It’s that time of year again – the King’s Plate, North America’s oldest continuously run horse race is a week away!
The King’s Plate
If you aren’t familiar with horse racing around the world then you may not have heard of the this particular event. The King’s Plate is Canada’s most prestigious thoroughbred racing event and is aptly named after the reigning British monarch. Last year it was known as the Queen’s Plate however with the passing of Queen Elizabeth II it will now be known as the King’s Plate after more than 70 years.
If you’re not into horse racing you can still attend the King’s Plate as it is the social event of the summer in Toronto and features a day of high fashion, high stakes and lots of excitement! The event takes place on Sunday August 20th at Woodbine Racetrack. Tickets can still be purchased here:https://woodbine.com/kingsplate/tickets/
What to wear
So what exactly should you wear to such a prestigious event? I find the fashion trends seen at the Plate often mirror those at Royal Ascot, which takes place in June every year. 2023 was a great year for fashion at Royal Ascot. The main change we saw was longer hemlines! Typically ladies wear tea length dresses to racing event but this year the hemlines were definitely edging more towards a midi and maxi length. I’ve also observed longer hemlines in summer fashion overall with maxi skirts having their fashion moment this season!
Wardrobe wise ladies often opt for dresses, although you can go for a classic suit if you’re feeling up to it or a skirt and top. Generally most dresses are solid colour or feature very delicate feminine prints. Fun colours are always a winner. This year we saw the Princess of Wales in a bold red ensemble which was quite eye-catching! Gentlemen usually tend to wear suits to the Plate however since it’s not as formal as Royal Ascot ties are optional. At Ascot ties are mandatory.
No race day outfit would be complete without a fabulous hat! I have quite a few hats and fascinators in my personal collection but if you are new to the world of millinery then I would suggest first picking out a dress before you pick a hat. Picking a hat first can be done too bit it is best to match your hat to your outfit. While we are on the subject of matching you should also consider matching your shoes to your outfit or hat. In general ladies wear covered shoes to racing events although you can get away with a heeled sandal as well. You can also check out the fashion inspiration section of the King’s Plate website.
There is also a detailed style guide on the Ascot site which can also provide some guidance.
If you love Breakfast at Tiffany’s then this blog post is for you! I recently visited New York City and decided to treat myself to a luxurious experience inspired by Audrey Hepburn’s Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
A quick overview if you haven’t seen the movie: Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a 1961 film starring Audrey Hepburn and based on the 1958 novella of the same name by Truman Capote. In the opening scene fo the movie an elegantly dressed Audrey steps out of a taxi in front of the Tiffany & Co. flagship store on 5th Ave in New York City in the wee hours of the morning. She then proceeds to eat a croissant and sip a coffee while staring at the display windows. She never goes in the store itself but the mere proximity to luxury makes her feel happy. It is also important to note that Audrey Hepburn’s now iconic black gown was designed especially for her by Hubert de Givenchy.
Where to stay
Audrey Hepburn stayed at the historic Warwick Hotel between 1960-1965. The Warwick New York is located at the corner of W54th Street and 6th Avenue just a short walk from Tiffany’s. The hotel was built by William Randolph Hearst, a prominent newspaper baron of the early 20th century and completed in 1927. It is said that Hearst built the hotel for his then mistress Broadway star Marion Davies. Over the years the hotel has hosted many prominent old Hollywood stars such as James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor, Elvis Presley, and Carey Grant who called the hotel home for 12 years.
The Warwick is centrally located in a safe area of Midtown Manhattan however it is a historical building and has much of the original architecture form the elevators to the chandeliers. Some of the rooms such as the premier suites or rooms are interior facing and there is very little natural light coming in. If you decide to stay at this hotel make sure to book a city view room for natural light. There are a few terrace and signature suites with more modern decor and amenities.
If you’re really feeling adventurous you can try to book a stay at Holly’s apartment from the movie. Located at 169 E. 71st Street the brownstone that was used for the exterior shots of her apartment building is now fully renovated and available to rent. The stylish Upper East Side townhome is part of the Inspirato collection, which is a chic members only alternative to airbnb. Appropriately name the Hepburn, you can get a 3D tour of the space here.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
No Audrey Hepburn experience would be complete without a visit to the Tiffany &Co. flagship store on 5th Avenue. Just a short walk from the hotel and you can enjoy a gourmet breakfast at the iconic Blue Box Café by Michelin star chef Daniel Boulud. Located on the 6th floor of the Tiffany building dining at this cafe is a must-do!
