Hey everyone! I’m finally back from my extremely long hiatus-due to trying to finish my Undergraduate degree- and now that I’ve officially graduated, I have some time to share with you guys all new content (yay)! To start, I’d like to chronicle my recent stay in Savannah, Georgia – one of my favourite little towns in the South.
Here are some of my favourite and most memorable you-have-to-get-food-here places (in no particular order)
1. Chive Sea Bar and Lounge
Not only does it have a really cool name and a super trendy vintage meets modern chic interior, but this restaurant also has some killer seafood! We (my mother, aunt , and me) had reservations for dinner, but there is also a separate lunch menu. To start, we ordered the lobster and shrimp egg rolls which were amazing and the chive mussels which I was unable to try due to my lactose sensitivity (it contains cream) but I was told it was incredible. We also split an order of oysters, which were very fresh. For our main dish; the three of us split the “catch of the day” which was a grilled local fish -the name of which now escapes me- which came with vegetables. The fish tasted amazing and was so soft and buttery. 10/10 seafood- also the presentation of the dishes was also beautiful.
2. Gryphon Tea Room
Ok, this place is just the most aesthetically pleasing places I’ve ever been in. First of all, the Gryphon Tea Room has a super interesting history; originally it was a family run apothecary (drug store) in the 1920’s and was in operation for decades until the SCAD -the local art college- bought it and sold books out of it for a few years. However, it eventually became the tea room, and it is staffed by students from the college. What’s the most fascinating to me is that the inside is all original and all of the stained glass, ceilings, and even the desks and drawers are all from the original apothecary: complete with the old labels from which the medications were kept. It’s absolutely beautiful inside and the tea is amazing as well. We came in for the afternoon high tea and received cute little tiers of desserts and small sandwiches and we each received our own pot of tea. I had the hot cinnamon spice tea-I’m a sucker for anything with cinnamon-( its like Christmas in your mouth) which was sooo tasty.
3. Leopold’s Ice cream 🍦
If you’re looking for quality hand made ice cream served to you in an adorable retro 1940s looking venue then this is the place for you. Opened in 1919, this restaurant is a Savannah icon and for good reason; the family run ice cream parlour has some of the best tasting ice cream flavours in existence. One of the current owners herself was there when I was in, and she was such a wonderful, sweet person and introduced me to their vegan vanilla ice cream when she learned that I was lactose intolerant. She even brought me sliced mango to put in my ice cream because she said it went well with the vanilla (she was right). I hadn’t been able to have ice cream for years as most ice cream parlours don’t carry lactose free or vegan flavours here in Toronto, so I was so happy that they had a flavour I could enjoy. I had an amazing experience at Leopolds and I’m kind of obsessed with all things retro and cute so the fact that the staff were all dressed in 1950s style aprons and caps made me so happy.
4. Savannah Rae’s Gourmet Popcorn
If you’re obsessed with popcorn like I am then you need a trip to this place at least once in your life. Ok-this place has 150+ flavours of popcorn. It is W-I-L-D, I didn’t even know that you could make that many flavours of popcorn- they have everything from cheese flavoured popcorn to chocolate caramel popcorn to cherry popcorn. I visited this place twice and you better believe I got some cherry popcorn.
5. The Olde Pink House
My favourite old house in Savannah: the Olde Pink House is a gorgeous and reportedly haunted 18th century mansion. Although I didn’t see any ghosts sadly, I did see some quality food- I’ve eaten at the Olde Pink House before and I can assure you that everything on their dinner menu is A +. I recommend eating in the basement or the “tavern” part of the house because it is just so fun; there’s live music, a beautiful antique bar, and it’s completely candlelit. The only drawback of eating in the tavern is that it does get crowded and loud as the tables are small and people tend to crowd around the bar area at night. If you’re looking for a quieter and more intimate evening I suggest eating in the main floor dining area. Either way makes for a beautiful experience.
6. Two Cracked Eggs
One of the best breakfast places that we ate at on our trip, two cracked eggs is a quaint small breakfast/brunch venue which features all the classic breakfast dishes like eggs, pancakes, and French toast. I ordered eggs with avocado (I put avocado on everything) and also had the French toast which was unreal ! Also the food is served inside skillets which is extremely aesthetically pleasing.
7. The Crystal Beer Parlour
Another Savannah staple, the crystal beer parlour has been selling food since the early 1900s when it was a grocery store. It has been a restaurant for 50 + Years now and its walls are decorated with all kinds of old photos and newspaper clippings of Savannah’s history. The staff is extremely friendly and the food is southern comfort food at its best. We all ordered fried shrimp sandwiches which were tasty and I recommend trying their peach cobbler for dessert as well!r
8. The Flying Monk Noodle Bar
I’m obsessed with noodles- crispy noodles, soft noodles, thick noodles, thin noodles- I don’t discriminate. So this restaurant was my own personal heaven. The menu is amazing and contains dozens of different noodle dishes both crispy and soft, which caused me to spend 30 minutes just trying to figure out what to order (everything looked too good). Finally, I decided on a noodle dish called the Na Na noodles with tofu and they were incredible. The portions are fairly large but you better believe I downed that whole dish in 20 minutes. Also, I’m absolutely obsessed with their edamame dumplings and I could eat them everyday for the rest of my life.
If you’ve ever wanted to see a double decker bus that has been converted into a café then I recommend stopping in here. This café serves a large assortment of lattes and coffee based drinks as well as pastries which you can then eat inside an old bus. Staffed by students from the SCAD art college, the venue is fun but also serves up tasty drinks.
10. Café M
Another cute breakfast place is Café M, a quaint little breakfast/ café spot that serves tasty egg croissants, pastries, and other treats. I ordered the fruit oatmeal for my breakfast while my aunt and mother ordered the egg and cheese croissant. The food was delicious and the decor is also lovely.
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.
I’ve just discovered this song and I can’t stop playing it so I thought I would share it! I really love this song and I find both the lyrics and the melody entrancing. I had never heard anything by this artist before but after hearing this beautiful song and his incredible voice I am an instant fan of his. I’m a huge fan of Indie/Alternative rock and I’m always on the look out for new artists to listen to and I’m so happy with this discovery! I will definitely be adding more of his music to my ever growing ITunes library.
Some of my favourite lyrics from the song include:
“Talking ain’t as easy when you’re down
I know you know I’m tryin’ to find the words to say
You told me you would always be around
But now you’re gone, I know that we are not okay
I’m so afraid of growing old
So don’t you go and leave me on my own”
“Looking for my answers from above
The only home I knew was for me and you”
I’ve inserted a link to the song on YouTube so that you can take a listen or you are interested! 💕
This weeks song is Cringe by Matt Maeson. I chose this song as a reflection of my week, as I’ve been feeling really down for the past couple days; emotionally, physically, and mentally. I heard this song for the first time a couple weeks ago and I’ve fallen in love with it and hearing it makes me feel a little better. Favourite lyrics:
“Lover come over,
Look what I done.
I’ve been alone so long,
I feel like I’m on the run.
Lover come over,
Kick up the dust.
I got a secret,
Starting to rust.”
I love the use of the line “starting to rust” as in the author of the lyrics feels as though he’s been alone for so long that he’s beginning to form rust, like an old piece of iron left to outside to endure the elements.
I think this is song is both well written and upbeat, and It is currently my favourite new discovery.
Youtube Link to the song: