My Food Travels – Fall Getaway 2016 to Kingston, Ontario

Hi everyone!

With Holiday Season approaching us very quickly as I can’t believe it’s already end of November and Christmas is around the corner. I can’t wait to share with you some Holiday/Christmas posts soon.

But first, I thought that I share my 1st feature with my readers on my food travels as some of you know, I love to travel and not only travel, but when traveling, I love to try new restaurants and esp. searching for new sweet bakeries or desserts places to share with my readers. There will be a few foodie travels blog posts per year depending where I go that year! I hope that you will enjoy this new feature I’m adding to my blog. Let me know what you think.

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One of my fave time of the year to travel is during the Fall season because the weather is still warm and not cold to still enjoy the outdoors. I prefer to travel during the Fall season as well it is not peak time to travel (i.e. summer high peak travel time) where certain tourist areas are less crowded and prices are reasonable or lower priced at this time to travel. There are always advantages and disadvantages traveling in the Fall or off season it’s finding the right fit for you to enjoy your trip, which is most important.

Beautiful Kingston Downtown Waterfront Area

Why Kingston?

Why did I pick Kingston, Ontario some of you may ask? Well, even though I’m a Canadian born and raised in Toronto, I still haven’t seen some parts of Ontario. I have always like to discover new cities even in my own province and see what Ontario has to offer for me as I love exploring new cities. I thought that Kingston would be the perfect Fall getaway for a few days to explore, eat and relax!!

If you haven’t been to Kingston, Ontario before, don’t miss out on this historic city located in the Eastern part of Ontario on the end of Lake Ontario where the beginning of the St.Lawerence River is. The city is located midway between Toronto and Montreal. It is known for the “Thousand Islands” tourist region and nicknamed the “Limestone City” because of the heritage buildings that was constructed using local limestone.

Quick Facts on Kingston, Ontario

Some quick facts on Kingston, Ontario for those who would to know more information on this city:

  • Kingston is home to Fort Henry and part of the Rideau Canal of UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Resting-place of Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first Prime Minister
  • The Best freshwater sailing harbor in North America
  • Queen’s University, the Royal Military College of Canada and St. Lawrence College
  • This city offers vibrant arts, entertainment, recreation and leisure communities
  • Has lots of events, festivals, and attractions
  • A bustling downtown core with a variety of independent & unique shops and a variety of amazing restaurants to offer
  • Beautiful parks and trails

View from Fort Henry Historic Site

My Experience

I really enjoyed my getaway to Kingston in mid-September 2016 as this charming small city has a lot to offer from the amazing & superb restaurants, love shopping at the boutique & independent shops, love seeing the waterfront view from almost any point of view in the downtown area, and I love the feel of this small city charm combined with the beauty of the nature in the city that I don’t usually get in Toronto. Kingston also offers lots of different events for everyone from live music to festivals, food tours, farmer’s market, walking tours for attractions and more. Overall, Kingston for a small city has a lot to offer and many things to do & explore.

Harbourfront Sunset Views near my Hotel

The best way to travel for me is I would recommend is taking the VIA Rail train as it is easy, comfortable and affordable. You can avoid the traffic and have an enjoyable with scenic ride to your destination. Ever since I started traveling by train for travels within Ontario & different parts of Canada, I always travel by business class now. It has a lot of perks including business lounge available for you at the station, complimentary Wifi, extra room on the train, power outlet and hot meals, which I love my non-dairy meals on this train, if you could believe it, the train food is pretty good and filling just like any restaurant. Check out my delicious lunch hot meal that I had on the way to Kingston!

Activities & Attractions

If you haven’t been to Kingston before, I would recommend you doing the Kingston Trolley Tour as I did it during my time in Kingston and really enjoyed this tour that takes you on an in-depth tour of Kingston’s historic downtown and waterfront, stopping at all of the city’s most well-known visitor destinations including Fort Henry, the Penitentary Museum, and Queen’s University. I was only disappointed that Fort Henry was closed for the season and wasn’t able to see it just the outside of it. This Trolley Tour captures what is in the city of Kingston in a short amount of time.

Besides shopping and exploring & sampling Kingston’s amazing restaurants, I also did the Kingston 1000 Island Cruise, which Kingston is known for its beautiful water and islands. I did the 90 minutes cruise only, which is called the Discovery Cruise and sailed off on the Island Belle. During this cruise, it introduces the unique sights and heritage of the 1000 Islands region and the historic waterfront of Canada’s First Capital. The cruise passes close to National Park Islands and National Historic Sites, and I enjoyed taking in the majesty of the 1000 Islands.

Hotel

In Kingston, I stayed at Residence Inn by Marriott Kingston Hotel Water Edge, which I highly recommend you stay at because this amazing hotel is right by the water and you have the perfect view of the waterfront overlooking Lake Ontario and the beauty that comes with Kingston. It is the perfect location as it is located downtown Kingston within walking distance of several restaurants, Kingston downtown area, Springer Market Square, Thousand Island dock, City Hall, shopping on Princess Street, and more.

