bacon.

Bloody Mary brunch

bloody mary bar

My drink was delicious and garlicky, a nice way to start the day. Roasted garlic and the pickle made this drink like a meal!

eggs benedict

Brunch was all about the brisket! He ordered the Benedict served on brisket and cornbread while I went for the brisket sandwich with crunchy slaw and a yummy potato salad. It was not easy to finish because of the amount of food, but that brisket was so tender and delicious. This was a stick-to-your-ribs sort of brunch, and we left feeling ready to take on the day.

brisket

The Engine Room is a great spot, and I imagine all of the other meals and cocktails they serve are as good as brunch. I only wish they were closer!

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Tags: brunch, Connecticut, CT, mystic, Travel

It really helps to have friends and coworkers who love to travel. Aside from blogs, most of the places we visit on our travels come from friends. When we were planning our weekend getaway to the Inn at Mystic, I spent a lot time asking around for places to visit in Mystic, especially restaurants. The Oyster Club came up as a recommendation again and again, and it became a must-visit for our trip.

Oyster Club Mystic

Oyster Club is located in downtown Mystic steps from the harbor. It features an outdoor “tree house” sitting area that wasn’t open for the season yet, but that would be well worth a visit now that it’s nice out.

Oyster Club Tree House We arrived at around 1:30 for lunch, and the Oyster Club bar and dining room were both bustling with activity. Everyone was super friendly, and we didn’t mind waiting a few minutes for a table to be cleared.

oyster club wine

We were soon whisked over to a table by the window, sweet wildflowers providing a burst of seasonal color.

wildflowers

There’s always something to celebrate, so we toasted with a glass of pink bubbly and the house Dark n Stormy.

cocktails

At the Oyster Club, you have to get oysters, and I have been having huge oyster cravings lately. We stuck with a dozen briny, medium-sized Fischer Island oysters, and as always, I could have eaten a dozen more. What is it about oysters?

oysters

It was a bright and sunny day, but the air still had a cold bite to it, so a bowl of the Oyster Club quahog chowder was a hot, filling must-have. Chunks of potato, bacon, and clams were brought together by a light cream broth. It was a really excellent chowder.

clam chowder

The Oyster Club was a really great recommendation and a place that I would visit again on another trip to Mystic. If you have a plan to visit Mystic anytime soon and are a fan of oysters and other seafood, definitely add it to your itinerary.

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Tags: Connecticut, mystic, oysters, Travel, travel blog, Travel Tuesday

I’m not done with Tanzania yet! I have a few more blog posts to write, and I plan on savoring each photo and memory as I write about this experience of a lifetime.

For other posts on our travel in Tanzania, check out these links:

Luxury Accommodations at Maramboi Tented Camp, Tanzania

Tarangire National Park  Safari with Overseas Adventure Travel, Tanzania

Serengeti Camping

Serengeti Game Drives

Shanga and Riverhouse Arusha Tanzania

cooking demonstration ArushaOn the same day we had an incredible experience at Shanga, we relaxed over lunch at Arusha Coffee Lodge. It was a luxurious property that was a real treat for our travel-weary bodies. We arrived at the Arusha Coffee Lodge and were welcomed with creamy cold coffee drinks that were just what we needed after our morning at Shanga. We found seats under a shaded pavilion and then gathered around to watch a Tanzanian cooking demo.

arusha coffee lodge

Our chefs showed us how to make delicious Tanzanian dishes such as Makande (mixed bean pot), Pilau (spiced rice), and Kuku Paka (chicken in coconut).

polenta

Meanwhile, polenta bubbled away in a cauldron. Once ready, it would provide the perfect base for the saucy dishes we enjoyed.

arusha coffee lodge

Sticking with the South African wine theme that was woven through our Tanzania trip, we shared a bottle of Graham Beck brut, always a favorite of mine. A wine trip to South Africa is on my bucket list!

Graham Beck

Lunch was simply amazing, a mix of spices and fresh ingredients that made us all go back for more.

food in Tanzania

After lunch we all moved on to a comfy seating area for orange cake and to sample coffee grown on the plantation down the street. The coffee was smooth and rich, perfect without milk or sugar. Simple, perfect, just the way so many things in Tanzania were.

Orange Cake

arusha coffee lodge

Arusha Coffee Lodge is most definitely a place I would love to visit again, perhaps to stay on the way to Tarangire. It’s well located, elegant, and has an excellent food and beverage offering.

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Tags: Arusha, Food, Graham Beck, hotels, restaurants. Africa, sparkling wine, Tanzania, Travel, travel blog, wine

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