Afternoon tea at The Windsor Arms

For Mother’s Day, we took BP’s mom to The Windsor Arms for Twilight tea. I’m guessing this is their equivalent of High Tea.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
I got the Peppermint tea which was pretty good. Unfortunately, the teapot they gave me wasn’t one of the cuter ones :(

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
I called in earlier to switch up my menu since I hated goat cheese but apparently a lot of their items had it. Both their tarts and their quiche had it. This was the savory dish that came with their Twilight tea.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

All in all, it was pretty good! It’s $45 for a Twilight tea but I’ve seen some groupons for half price tea. The place was crowded but of course, that’s due to Mother’s Day. However, I must point out that their washrooms were very untidy. The paper towels were all over the floor…….

—–

The Tea Room at The Windsor Arms
Website
18 St Thomas St, Toronto, ON M5S 3E7
416-971-9666

Afternoon tea at Casa Loma

I learned about the event on the Casa Loma website as I was looking for archery classes I could take with BP. Instead, I found something else. Now normally Casa Loma does not serve afternoon tea. But for a special event, they had afternoon tea this past February. #laterblog? It was actually more like brunch since the event started at 11AM.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Afternoon tea took place in 3 different parts of the castle. We ended up in the Billiards Room.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
It wasn’t like traditional afternoon tea. They had stations outside where you could pick up your tea and they also had sandwich & dessert stations(they just made it there – they had servers bring it to you).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
It was done in collaboration with David’s Tea and you had a choice of two teas. Read My Lips [Click Here] and Strawberry Rhubarb Parfait [Click here].

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
We picked the Strawberry Rhubarb Parfait as it sounded delicious and it was!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Our server came and brought us our sandwiches. The typical fare at afternoon tea (bottom to top): Cucumber sandwich, croissant with egg salad, chicken salad tart, not quite sure what that one was since this is BP’s plate, a scone and another goat cheese tart which I plopped on his plate. The scones were served in conjunction with our sandwiches. Mind you, later on the servers came around with extra scones and croissants! YUM :)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
They had servers dressed like French maids bringing out a tray of sweets. You had a choice of one but you could always get more at the dessert station outside.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
You also had the option to purchase alcoholic drinks.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The prosecco was delish!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
After our tea/brunch, I took BP around Casa Loma. We were at Sir Henry Pellatt’s quarters overlooking the lobby and you can see a cake tower!! You were free to grab cupcakes, macarons, and whatever else they had off the tower. It was great.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
At the end of the tour, all afternoon tea ticket holders were given a gift bag to take home. This is our loot: A coupon for a free cup of tea at David’s Tea, a pouch of Jasmine Silk Dragon tea leaves (I actually already bought this and had some at home), Marc Anthony’s Oil of Morocco sample, Lindt chocolate and a bunch of savings at different restaurants. [Quatchi is wearing Duffy's sweater. Thanks to Suki for helping me get it.]

It was a definitely fun time.

While they don’t normally have afternoon tea at Casa Loma, they do have other events like teddy bear parties, ghost hunts, treasure hunts, and archery – just to name a few.

Website: Casa Loma events
Address: 1 Austin Terrace, Toronto, ON M5R 1X8

Website: David’s Tea

Birthday 2013

I know I know, my birthday was months ago (Dec 2013) but I had meant to post about my birthday.

Back in April 2013, during a book club meeting, I mentioned to my friends that I wanted a scavenger hunt birthday party! I had meant it to be like the way they did it in Parks and Recreation. Clever little clues to kinda test our friendship. But my friends decided it was more fun to do one where I get to humiliate myself in public.

They had a clue sent to my phone in the morning and I had to find the first clue (yes, a clue to find the actual first clue) at my place. The day before, Amanda came over and kicked BP and I out while she hid things. So the first clue was hidden with all these papers on my desk. TOOK ME OVER..FOREVER to find it!!!

The first clue led me to this dirt area near this cinema where I live. Apparently they had hidden these popsicle sticks in the ground and I had to find the ones with positive messages like “Yay”. Once I found those, I had to dig and I will get a puzzle piece. They forgotten to mention that I had to go to the concierge and get a shovel. Yes, a shovel. (which was actually a barbeque cleaner btw)

photo 1
Completed part of the puzzle which led me to the next clue. I had to go buy these things and apparently pose with four different people… And this was about the time I realized that it was more a humiliate-Anndrea scavenger hunt than what I wanted.

