Showing posts with label TopBanner. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TopBanner. Show all posts
Port Hope is a small yet idyllic city about 1.5 hours away from Toronto. It is located at the mouth of the Ganaraska River on the north shore of Lake Ontario, in the west end of Northumberland County. My first time in Port Hope was back in 2012, where we made a quick pit stop at Trattoria Gusto for lunch.

Photo Credit: https://visitporthope.ca/gallery/downtown-port-hope
Earlier this summer, we had the pleasure of exploring the city more extensively and got to really know what Port Hope is all about.


EAT

Olympus Burger:

After treetop trekking, we drove about 26 minutes to downtown Port Hope for lunch. Lunch reservation was made at Olympus Burger, so our table was ready once we arrived. Additionally, the burger joint was featured on an episode of The Food Network’s television show ‘You Gotta Eat Here’, and topped Canadian Living magazine's list of best burgers in Canada.

It's a very casual atmosphere, where customers would order the items and pay upfront at the counter. However, they provided table-service to us and our fellow bloggers that afternoon. The menu was a two-pager featuring a good selection of burgers. Given the branding, all the menu items are themed around Greek mythology. Psst ... they also have a secret menu, which is available for viewing online. I highly recommend that you try Olympus Burger if you're ever in Port Hope.

Read the FULL blog post here.

Address: 55 Mill St S, Port Hope, ON, L1A 2S7

Ares Burger ($9.95)
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Local No. 90 Bar + Kitchen:

Prior to making our way to Capitol Theater, we had dinner at Local No. 90 Bar + Kitchen. It's a new local joint on Mill Street and Ontario Street. We were greeted by Dana (the owner of Local No. 90) who serves a very hands-on role in her restaurant. She was helpful, and personable. The level of service reminded me of the hospitality that we received at Olympus Burgers.

Their menu changes daily, and all ingredients are all locally sourced. We started off with a few oysters from P.E.I, and steamed mussels. The appetizers were good, and I really liked the Steam Mussels. The mussels' natural juice came together with the help of white wine and garlic.

For my main course, I got the Pan Seared Duck Breast ($24). Comprised of current, red wine jus, sautéed with medley of potatoes, heirloom tomato, beans and kale. The duck was enjoyable, as the meat was tender and its skin crispy. Local No. 90 Bar + Kitchen would be a great place for casual dinner, dates and group dinners.

P.E.I. Oysters ($3.25 each)
Pan Seared Duck Breast ($24) 
Seasonal Meatballs ($15)

Steamed Mussels ($13)

The LocalNo90 Bar + Kitchen is open Sunday – Thursday from 4 pm – 11 pm, and Fridays and Saturdays from 4 pm – 11 pm.

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Nookie's Soul Kitchen & Bar:

On our second visit to Port Hope, we visited Nookie's Soul Kitchen & Bar for dinner. The restaurant is a cocktail bar offering a variety of dishes including bar food and Asian-fusion dishes. What stood out to me about the restaurant was the generous portion given its competitive pricing. I got the Rib & Wing Combo ($23), which was more than enough food for two people.

Seafood Linguine ($20)
Calamari Fritti ($11) 

White Wine and Garlic Mussels ($12)
Rib & Wing Combo ($23)
The dinner didn't go extremely smoothly, as there were several kinks throughout the entire meal. Mine was a minor mistake compared to what some of the other bloggers personally experienced - as I received sweet potato fries instead of regular French fries. We are a larger group, so the waitress appeared a little flustered throughout the meal. Nookie's Soul Kitchen & Bar seems like a popular local joint, so I do recommend making a reservation during the busy dinner rush. 

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Trattoria Gusto:

On the main floor of The Waddle Hotel is Trattoria Gusto, where they offer Italian cuisine in a beautiful historic setting. In the morning, they do offer breakfast for hotel guests (complimentary with some rooms). We actually dined at Trattoria Gusto back in 2012, but this was the first time we stayed overnight. They don't serve breakfast to the public, but it's open for brunch, lunch and dinner.