Residence Inn Kingston also offers you spacious fully-equipped suites, free Wifi, complimentary breakfast, indoor saltwater pool, whirlpool & Fitness Centre, and Business Centre. From my experience, they offer outstanding customer service from front desk staff to cleaning staff, the front desk staff were very friendly and helpful including helping me order a taxi and they do luggage storage as well. Overall, a very welcoming, warm and great hotel to stay at, the waterfront views are amazing to see everyday, this hotel will make you feel like you’re at home with their very spacious rooms.

My beautiful & amazing view from my room

View of the beautiful waterfront by the hotel

My Fave 3 Desserts Shops/ Bakeries in Kingston, Ontario

If you are looking for some sweet desserts shops and bakeries, I am recommending coming to this charming city to satisfied your sweet cravings, you will not be disappointed. Here are my Top 3 that I recommend you checking out in Kingston:

1. Cards Bakery & Goods

Location: 115 Princess Street (Downtown Kingston)

Website: Downtown Kingston Website for more info on Cards Bakery -> click here

Updated New Website: Card’s Bakery -> click here

Website for Krista (owner): Cakes by Krista

Social Media: Follow them on Twitter @Cardsbakery & Facebook @CardsBakery.

My fave bakery in Kingston is Cards Bakery & Goods because of their freshly baked and use of finest ingredients from scratch to make the most delicious baked goods. Their baked goods taste like homemade straight from your mom’s or grandmother’s kitchen! I love this warm & cozy bakery after walking in the shop right away filled with variety of baked goods to offer from delicious pies, cookies, cupcakes, turnovers, tarts, and more. It was so hard to choose what to get. In the end, I picked my fave of course oatmeal raisin cookies, cherry tarts & a few assorted cookies. Loved every bite of my delicious baked goods! I took my yummy treats to go to enjoy on the train and at home. As well they offer light lunches with soup. Cards Bakery & Goods also offer selected kitchenware items and gifts. If you are in Kingston, definitely make a stop at this yummy bakery, it is all worth it!

My delicious cherry tart  

2. Mio Gelato

Location: 178 Ontario St. (Downtown Kingston)

Website: Mio Gelato -> click here

Social Media: Follow them on Facebook @MioGelato, Twitter @MioGelato_KTown and Instagram @miogelatokingston.

If you are looking for a cool & freshly made treat, I definitely recommend Mio Gelato as some of you know, I love gelato and I seem to always find the perfect and best Gelato place wherever I travel. This is no exceptional if you are in Kingston, please definitely go to Mio Gelato where they offer homemade fresh & delicious gelato, sorbetto, and frozen yogurt as they use local fruit in their product if possible. One of the highlight of this gelato place is perfect for me as they offer dairy-free gelato and sorbetto, YAY!! I couldn’t choose a flavor so I went with 3 lol…I enjoyed their delicious Ontario Peach as it was in season in September, Raspberry and Mango. Loved it!!! They also have very friendly staff to assist you if you can’t decide what flavor you want, there are samples of course. So when in Kingston, definitely come by this friendly & yummy gelato shop.

3. The Common Market

Location: 136 Ontario Street (Downtown Kingston)

Website: The Common Market -> click here

Social Media: Follow them on Facebook @TheCommonMarket and Twitter @TheCommonMarkt.

A great coffee/tea and bakery shop to go to is The Common Market as it was across the street from my hotel so great location wise as it is downtown Kingston and near the waterfront. They had a variety of baked goods such as croissants, loaves, & etc., sandwiches, wraps, soups and of course coffee and tea to offer. I ended up ordering a refreshing ice tea and loved their fresh cranberry cookies for snack! This coffee shop had a warm and cozy environment as you can probably sit there for hours.

Even though I didn’t get a chance to stop by this cozy coffee/tea & dessert bar called: Sipps Coffee, which is located in the main part of downtown by the Market Square, I heard many great reviews on this place so I also would recommend it. I’m hoping to go back to Kingston one day and definitely be stopping by Sipps Coffee as you can see Kingston has so many bakery and coffee shops to offer that keeps you coming back.

Website: Sipps Coffee Info from Downtown Kingston -> click here

Social Media: You can follow them on Facebook @SippsCoffee and Twitter @SippsCoffee.

My Fave Burger Place in Kingston, Ontario

Besides my love for desserts & sweets, I also love burgers who doesn’t right? I usually love trying new authentic burger places in new cities or places that I usually travel. So this is no difference being in Kingston, I discovered the best burger place, which is Harper’s Burger Bar, located downtown Kingston on the shopping district on Princess street.

Location: 93 Princess Street (Downtown Kingston)

Website: Harper’s Burger Bar (Kingston’s Local Burger Joint) -> click here

Social Media: You can follow them on Facebook @HarpersBurgers, Twitter @HarpersBurgers and Instagram @HarpersBurgers.

Why Harper’s Burger Bar? I really enjoyed this local burger joint with it’s modern and friendly environment with their delicious & fresh “AAA” local beef made burgers. It was probably one of the best burgers I had, loved how fresh it was and homemade. Where can you get waffle fries? I love waffle fries! They offer hot & fresh Yukon fries, onion rings and along with their yummy premium shakes. They also have friendly and excellent customer service by their wait staff.

If you are looking for local and fresh burgers, don’t look any further than Harper’s Burger Bar.