Insert other tiring activities I had to do which includes more digging, looking for cat toys (btw they had not anticipated that cat toy to be at 3 different places in the store…), going to a bookstore and looking for erotica.

photo 3
They had me order a drink at Starbucks and had me tell the barista to write down OMG SEXI LEXI. I think my friends and I have different thresholds of embarrassing.

photo 2
Finished the puzzle with BP’s help!! We finished this in an senior center… or something.

photo 4
Oh, they sent me to Metro to buy condoms, a cucumber, lube and that’s supposed to embarrass me…

photo 5
When I got home, it wasn’t done. There was this box waiting for me where I had to put on some sash, some glasses that sad fuk u fuk me (why) and I had some scepter too! And I had to go to the restaurant wearing all this. Actually this part wasn’t so much embarrassing but uncomfortable.

There at the restaurant, my group of friends were waiting for me!

photo

While it may have sounded like I had a terrible time – okay, I may not have enjoyed doing all those things in the cold – I must say that I am touched and really grateful that all my friends worked together and went through the trouble of planning this birthday party for me. Love you guys.

Paint Party Toronto

#PaintPartyTO

Last night BP (Butter and Pickle/@butterandpickle aka my boyfriend) and I went to Paint Nite at Pappas Grill on the Danforth. It was fun for me, but maybe not so fun for him.

pn01

We had gone to dinner – or rather our lunch (my eating schedule is out of wack on weekends) at the Diner’s Thai and had a quick dessert date at Caffé Demetré.

pn04
The Paint Nite e-mail had said to come at 6:45PM (starts “promptly” at 7PM) but you know, you always have these keeners who come in way earlier and by the time we got there, all the good seats were taken. So we had to sit facing away from the instructor. While I thought it would be an issue, you actually didn’t have to look at your instructor for very long so turning our bodies/craning our necks the other way didn’t bother either of us too much.

pn03
You’re given a canvas, some paint and two paintbrushes. Oh, and a cup of water for cleaning your brushes. (not pictured)

pn05
And an apron as to not dirty your clothes. Sort of. It did not account for the tiny space. Elbows everywhere! Accidents can happen…

So how it works is – you come in, order a drink, and follow your instructor. You have 2 hours to finish your painting.

pn06
She gave us step by step directions on how to paint her painting (the one you chose upon signing up). Alternatively, you could paint your own. There were some people in the group who drew entirely different things. As pictured above, BP was following instructions on creating the sky. (For now)

Pro: it’s a great venue for dates early in the relationship. You know, those dates that are nerve-wracking, both parties are nervous, and even though you don’t want to do whatever crazy thing the other person came up with, you’re trying to get into the other person’s pants, so you don’t complain and go anyway. Good luck trying this after 4 months of dating though… Unless a) the other person is actually interested or b) you wear the pants in the relationship or c) the other person is just nice (which is my case).

Con: We were crammed so close to each other, I had to place my drink on my lap so paint wouldn’t get into it. BLEH.

Here are our masterpieces…
pn07
This is my painting where I followed the instructions somewhat closely. “Fireflies”

pn08
BP’s art work – try to guess what he’s trying to convey.

At the end of the day, we would not go back there because we can just stay home, bring out my canvases and have beer while we paint. Which BP, surprisingly, was very open to. He said he loses interest pretty quickly when you’re in a setting where people try to give you instruction.

But it was definitely a fun experience (for crafty types) or people who are just willing to try something new :)

————

For those interested in Paint Nite, you’re in luck because there are places all over North America.
Website: Paint Nite.com

Try to get it while it’s available via Groupon or something similar to that for $25.

Otherwise, each Paint Nite ticket will set you back $45CAD +tax.