Yes! You CAN actually have breakfast at Tiffany’s now! The Blue Box Café offers a daily Breakfast, Tea and a seasonal menu. Full details and menus can be found here. This cafe is on the pricey side when it comes to their menu and breakfast will cost you around $59 per person while the tea is $98, so it really is an investment in the experience. Although reservations at the Blue Box Café are rarely available there a few hacks you can use to make sure you get a table:
Search for reservations directly from their site:https://blueboxcafenyc.com/
Sign up to be notified if your preferred reservation date and time become available. They usually notify you on your preferred date or the day before.
They always open up reservations a few days in advance; for example if you’re hoping to go on a Wednesday check on Monday and Tuesday for any openings for that specific Wednesday. Sometimes the cafe blocks reservations and opens them up a few days before or even on the very day.
You can always walk-in Monday-Friday, the restaurant saves 6 tables for walk-ins: line up by 9:45am outside the store (the store opens at 10am) and register with your name and number. You can go shopping on 5th Avenue and come back when your table is ready.
What to wear
Audrey Hepburn was known for her impeccable taste in fashion and always looking so put together. If you’re going to have breakfast at Tiffany’s then you must dress for the occasion. I chose to add a modern spin on her classic black gown, pearl necklace and gloves. I’ll be sharing more about my outfit on my Instagram page. However I choose a monochrome look with some glittery accents.
It’s best to go for a more classic chic look if you’re really looking to have that authentic Audrey experience. Many women love to wear Holly Golightly inspired outfits to Tiffany’s and I even spotted one lady who dressed up and brought her own croissant for photos outside the windows of the store. If you don’t feel like splurging at the Blue Box Café snapping some photos outside the store is always a great alternative.
Will you be treating yourself to the Audrey Hepburn experience?
I’m back with another post and this time I’m finally getting back to what this blog is really about, fashion! It’s been a while since I’ve done a purely fashion centred post though I’ve been quite active fashionwise on Instagram. I have so many thoughts about a not so new trend that has made a resurgence; quiet luxury and the old money aesthetic. The old adage says money talks, wealth whispers and this couldn’t be more true of the quiet luxury trend that’s been flooding our social media profiles of late.
So just what is quiet luxury and the old money aesthetic? The quiet luxury trend focuses on quality rather than quantity and is largely logo-less. Gone are the days of the Kardashians toting their designer logo ridden apparel; they are for the most part known as the nouveau riche or new rich. While loud luxury focuses on bling, fur and visible designer labels, quiet luxury seeks to curate a more sophisticated, streamlined and polished look. This trend focuses on fabric quality and the make of the garments. To the naked eye a quiet luxury outfit may look plain or ordinary but to those with a more refined and discerning taste the logos are there, the designer label is there but only if you know where to look. This trend screams if you know you know, and if you don’t well, you just don’t.
Another aspect of quiet luxury and the old money aesthetic is colour. While loud luxury is well, loud and colourful; boasting bling and even neon, this aesthetic focuses on the opposite end of the colour spectrum. Neutrals, classic pieces timeless that never go out of style and high end fabrics like cashmere, linen and silk are all part of this trend. While the concept of quiet luxury may seem unattainable to most and might come across as discouraging, I see it as an opportunity. The logo-less aspect of it gives everyone an opportunity to look wealthy, by adopting aspects of the trend and perhaps investing in some high quality pieces but without the need to display overt luxury.
An easy way to achieve this look is to focus on neutrals and timeless pieces. The good news about this trend is that brands from high end to fast fashion are catching on and offering items that align with the old money aesthetic. I’ve even noticed one of my favourite Canadian retailers Suzy Shier offering a brand new linen collection that features classic neutrals and structured pieces for summer. Other brands that truly embody old money style are Club Monaco and Banana Republic. If you’re on a tighter budget even H&M has some neutral pieces and linen items for summer.
Some of my favourite quiet luxury items for summer
What are your thoughts on this aesthetic? Will you be wearing any old money style outfits this summer?