It was an amazing Fall getaway to Kingston, Ontario where I relaxed after a busy summer filled with food festivals and working, it was great to enjoy both the beauty of Kingston’s nature & waterfront views and at the same time enjoyed their amazing restaurants with delicious foods and desserts. I enjoyed the small historic city charm that Kingston have to offer.

If you haven’t been to Kingston before, I highly recommend you come and explore this beautiful historic city for yourself to see what I been talking about. I can’t wait to come back to Kingston again to further explore this beautiful city and sample other bakeries that I didn’t get a chance to try…:)  I love exploring new cities in Ontario so I can’t wait for my next adventure!

I can’t wait to share my next travel location and exploring new dessert / bakeries with you my readers! I already have a few trips planned out for next year 2017 so look out for them!

Until next time, getting into the Christmas spirit, look out for my next blog posts (yes there will be more than 1 posts next month..:) ) feeling more festive and ready for Christmas & Holiday season!

To stay updated on my next blog post, please connect with me on Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 and Instagram @SweetBFoodie24.

-Sweet B.

For more information on Kingston, Ontario, please see below:

Website: Kingston Official Site -> click here

Website: City of Kingston -> click here

Social Media: You can follow the City of Kingston & stay up to date through

Facebook @StayInKingston, Twitter @VisitKingston1 and Instagram @VisitKingston.

Hotel: Residence Inn Kingston Water’s Edge -> Website – click here

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Best Homemade Pies in Toronto: Wanda’s Pie in the Sky Bakery Cafe

Hi everyone,

How is everyone enjoying this summer-like warm Fall weather in Toronto?? I love warm and sunny days for Fall to enjoy the colourful leaves & enjoying being outside while it’s not that cold yet and I love my hot apple ciders on cooler Fall evenings and warm desserts.

There’s so much to love about the Fall season and this weekend we celebrate for my Canadian readers & me, Thanksgiving, where we gather & spend time with our families and friends to give thanks and share a wonderful delicious meal together. If you are wondering, what perfect dessert would go well to end your Thanksgiving dinner? My suggestion would be pies. From their flaky crusts to fruity center, pies are always a sweet ending to any meal and even sweeter for Thanksgiving so pies are to be shared with loved ones.

Last weekend, I visited the perfect dessert and pie bakery cafe called, Wanda’s Pie in the Sky, which is located in Toronto’s Kensington Market and on a lively pedestrian community where you can enjoy one of Wanda’s freshly baked desserts such as pies, tarts, cakes to take home or stay with plenty of space to sit with large windows or their patio on warmer days. Wanda’s pies and baked goods are all freshly made and Wanda’s pies are known for reminding you of home, a freshly cut pie from home. I definitely agree after tasting one of their pies during my visit.

Wanda’s Pie in the Sky also offers freshly homemade vegetarian lunches and brunches on the weekends and they are also well-known for their coffee exclusively using Dark City Coffee Company. Wanda also has the option to order any of their homemade pies, cakes or sweets for any occasion or event.

When I visited Wanda’s Pie in the Sky last weekend, it was nested at the corner street on Kensington Market where it was a cozy & friendly street filled with shops, restaurants and cafes. I love these kind of streets filled with lots of things to eat of course lol, see and pop into boutique shops. I only saw part of Kensington Market area and liking it a lot as I don’t come to this part of Toronto often. When I walked in Wanda’s Pie in the Sky in the late afternoon, it was cozy and smelled of yummy pastries as well as it was very busy in there. No doubt that Wanda’s Pie in the Sky is popular with it’s delicious pies and freshly made vegetarian lunches, who wouldn’t resist coming in here? This bakery cafe has so much to offer, I loved the atmosphere as I stepped in the bakery cafe. The bakery cafe itself wasn’t too big or too small it seemed like the right amount of size for this bakery cafe. Customer service was very friendly and on point as it was busy, they did the best to service customers at a reasonable pace.

It was difficult for me to choose which pie to try and so much pastries to choose from as I was also taking home some goodies.  I finally ended up with the Apple Berry pie and it was simply delicious, the crust was soft and flaky with the mixed berries of strawberry in it as the center. It was tasted like it was homemade that my mom would make. I decided to take out some goodies such as cookies and this delicious mini cherry tart, which I had at home and simply loved it, the cherries melted in my mouth, the tart pastry part was soft and perfect.

My delicious Apple Berry Pie

My delicious mini Cherry tart

If you are looking for the perfect homemade sweet dessert for this weekend for, Thanksgiving to share with your family and friends, I highly recommend Wanda’s Pie in the Sky and her delicious pies & pastries! You will fall in love with her homemade pies for sure like I did. 🙂

On a quick update, my special project I been working on has been put on hold due to a few things I’m trying to balance out right now with a few events coming up at the end of October including attending, Food Bloggers of Canada conference with preparation for that so after that I hope to be back on track and to be released end of November. I will also still be posting about my Kingston trip as well.

For all updates and to continue to connect with me, please follow me on Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 and Instagram @SweetFoodie24.

For now, I leave you with the sweet flaky & fruity pie cravings……onto my next sweet adventure, until next time….

Warm wishes to all my readers from me to you, A HAPPY THANKSGIVING !!!!

-Sweet B.

