My boyfriend and I spent 3 days in one of Canada’s oldest cities, Kingston,a city with many buildings that are actually older than Canada itself as they were built before Canada was even named! I love the city of Kingston, and I’d even go as far as to say it’s one of my favourite places in the world. Ive been visiting Kingston almost every summer since I was a young girl, as my aunt rents a house there each summer and my cousins and myself would spend the summer there with her. I love old buildings and historic homes, and Kingston is chock full of them. It is also teeming with amazing restaurants, and has tons of diverse food choices.
We started our first day there with an early lunch at what I consider one of the best Italian restaurants and a must stop eatery in Kingston, Casa restaurant. It’s easy to spot as it’s located directly across the street facing the large town square and city hall, right in the heart of downtown Kingston. The town square was packed with people when we were there, as everyone was checking out the farmers market which is held there every Saturday and Sunday morning. Tons of sellers set up stands to sell a variety of fruits, vegetables, home made treats, honey, and sometimes even antiques. We sat facing the window, and the restaurant wasnquir empty when we were there as it was still quite early for lunch. I was torn between ordering a walnut and goat cheese salad, as their salad is very delicious and in a very generous portion, but their pasta dishes; especially the puttanesca pasta, are incredible. My boyfriend and I decided to compromise, I got the salad and he got an order of Penne, so that we could try both.
On Saturday morning, I had the pleasure of eating at the adorable Sorelle & co. Cafe at its location in Maple, a city North of Toronto.
I had heard a lot of good things from friends about this bakery & cafe, and about how aesthetically beautiful the interior of it was. Two of my best friends and I decided to try it out, and we arrived around 10 am just as it was opening.
One thing that really stood out to me about this bakery is that everything that is sold there is gluten free. I’m not gluten free myself or anything, but I’ve tried recently to reduce my gluten intake as I have a very mild gluten sensitivity and tend to get a bit bloated when I eat bread/pasta which is hard when you’re Italian.
The cafe is in this gorgeous white clapboard house that looks like something you’d see in a quaint seaside town rather than in a plaza, and it’s outside is abundant with boxes of beautiful white and pink flowers and cute little wrought iron tables and chairs.
The inside of the cafe is gorgeous- large chandeliers on high ceilings, beautifully decorated walls, and lovely patterned sofas. Everything is very modern and chic in shades of white marble and light pink.
One of my friends decided on a blueberry scone, the other ordered a caramel tarte, and I decided on a chocolate crumble cookie. They had a great selection of tea blends, and coffee drinks, and I had a vanilla roobois tea over ice, and my friends had iced drinks as well.
Honestly, I had been expecting gluten free pastries to be very pricey, but for the three of us, 3 pastries and 3 generous sized iced coffee/tea drinks came to about 24 Canadian dollars- which is honestly not terrible considering the prices at places like Starbucks which have a much lesser variety of pastries let alone those that are gluten free.
I really enjoyed the chocolate crumble cookie, and it was very tasty and just the right amount of tender in the middle. My friends also really enjoyed their food as well, and I also really enjoyed my iced tea. The decor is beautiful and the atmosphere is very warm and inviting. I’m just sad that I didn’t order more pastries to try, so I will definitely be returning.
This past weekend, my two best friends and I decided to drive into the city and get a hotel room for Saturday night. Because we all live north of the city of Toronto and all work more or less away from the city, we don’t get to spend much time there. We started our adventure early on Saturday morning with big plans of walking around the city and checking out cafes and ice cream shops like “Sweet Jesus” that we had all heard so much about. However, the weather quickly ruined any plans we had of walking around much as there was heavy rainfall all afternoon into the evening, which sadly meant no chance to walk to the ice cream shop.
Instead, we opted for a quick brunch at Aroma cafe and espresso bar, as it was directly across the street from our hotel. I had never ordered from the breakfast menu at Aroma before but I was really impressed by the breakfast sandwiches. I ordered a breakfast sandwhich with avocado and egg (cause you know, we millennials like avocado) and it was amazing. Honestly, one of the best breakfast sandwhiches that I’ve ever eaten. The bread was amazing, and I’m a sucker for egg and avocado together. I mistakenly ordered only a half portion of the sandwhich instead of a full, thinking it would be filling enough for me but I could’ve eaten way more. Sorry no pictures of the sandwhich I was way too hungry- but here’s a picture of my best friend getting his breakfast on:
We decided to spend the day indoors at the Toronto Eaton Center mall, which is arguably the best mall in the city. Nordstrom was having its anniversary sale and I gleefully purchased 3 pairs of shoes that I had previously had my eye on and were now half their original price. I also purchased a couple tops from the Urban Outfitters located on Queen street, across from the mall, but I was a little dissapointed with their selection of items compared to their usual stock and it was really hard to find sizes in anything. I will be making a haul post this week featuring my new purchases.
The shopping was fun, but for me I was most happy about getting to buy a bag of candy at the store Squish which is a candy shop specializing in hundreds of flavours and shapes of gummy candies. They only have a couple locations in Toronto, one being a small pop up shop in the Hudsons Bay of the Eaton Centre mall. I had heard a lot about the company and about some of their delicious alcohol infused gummy candies like the prosecco gummy bears. The candy definitely lived up to its hype, and we devoured that bag of gummy goodness. I was able to take a few pictures of the candies before they were eaten.
There were gummy pineapples, gummy mermaids, sharks, bears, strawberries, watermelon, cherries, sour gummies, alcohol infused gummies- I was in candy heaven. I can’t wait to go back to the Eaton centre to buy more!
To finish off our night out on the town, we decided to try something we had all been dying to try for a while: a karaoke bar! We found a place called Bar + near our hotel which was a bar and karaoke lounge. We cabbed over -it was still raining- and we were told that there are individual karaoke rooms for 2+ people (which I like much better than having to sing on a stage in a crowded bar). The wait time for a karaoke room however, was a whopping 2 hours and because we didn’t want to cab back to the hotel to wait it out, we decided to have a couple of drinks at the bar. The crowd in the karaoke lounge was vary diverse and ranged from young couples, to a group of middle aged women celebrating a birthday, to a bachelor party of rowdy 20-something men with a blow up doll in tow (people watching is quite entertaining).
Eventually around 12:15 pm, we got our karaoke room which we had decided to rent for an hour and a half ( which goes by very quickly when you’re belting out 90s love ballads) and we were given an iPad with thousands of songs which we could make a playlist out of for our karaoke session. We chose a variety of our collective favourites, like “Just A Girl” by No Doubt, “Toxic” by Britney Spears, almost everything by Destinys Child, and most of the soundtrack from Grease. It was honestly one of the funnest group activities we’ve ever done and I’m dying to do it again. I loved the seclusion of being in our own room and being able to dance around and karaoke to our hearts content without being watched. And thus was our “best friends” weekend.
I was going through my expansive photo library yesterday and I rediscovered a ton of photography I had taken on past vacations and trips. I decided to make a weekly thread where each Friday I’ll post a picture or two that I’ve taken from somewhere in the world.
This week, for my first Travel Photography Friday post, I’ve decided to feature some photos that I took on a trip to Aruba in April of 2015.
This little old chapel known as the Alto Vista was the first ever built in Aruba and is located in isolation amidst a desert landscape. The original church was built in the 1700s but this structure that stands there now was built in the 1950s. We had to rent ATV’s to reach this spot and it was an amazing experience.
A photo I took off the beach near where we were staying known as Eagle Beach. The waters were so clear and pristine and the sand was clean and well maintained. Definitely one of the best beaches I’ve ever been to.