With the beginning of a New Year, for many, that means starting the year “off right” or “on a high note” with a special indulgence, a celebratory meal, or perhaps a wellness treatment.
Here, Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort team members share some of the special ways how they would like to kick-off 2022. May their delicious meals, impeccable party ideas, wellness mindsets and helpful tips serve to inspire and delight.
The ideal New Year’s meal, according to Executive Chef Fabrizio Schenardi:
“I’d enjoy a New Year’s dinner of oysters with watercress gelee and prosecco, a salted codfish cooked with white wine and herbs and grilled polenta, and a cotechino (hot Italian sausage stuffed in pig’s feet) and lentils. For dessert, a funghetto – a pastry stuffed with dark chocolate and dusted with cocoa powder.”
For New Year’s Eve snacking, Chef Schenardi suggests a simple and elegant charcuterie board, and shares his tips for how to make a tasty and beautiful display here.
The perfect drink to make a toast with, according to Antoine Boissonot, Sommelier:
“We always think about Champagne as a beverage we enjoy for celebrating a special occasion. My ultimate favourite bottle of Champagne is S de Salon made by the Delamotte house from Le Mesnil, which is a single vineyard in the Cote des Blancs region in Champagne, France.
It is made only in exceptional years, from 100 percent chardonnay grapes, and shows finesse and elegance, purity of fruit and an intense minerality. It’s the perfect Champagne to celebrate the New Year!”
Capa, the Resort’s rooftop Spanish steakhouse, boasts 26 different Champagnes and sparkling wines on the menu, and its stunning rooftop setting makes it a special place for a celebratory dinner.
Starting the New Year on a sweet note, according to Executive Pastry Chef Rabii Saber:
Saber, a 2019 James Beard Award semifinalist for Outstanding Pastry Chef, is known for his elaborate chocolate sculptures and intricate desserts. For the New Year, however, his dessert of choice would be about simplicity.
Saber would opt for a palate-cleansing dessert, as he notes the New Year is always about a fresh start and making resolutions for himself.
“I would be content with a cup or flight of refreshing sorbets served with some fruit. My choice would be a lemon and mint sorbet, or the passionfruit sorbet we serve here at the Resort.”
Saber recently created a masterpiece life-size gingerbread house display, with 300 pounds (135 kilograms) of gingerbread and 240 pounds (110 kilograms) of royal icing.
The house, which took Saber and his team of pastry professionals 320 hours to complete, is stationed in the Resort’s main lobby for the festive season.
How to improve your golf game in 2022, according to Rod Cook, Director of Golf Instruction:
Cook notes that it’s a great time to reflect on 2021 patterns of play, and ask, “what is the worst part of one’s game?” “We need to identify and work on the part of one’s golf game that needs the most work and make that better.
Most of the time, it is one’s short game and putting that requires the most attention.” Cook is most looking forward to travelling to The Old Course at St. Andrews Links, Scotland this coming year, playing with members of Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club Orlando.
For those looking to improve their golf game and play on a pristine Tom Fazio course, have access to tennis courts and fitness classes, enjoy exclusive special events and a myriad of other benefits, consider joining the Club for an active 2022. For inquiries, contact 407 313 6778.
How to start the New Year on a wellness note, according to Derek Hofmann,Senior Director of Spa:
“The New Year transition is an excellent time to be both reflective and poised for action. My wellness initiatives for the New Year will (always do!) start with a favourite Spa treatment.
For me, an 80-minute cupping massage is relaxing and restorative and perfect after a busy year and holiday season,” says Hofmann. “It affords me a moment to unwind and to contemplate what I want to do differently, continue doing well, and begin doing in the new year.
Fresh off this reset and rekindled direction I will implement my wellness routine with renewed vigour – a weekly program of running and strength training combined with daily mindfulness.”
The Spa offers cupping in addition to numerous signature treatments such as the Mindful Matcha Body Scrub and the Sticks & Stones Massage, cryofacials, IV therapy immunity drips, hair and nail care, and more.
Contact The Spa at 407 313 6160 to reserve a treatment, and discover more ways to relax and unwind at the Resort, here.
Shopped out? Here’s what to do in January, according to Teresa Hughes, Director of Retail:
With the gift-giving and shopping season now over, Hughes recommends taking advantage of the New Year to regain organisation and clean out one’s closet.