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For more information on Wanda’s Pie in the Sky, please see below:

Address: 287 Augusta Avenue, Toronto, Ontario

Website: wandaspieinthesky.com

You can follow her on Facebook @Wandaspieintheskybakerycafe, Twitter @WandasPieintheSky, and Instagram @WandasPieintheSky.

Discovered the Best Authentic French Pâtisserie in Old Montreal: Maison Christian Faure

Hi everyone!

I’m back and excited to share with you about a new pastry/bakery that I discovered during my recent trip to Montreal where I attended my 1st conference for Food Bloggers of Canada (check out my review here if you haven’t read it yet: click here -> FBC2015 Review) as I mentioned in my previous entry. I still found some time after the conference before I left Montreal to explore the Old Port and Old Montreal. Montreal is a city known for many great restaurants & cafes and there are always so many choices to choose in Montreal.

I been to Montreal a few times now and one of my fave places to explore is Old Montreal where I love walking along the old cobblestoned streets and you will find streets with buildings dating from the 17th through 19th centuries to grand old French restaurants, history museums as well as the Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel, boutique shops, and the riverfront Old Port. The Old Port, which I took a walk there on a beautiful day that day it stretches for over two kilometres along the St-Lawrence River in Old Montreal. It’s a beautiful place to enjoy nature and it has access for those who likes to do walking, cycling, roller-blading, etc. The historical Old Port offers visitors alike access to a wide variety of activities, including the Montreal Science Centre with an IMAX Theatre and the Montreal Clock Tower.

After having lunch in Old Montreal as I strolled through the old cobblestoned streets. I discovered in Old Montreal on the rue (street) of Place Royale is an authentic French Pâtisserie called: Maison Christian Faure. Stepping into this pastry shop feels like a modern French authentic cafe and I really enjoyed the welcoming atmosphere that this pastry shop has to offer as I was greeted when I walked in. As I walked in the pastry shop, you could smell the fresh pastry breads and I felt like I was surround by yummy sweets, it was really hard to choose what to eat as I was a bit full from lunch. But how can I say no to these sweet desserts? LOL!

Maison Christian Faure offers an assortment of desserts and pastries that includes French macarons, tarts, fresh breads, éclairs, biscuits, madeleines, meringues and homemade jams, etc along with other French classics that shows Maison Christian Faure pastry shop a diversity of the magnificent local Quebec produce. Along with pastries & desserts, Maison Christian Faure also as a deli counter showcasing Quebec’s local and seasonal produce chosen and carefully prepared for customers. Maison Christian Faure may also hosts parties, receptions, and a private lounge for events. Maison Christian Faure is not just a pastry shop, but also the first International school dedicated to French pastry in Canada. “The Pastry School is the upshot of a team of accomplished and acclaimed chefs, all holding the Meilleur Ouvrier de France title. They have come together to offer a curriculum that is based on the principles and values of excellence as well as the schooling of the French know-how and art of living.” (from website: Maison Christian Faure)

After finally deciding from all the yummy sweets, I picked a French Apple Tatin, which if you don’t know what “Tatin” is which I didn’t know that there was a type of pastry called: Tatin, but it is an upside-down pastry in which the fruit (usually apples) are caramelized in butter and sugar before the tart is baked. It’s great and interesting to learn about new terminology in this food industry, I feel when I go to different places I tend to discover new things, which I love and then to share with my readers as well. To me this Apple Tatin was in simple terms an apple pie and I can not even describe how this simple dessert was simply delicious!! It was so fresh and it tasted very authentic French dessert, I think I could have ate a 2nd one and that’s how good it was. The exterior of the tart may look hard but it was sooooo soft when I ate it. Every bite was like you were on cloud 9 and you wanted more and more. I was too full to even get a tea or drink so next time will definitely be coming back to have a tea with my dessert.

Noted I posted the delicious Apple Tatin twice as it looked soooo beautiful as well, one close up of the dessert! It was almost too pretty to eat. That’s why I love desserts so much, they always look so pretty.

Of course, I couldn’t leave the pastry shop without having one of my fave desserts, macarons. How can I not at least get one to sample as I am in one of the authentic French dessert shop in Montreal? I got the Raspberry macaron and had it as my dessert on the train later on that day when I headed back home to Toronto. It was the best macaron I ever had!!! It also had raspberry filling inside to top it all off. I only wish I had more lol!! I could probably eat half a dozen of their macarons, it is that good! I guess I know where to get the best macarons in Montreal the next time I visit this beautiful city.

If you are looking for an authentic French pastry & dessert shop, look no further than Maison Christian Faure, by renowned pastry Chef Christian Faure who specializes in the art of pastry and desserts and was awarded the ‘Best Pastry Chef of the World” title by The American Academy for Hospitality Sciences. It is the best French Pâtisserie shop in Montreal located in Old Montreal, it is definitely worth it to come and enjoy some French sweets of all kinds! I know now when I’m in Montreal where my must eat dessert place is, I would definitely recommend this bakery shop and it is definitely a must go to try when you’re in Montreal! I can’t wait to come back to try more sweet & delicious desserts here! Maison Christian Faure will not disappoint.

Until the next sweet festive adventure….

-Sweet B.

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For more information to contact or to visit Maison Christian Faure, please see below:

Address: 355, Place Royale, Montreal, QC  H2Y 2V3

Hours of Operations: Everyday from 8:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M.