Wishlist 2013

I know I haven’t been active lately but there’s a reason. I will be updating with fun things soon but for now this will have to do. If it makes you feel any better, my own journal and my diary have not been touched in months! From lack of energy among other things…

Since my birthday is 33 days away, here is my wishlist! (To make your lives easier)

WISHLIST 2013
—-in no particular order below—-


♥ Michael Kors Mid-Size Navy Leather Parker Chronograph Glitz Watch [Link here]


♥ Tiffany Return to Tiffany Heart Key Pendant [Link here]


♥ Tiffany Elsa Peretti Open Heart [Link here]


♥ Tiffany Infinity bracelet [Link here]


♥ CHLOE Chloé Eau de Parfum [Link here]


♥ Urban Decay NAKED2 [Link here]


♥ 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target Mini Satchel [Link here]


♥ Kate Spade Glitter Bug Small Flat Pouch (rose gold) [Link here]


♥ HBC City Tote Bag [Link here]


♥ Paul’s Boutique Maisy Bag [Link here]


♥ CuisinartIce cream maker [Link here]


♥ ALDO Bulman watch[Link here]

Afternoon tea at the Grand Floridian

First of all, congratulations to Bear & my best friend, Honey for tying the knot on August 10, 2013!!! Please click here to read their love story.

Anyway, for their honeymoon, they decided to go to Disney with 8 other people. Okay, I know that may sound weird but that’s because they’re leaving (or rather, they’ve left) for China for two years!

One of the most memorable things we did at Disney World was have afternoon tea at the Grand Floridian. It is one of the resorts they have there but once you step in, it’s not like the other Disney themed resorts.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
BEHOLD.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
It was a girl’s only afternoon tea. Everyone (but me) had some sort of mouse ears. I left mine in my suitcase. Go figure.

We decided to go for the Buckingham Palace tea which includes their traditional tea sandwiches, scones and jam tarts complemented by fresh strawberries and cream, or a selection of freshly baked pastries, along with your choice of tea. $23.00 per guest.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
I cannot remember the name of the tea I had but it’s better that way. You don’t need to try it. :( Definitely do not need to try it…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
It came with the standard type of sandwiches and an onion tart. They were kind enough to allow me to switch the meat ones for egg salad sandwiches :) My friends tell me that this has been the first time they were able to finish all the sandwiches so they must be good!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
This is their salty scone (yeah it tasted like corn bread) and their uberly sweet strawberry tart.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Unlike other tea places, you are given a choice of two petit fours OR fresh strawberries & cream OR an English trifle. Upon looking at the choices, I went with the strawberries.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

All in all it was a fun experience. The server we had was very accommodating! Our friend was cold and she brought out a table cloth for her to wear… haha. Definitely a must visit on your trip to Disney World :)

————————-
Disney World – Grand Floridian Resort
Menu here

Magnum Pleasure Store Toronto #MyMagnum

Aside from people posting pictures of their Minion collection from McDonalds, the next big thing that’s popping up all over my Facebook are pictures of people’s ice cream creations from the Magnum Pleasure Store [Details here]

This pop-up shop will be open until August 30, 2013 so if you find yourself in the Yorkville area, make sure you visit. Especially this Thursday. Joffrey Lupul will be there ;)

I dragged my friend yesterday and be warned, there is a long line up. Mostly Asian people because most of the obnoxious people on Chowhound or those types of sites are Asian self-proclaimed “Foodies”. Please don’t lynch me. I’m kidding. (sort of) Also, I apologize that the photos are iPhone quality. I forgot to bring my camera.

Magnum01

So once you get through the grueling line, you’re able to choose the ice cream flavour (chocolate or vanilla), the coating, and then your toppings for your ice cream.

Magnum02
Here is the menu that’s provided to you while you wait in line. We had to return it as they only had a limited amount of these menus. The toppings range from rose petals, to chili flakes. Oh, can’t forget bacon!!!

Magnum03
Once you choose your toppings, they are put into a shaker and given to another person who assembles it. He dips your ice cream in the desired coating and shakes your toppings on it. If you ask for the golden touch, they spring edible gold flakes on your ice cream. Supposedly, they also give you gold nail polish but I did not get mine. :(
Magnum04

Finally, here is my creation: Vanilla with dark chocolate coating, macadamia nut pieces, white chocolate vermicelli, crushed popcorn, chopped almonds (almond slivers), toffee bits, rock sea salt, topped with crumbled French macarons with the goldentouch. It came to $6 even.
Magnum05

My friend got a vanilla ice cream with white chocolate coating, crumbled biscuit, chocolate rice crispies, grape nerds and topped with crumbled French macarons. And no matter how many or how little toppings you get, it is still $6 :)
Magnum06

Limited time only!

