Out & About: Taste of Toronto 2016

A few weekends ago we marched our way over to the third consecutive "Taste of Toronto" event at Fort York. I love food (and a good alcoholic beverage) so this event is always something I look forward to! Now, I'd heard some grumblings days leading up to us attending that this year wasn't as good as past years and some friends decided to not even bother going at all. Well... Let me tell you, if you didn't attend, you missed out, BIG TIME! Here's what we got up to and some of our favourite tastes of the event!

Minutes upon arriving I of course had to get the obligatory pic (and video) with the "Taste" sign!

Then we headed over to the "Come And Get It" booth for our first (of what would be three for me) of our coincidentally favourite cocktails of the evening! These tasty and innovative cocktails had us coming back for more... Come And Get It, if you're reading this blog post... I be brunching with you super soon, you can count on that!🍴

We popped over to the Food Network Canada tent and grabbed ourselves a sturdy tote bag for all the loot we knew we'd be collecting throughout the evening, admired their cool custom harvest tables and then we were off to drink and eat our way through the circuit! 

We enjoyed some Distillery Root Beer from Mill Street and French macarons from AG Macarons.

My boyfriend loves Mexican food so he got his grub on with an empanada from Los Colibris. This dish was delicious, but unfortunately not very photogenic, but the staff were!

Then we had to pop over to see my friends at Pilsner Urquell (who even til today regularly use a pic we took last year at the event of their beer on one of their Twitter accounts). This year we opted to try their draught & unfiltered beer... So smooth! 

Next on the agenda was participating in the wine tasting of sparkling wines with Franco Stalteri of Charlie's Burgers. Loved this experience as I'm a huge champers & bubbles fan! The moscato that we tried was probably my favourite, although I truly enjoyed all three we tasted.

Now, let's talk about my all time favourite dish and then whole reason for my attending! The pressed, torched sushi! I had the "Aburi Oshi Sushi" from Miku Restaurant so many times the girls manning the station knew me by name! Even now as I write this post, and I think back on enjoying this dish, I wish I could have more right now!

Other notable shoutouts included a truly fantastic rosé called "Pixie Sparkling Rosé" from Rosehall Run, tasty avocado toast from Avocados from Mexico, and a delicious and detoxing cocktail from Well Juicery made with vodka and their "Be Well" juice blend of Carrot, Apple, Beet, Lemon & Ginger!

We went home happy and full, and excited to go back again next year! Keep up the great work Taste of Toronto, keep up the great work! 

Until next time… Enjoy!

Sincerely,

Out & About: Studio Fontana Launch Party

Toronto Hair Salon "Studio Fontana" recently held a party to launch their second studio in the city. Hairstylist Francesco Fontana opened this new innovative salon after immense popularity and success with their Yorkville location. GenerationYYZ® was there to capture the collision of fashion and photography; alongside Toronto’s leading industry folks. The new location at 400 Wellington Street West has a smashing interior where clients can enjoy a full service hair salon as well as get personalized treatments from the pros.

Designers, photographers and hair stylists are invited to utilize the open-space studio for their own creative needs while clients can get their hair tresses managed by the salon’s talented staff. How cool is that!?

At the launch party, attendees were served crepes, waffles (nom, nom, nom) and finger foods along with wine and cocktails.

We were also given a sneak peek consultation by hairstylist & image consultant, Carol Brailey, who gave us colour analysis consultations in accordance to our skin tones (for fashion and cosmetic direction), and of course, suitable hair colour suggestions.

Make your way over to their new location and check it out for yourself! Tell them GenerationYYZ® sent you!

Tasty finger foods from El Caballito

Haircare brands carried by the salon include: Goodwell and KMS California

Handmade statement jewelry was on display from Makara Jewelry

Beyond delicious crepes & waffles from Caffe Demetre (Kingsway location)

Until next time… Enjoy!

Sincerely,

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Out & About: Afternoon Tea at Windsor Arms Hotel

I recently had the privilege to visit the Windsor Arms Hotel for Afternoon Tea, and loved every moment of it! As I sat in the purple velvet armchair staring at the beautiful bone china and the carefully placed cutlery, fond memories of my one-on-one etiquette teachings with my late Grandmother, “Nanny", flooded my mind. As a child I adored my Nanny! Her social graces, her perfectly-styled, flaming red hair and the abundance of sequins, pearls and furs that she often wore. She was glamorous and gorgeous just like an old-time movie star - But she was also the most generous and warm hearted person I’ve ever known. I hold memories of our private moments very close to my heart; her teachings of how to properly eat a dinner roll (by putting the butter on the plate), dining etiquette about the various forks and spoons (working your way from the outside-in towards the plate throughout the various courses) and to always have fresh hand towels on every bathroom vanity matching the decor (that she folded a certain way).

