A recurring date in the Kona Babes calendar is Bentleys Home Collection’s annual Christmas Party, usually held in mid-October. Deemed as a good enough reason to grab our scarves, shawls and sweaters in anticipation of a fun evening spent in cooler climes, this upcountry event is just what the doctor ordered to focus our collective hot flashes into holiday shopping mode.
As mentioned in a prior post, Bentley’s has a wonderful selection of items year-round in their store, but they outdo themselves getting ready for the most festive of seasons. It’s all bling-bling, eye candy as soon as you walk in, making it a tough decision on whether or not to stay in the crush of shoppers, or stay outside at the fabulously prepared spread of food and drink.
There are Santa’s, snowmen, fairies, and mermaids….
Owls, doggies, kitties and sea urchins….
baubles, glitter, glass and ceramics…
…and this doesn’t even cover the lanai table laden with enough food to feed the cast and crew of “Game of Thrones”….well, perhaps not the ENTIRE cast, but maybe the Dothraki’s?
As always, we had fun, purchased a few items, and made it out alive!
With Chocolate Brandy Alexander’s in hand, we sauntered over to a nearby boutique where Cindy and Carol, probably both buzzed enough by all that sugar (you thought I’d say brandy?) , perused through the merchandise.
Walking past the Waimea Coffee Company’s outdoor seating (which was packed), and tempted to duck in for a cappucino on the fly, we resisted and continued on to Waimea General Store, where we were greeted by the resident fat cat, who will lay at your feet until you give in and pay attention…rewarding her (?) with appropriate number of rubs and tickles. Then, as if you didn’t exist, you get snubbed and are allowed to wander the inner wonders of the shop.
If you need to find a gift, or any kind of unusual kitchen doo-dad, then this is the place. I picked up a few olive retrievers (for lack of a better name)…my husband uses these to pick hot peppers out of a jar. He loves them so much that he gives them away for Christmas to friends and relatives.
After spending at least an hour scrutinizing “stuff” and treasures, someone raised their hand to signal a dinner bell somewhere in the hills of Waimea. The group consensus this evening would be our favorite, Solimene’s, for some family-style Italian.
We’ve been here a few times, and always, it’s great! The savory cuisine, coupled with fun and friendly atmosphere makes this a 5 star in our book!
The specials board always holds something unique for any diner, otherwise you just can’t go wrong with the standard menu. The aromas coming out of that kitchen are so fragrant and beckoning that you just want to run over to another table and take a bite out of someone else’s meal while waiting for your own.
The Aiona family has a celebrity in it’s midst – Phillip “Ippy” Aiona, who was a finalist on Food Network’s Season 8 Star program. I watched as Giada mentored him and actually voted for him to win – for me, that’s unbelievable that I would take the time to vote for a tv program. I just wanted him to win! He deserved it!!
Well, surprise, surprise! Chef Ippy was in the house that evening and he came out to play with us a bit. He is so darn cute and personable – he is destined for stardom.
Chef Ippy has his own restaurant at the King’s Shoppes in the Waikoloa Resort called “Three Fat Pigs”, and I have heard good things about it. I am positive that we will all make the journey to visit his eatery and sing his praises.
If you’re in Waimea (aka Kamuela), be sure to pay a visit to Solimene’s – caution: you MUST love garlic! haha! AND good, reasonably priced food!! Located in the Waimea Shopping Center. Reservations are probably appreciated for this busy spot, but they are great at trying to accommodate all who grace their front door. (808) 887-1313.
October is coming up, and I am sure we will be making the sojourn to Parker Square for our annual Bentley fix! Until then……brrrrrrrrr……