———————-
Magnum Pleasure Store
11 Bloor Street West
Toronto, Ontario
Website
Facebook
———————-

My date with Mr.X

Last year, I heard of this site called Tawkify. It is a matchmaking site in its infancy (last I read, there were only 30 people in Ontario signed up to this). You enter a few fields with your information (age, height, top 5 things you look for in a guy, top 3 deal-breakers), submit your picture, and your matchmaker will pair you up with someone. I mentioned to my friend that this would be a fun experiment so I signed up around February of this year. Based on your personality, you are then assigned a phone date (consists of 10 minutes of talk time), a walking date, or a blind date.

A few weeks later, I received this e-mail.

Anndrea—You Spellbinding Person,

Because you’re so frighteningly attractive, because you like an adventure, and because I admire your savoir faire——you are going on a Mystery Date. Here are your instructions:

Wear a green scarf.
Arrive at DT Bistro 154 Harbord Street, Toronto, Ontario. M5S 1H2 Sunday, February 10th at 8:00 pm.
Carry a sketch of Charlee.
Look for a person wearing a dapper outfit
Date will have a camera.

Here is your mission:

Information about you has leaked to secret agent XXXX. (We shall refer to him as Mr.X) Our sources say he’s been warned of your whereabouts on Sunday at DT Bistro. Beware–he may use cunning methods to get ahold of the secret picture of the rogue agent you have with you! Check your dessert before digging in!

The thing about Mystery Dates is this: We all have cover stories. It’s the facade we present when we meet strangers. We are our own foreign agents. So . . . why don’t you try to break through and see the real person this time? It could be intriguing.

Fate Loves the Fearless!

Your Matchmaker,
Charlee

P.S. Please destroy this message using one of these three methods:
One: Delete it.
Two: Print it out, roll it up, stuff it inside a Twinkie and eat it.
Three: Send it to your phone and toss your phone out of a plane at 13,000 feet.

To prepare for my date, I bought myself a green scarf (because who owns green scarves?). Now, I’m not normally nervous about dates because let’s be honest, I’m super fun to talk to! HA! But I’ve never been on a blind date before and I was a bit nervous. To calm myself, I went in to the nearby bookstore and picked up a book. It’s called the Future of Us. I was fully engrossed in it and forgot about being nervous (and also didn’t want to go on the date to finish the book)

When I arrived, there was a man waiting by the corner and I gave him a dirty look for I felt that he was really strange for standing there awkwardly. Looking at my phone, I was just on time so I hurried over to the meeting location but it turns out the place wasn’t open on Sundays! I heard someone call out my name and it turned out to be that man from the corner! Well, I was rather disappointed that we had to look for a different location to have our date. Luckily, we were downtown so the next door over was a pub.

Mr.X is in graduate school working on his master’s degree in something so boring I cannot remember. He came to Canada when he was 18. He had a bit of an accent (which I mentioned was going to be a problem for me on my profile) but his English was very good. He met the height requirement though.

He was telling me about his dream to become a policy analyst, and I had to pinch myself to stay awake. That may be mean but I found myself tuning him out several times. He told me that he enjoyed movies and reading. In fact, he had read The Perks of being a wallflower. (My book club read it the month prior). He quoted the book – “We accept the love we think we deserve” and accompanied it with an anecdote about how his friend is in a relationship with someone who does not treat her well. I found that a little overwhelming for a first date, no?

Mr.X can be described as a hipster. He had on a hipster sweater, a hipster beanie… Furthermore, his instagram, he had pictures of bicycles. Hipster bicycles. He had participated in a Tweed ride event where you wear vintage-like tweed clothes and ride around the city. He also had pictures of bicycle polo.

He told me that he was going to Yellowknife to see the Northern lights (which I thought was pretty cool) BUT he added that he was planning to spend his time reading & writing for school. I think that totally defeats the purpose of going on a vacation but to each his own…

While he liked the same television shows, and we had the same interests, his personality was very humdrum for my liking.

We never exchanged phone numbers and I hope we never cross paths again. But seeing as how Toronto is a very small city, it may happen one day…

Afternoon tea at the Ritz-Carlton

This past weekend, I went to afternoon tea at the Ritz-Carlton. Finally! I’ve been wanting to go for months now but nobody wanted to go. I think I’ve visited most of the afternoon tea places in Toronto so I really should make some sort of comparison chart. Actually, as I’m typing this – I just had the most brilliant idea. Stay tuned for that in the coming… months.