We didn't get a chance to dine in this time around, but we have enjoyed a delicious lunch a couple of years back. The lunch menu selection was fairly minimal, but it did offer the usual fare of Italian pasta. I wanted something filling so I ordered the penne rosé ($16.00). It is a dish of penne pasta with tomato sauce and mussels. Although the pasta was a simple dish, it was wonderfully made. They did not skimp on the mussels and it was fresh. I asked for some cheese and was given a full bowl of non-grated Parmesan cheese, which surprisingly blended very well with the pasta.

Read the FULL blog post here.


SEE

Annual Salmon Migration:

The Annual Salmon Migration occurs every year, along the Ganaraska river from the Lake Ontario. In the spring, between late March and early May, you can witness the annual rainbow trout (steelhead) migration. Up to 8,000 rainbow trout fish make their way up the Ganaraska River to spawn. In the fall, between late August and early October, you can watch the chinook and the silvery coho salmon migration. 


Primitive Designs:

Primitive Designs is a popular tourist attraction in Port Hope. They import exotic & unusual antiques & crafts from around the world. There are also tons of giant metal rots on the property, which are great photo opportunities.







Barn Quilt Barn

The Barn Quilt Barn is a scenic trail of 23 heritage barns throughout urban and rural Port Hope.

Laveanne Lavender Fields

If you're planning on visiting Port Hope in July, then you must make a visit to the Laveanne Lavender Fields. July is when the lavender fields are in bloom. Here you can stroll through four acres of landscaped fields, and there is also an on-site boutique selling lavender inspired home accents and gourmet bakery items.

Haute Goat Farm

The Haute Goat Farm is a breathtaking 200 acre farm where you can discover the magic of their Nigerian Dwarf goats, Icelandic horses, alpacas, chickens and Livestock Guardian Dogs and take a stroll through the shiitake forest! This place is a great family activity.

DO

Treetop Trekking Ganaraska:

While in Port Hope, why not spend a couple of hours enjoying tree top trekking at the Treetop Trekking Ganaraska? We started our morning partaking in the zip line and aerial game treks ($59.99 per person), which is one of their most popular activities. Guests have up to three hours to complete the treks. Treetop Trekking consist of fun games like suspended bridges, Tarzan swings, swinging logs, cable traverses, and zip lines. Don't fret if you're new to this - as the park has a variety of courses ranging from beginners to advanced. 

Read the FULL blog post here.

Address: 10585 Cold Springs Camp Rd, Campbellcroft, ON, L0A 1B0


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The Capitol Theatre:

The Capitol Theatre was constructed in 1930, and is one of the last fully restored atmospheric movie theatres still in operation in Canada. It was designated as a National Historic Site in 2016, and still used for performances. Seating for approximately 380. We were invited to watch the production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid (ran from August 14 to September 9, 2018). I was really looking forward to this production, as The Little Mermaid is my second favorite Disney film (after Cinderella), and it did not disappoint.

What's coming soon? The production of King Arthur The Panto will be playing at The Capitol Theatre from November 15 to December 23.



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Trickle Creek Farms:

On our second visit to Port Hope, we visited Trickle Creek Farms where we enjoyed a scenic trail ride adjacent to the beautiful Ganaraska Forest. I was a little hesitant at first, as my past experience with horses haven't been that great. My horse got scared by a loud sound and ran wild, while I was riding one in Cuba. Each riding group was kept small with about 6-10 people for a more personal experience. We were given a quick lesson on how to control our horse, and then went on our way to the trail.

My horse was really hungry, so it stopped a few times to munch on leaves. Overall, it was a lot of fun! It's an ideal family outing at a leisurely pace for everyone’s safety and comfort. One hour is $40 per person.




Float Your Fanny Down the Ganny:


The Float Your Fanny Down the Ganny is a 10 km race along the Ganaraska River to commemorate the 1980 flood that crippled Port Hopes downtown area. It happens around April. Visit www.floatyourfanny.ca for more details and exact date each year.

