I heard some exciting news over the Winter. My sister announced that she’s getting married. It’s been almost 10 years since I tied the knot with Rodney and she stood by my side in Mexico as my Maid of Honor. And I’m thrilled that I now get to return the favor.
Carrie held her Bachelorette party in Toronto a few weeks ago and I flew up to spend a weekend with her and her closest friends. My Mum was nice enough to let me crash at her apartment even though she was traveling that week and I made sure to spend plenty of time on her patio, gazing out at the skyline.
Lucky for me, she lives right next to some fabulous food shops and a standout liquor store. The government-run liquor store (LCBO) is built in a former Canadian Pacific Railway station which was modeled after the Campanile di San Marco in Saint Mark’s Square in Venice. It’s stunning, and makes shopping for booze, clearly one of my favorite activities, even better.
With the liquor store’s clock tower as a backdrop, I spent Friday night with family, including the future Bride and Groom, eating grilled pizzas al fresco.
With clouds accumulating overhead, and the dark skyline in silhouette to the West, we huddled under the restaurant’s blankets, drank coffee, and finally called it a night.
The next morning, I hosted a brunch for the girls. I had a few hours of prep work before they arrived, starting with the purchase of my favorite summer Shandies at the Beer Store. I remember spending my teen years attempting to shop at this very store with my fake ID, unsuccessfully because even at 16 I still looked 12. Dial-A-Bottle was always more successful, where you’d order your booze by phone and by the time the driver had stocked his car, driven to your house, and realized that you might be (read: clearly were) underage, he’d overlook the issue and quickly pocket his cash.
These days, I drink a little more responsibly; the bigger excitement was buying brunch food at the nearby Harvest Wagon. I came back with all kinds of treats: the most beautiful eggs – I found a mix of organic chicken eggs, plus some pale blue duck eggs and the most stunning, tiny speckled quail eggs:
Also in the mix were beets of every color and size. Some people hate getting their hands stained with beet prep. I love it.
I also found a bunch of chives with their blossoms still attached, which made a simple potato salad bridesmaid brunch-worthy.
It was a serious feast; we were pretty happy to be scarfing down blue cheese, homemade fig jam, soft-boiled quail eggs and macarons for desert.
After getting manicures next door, we headed out for the big event of the day: the dress fitting. I can say with full confidence that I’ve never seen a more stunning dress; it’s a work of art, and she looks gorgeous in it. I can’t wait for her to show it off at the wedding.
We ended our long day with a dinner Uptown with lots of great food, Italian desserts, and the requisite coffee.
On Sunday morning it was time to pack up and hit the road, but with so much good food still in the house, I had to make myself one last meal to eat on the patio. The duck eggs, stellar, especially when fried in butter and stuffed with mortadella into a croissant. The ultimate breakfast sandwich.
I got back to New York exhausted, but with a smile on my face, and of course, so excited to see my squad. We beelined straight to our favorite spot, 16 Handles, for frozen yogurt with the works. The perfect endcap to the perfect weekend.