Website: maisonchristianfaure.ca

Pastry school
Phone #: 514 508-6452
registrar@christianfaure.ca

Counter and boutique
Phone #: 514 508-6453
admin@christianfaure.ca

You can also find Maison Christian Faure on Facebook – @cfaureMOF, Follow on Twitter – @MaisonCF, and Instagram – @maisonchristianfaure.

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My Highlights From the 1st Toronto Food & Wine Festival 2015

Hi everyone,

Sorry for the late review all! Here it is finally….What better way to start a warm Fall-like weekend than attending a spectacular foodie festival. It was the first time Toronto hosted the 2015 Food & Wine Festival franchise’s to debut in Canada. It is very exciting to me as a foodie that Toronto was able to host this festival for the first time as it shows that Toronto has a lot to offer in the restaurant and hospitality industry, and that other places around the world are starting to see that.

Of course, I had to attend this anticipated and amazing food festival and a great way to start a warm Fall-like temperature weekend then enjoying sampling delicious foods and drinks.

The Toronto Food & Wine Festival 2015 was held for over 3 tasty days from Sept 18 – 20, 2015 at the Evergreen Brick Works which if you didn’t know about the location a bit of history here – the Evergreen Brick Works is Canada’s first large-scale community environmental centre that helps focus the global green cities movement. It also has it’s own farmer’s market showcasing farmers and food producers from Ontario’s Green Belt who understand the importance of healthy, local and fresh food for everyone.

Over the 3 mouth-watering days, Toronto Food & Wine Festival took over this large greenspace along with the brick restored buildings with a massive Grand Tasting Pavilion highlighting local restaurants, wineries and breweries along with a packed weekend of cooking classes led by celebrity chefs, tutored tastings, live demos at the Miele Celebrity Stage, book signings, a farmer’s market, and much more. As well Food & Wine Festival hosted harvest dinners after the Festival including Heritage BBQ by Cochon555 and Diner en Noir presented by the PC® Black Label Collection. If you missed this delicious foodie festival, check out some of my highlights below where I attended the Saturday session.

My overall experience was just amazing, I had such an incredible day at the first ever Toronto Food & Wine Festival, I attended the Saturday session despite starting out the day looking gloomy and rainy. Though surprisingly with Toronto weather, I got lucky and it ended up being a warm and even a bit sunny and it only rained for an hour. It was perfect timing too as I was then watching a live demo by Chuck Hughes inside at the Miele Celebrity Stage. The event was held within different parts of the Evergreen Brick Works with the massive Grand Tasting Pavilion in a huge open space warehouse look and the Miele Celebrity Stage held at the Holcim Gallery, which was in a huge open space as well.

There was so many different foods and wine of course to try, I love how Toronto Food & Wine Festival used the Evergreen Brick Works concept of fresh local food included in the show as well.  I felt a bit overwhelmed at first at the Grand Tasting Pavilion only because there were so many choices of food vendors to choose from. It was hard to decide what to try so I tried as much as I could lol!! I was excited to discovered a new bakery called, Ace Bakery where I enjoyed their delicious sample soft breads and as well they had a special dish that day called: Black Forest Bites, which despite not liking chocolate, it was a perfect bite (as it had a small piece of chocolate on top lol). I thought that the small baguette was a great idea for snacks or even for entertaining. The Grand Tasting Pavilion was a great place to discover new foods and sample foods that you usually don’t try.

My Top 3 Fave Dishes:

  1. My fave dessert definitely was the Rosewood Wildflower Honey & Riesling Savarine by Cluny Bistro & Boulangerie.  I love how they have this small tube where wildflower honey can be put into the cake. That was quite neat to add to a dessert!
  2. My fave savory dish was the Seared Scallop with risotto by PC® Black Label Collection. The scallop was cooked perfectly and I love the spices in the scallop! Simply delicious!Scallop Dish - 1
  3. My fave sandwich was Porchetta, which consisted of Rosemary & Lemon Slow Roasted Pork, Ontario Peach Mostarda with a freshly baked bread by Carver. I love adding peach sauce to the sandwich! 

My Fave Wine

I prefer sweet wines and always of course love sweet things so this comes no surprise why I love sweet or fruity wines. My fave wine goes to the Apple Cider Wine from my own province, Ontario Yours To Discover. Simply perfect amount of sweetness! What perfect fruit to go with Fall!

Apple Cider Wine - 1

OntarioWine-1AA collage of Ontario Yours To Discover booth with me and my mom with our wines! Beautiful display by Ontario booth capturing the Fall look.

I also attended two live demos at the Miele Celebrity Stage where I saw Curtis Stone, celebrity Aussie chef and Canadian chef – Chuck Hughes. I also met culinary expert & judge on Top Chef – Gail Simmons. I really enjoyed Curtis Stone’s live demo, he is very entertaining, funny, engaging and as well I learned quite a few tips from him as well. Curtis did a live demo of a fancy Fall cocktail and upscale salsa and chips. He also did an exciting competition of mixing cocktails with Canadians vs Americans with the audience. If you haven’t seen Curtis cook live before, I definitely recommend you seeing him! He definitely won’t disappoint you! Chuck Hughes did a live demo on a Peach dessert and how to cook fresh pasta. Check out a few photos below of my experience at the Miele Celebrity Stage and the book signing where I met Curtis in person.