Port Hope Farmers' Market (May to October):

The Farmers’ Market is open every Saturday from the beginning of May till the end of October, from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm, and is located at 56 Queen Street, directly behind Town Hall. Here you will find an array of farm-fresh produce and meats, home-made preserves and baking, as well as hand-made crafts and artwork.

Fishing:

The Port Hope Conservation Area is a popular fishing location. You can also fish (catch and release) in the shallow waters of the Ganaraska River.



SLEEP

The Waddell:

We stayed overnight at The Waddell in downtown Port Hope, ON. The hotel sits on the banks of the Ganaraska River in heritage-designated downtown area of the city. The Waddle is conveniently located a couple of minutes walk away from the Capitol Theatre, and overlook the Ganaraska River. The bedroom features a Queen sized bed, air conditioning, private bathrooms, complimentary high-speed internet, and in-room Keurig coffee.

We checked into the hotel around 8:30 pm, which was quick and pleasant. Luckily, we checked into the hotel on time. Since it's a smaller hotel with no 24-hour reception desk, they do lock the doors at around 9:45 pm. I am not sure if guests are allowed to leave/enter past that time though. Anyway, we took the elevator to the second floor, and was greeted with a cozy hotel room. The hotel was beautifully restored, and each room features custom-built cherry or mahogany furnishings, and period features such as high ceilings and large windows.

Read the FULL blog post here.

Address: 1 Walton St, Port Hope, ON, L1A 1M8


Other accommodations available around towns are Haute Goat Farm B&B, Moonlight and Pines Bed & Breakfast, Hotel Carlyle, and Summerhill Manor B&B.

We thoroughly enjoyed our trips to Port Hope. It's such a charming heritage town with a lot to offer. Until next time!  

Social Media:

Facebook || Instagram || Twitter || Website

Disclaimer:  This post is in collaboration with the Municipality of Port Hope. Thank you for sponsoring the visit to Port Hope. All of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.

Presented by EventSource, the Toronto Catering Showcase is back for its third year, and will be taking place at Globe and Mail Centre on October 14th, 2018 at 12 pm. The culinary event brings together a group of amazing caterers for an unforgettable afternoon of pure indulgence. 

Last year's event was amazing, and you can read my recap of it here.


Basic Information:

Date: Sunday, October 14, 2018
Hours: 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Location: Globe and Mail Centre (351 King St E #1600, Toronto, ON, M5A 0N1)
Price: $65 per person (buy tickets here)
Website: http://www.torontocateringshowcase.com/

For $65, you will receive an all-inclusive pass giving you complete access to an afternoon of pure indulgence - no food tickets, and no drink tickets needed. The Toronto Catering Showcase has partnered up with several of Toronto's top caterers below:

 Daniel et Daniel Catering & Events
Eatertainment
elle cuisine
 Encore Catering
 en Ville Event Design and Catering
Food Dudes
Kiss The Cook Catering
Oliver & Bonacini Events
Presidential Gourmet Catering
ProvisionsTO
The Host Fine Indian Cuisine
Toben Food by Design

Many of above caterers offer a variety of services including corporate events, weddings, and social events. I have been fortunate to attend events catered by some of these catering companies, and they have always crafted unique tasting experiences. I am looking forward to attending the upcoming Toronto Catering Showcase next month, and I hope to see you there.