Last weekend we had the pleasure of being treated to a wonderful stay in Niagra-on-the-Lake. I was so excited to check out 124 on Queen Hotel and Spa. I had seen this hotel online, it looked lovely and seeing it in person; it did not disappoint!
Here’s a recap of our luxurious weekend in NOTL.
124 on Queen is a 72-room hotel offering a variety of luxurious guest room options ranging from deluxe rooms to fully-appointed two bedroom villas. The room I stayed in was modern, spacious and felt more like an apartment than a room. The hotel spans over 6 adjacent buildings which is important to note if you’re staying in a different part of the hotel.
My room was on the first floor of the main hotel building and had an updated bathroom (with two sinks) featuring L’Occitane amenities, totally luxurious. The bed had ample room and was so comfy! I’m a morning person and I’m usually up very early but I did sleep in at this hotel! The room also featured a sitting area, huge tv and gas fireplace. Another feature we enjoyed was the min-bar area which had a sink and nespresso machine. This made our mornings that much more enjoyable.
In addition to its guest rooms 124 on Queen also features a 12000 square foot spa. The Spa at Q is Niagara’s newest destination spa. We tried out the hydro therapy circuit which included hot and warm pools, pools, a dry sauna, eucalyptus steam room and sensory showers. The most unique feature in the circuit is the snow room! This was the first time I had ever heard of such a concept and I was so excited to check it out. It actually snows on you in this room!
The Spa also offers many different beauty and wellness treatments such as massages, facials and mani/pedis. There is a great lounge for relaxing and a therapeutic salt room. If you haven’t visited the Spa at Q yet add it to your list!
124 on Queen features three options for dining, the Q lounge, Treadwell Cuisine and Gate House Pizza which opens this summer. We had the opportunity to check them out. If you’re looking for sophisticated cocktails, bites and food in a relaxed atmosphere then Q lounge is the place for you.
We tried out two of their cocktails, I opted for The Royal Treatment and Sashien tried out the Rolex. I am loving the names of these cocktails. We also enjoyed some light bites and got a chance to take in a hockey game on the tv.
The following evening we were treated to an amazing culinary experience at Treadwell Cuisine, a notable farm-to-table restaurant. We had a 4 course tasting menu and got to see the chefs in action. If you do visit Treadwell I’d recommend sitting by the bar so you can interact with the chefs and watch your food being plated. The restaurant has won many awards and was named one of the world’s best restaurants for wine by Wine Spectator Magazine. Treadwell has one of the largest collections of Ontario wines in the world and boasts a large wine cellar in the basement. We really enjoyed our dinner there, a special thank you to Chef Gavin for making our experience one to remember.
If you haven’t been to NOTL or just haven’t visited in a while then I highly recommend staying at 124 on Queen. Not only are the staff so welcoming, the service is impeccable and the food is divine! The hotel is also very centrally located and close by to shops, parks and walking trails. One thing I forgot to mention is the Starbucks that’s in the hotel. Located close to the lobby, you don’t t even have to go outside to grab a coffee. When you’re in there be sure to check out the signature mugs featuring the hotel.
You’re probably thinking there’s something else that Niagara-on-the-Lake is famous for, and you’re right! Wine! We asked the concierge about nearby wineries and he was able to provide us with a great list to check out. We had some time on Sunday before dinner so we stopped by a few of our favourites during the day. You can also ask the hotel for their recommendations or even assistance with booking a wine tour.
A huge thank you to the staff at 124 on Queen for making our stay luxurious and relaxing! We will definitely be back!
Last Fall I decided to re-join the Rideau Club. Many people in Ottawa may not know about the Rideau Club but it has been around before confederation. The Rideau Club is a private members club located in Ottawa. It was founded in 1865 by Sir John A McDonald and Sir George-Étienne Cartier. Over the years the club went through many changes and expansions, including permitting women to visit and later join the Club as members. The Rideau Club has been located at 99 Bank St. since 1983 and sit atop the building on the 15th floors, offering what are arguably the best views of Ottawa and the parliament buildings.