I arrived to the DEQ lounge and was quite disappointed. Yes, I understand it was a lounge but there were people sitting by the bar and it’s not something I want to see while having tea. I think there was sports on the TV. Secondly, seeing as it was a lounge/bar, you had to approach the hostess who was also the bartender. Thirdly, the hostess said that I supposedly “cancelled” my reservation. Just the day prior, someone had called to confirm my reservation in which I said yes, I am coming!

After being seated, they had explained the menu to us. You had three choices of Classic Tea, Posh Tea or the Royal Tea. (Click here for more information) The server also brought us the humidor with their eight tea choices. Unlike at the King Edward or even MoRoCo Chocolat, we were not able to smell the different teas at our leisure. She stood there with the different bottles and asked us if we wanted to smell anything. I just went with the safe – Organic Peppermint while my friend went with the Earl Grey. But to her credit, she did explain everything to us which other places seem to forget to do…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
This the savoury portion of the tea. We have quiche, followed by scones, and sandwiches. Can someone explain to me why the scones were on the second tier? The order makes no sense to me. Or at least, this is not what I’m used to. Upon further examination, I can see why the scones aren’t at the top tier because there wouldn’t have been any room for the cream nor at the bottom. So maybe, they need to reconsider the design of their tiers or serve the cream on the side.

The quiche was good, as was the scone. The sandwiches were okay. There was nothing special to comment on.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The savoury portion was followed by the sweets which had their own tiers. This also needs a redesign. I am not quite sure what the theme is here… Also, it makes for a bad picture! I wasn’t that interested in moving it at an angle just to take a picture.

They were good – for the most part. However, one item didn’t quite do it for me. It was the sweet and salty cookie. Honestly, the one word to describe it would be dull.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Here is the uninteresting tea cup. Haha.

All in all, the food was okay. The desserts were better! The service was pretty good! They were very knowledgeable on all the items that were served, as well as familiar with the tea selection. (This is very important to me because a lot of places just drop the food in front of you.) However, they were definitely lacking in the ambiance section. Maybe it would have been nicer if I was able to go during the Teddy Bear tea they were offering two months ago…

————

Ritz-Carlton Toronto
Website
181 Wellington Street West, Toronto
(416) 585-2500

The Glory Hole

My friends and I spent our Saturday afternoon at the Glory Hole which by the way is not something dirty but in fact a doughnut shop in Parkdale.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

When we arrived, there were no doughnuts available. They were actually making their fourth (and last) batch of the day. The wait time was about 45 minutes and we had been given a number to indicate our place in line to order the doughnuts.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Here is their menu! They are unable to customize your doughnut but you’re free to add bacon to your doughnut for $1.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Just a random picture that I had to include in this post because it was cute.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
While waiting, we sat at the counter which had 3 stools. They had a guestbook and people doodled over it. It was a great way to pass your time while you wait impatiently for your doughnuts to come out. So the girls and I decided to write a little story. You can read it here: Gloryhole. Hopefully another group of people try to continue our story about Mandy and her trek to the Land of Happiness. Haha!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
You may enjoy your doughnuts with organic Fair Trade Coffee.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Or tea! (even better)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Finally, the doughnuts came out but we were 15th in line! Look at the glorious Elvis doughnut. I couldn’t eat it for several reasons: 1) Bacon, 2) it was covered in peanut butter, 3) they were gone by the time we got to order… So if you do get a chance to try it, let me know! I really wanted the marshmallow. I think their double chocolate smores were also sold out by then.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
We order half a dozen doughnuts: (from top left, clockwise) Pretzel, Cinnamon sugar, Banana cream pie, Beer, Butter and toast, and Cookies and cream. It came to $20.

All my friends picked the Butter and toast as their favourite, while I would have to say that the Beer doughnut was the best. I love nuts! We also enjoyed the cinnamon sugar. However, we all agreed that the Pretzel was our least favourite. It was all too normal! By the time we finished the fifth doughnut, we had absolutely no room for the Banana Cream Pie.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Good bye Banana Cream Pie.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
This post would be incomplete without this picture of my friend’s finger in a hole. (Beer doughnut)

——————–

It was definitely worth a trek to Parkdale! Make sure to try one of their specials and let me know how your visit went. Make sure you arrive early! There were several people who came later in the afternoon who had to leave Glory Hole Doughnuts empty handed. :(

Glory Hole Doughnuts
1596 Queen St. West, Toronto
Website
twitter: @gholedoughnuts