"Our team of experts are the best in the industry and bring a wealth of culinary experience. Our hands-on approach to event planning and catering ensures clear communication with our clients and seamless day-to-day operations. We maintain close working relationships with our clients and offer support and direction to our on-site event teams. " (source)

 "Quality and taste are top priorities for our chefs. Menus are constantly evolving, as we play on the tastes of the seasons, drawing inspiration from global trends and the collaborative input of our clients. " (source)

"The diversity of our spaces allows us to host a wide range of events, such as closing dinners, business meetings, personal celebrations, weddings, kosher-catered events, bar mitzvahs and large corporate events." (source)

Encore Catering helps make your dream a reality! Everyone dreams of the perfect wedding: an affair that culminates in an expression of love, and the perfect celebration to mark the joining of two families into one. From venue selection, to customized menu design, and décor conceptualization – Encore works with you, your family, and your budget to create a once-in-a-lifetime experience." (source)


I hope to see you at this year's event and you can buy ticket(s) here at https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/2018-toronto-catering-showcase-tickets-48067187251. I assure you, the event is a lot of fun and you will not leave hungry or thirsty :) 



Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending a media dinner hosted by The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. Personally, I have been to Florida before, but only to Orlando for Disney World and Miami. So, I was glad to attend the event, as I learned a lot about Greater Fort Lauderdale and what it has to offer as a tourist destination. 

  Greater Fort Lauderdale, located in Broward County, boasts more than 34,000 lodging accommodations at a variety of hotels, luxury spa resorts, and Superior Small Lodgings reflecting a “beach chic” vibe. The city is also home to near-endless sunshine as they get an average of 3,000 hours of annual sunshine. Perfect weather to soak in the sun, while enjoying the city's balmy breezes, tropical nights and warm ocean water. There are many things to do in the area such as dine at one of the thousands of restaurants and eateries, get immersed in a thriving arts and culture scene and indulge in top shopping. Want to learn more? Check out The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau's website for more information.

Photo Credit: Fred BK

One of my favorite appetizers of the night was the coconut shrimp. Loved it!
 Photo Credit: Fred BK

Greater Fort Lauderdale has since become a hot destination with a lot of amazing sights, activities and food that goes beyond just amusement parks. We got a taste of what Fort Lauderdale has to offer in terms of cuisine, as we were joined by three of Fort Lauderdale's hottest chefs and a world-renowned mixologist who all brought a little of the Florida sunshine to Toronto. It was very much needed as Toronto's weather can be quite fickle.


The guests that evening were as followed:

Chef de Cuisine Paula DaSilva, The Ritz-Carlton
Executive Chef Adrienne Grenier, 3030 Ocean, Harbor Beach Marriott Resort
Chef Christian Cobos, GG’s Waterfront
Jean-Pierre Belonni, Head Bartender, Mixologist, The Ritz-Carlton


Media personnel and bloggers were treated to an array of cocktail pairings and a delectable 3-course dinner at Market Kitchen (inside of the St Lawrence Market). The dinner provided us with a preview of how the food scene in Fort Lauderdale has evolved, and its cocktail scene is also getting more sophisticated as well.

You can check out more of the night festivities at #HelloSunnyTO


The first course was the Spinach Cavatelli - with clam Broth & garlic breadcrumbs by Chef Adrienne Grenier.


The second course was the Sauteed Fish - parsnip puree, corn succotash with homestead Carambola sauce by Chef Paula DaSilva



The night ended off on a sweet note with the Key Lime Pie by Pastry Chef Christian Cobos


We also learned that Fort Lauderdale is such a great cocktail city with plenty of bar and club options. So one can definitely get their drink on!



Here are some facts about Fort Lauderdale before you visit.

Climate: Broward's climate is tropical with an average year-round temperature of 76°F / 25°C and 3,000 hours of sunshine.  Winter temperatures average a mean of 66° F / 19° C; summer, a mean of 84° F / 29° C. January is the coolest month of the year and August is the warmest. The heaviest rainfalls occur during August and September.