Why I joined the Rideau Club
I mentioned my decision to re-join the Club; Sashien and I originally joined the Rideau Club in 2018 however with our busy schedules and the pandemic that followed we didn’t have much time to frequent the Club. We left the club in 2020. Throughout the pandemic as most work was remote or online I found my network was slowly declining. It was increasingly difficult to make new business and professional contacts, let alone new friends. As I went back to teaching in-person and on campus I realized I really didn’t have the connections I needed to support my students with their requests for more insight on international trade. I had always enjoyed the Rideau Club and the business and personal connections I made there. I decided to renew my membership as I was seeking to grow both my professional and personal networks.
Networking has never been more important and as an author of a book on how to network I found seeking out my own networking opportunities very difficult in a post pandemic world. I really enjoy the weekly networking events hosted by the Club along with monthly luncheons, conferences and seasonal events. The Rideau Club also has a monthly Femme Nuit, or ladies night event which features notable speakers and also has a charitable component. I’ve enjoyed attending these events and made a host of new friends and professional contacts as well. Most clubs also have their own little groups or clubs within the club that you can join. I recently joined the Book Club and I really enjoyed the themed dinners. Clubs are also a great way to give back and you can volunteer to join committees within your home club as well; volunteering is another great way to network and meet new people.
A Place to Work
Private Members clubs often offer meeting rooms and workspaces to their members. On days that I’m not on campus I’ve enjoyed spending some time working at the Club. The change of environment is both healthy and motivating. These Clubs are also a great place to host meetings and events if you are indeed in a home-based or remote job. Some Clubs also rent out meeting rooms to members for a fee but it depends on the club itself. Most clubs also come with restaurant and banquet facilities onsite and are also convenient for business lunches, dinners or more formal events such as fundraisers and even weddings.
Most private members clubs are part of the IAC, international associate clubs network. For example members of the Rideau Club have access to over 200 clubs worldwide as associate members. Sashien and I had the pleasure of visiting some reciprocal clubs on our recent trips to Vancouver and Toronto earlier this year. I visited the Vancouver Club and the Terminal City Club in Vancouver and we visited the Granite Club in Toronto.
If you love to travel then you must take advantage of the reciprocal clubs as some fo them even offer onsite accommodation in addition to their meeting, dining and leisure facilities.
All private members clubs have a membership fee and sometimes a joining fee. These charges vary by club and also depend on the type of amenities the clubs offer. Many people view private members clubs as elitist or out of reach, but as a member of one I can tell you it’s quite the opposite. What they really are is a space to work, network, socialize and enjoy with like minded, driven individuals. I find there are many misconceptions when it comes to these clubs which are just that, misconstrued. If you’re looking to elevate your network, learn new skills or even make new friends then private members clubs are a great option. There also different types of membership based on age and location, and most clubs offer spousal memberships for your partner as well.
Hello! It has been a while since my last post, almost 3 months. I’ve been quite busy with a few things and although I’ve been sharing on a relatively regular basis on Instagram I haven’t written many blog posts this year. Well it’s time for life updates!
We got engaged!
Sashien and I got engaged during our trip to Sri Lanka last year. It was the most exciting thing that happened last year and has kept me quite busy with all things wedding related this year. I am so excited to be a fiancée. Here are some of our engagement photos. A huge thank you to Dream Studio Photography for making our special shoot so memorable.
I’ve also been loving being a bride-to-be and already been to two wedding shows. Wedding planning can be stressful but I’m trying to make it fun at the same time. I’ve also shared a few outfit ideas for the bride-to-be and some of my picks for bridesmaid dresses.
On the blogging side I’ve been more picky with the collaborations I’m taking on this year especially since I have so much going on. I have however opened my own online boutique and I’m so excited to share the news. You can shop my branded items here – Boutique
I’ve also got a few exciting collaborations and blog posts coming up this spring and summer so stay tuned!
I’m back, after a long break! I can’t believe we are already halfway through January 2023. This year is just flying by. I took a break from blogging and campaigns for the month of December as I was on vacation. I’m back in Canada now and I can’t wait to tell you all about my trip to Sri Lanka! As some of you know I was born in Sri Lanka.