My mom & me with Curtis Stone

Me with Curtis Stone

Chuck Hughes demo

It was truly a delicious, inspiring and fun experience at the first ever, Toronto Food & Wine Festival for me. I would have loved to have gone all 3 days after going to one of them to have more time to sample more tasty foods. If you didn’t go to this year’s Toronto Food & Wine Festival 2015, then it’s an easy decision that next year, it’s a must go! I definitely will be attending next year’s 3 days foodie event! Already counting down the days until next year appetizing and yummy event!

Until next time, I will be searching for my next sweet adventure…

-Sweet B.

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For more information on Toronto Food & Wine Festival 2015 and the other vendors I have mentioned, check out the links below:

Toronto Food & Wine FestivalWebsite Link

You can also follow them on Facebook @TOFoodandWine, Twitter @TOFoodandWine, and Instagram @TOFoodandWine.

Evergreen Brick Works – Website Link

Ace BakeryWebsite Link

You can also follow them on Facebook @ACEBakery, Twitter @ACE_Bakery, and Instagram @ACEBakery.

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Cluny Bistro & BoulangerieWebsite Link

You can also follow them on Facebook @ClunyDistillery, Twitter @ClunyDistillery, and Instagram @ClunyDistillery.

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PC® Black Label CollectionWebsite Link

You can also follow them on Facebook @PresidentsChoice, Twitter @PresChoice, and Instagram @PresChoice.

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Ontario Travel (Official Website of Tourism in Ontario)Website Link

You can also follow them on Facebook @OntarioTravel, Twitter @OntarioTravel, and Instagram @OntarioTravel.

Celebrity Chefs:

Curtis Stone

Website Link

You can also follow him on Facebook @ChefCurtisStone, Twitter @CurtisStone, and Instagram @CurtisStone.

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Chuck Hughes

Website Link

You can also follow him on Facebook @ChefChuckHughes, Twitter @ChefChuckHughes, and Instagram @ChefChuckHughes.

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Gail Simmons

Website Link

You can also follow her on Facebook @GailSimmons, Twitter @GailSimmons, and Instagram @GailSimmonsEats.

Discovering The Best Charming Bakery on Niagara-on-the-Lake: Nina Gelateria & Pastry Shop

Hi everyone,

I’m back with another sweet update, sorry for the delay as it has been a busy summer for me!! Summer is a great time for me to explore and search for hidden or special places for a delicious sweet dessert.

One of my fave destinations to travel to during the summer time and even year round is Niagara Falls. I love the spectacular and beautiful view of the Falls and as well this magical city has so many attractions, variety of restaurants, and activities to do.

During my recent trip in August to Niagara Falls, I went exploring to the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake which is often described as the prettiest town in Ontario. I haven’t been to Niagara-on-the-Lake for many years despite how often I travel to Niagara Falls and thought since it was a beautiful sunny summer day that day, it would be great to go exploring this charming town.

A little history on Niagara-on-the-Lake is that it is the heart of Ontario’s wine region along with its upscale restaurants and elegant architecture. Niagara-on-the-Lake is home to the world class theatre the “Shaw Festival”, boutique shopping, glamorous hotels, cozy B&Bs, Charming Inns, farmers market, golf courses and historical sites like Fort George and Historical Society Museum. Only a few minutes from Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake is a quaint location to get that true authentically ‘Niagara’ feel.

Niagara-on-the-Lake-2

Gelato Simply Italian - 1

Niagara-on-the-Lake-3

As I was exploring the shops along the beautiful landscaped shopping district with many boutique shops, outdoor cafes, and fine dining restaurants, I discovered Nina Gelateria & Pastry Shop and was immediately drawn by how popular it was this quaint and welcoming pastry shop. The outside of the shop was the main focus that drew me in as it had an old-fashioned look. Nina Gelateria & Pastry Shop had a variety of desserts to choose from, but they are known for their European inspired pastries and their very popular authentic Italian gelatos made with the finest ingredients and without preservations. Since it was such a hot day out, the bakery shop was quite busy and popular, which means that the gelato here must be that good!! I was greeted as I entered in the store and immediately felt welcome at the shop. Despite that it was a bit busy, very friendly and great customer service by the staff.

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I ended up having some cool & delicious gelato as it was quite warm that day and I was still full from my late lunch that day too. I tried the Peach & Raspberry flavours and they were simply delicious esp. the peach as it was the Peach Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake and you can taste the actual freshness of the peaches flavour in it. There were other desserts too like crepes, tarts, parfait cups, and etc that I would love to come back to try some. This pastry shop also has drinks like coffee, juices, and lemonade.

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If you are visiting Niagara Falls and looking for an authentic and freshly made dessert place, please check out Nina Gelateria & Pastry Shop at Niagara-on-the-Lake, it will definitely be worth your trip! You will not be disappoint with the natural Italian gelatos and many sweet selection of European exceptional pastries to sample and enjoy along with this charming beautiful town to take in.