Attractions:

Anne Kolb Nature Center -  a 1,430 acre wetland and habitat for native wildlife
        B-CYCLE -- bike sharing program
  Beach Place - a 100,000 square foot entertainment, retail and dining complex on A1A
        Billie Swamp Safari - lets you experience a Seminole Indian reservation in the Everglades via swamp buggy and airboat
       
Everglades Holiday Park - gateway to 750,000 acres of unspoiled Everglades; airboat rides, tours and fishing
     Hollywood Beach Broadwalk - 2.2 mile oceanfront pedestrian promenade which parallels the beach
Xtreme Indoor Karting - South Florida’s fastest indoor karting


Natural Attractions: In addition to Blue Wave beaches and waterways, Broward County has 288parks, 69 miles of live coral reef in a three-tier natural reef system, and the Everglades. Its 100+ artificial reefs and 18 major shipwrecks provide divers with a unique mix of tropical underwater experiences.

Dining and Entertainment: More than 4,000 wining and dining establishments and 132 nightclubs are located in Broward County.

Shopping: Sawgrass Mills, the world's largest discount mall, features the high-end Colonnade Outlets. Other shopping destinations include Seminole Paradise, Festival Flea Market Mall and Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop, the largest indoor/outdoor flea market in the South. The Galleria at Fort Lauderdale, an upscale shopping mall with stores such as Neiman-Marcus, Michael Kors and Cole Haan, is complemented by traditional Florida shopping avenues such as Las Olas Boulevard, Dania Beach Antique Row and beach boutiques.

Major Annual Events: Some major ones are Orange Bowl (Dec/Jan), Vacation Like a VIP (May-Sept, Turtle Walks (June-July), Fort Lauderdale Family Fun Beachfront Celebration (July 4), Hollywood 4th of July Celebration (July 4), Hollywood Beach Latin Festival (Aug) and Florida Panthers Hockey Season (Oct–Apr) .



Many thanks to The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau and Resource Media for hosting the event. I had a great time, and learned a lot about Fort Lauderdale.

Social Media:

Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.

 Tokyo is Japan's capital and one of my favorite cities in the world. There are plenty of things to do and see in the city, and I have always enjoyed my time here (I keep wanting to come back). Tokyo offers a large number of attractions from shopping, entertainment, temples, and restaurants. I believe that 4-5 days in Tokyo are more than enough to see the main attractions, and trying out some of the top eats.


I highly recommend staying in a centrally located hotel if you want to maximize your Tokyo experience. For both trips, we stayed at hotels within the Shibuya district, and it made getting around very easy. If you're on a budget, then it's much cheaper to stay outside of the main districts, but time is money as well. Personally, J and I have never stayed in an Airbnb while in Japan, but I have heard nothing but good thing from friends who did. So, that could be another option if hotels are expensive (especially during the high tourist season) like April to August, and December (Christmas season).


HARAJUKU

Meiji Shrine - Meiji Shrine is the Shinto shrine that is dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shōken. This temple was very memorable for me, as I got extremely sick here on my first trip after eating a lot of sushi with sake. We barely walked past the sake barrels before my face turned completely red, and I started getting blurry visions. We ended up taking a taxi ride back (during rush hour, so $$$) to the hotel. I finally got the chance to finish the entire walk on our most recent trip in December of 2016, so mission accomplished.


Takeshita Street -  I love this street! It's an incredibly bustling street lined up with many trendy shops, fashion boutiques, crepe stands and fast food outlets geared towards the younger generation. I had a fun time shopping at Kiddy Land, Daiso, and We Go while I was there. We also tried two of the crepe stands, Angels Heart and Marion Crepes. Check out my review on Japanese Crepes in Japan here (coming soon). 


Omotesando - One of the best shopping streets in Tokyo filled with lots of mid-end and high-end clothing shops and department stores. The service level at the high-end stores was amazingly attentive!

SHIBUYA 

Hachiko at Shibuya Crossing - Hachiko was the most loyal dog in the world. He would show up to the train station every evening to meet his owner after work and continued to do so even after the owner’s death. The train station employees fed him, gave him water and took good care of him. They even erected this statue for Hachiko after his own death. Say hello to Hachiko on your way to the Shibuya Crossing.