I’m not going to lie, it takes a while to get to Sri Lanka. In total it’s about 18 hours of flying and when you factor in transits it takes about 24 hours to get there. There’s many different routes you can take from Canada but as I live in Ottawa I flew through Europe. In the past Air Canada offered direct flights from Ottawa t0 London, UK and Ottawa to Frankfurt but they’ve since been discontinued. I decided not to take any chances with my luggage getting lost via a domestic transfer in Canada so my mom and I flew directly to London from Montreal and then directly from London to Colombo. We flew two different airlines, Air Canada to London and Sri Lankan Airlines to Colombo.
Pro-tip – we were able to find a great deal on roundtrip business class tickets on Google Flights and purchased our tickets directly from the Air Canada website. I’d totally recommend this splurge as you are going to be flying for a long period of time.
There’s many other routes you can take into Colombo including via Dubai, Qatar, Japan or Singapore depending on which end of Canada you’re traveling from.
I stayed at two main hotels during my time in Colombo and did some short trips around the island. The first hotel I stayed at was Cinnamon Lakeside. I had been to this hotel for the restaurants and high tea many times but this was my first stay at the hotel. It’s great as a dining option but I wouldn’t recommend it as a stay. The rooms were a bit smaller, dated and not soundproof. I was only there for a week as I had a wedding to attend at this hotel. The event spaces and venues here are great though, just not the guest rooms.
I spent the rest of my 4 week stay at my go-to hotel Cinnamon Grand Colombo. My family has been staying at this hotel since 2008 and they never disappoint. The hotel is arguably the best hotel in Colombo with 501 guest rooms, 9 restaurants, 2 pools, a gym, tennis court and lots of green space. It’s also very centrally located and is really more of a resort in the city.
Pro-tip: If you upgrade your room type to an executive floor room, you have access to the exclusive executive lounge. The lounge is only open to executive room guests and offers complimentary breakfast, high-tea and cocktails daily. Totally worth the money. And as an added bonus you also have the option of having breakfast in the lounge or heading to Plates, the hotel’s buffet restaurant, if you want a wider selection.
The executive rooms also come with 24hr butler service!
Things to do
Sri Lanka has SO MUCH to offer! It’s definitely not your typical beach vacation. Despite all the negative press this country has received lately (much of which is over exaggerated) it’s a wonderful place to visit and there is truly something for everyone there.
If you’re looking to just relax you can head to any of the beaches in the country, but if you also like surfing and more of that island vibe you can check out Unawatuna, Hikkaduwa or Mirissa. You can also stop by the historic city of Galle. Want to learn more about our culture? Be sure to visit some historic sites like the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, arguably the 8th wonder of the world. You can also check out the ancient cities of Anuradapura and Polonnaruwa. Don’t forget to visit by the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy as well. If you’re tired of the warm weather, head to Nuwara Eliya. Known as little England this part of the island is cooler that the rest of the country with temperatures between 5 and 20 degrees celcius depending on the time of year.
Finally if you’re like me and love shopping then Colombo is the city for you!
Sashien and I wanted to try something a bit more adventurous so we took a drive down to Yala National Park on the island’s eastern side and went on a safari. We stayed at Jetwing Yala which is a hotel located inside the park itself. There’s many hotels to choose from in Yala, some of which are situated inside the park.
It took us about 4.5 hrs to get to Yala by car from Colombo and we took the highway there. We booked a private safari online and our guide picked us up at the hotel. We booked our safari on this website: https://www.yalasrilanka.lk/yala-safari-ride
Please note: there are different prices for tourists and locals, this practice is quite common in Sri Lanka. The safari booking does not cover tickets to the park so you do need to pay for those as well.
We booked the half-day afternoon safari and it was 4 hours long from 2-6pm. We had the whole jeep to ourselves and really enjoyed our time. We saw so many different types fo animals. I’ve recapped our safari in this reel.
The hotel was also beautiful and we loved the nature and beach views at breakfast. Jetwing Yala had more of a rustic feel to it, not my favourite type of aesthetic but it was clean and modern. They also offer a safari camp but it was closed for renovations when we were there.
We also visited Kalutara which is about an hour away from Colombo. Unlike Yala this was a more relaxed trip. We decided to stay at Anantara Kalutara. This resort is beautiful and offers views of the lagoon and the sea. We stayed in an ocean view room which was spacious and luxurious.
The staff were very helpful and accommodating. We especially enjoyed their welcome ceremony where each guest was asked to light the traditional oil lamp while a drummer played and blew a conch shell.
