Monday, July 11, 2016

Toronto begins (and ends) with 'Tea': No ifs, ands or . . . well, maybe a few butts

Mom/Daughter trip to Toronto finally here after months of planning!

A mom-daughter (times two)  trip to Toronto last month squeezed in a lot of tea, food, shopping, comedy and just a little bit of crazy in a long weekend. In this blog, we'll expose the naked truth - quite literally!

A trip planned back in February with our old and dear friends, Joni and Annabelle (the latter being buds with my daughter Rachel since third grade), we were up for some cosmopolitan adventures across the border.

Disturbingly good dessert at Mill Street Pub

We selected Toronto as our girls weekend destination and could hardly wait to hit the road after so many months of planning. After a harrowing trip on the always exciting 401, we dropped our bags off at our apartment for the weekend and headed out to the Distillery District.  It's a pedestrian-only village in the heart of Toronto and boasts a wide range of  gourmet dining, pubs, art galleries and unique shops, all housed in restored Victorian-era buildings. 

Trying to hold it together while camera person captures the right distance.

We found refuge in the Mill Street Pub, where we enjoyed a delicious meal and a disturbingly good dessert. Energized and refueled, we hit the shops. My favorite was Blackbird Vintage Finds, a very cool and eclectic mix of old and new merchandise, including vintage tea cups.

Can you spot the  Colclough  cup?  Super cool merchandise at Blackbird Vintage Finds

I found and purchased a Colclough tea cup . It was a suiting souvenir of our trip, since it was only a few degrees of separation from the mom-daughter outing that inspired our trip.  We saw the movie "Brooklyn" in February and that movie gave screen time to a Colclough tea cup, the same pattern of a set I have at home. (See,  Colclough in Brooklyn).  (It wasn't the focal point of the movie, of course, but a captivating cameo for teacup fanatics.)

After a restful night at our lovely airbnb, and a morning cup of tea on the  balcony overlooking the water, we were ready for anything:  brunch, shopping, comedy and. . .  the unexpected.

Al fresco french cuisine brunch at Le Select Bistron
Morning cup of tea with water views.

We snagged a prime table on the patio of Le Select Bistro for brunch - delicious french cuisine enjoyed al fresco.

Then we made our way down to the Farmer's Market and stopped at several boutique stores along the way. One shop had a whole table filled with Tealish teas, so I picked up the one that paid homage to its home country, "Oh Canada Maple" (see our recent review "Oh Canada Maple: True North Tea").

Joni and Annabelle partake in tour de shops in Toronto

Tealish tea including Oh Canada Maple

Up along Dundas street, we entered Eaton Center and paid a visit to  David's Tea where we sampled a variety of their blends before walking away with a bag full of treats.  Another highlight of the mall was our stop at H & M, which, unlike most of its sister stores in our area, has a full home goods section. It has super cute stuff - even an adorable over-sized tea cup that says, "you are my cup of tea".  Awwwww.

H & M home goods. Rachel:  you are my cup of tea!

Once back out on the main drag, we quickly went from "oh, how cute!" to "what in the world?" More specifically, what- in-the-world-naked-bike-ride? Apparently, this is an annual event - some kind of protest against oil dependency. Really, whatever their cause is, it's a challenge to get behind it. (*ouch*).

Tea and . . what? TV crew behind (ahem) capturing  all.
Be ready to see it all, literally, in Torronto

It was a bit shocking, but it's life in the big city - you have to be ready for few unconventional events.

And the fun continued!  In the evening, we had tickets to Second City.  A great show and lots of laughs.

Rachel and Annabelle:  too much fun at Second City!

Our last day in Toronto, we took a walk along the water in the music garden. It's pretty and peaceful and right across the street from the Music Garden Cafe, where we had dinner the previous night.

Music Garden along Queens Quay along the waterfront.
Rachel and Joni taking in the sites of the garden.

Joni captures a candid shot at Music Cafe. Love the toile!

We wrapped up our stay at the far end of Toronto for afternoon tea at T-buds. Great food and tea and just the right send off for our long ride home.  (Stay tuned for a full review of t-buds!) Some much needed tranquility before embarking on the 401.

T-buds: lovely Toronto tea room

Almost ready for the 401.

Afternoon tea in Toronto.

A great adventure and an exceedingly good time - no ifs, ands, or . . . yes, quite a few butts!

Part of the Toronto treasure trove, complete with Colclough tea cup!

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