Shibuya Crossing
Shop @ Shibuya 109

GINZA

Ginza Crossing
Sony Building
Mitsukoshi
Printemps
Marronnier Gate

SHINJUKU

Tokyo Metropolitan Building - Going up Tokyo Skytree for a view of Tokyo's skyline is pretty expensive at ¥2,060 ($23) a person. A cheaper alternative (aka FREE) is from the two observation decks (North and South) on the 45th floor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. The building is open pretty late as well, so you can also get a night view of Tokyo.


AKIHABARA

Akihabara is a popular district known for their electronics, otaku goods, and anime shops. Some of the main attractions are Sofmap, Yodobashi Camera, Maid Cafes, Don Quijote and Mandarake. If you're into anime, then this is the place to have a nerdgasm.

Gundam Cafe - The Gundam Cafe is a themed cafe after the popular Mobile Suit Gundam anime series. The cafe serves a variety of different dishes and drinks themed after the characters of the show. You can more about it here.


Don Quijote - Don Quijote is a discount chain store that carries a wide range of products from basic groceries to electronics to clothing. It's my go-to shop for souvenirs and local treats/goodies to bring back home. 

SUMIDA

Tokyo Skytree - The Tokyo Skytree is a television broadcasting tower and landmark of Tokyo. For ¥2,060, you can go up to the main observation deck on Floor350 to get a top view of Tokyo's skyline. I didn't think it was worth the money, so we opted out of going. However, at the base of the tower is a large shopping complex and aquarium, which we did check out. 

Sumida Aquarium - The Sumida Aquarium is one of the main attractions of the Tokyo Skytree Town complex. Entrance ticket was ¥2,050 yen ($23) and houses over 10,000 sea creatures on the 5th and 6th floors of Tokyo Solamachi. The aquarium was smaller than the one in Osaka, but I still found it enjoyable. Plus, I loved the penguins pen.



Tokyo Skytree Solamachi


ASAKUSA

Sensō-ji (Kannon) Temple - Asakusa is the center of Tokyo, and its main attraction is Sensoji, a popular Buddhist temple. It's one of the oldest temples in Japan, and has quite a significant heritage behind it. It was pretty busy around noon time bustling with both locals and tourists.


Nakamise Dori - The temple is approached via a shopping street called Nakamise. The street is filled with several small shops offering a variety of traditional goods, souvenirs and local snacks.


AKASAKA
 
 Akasaka is more of a business district, and there weren't too many things to do here. However, we were here for afternoon tea on the 45th floor of the Ritz-Carlton Tokyo (you can more about it here). It was during the Christmas season, so the price was rather high at about $154 CAD for the two of us (including 13% gratuity and tax).


IKEBUKURO

Ikefukurou Cafe (Owl Cafe) - If you get the chance to venture to Ikefukurou, be sure to check out this cute Owl Cafe on the 6th floor. It's best to make a reservation, as they do have limited space for each hour. One hour was ¥1600 yen ($18 CAD) a person (one drink included).


Pokemon Center - Are you a Pokemon fan? If yes, then this store is definitely for you!!  


ODAIBA

Gundam Statue - The (original) Gundam statue in Odaiba has been taken down since early 2017, and been replaced with the new Unicorn Gundam. We're going back to Japan in a couple of months, but Odaiba isn't on our itinerary cause we saw most of it already on our two previous trips.


UENO

Ueno Park - Ueno Park is a large public park steps away from Ueno Station.


MIKITA

Studio Ghibli - If you're a fan of Studio Ghibli, then you'll love this museum. It will definitely transport you to the land of Ghibli, as there are several official art works by Hayao Miyazaki, exhibitions, and even a large-sized Cat Bus. All admissions to the museum is by advance reservation only. Foreigners may purchase their tickets by the JTB Group in your city, or online tickets from Lawson Ticket. Make note that they have a very strict policy on "no photography" inside of the museum. The museum was really cool!



[Travel] Tokyo Travel Guide (Japan)

by on Wednesday, January 24, 2018
 Tokyo is Japan's capital and one of my favorite cities in the world. There are plenty of things to do and see in the city, and I have ...