If you’re celebrating a special occasion the hotel also has a beautiful treehouse which is the perfect setting for a romantic meal overlooking the lagoon. Sashien surprised me with an anniversary dinner complete with fireworks and a custom menu put together by the hotel.
The hotel also has two pools one that’s for families and one that’s adults only. We decide to stick to the adults only side as the other pool was quite busy.
Christmas and NYE in Colombo
We spent Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Colombo and it was epic! Sri Lankans love a good party and this year they went all out for Christmas. All the streets in Colombo were decorated and all the hotels had their own Christmas displays. My favourite display was the Home for Christmas installation at the Hilton Colombo. It really got me into the Christmas spirit.
For NYE we decided to go for an indoor party (there’s so many outdoor beach parties to choose from if you prefer a more casual setting) since it was warm outside. We purchased tickets to the Cinnamon Grand Dinner Dance hosted in the grand ballroom. The ticket included a buffet dinner, drinks at the table, live band + DJ and breakfast buffet. It was amazing and we loved it! I have never seen that much food in one room in my life! The party started at 9pm and went on til the wee hours of the morning. We left around 4 am and it was still going strong! What a fantastic way to kick off 2023! I’ve attended the dances at this hotel in the past and they never disappoint.
If you’re looking for a one of a kind tropical experience that’s not your run of the mill beach vacay then Sri Lanka is the place for you! You will definitely get your money’s worth at this luxury vacation destination! It’s also important to note that if you do invest in going to Sri Lanka you understand that it is very much a luxury destination despite some of the “budget travel” content you may see from travel bloggers and backpackers. Local vendors do need to be supported so please be kind shop local!
I’ll be sharing everything I bought on this trip on my Instagram stories so stay tuned! Feel free to ask me any questions about the trip as well.
I’m back with another travel blog post and I’m so excited to share it with you! Last weekend I visited Perth, ON a small town less than an hour away from Ottawa. I first discovered Perth in the summer and have been back many times since.
This time I decided to check out some of their Holiday events, you know how I love Christmas! There’s something about small towns this time of year that’s just magical and Perth is no exception. Everything in Perth is so pretty, you feel like you’re living in a hallmark movie. The town itself is over 200 years old and there is so much history to see and appreciate.
My first stop as I arrived in Perth was the Perth Museum. The museum is open to the public Wednesday-Sunday from 10 am-5pm. Tours are self guided and there is no admission fee but a donation is always nice. The museum is located at 11 Gore St. in downtown Perth, inside the Matheson House. The house was built for Roderick Matheson in the 1840’s who was a wealthy merchant and eventually became a Senator in Canada’s first parliament. The museum consists of four period rooms; the parlour, drawing room, dining room and kitchen.
I also checked out Crystal Palace which during the holiday season is home to a lovely collection of Christmas trees decorated by local businesses. The palace is a giant glass structure which hosts events such as weddings and the Perth Farmer’s Market every Saturday throughout the summer. I arrived on a Friday and stayed for the market the following day as there was a special Christmas edition of the market on Nov 19th. The market is a great place to find treasures and homemade treats from local artisans.
Stewart Park & Town Hall
During the holidays Perth is lit! I was lucky to be in town when the Christmas lights were turned on. Stewart Park located in the heart of downtown Perth has a new light installation with red and green lights brightening up the trees. It looks truly magical. Don’t forget to check out the gazebo outside town hall, it’s all lit up as well and is a great spot for some holiday photos. During the day you can take a stroll through the park which offers views of the Perth Water Tower, the red bridge (another great spot for photos) and Code’s Mill.
Shopping, Food and Accommodation
Looking to get a head start on your Christmas shopping? Then Perth is the place for you. Their shop, stamp & win event is currently on and runs through to December 31st. You get a stamp card and a stamp for every $10 you spend at participating local businesses. It takes $100 to fill up a card and once full you’re entered into a draw to win one of three prizes!
I was in Perth on Friday November 18th, just in time for the Merry & Bright shopping event. This special event took place in the evening from 4-8pm and local businesses were open late. I had so much fun checking out all the shops in the downtown area. Many of them were offering holiday treats as well. One of the highlights of my evening was running into Father Christmas (Brent McLaren, the Perth Town Crier) who was walking the streets to greet shoppers!