As the summer is winding down with the end of August approaching, there is always time to enjoy a sweet dessert anytime of the year! Niagara Falls is one of those travel destinations whether it is summer, fall or winter that with many fine dining restaurants, cafes, and diners that I love exploring this magnificent city for new dessert places.

So for now, I leave you from the beautiful and charming town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario with sweet & fresh summery desserts into the Fall season where I will be searching for my next sweet adventure…

-Sweet B.

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For more information on Nina Gelateria & Pastry Shop, please check out their website:

www.ninagelateria.com

Address:

37 Queen Street, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

Phone #: 289.868.8852

Contact e-mail: info@ninagelateria.com

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Searching for The Perfect Cupcake in Toronto…

Hi everyone,

I’m trying my best to keep updated on a regular basis now. I’m still trying to balance everything between my Admin full time job to blogging and my family & more. Lol! I hope that you haven’t missed my sweet cravings too much while I was away. If you did, then this blog entry will be filled with extra sweetness for my readers.

With so many choices of sweets & desserts, one of my fave go to desserts are cupcakes. I don’t know what it is about cupcakes that always satisfy my sweet cravings, but maybe it could be the balance of cake and sweetness of the frosting on top that does it. I always love simple cupcakes, but I always also enjoy trying new and creative cupcakes that bakers have to offer.

In Toronto, there are many cupcake shops and dessert shops that you could find a cupcake to choose from yet finding the perfect or right cupcake shop can be a challenge. With so many selection of cupcake shops to choose from, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish which shop will meet your expectations. I myself have tried several cupcake shops in order to find the right cupcake shop for me and after many attempts of finding a good cupcake, surprisingly I have discovered 2 places that I recommend: Pursuit of Frosting and cupcake food truck: Curbside Bliss. I have decided to feature both of these delicious specialty cupcake shop & food truck in this blog as it was too hard to choose between the two…:)

Let’s start with: Pursuit of Frosting, who originally started out with her cupcakery truck called: ‘Pretty Sweet’. The Pursuit of Frosting is known for their elaborate and beautiful wedding, birthday and other specialty cakes as well as her cupcakes and other pastries including creme brulee, cookies, brownies and cake slices. With her success from her cupcakery truck she found a permanent location on Eglinton west of Bathurst. I been searching and hearing about her delicious cupcakes from her cupcakery truck for awhile now and when I found out that she had a shop that it was time for me to try her cupcakes.

A few weeks ago, I was finally able to check out her permanent store location and it was a cute little shop close to the intersection of Eglinton and Bathurst. Despite the shop being small, it had a few tables to eat and there were many beautiful display of samples of cakes on one side and the main display consisted of more cakes and cupcakes. At the back there was an area where they made the actual cakes and cupcakes. It was a friendly atmosphere inside the shop where I was greeted by one of the staff who worked there. Check out below a few photos of the cupcake shop!

May 2, 2015 - Storefront Logo

I ended up picking up two cupcakes: Coconut and Red Velvet to share one with my friend. I was hoping for more flavours available at the store as it was only a limited amount of flavours. Thou they do take orders if you would like other flavours and it would have to requested in advance. I had the Coconut cupcake and it was simply delicious! I was so happy to finally have tried her cupcakes! It was definitely worth the wait!

I love the fact that the cake part of the cupcake was light and fluffy! I don’t have eat too many flavours with Coconut, but I really enjoyed it and even loved the frosting top of the cupcake, which wasn’t too sweet. It was just perfect amount of sweetness as usually some cupcakes the frosting is too sweet and heavy. Overall, definitely would be coming back to try more cupcakes! I also hope to finally try some of the cupcakes from the Pretty Sweet mobile cupcake truck as well in the summer time!

May 2, 2015 - Cupcakes

My next recommendation is a mobile gourmet bakery truck called, Curbside Bliss, where they bring you delectable, baked-from-scratch goodness from their mobile dessert kitchen. Normally, you wouldn’t think a food truck would be able to provide a delicious sweet pastry, but with food trucks being so popular now and all types of food trucks are producing amazing foods just as good as restaurants nowadays. It is probably not a surprise that I have chosen a food truck as a recommendation for the perfect cupcake.

Curbside Bliss owner and baker is Cynthia Pacheco where she was Canada’s first Mobile Cupcake Kitchen. Her elegant food truck cruises around the GTA for those wanting a sweet fix. She has over 30 flavours to offer and it changes on a daily basis. Cynthia does all her baking in her truck. So I thought that was quite impressive coming from a truck. She also does private events/functions. Be sure to keep an eye out for her sweet truck in your neighbourhood or book with Cynthia for a private event for her curbside bliss truck to be there!

The first time I tried Curbside Bliss was at a summer concert event last year that I was attending and I just happen to find this cute blue truck for cupcakes. I was quite excited as it is rare to find sweets for a food truck. Curbside Bliss cupcakes did not disappoint at all, I loved it! I had the Strawberry Cupcake. It was a perfect cupcake especially with the heat that day. I was quite impressed with the fluffy cake and the sweet frosting was just not overly sweet. The presentation of the cupcake was very neat and professionally done. I definitely look forward this summer to finding Curbside Bliss to fill my sweet cravings again!!