“A New Year is the perfect time to start fresh, and closet cleaning is a fantastic way to feel like you’re organised and ready to revamp your style,” she says. “It’s also an ideal time to sort clothes for donation to charity, and perhaps set aside another stack to try online consigning on one of the popular designer resale sites.
Use the proceeds from what may sell for your next shopping trip to Wardrobe!”
From James Perse Disney-inspired T-shirts to custom Lele Sadoughi headbands, the Resort’s boutique, Wardrobe, offers many special finds.
The ideal vacation, according to Sascha Voss, Catering Sales Manager, for weddings and events:
“2021 was a very busy year. We saw large in-person celebrations and weddings return and the excitement in event planning was bigger than ever before! I firmly believe in taking time to reflect on the past year before starting the next, busy event season,” says Voss.
“Each year, my husband and I try to escape on a cruise to the Caribbean to take a breath and refresh our senses.
We love beginning the New Year, in the middle of the ocean, under the stars, while enjoying a glass of Champagne. The perfect start for us!”
For those newly engaged over the holiday season, discover the variety of wedding packages offered at Four Seasons Resort Orlando.
What Central Florida activity is best for the start of the New Year, according to Sandra Ferrarese, Chef Concierge:
“I love Orlando’s weather in January. It is cool in the morning, which invites you to enjoy a cup of coffee outside, followed by a warm and relaxing massage. This would be a perfect beginning to my day!” says Ferrarese.
“Also, I personally love the Winter Park area. It is the perfect place to walk around and visit the local boutiques followed by a lunch outside overlooking the park or the lake.
For the evening, there are two activities I would consider as my favourite: Cirque du Soleil at Disney Springs and a fireworks cruise.
The fireworks cruise is a wonderful and different way to experience the Disney fireworks display, where you can enjoy the music and the show from a nice boat ride with your family.”
Ferrarese is an accredited Les Clefs d’Or concierge, one of only four in Central Florida.
She and her team of concierge leaders are true experts in assisting guests with their arrangements, creating experiences and memories that truly dazzle.
New Year’s Traditions:
In England, where Director of Residences Helen Barry hails, she says they practice “first footing” after midnight on New Year’s Eve. The first person that steps foot over the threshold of the front door is said to bring luck.
“Nowadays, it’s more about bringing food and drink over the door, and it represents prosperity, warmth for the house, and good cheer. Whisky is often used to toast the New Year,” says Barry.
After her Christmas decorations come down, she likes to bring in new potted plants to add colour, and take a stroll through the neighbourhood to deliver some treats to her neighbours.
For French-born Capa Chef Gabriel Massip, his tradition involves decadent cuisine and cognac. “My family used to spend New Year’s Eve with a lot of family and friends, and everybody brought food and wine.
We would start with oysters and Champagne, goose foie grasfrom my father’s family in the south of France, and my mother would prepare a roasted pork loin with apples, prunes and chestnuts, plus a big cheese board to mark a break before dessert,” says Chef Massip.
“We would have ile flottante with toasted almonds served with a fresh fruit salad, and a little cognac at the end as a digestive.”
Director of Catering Laure Hitzig Clavette, who also hails from France, says she would serve one final decadent meal for the New Year before focusing on health-centred choices, and it would incorporate French cuisine.
“I think a perfect New Year’s Day brunch would be held al fresco, enjoying this blissful Florida January weather. I would keep the menu simple with brunch staples, but with a French flair, such as one of my favorites: bouillade d’oeufs au saumon fume – a fancy way to make scrambled eggs with smoked salmon – and serve with some beautiful cheeses, homemade baguette and a selection of spreads and crackers,” notes Clavette.
“I would pour my favourite bubbles, Laurent-Perrier rosé, to ring in the New Year in style! Also, I would make sure there is enough foie gras leftover from the night before, to serve on mini toasts as an hors d’oeuvre when guests arrive.”
For those seeking a regular foie gras fix, Capa is featuring “Foie Friday” with a different foie gras special each week. A recent dish was seared foie gras with a crispy fennel and apple salad served on a carrot puree with a finishing sauce of chicken jus and basil oil.
Another recent Foie Friday special was seared foie gras served on a bed of mushrooms duxelles with toasted olive bread, salsa verde and a pea puree. Contact 407 313 6161 for Capa reservations.