There’s also many shops located in the streets surrounding the downtown area such as Spirit Children’s Boutique, Miss Penny’s Closet and of course Top Shelf Distillers if you’re looking for some alcoholic gifts. This local brewery is quite well known in Ottawa as well. I had the pleasure of attending one of their events in Ottawa at the Rideau Club a few years ago.
I checked out two restaurants in Perth. I had lunch at Gather ( their sandwiches are so good!) and dinner at Michael’s Table. Both restaurants are located in the downtown area and the food was amazing! I’d definitely go back. Other dining options include North Folk Cafe for coffee, paninis or cinnamon buns and Fiddleheads for a meal overlooking Stewart Park in the summer.
I stayed at the beautiful Best Western Plus Perth Parkside Inn & Spa. The hotel was so clean and really felt more like a boutique hotel. The staff were friendly and the breakfast at The Locks was great! Our room came with a balcony and some lovely winter views of Stewart Park and the Perth Water Tower. This hotel is perfect for a little weekend getaway any time of the year. It’s also located just across the street from Code’s Mill and many shops and restaurants are a short walk away.
Another option for accommodation in Perth is Nevis Estate Bed and Breakfast. Located on Drummond street it’s close to highway 7 and a short distance away from the downtown core.
There is so much going on in Perth this holiday season! Mark your calendars because this Saturday November 26th is the Once Upon A Christmas event. There will be choirs, music, hot chocolate, wagon rides and fun for the whole family. There’s also some upcoming concerts, meet & greet with Santa and Mrs. Clause and Scrooge The Musical. A full list of holiday events can be found here on the Perth Tourism Website.
I had such a lovely time in Perth last weekend I can’t wait to go back and I might just visit this weekend as well. A big thank you to Perth Tourism for helping me plan my trip.
I’m back with a new blog post and more travels to tell you about! I spent last weekend in Toronto exploring some Fall and holiday activities around the city.
Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel
As usual we flew in to Billy Bishop airport on Porter Airlines, it’s definitely the fastest way into the city. This time we stayed at the newly renovated Sheraton Centre Toronto. The hotel has a beautiful lobby with two bars(Dual Citizen and 43Down) and lots of space to sit, eat or work.
The room was spacious and comfortable. One of the key features at the Sheraton Toronto is the Club Lounge located on the 43rd floor. Offering sweeping views of downtown Toronto the Club Lounge is open for breakfast, all-day snacks and cocktails in the evening. It’s also a great place to relax, work or have a business meeting. You can upgrade your room to include access to the lounge.
We really enjoyed the breakfast at the lounge, the staff were so accommodating and the food was great. I really enjoyed the cold pressed juice made fresh daily in-house!
The Sheraton also offers lost of space for meetings and conferences. The hotel was busy as there were quite a few events going on during our stay but the attention to detail and customer service was amazing!
This trip was a little more relaxed for us in terms of activities as we were arrived late on Friday evening. Toronto has so much to offer in general, especially around the holidays. I started off my Saturday with some shopping with Laura Ackermans from Your Shop Girl
Your Shop Girl offers personal shopping and image consulting services. There’s a number of different packages for women and men that you can choose from. It’s also a great service to use if you want to get some Christmas shopping done! Laura took me on a quick tour of the trendy Queen St West area. We visited some local favourites like Horses Atelier, The Latest Scoop and Coal Miner’s Daughter.
Toronto is known for its entertainment industry and being home to the Toronto International Film Festival, but the city also offers many other specialized entertainment events. One of them is the Reel Asian Film Festival which features work but filmmakers of Asian heritage. We got to stop by the festival and catch some short films which also included works by South Asian filmmakers.
My favourite activity on this trip was our candle making workshop at Kandl Artistique Yorkville. This trendy boutique offers an olfactory experience! You can shop their existing candles or sign up for a workshop and create your own. Sashien and I really enjoyed the workshop, it’s a relaxing experience that’s a great date idea as well. The workshop runs about an hour and you get to choose your custom scent and name your candle. Once the candles are poured it takes about 30-mins to an hour for them to be ready for pick up so make sure you have something to do while you wait. The store also offers a cafe with snacks, tea, coffee and wine! Can you guess what I named my candle? The Weekend Fashionista of course!
