When Summer goes…

Sweet Summer looks over her shoulder,
And whispers once more her farewells.

(excerpt from “The Parting with Summer” by Mary T. Lathrap)

I think everyone feels a certain twinge of sadness at the end of summer – days shorten, there’s a coolness in the air, and suddenly, it’s September and back to school, or back to whatever your September reality might be.

This past week included a  few glorious sunny days, albeit with cooler air reminding us that fall is indeed here. But instead of bemoaning the fact that summer has gone, I wanted to reflect back on just how wonderful these past few months were.  This summer was full: 3 weddings, a trip to the Okanagan Valley, a trip to Boston, and a quick hop over to Vancouver. In between, there were relaxing days at the cottage, potlucks by the pool, and a few decadent afternoon teas. It truly couldn’t have been more magical.

Continue reading “When Summer goes…”

A visit to The Cross Design

logoNo trip to Vancouver is complete unless I wend my way down to Yaletown to visit The Cross Design and Decor, a visual feast for the eyes and the ultimate inspiration for home decor ideas. It’s always fresh and never disappoints and this time was no exception.WXCJ4367

Whether you are looking to redecorate your home, infuse a bit of fun into your kitchen, or looking for wedding/birthday/shower gifts, it’s hard not to be overwhelmed with the breadth of choices here.

IMG_6321
Adorable macaroon cases… and the kitchen scale is a great decor piece!

And there you go… a little taste of what a visit to The Cross Design looks like. Check it out the next time you’re in Vancouver. I dare you to not fall in love with this place. And it’s true, “A party without a cake is really just a meeting”!!! (Julia Child)

And how can you not fall in love with Vancouver?

An “Empress”-ive Tea!

DSC_0015I consider myself blessed to live on B.C.’s West Coast in the beautiful city of Victoria. Every year thousands of tourists make their way to our province’s capital to enjoy everything from the world-famous Butchart Gardens to our picturesque inner harbour. It’s fun to be a tourist in our town and those of us who live here like to take advantage of that too, as I did recently while enjoying afternoon tea at the iconic Fairmont Empress Hotel. 

If you are visiting Victoria, Afternoon tea at The Empress is almost a rite of passage and locals love it too! Recently renovated, the Empress Hotel continues to wow visitors with its unique blend of old and new.

If you are a tea aficionado, then this is the place for you! Apart from the six teas that are complimentary with your afternoon tea, there is also a wide variety of specialty teas to choose from. I tend to stick with the Empress Blend, a lovely orange pekoe tea that makes a great accompaniment to the afternoon tea experience.

While pricey, the Empress Afternoon Tea is an experience you won’t soon forget. A blend of sweet and savoury (including their famous scones with Devonshire cream and jam) the menu is truly a classic example of what afternoon tea is all about. And if you really want to indulge, they offer both a Champagne Tea or Royal Champagne Tea as well! Go ahead and indulge yourself…. after all, you’re on holiday or at least you can pretend to be!

“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.”                                                                                                           Henry James – Portrait of a LadyEmpress hotel

Dishing up fun!

I LOVE dishes! It’s a great way to make a statement at any party, and the right serving platter manages to make your food look even more appealing. Summer is probably one of best times to pull out your colourful statement dishes. Here are some of my favourites.

IMG_7404
Somehow this dish just makes dessert even more appealing

I love a summer fiesta, so dishes that are bright and colourful really help pull the party together.

 

IMG_8255
And nothing quite says summer like these watermelon dishes. They look good enough to eat!

Have fun discovering which dishes work best for you! So many colours, themes, styles, shapes and sizes, which is why shopping for dishes can take on a life of its own!

 

Last but not least… there’s coffee and chocolate. I’ll leave you with two of my favourites. The chocolate dish is an original design that’s quirky and humorous, and perfect for presenting after-dinner treats. And who could resist coffee from these adorable coffee cups?

 

Hope you manage to “dish up” some great times at your summer parties!