In today’s society many traditions and etiquettes have been forgotten or are simply never passed down, which is a shame. I believe that as our world becomes more and more digital there needs to be a push for and greater significance put on tradition, especially when it comes to personal connections and socialization with others. Sometimes we need to stop our daily hustle and bustle to take a moment to enjoy the company and conversation of others away from our mobile and desktop screens. While I visited the Windsor Arms I was fortunate enough to witness a father and young daughter enjoying afternoon tea for the young girl’s birthday. The father was showing his daughter how to pour the tea, reminding her to keep her elbows off the table and not to *clink* her spoon against the cup as she stirred. It moved me. It was uplifting to see that rite of passage, to know that I witnessed an important moment in her life, as she will carry it with her for all the days of her life. The passing on of good manners, familial traditions and etiquette should be paramount for all families and a great source of pride. Remember Children Learn What They Live (poem by Dorothy Law Nolte). Please view my Afternoon Tea experience below...

~ The Tea Room ~

Hats in collaboration with the Look Good Feel Better program, donations can be made here

Click the above image to shop the Polo Ralph Lauren custom-fit striped shirt from Hudson’s Bay

I opted to enjoy the “Tibetan Tiger" tea - Chocolate bits, vanilla, organic rooibos and black tea

Goat cheese and caramelized shallot tart… It was delicious!

~ The Afternoon Tea menu ~

Enjoyed in the following order… Fresh sandwiches: "Cucumber with sun-dried tomato paste and dill cream cheese", "grilled chicken, granny smith apples citrus mayo, greek yogurt & chives" and "smoked salmon and wasabi sour cream with salmon caviar"

Fresh scones with preserves and devon cream

A selection of petits fours

You can find the recipe for the scones here

I will admit that I wished I’d had a refresher etiquette course prior to my Afternoon Tea experience (as I know I committed a few mistakes at the time), so I’d like to share some tips with you so that you may be adequately prepared for your own experience. I find etiquette and old traditions fascinating, so stay tuned for future teachings and tips. I simply cannot wait to get my hands on William Hanson’s book “The Bluffer’s Guide to Etiquette"!

Click the above image to shop the various collections from Royal Albert

~ In memory of my Nanny ~

I’d like to dedicate this blog post to the woman who introduced me to the “Shirley Temple"! One of the strongest, most beautiful and most inspirational women in my life; I carry your fire in me! You are missed… Love you! XoXo

Until next time… Enjoy!

Sincerely,

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Out & About: Track Weekend at Toronto Motorsports Park

This past weekend was a BLAST! We spent it trackside at the Toronto Motorsports Park (TMP), in Cayuga, Ontario. The weather was gorgeous, with just the right amount of sun and breeze - while the air smelt of masculinity; full of testosterone, gasoline and burning rubber. We put up our paddock/tent, making ourselves comfy for the two day stay, even bringing along a little barbecue and our motorcycle-enthusiast-canine-companions (our umbrella girls for the weekend, if you will), CoCo and Ella. Track days after all... Are a family affair!

Check out the TMP website for more information, and take a drive out there this summer!

www.torontomotorsportspark.com

Whether you looked left, or if you looked right, there was sea of the usual suspects - all sporting their preferred brands atop their bikes of choice… From Ducati to Kawasaki, Alpinestars to Dainese, AGV to Shoei, and everything in between. I’m giving you the "green flag" to check out the rest of this post! "GO!"

Pictured above *NEW* racing slicks!

Pictured above Yamaha (on the left) AND Aprilia and Dainese suit (on the right)

Pictured above on the left Shoei Helmets

CoCo sporting her colours… Go team Ducati, Go!

Until next time… Enjoy!

Sincerely, 

Out & About: Fresita Canada's #FresitaFriday

Happy #FresitaFriday all!

For those of you who have never heard of, or tried, Fresita, you need to make your way over to the nearest LCBO and pick yourself up a bottle (or two). Fresita is a Chilean sparkling wine, delightfully refreshing, with the rich flavours and aroma of Patagonian strawberries. One of my summertime favourites is to sip chilled Fresita on the balcony with brunch or during a hot afternoon amongst friends. I highly recommend this beverage! 

Available at the LCBOwww.lcbo.com/lcbo/product/fresita

Lucky for me (and for you) Fresita Canada has put together an event with the collaboration of three unique Queen Street West boutiques, Bicyclette Boutique, Coal Miner’s Daughter and Leigh & Harlow. I popped by each of these boutiques today to participate in the event that is still running until this coming Sunday (June 29th). I encourage you to add @FresitaCanada  @ShopBicyclette  @coalminersdaughter AND @leighandharlow to your Instagram, and visit at least one, if not all three, of these boutiques by Sunday. Be sure to take a photo while in store then upload it to your Instagram account with the hashtag #FresitaFriday for a chance to win a $100 gift card! *PLEASE NOTE: THE CONTEST HAS ENDED*

Also, visit the Fresita Canada’s website for more tips and delicious cocktail recipes… www.fresita.com 

Trust me you’re gonna love it! See below for my experience from today!

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Let us know if you try Fresita this weekend!

Until next time… Enjoy!

Sincerely,