We checked out two spots for lunch on this trip. On Saturday we stopped by Le Sélect Bistro, a cozy French restaurant. This restaurant offers a great brunch menu with some traditional french items. I tried the Croque Monsieur and Sashien had the Beef Tartare. Both were delicious! The cocktails and wine list was also extensive and I was impressed that they had my favourite cocktail, a Kir Royale on the menu.
After our candle making workshop on Sunday, we stopped by Signatures Restaurant at the Yorkville Royal Sonesta Hotel. The restaurant offers a new menu with items such as grilled shrimp, tacos and ravioli for lunch. Signatures is also a popular brunch spot in Yorkville and offers an elevated dining experience.
Dinner and Drinks
We had two amazing dinners in Toronto. On Friday evening we stopped by 43Down which is located inside the lobby of the Sheraton Centre Toronto. This restaurant is a great high end spot for dinner and drinks and features a new winter menu. We tried their duck fat fries, angus beef tartare and smoked aurora duck drumettes. The food was delicious but the real stars of the show are their drinks.
We tried the Boulavardier In Ice which has a really cool presentation where the alcohol is injected into a globe of ice. Once this is done you get to crush the ice and drink it. This is such a special cocktail that only 10 of them are prepared a night, so go early if you want to try it. 43Down also offers great smoked drinks such as the 43rd which comes in a smoke chamber.
On Saturday night we had another amazing dining experience at BlueBlood Steakhouse located inside Casa Loma. This was on our list of restaurants to try so we were very excited to experience it. We both tried the Wagyu beef steaks and they were done to perfection! For sides we went with garlic mashed potatoes and lobster mac & cheese, both so decadent.
The drinks at BlueBlood were also divine and I tried their famous Once Upon A Time cocktail. This truly was a dining experience! Everything from the decor, the drinks, food and ambiance was just perfect! If you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply feel the need to get dressed up for dinner then BlueBlood is the place to go!
After dinner we also stopped by Parc Ave for drinks. This new luxury cocktail bar and lounge is located in the Yorkville area and offers high end cocktails. We got there around 8pm but some parts of the lounge opened only at 10pm. If you plan on going to Parc Ave I’d suggest saving it as a late night spot. The bar and lounge are also quite small so it is liable to fill up as the night goes on.
We really enjoyed this weekend getaway to Toronto. If you haven’t visited the city yet then perhaps add it to your holiday travel plans. There’s so much going on in the city this time of year and a full list of activities and attractions can be found at Destination Toronto. They can also help you plan your trip to the city. A huge thank you to the Destination Toronto team for partnering with us on this trip!
I’m back! It’s certainly been a while since my last blog post here but I have been very active on Instagram.
As most of you know I recently started a job as a full-time college professor and the Fall semester has been very busy! Now that we are back on campus I often struggle with what to wear to work in the mornings. Although I am a fashion blogger the struggle is still very real!
I was so excited when I came across a brand called Sophie Grace on Instagram. This Canadian, Vancouver based brand offers sustainable high quality workwear for women. Sophie Grace specializes in workwear that can be incorporated into your existing wardrobe. All their pieces are so easy to mix and match and are created with sustainability in mind. It’s a great Canadian option for ladies who want to curate a capsule workwear wardrobe.
My personal favourite out of all their pieces is the Ashley dress. It’s so versatile and can be dressed up for work or dressed down for the weekend. The Ashley comes in 4 colours, black, ivory, navy and the latest colour – Bordeaux. I love the fit of this dress, it’s so comfortable and looks so chic! The dress also comes in a short sleeved option.
I also tried out the Kamala silk blouse. A silk blouse is a must-have in any work wardrobe and once again you can go casual or formal with this piece as well. The Kamala blouse comes in black, ivory, silver and desert ( I would say this is more of a gold).
What I like most about Sophie Grace is that it’s a Canadian brand created by lawyer turned entrepreneur, Emma May. As a working woman herself Emma understood the struggle we go through with finding workwear that is elegant and versatile. I’m so happy she created a brand that produces clothing that is not only functional but stylish as well!
Check out this Canadian brand and let me know which pieces are your favourite!