Curbside Bliss - Cupcake Truck

Curbside Bliss - Cupcake

So if you are searching for the perfect cupcake, don’t look any further but my 2 recommendations – cupcake bakery shop: the Pursuit of Frosting & cupcakery truck: Curbside Bliss. I promise you that they will not disappoint you with their sweet fluffy & sweet toppings of goodness to satisfy your sweet cravings!

I’m actually heading for my tropical vacation later on this week to Cuba and maybe I will bring back to share some of my delicious & sweet desserts in Cuba.

For now, I leave you with thoughts of a light & fluffy sweetness feeling in a cupcake size. Until my next sweet adventure, searching in Cuba and Toronto….

-Sweet B.

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For more information on the Pursuit of Frosting, please check out their website:

www.thepursuitoffrosting.com

You can also follow them on Twitter, and Instagram for their latest updates:

Twitter – @EatSmileRepeat_ and on Instagram – @thepursuitoffrosting

For her cupcake truck, Pretty Sweet:

Website: Pretty Sweet and Twitter – @prettysweet_to

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For more information on the Curbside Bliss, please check out their website:

www.curbsideblisscupcakes.com

You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for their latest updates:

Facebook – Curbside Bliss, follow her on Twitter – @CurbsideBliss and on Instagram – @curbsidebliss

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Dessert Lady: Best Bakery & Dessert Shop in Toronto

Happy Easter everyone!!!

Thanks everyone for being patient with me waiting for another sweet review!! I been busy completing my last course for my certificate in Event Management and finished writing my final exam for it.

Easter is one of my fave holidays as it is the beginning of Spring where we get more sunny, bright and warm days ahead with the beauty of the colourful flowers and trees. Despite this earlier this week with the crazy snow in April in Toronto, this weekend has been a warmer weekend. I hope everyone enjoys the sunny day! Easter Holiday is usually the perfect time to indulgence my sweet cravings.

One of my fave bakeries in Toronto is Dessert Lady. I discovered Dessert Lady a few years ago and ever since then, it is definitely one of the places I go when I’m looking to satisfy my sweet cravings. Dessert Lady is a cozy and welcoming bakery shop located in the heart of Yorkville. The Dessert Lady specializes in a wide variety of all natural, home-made products such as: ice cream, chocolate truffles, cookies, special occasion cakes, cupcakes, and much more!

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Dessert Lady has always satisfied me with their delicious, soft, and sweet pastries and desserts! Over the years, I have tried many products from Dessert Lady and each time I tried another delicious item I didn’t think it would be better than the last treat I had, but I was wrong lol!! I have tried from special occasion cakes to cookies to macarons to cupcakes to tarts, etc. Dessert Lady always has something for everyone to try!!

I have always loved Dessert Lady pastries and desserts because of the fact that they make their products fresh and it is home-made on a daily basis. I have also done in the past some custom specialty cakes and it always turns out beautifully done and delicious of course! Recently, Dessert Lady started creating their 3D Wow Cakes and I definitely recommend everyone to take a look at their samples on the website and in person, they look stunning!

I would like to personally thank Dessert Lady for the gift card that I won on Twitter, such an honor to be chosen as one of the winners in celebration for their 9th Anniversary!

I would like to wish Dessert Lady, Happy 9th Anniversary!!

Yesterday I stopped by Dessert Lady to pick up my prize and it was a perfect time to pick up some sweets for Easter and for my sweet cravings and to share it with my family as well!! I decided on some sweet Easter cupcakes, half a dozen of French macarons (flavours I chose are: Crunchy Hazelnut, Matcha Green Tea Vanilla, Raspberry, Lemon, Earl Grey, and Pistachio), and first time getting the fresh banana loaf that I been always wanting to try, but never did. If you love banana loaf, please get one from Dessert Lady, it was just delicious, one of the best I ever ate!! Wow!!!! I love their Easter chocolate lollipops that they had! Very cute!! Please check out my photos below for my delicious & sweet treats!

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I have tried Dessert Lady’s French macarons before and it is one of my sweet desserts to try when I go there!! My fave flavour is Raspberry. I always love trying new flavours when I go there!

One of my fave pastry that I must get when I’m at Dessert Lady are their oatmeal raisin cookies! I simply just love them, their oatmeal raisin cookies are perfectly made, soft and fresh every time I get them!!! They remind me of cookies that my mom made when I was younger!! I definitely recommend their cookies to everyone! A few weeks ago I stopped by Dessert Lady again and picked up some soft oatmeal raisin cookies, please see below my photo with my Dessert Lady mug!

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Dessert Lady not only has delicious and fresh unique products, but they provide exceptional customer service. When I walk in to Dessert Lady, I always feel welcome with their friendly greetings and happy smiles! I love the friendly atmosphere at Dessert Lady along with their fresh and sweet baking aroma of cakes, pies, cookies, and more! You can’t help but to come in and enjoy one of their sweets!

I definitely recommend everyone to please visit Dessert Lady and enjoy their delicious and sweet pastries and desserts at:

Address: 12 Cumberland Street, Toronto, ON

Website: http://dessertlady.ca/

Follow them on Facebook @DessertLady & Twitter @DessertLady_TO

I hope that everyone is enjoying their long Easter weekend with their family and loved ones!! I’m enjoying my sweet treats for this Easter. Now onto my next sweet adventure….