Around Here: The Christmas Market

Distillery_around-here

To say that I’m obsessed with Christmas would be the understatement of the century. It’s not about the gifts, nor the day itself for that matter, but more about the weeks leading up to it. The spiked hot chocolate, the twinkly lights, and the time spent with family… So it only makes sense that one of my very favourite things to do around Toronto this time of year is frequent the Christmas Market. With Christmas carollers, wooden booths selling fabulous provisions, hot roasted nuts aplenty and a variety of beer gardens (complete with fire pits and mulled wine), it’s pretty much the happiest place on earth. My suggestion? Go at night. It’s magical! 

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Check out my other “around here” posts here! Also, this guide is pretty old (I’ve been working on an update!) but here’s a Guide to Toronto

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all images original to lark & linen 

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around here: the Junction Flea Market

lark linen_junction flea 8{ gorgeous florals from Coriander Girl }

I mentioned the Junction Flea Market briefly in my SFMW round-up on Monday, but I thought I’d take a moment to touch on it a little bit further. Occurring the first Sunday of every month, The Great Hall in Toronto gets completely taken over by vendors of all varieties. Coffee stands, jewelry makers, and vintage stores alike all delight in a day filled to the brim with flea marketing. Justin and I waddled our way over to check it out post-brunch last Sunday and we were delighted by our findings. I definitely recommend it if you’re ever in the area! Here’s a quick peek at some of my favourite discoveries…

lark linen_junction flea 1{ a coffee pit-stop }

lark linen_junction flea 5{ teeny succulents in vintage jars }

lark linen_junction flea 2{ brass letters }

lark linen_junction flea 3{ pretty milk glass vases }

lark linen_junction flea 6{ old skates & other cool finds}

lark linen_junction flea 4{ fabulous hand-made jewelry }

lark linen_junction flea 7 11-35-04{ the coolest vintage apothecary bottles }

Note: this is NOT a sponsored posts. I simply love showing off the goods within my city! To see other “around here” posts click here!

 

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around here: Come Up To My Room

 

DSC_0219| Made out of hair. It was disturbingly entertaining |

Each year, The Gladstone Hotel empties its rooms to make way for artists and designers alike to come in and transform each space. The event is entitled Come Up To My Room and it has quickly become one of my favourite yearly traditions. From deep and meaningful installations to silly, quirky and interactive displays it’s the perfect way to spend a thoughtful Sunday. Last weekend, I headed over to the west end of the city to take a look at what was in store and I couldn’t have been more impressed. Here’s just a glimpse of a few fantastic pieces that took over each surface of the hotel this year.

DSC_0183|yarn, strung every which way|

DSC_0190|one of my favourite pieces – entitled “dwell”|

DSC_0211|an oversized wreath made out of cut up yogurt containers|

DSC_0217|a wall filled with spools of thread|

IMG_2213|mixed media installation using wax & string|

IMG_2214|thousands of tiny pieces of paper, folded|

 

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around here: moo milk bar

On Sunday a couple of girlfriends and I trekked down to The Beaches to visit the just-opened Moo Milk Bar. Because when a bar that offers milk and cookies opens their doors, well that’s just what you do. Expecting it to be a bit hokey, I was pleasantly surprised when we arrived. The space is bright and light and their graphics are exactly on point. Owned and operated by the sweetest husband and wife duo, their cookies are made with all natural ingredients and cooked to perfection (crispy on the edges, and chewy in the centre). Chase the classic, oversized, chocolate chip cookie with their vanilla bean almond milk and you’re left with a pretty perfect afternoon.

Address: 1918A Queen St. E., Toronto, Ontario

full disclosure: this is not a sponsored post. I simply want to share a few of my favourite finds within the Toronto area

Click to see other “around here” posts 

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around here: hagerman farms


Though it may not be for everybody, frequenting farmers markets is one of my very favourite weekend activities. There’s something about a lazy Sunday spent perusing fruit, veggie and flower stalls with a warm cup of to-go tea in hand. While there are many fabulous farmers markets within the Toronto core (like this and this, for example), my hands-down favourite happens to lie not  far from my cottage. If you ever happen to find yourself in Prince Edward county, Hagerman Farms is a must-visit. At over 100 years old, these guys have the history and the wherewithal to know what’s up. Here you’ll find oodles of local, seasonal produce, jams, jellies and pastries galore that will easily get you through the week ahead.


Address: County Rd 33, Picton, Ontario

I often get emails requesting advice with regards to where to go and what to do in and around Toronto. In the past, I’ve rounded up some of my very favourite locales (here, here, here & here), but I thought it’d be fun to start a new series in which I showcase some of my regular haunts. These are not sponsored posts, they are just places that I truly believe deserve their time to shine.

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scenes from my weekend


bachelorette parties | sangria on a patio | en-route to the island
Center Island swan rides! | Chelsea beach
sweatpants & fudgesicles at the drive-in | mini-canada day celebrations

If you could see our condo right now you would know for certainty that we have put all of our responsibilities on the back-burner in order to enjoy this past weekend – and it was, undoubtedly, worth it. Our place borderlines on disaster, I will unquestionably  have to sift through a pile of dirty laundry in order to find something to wear this week and we have no food in the house. Zero (seriously). But I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Saturday was dedicated to my dear friend Noémie, who has been a wonderful part of my life for the last 19 years and who’s tying the knot  in just a few short weeks. We began our day on a friends rooftop pool, attempting to soak in just a touch of colour before the big day. As a surprise, we hired a psychic to come and do each of our individual readings. While I’ve always been open to the idea of psychics, sixth senses and the like, I was surprised at how accurate the whole ordeal was and I can’t wait to see if her predictions will play out. I have to say, right off the bat she knew some pretty intense things that had me reeling from the start. It was a really interesting experience, to say the least.

The evening followed with a lavish dinner at Susur Lee’s restaurant, Lee. It was easily the best meal I’ve ever had in my entire life, and urge anyone and everyone to make their way there*. We finished off at Pravda with the requisite booth, bottle and good old-fashioned girl time.

As an attempt to recover from my first ever bachelorette party experience, on Sunday a handful of friends and I made our way the island for a bit more fun in the sun. Following our beach day, Justin and I donned our comfiest sweats, loaded up on cold treats, and made our way to the drive-in in to top it all off. All in all, it was an exceptional weekend. What did you get up to!? I’d love to know!

*if you do happen to find yourself at Lee’s, get the slaw. Made up of 18 ingredients with a dressing that takes no less than 3 days to make, it was, by far, the best thing I’ve ever eaten. Ever.

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tackle toronto: must-trys.

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Of course, I’ve saved the best of the series for last.

Today I present to you my must-trys:
the things you should never leave Toronto without tasting. 

note: After putting together this list I realized that the majority
of the items are either filled with sugar, or cheese. I like what I like apparently!

and if you missed the others, checkout “where to eat”, “where to shop” and “what to do{leslieville cheese market: grilled cheese}{little nicky’s: fresh donuts}{poutinis: poutine}{farenheit coffee}{pizzeria libretto: duck confit & pear pizza}

savoury
::The duck confit pizza at Pizza Libretto
::The shiitake mushroom burger at the Burgers Priest
::The little-known grilled cheese sandwiches at the Leslieville Cheese Market
::The poutine at Poutini’s
::The French onion soup at Le Select Bistro
::Global Cheese for inexpensive, high quality cheese
::Essence of Life for extremely well priced organic treats
::The farmers sausage at Morning Glory
::The pad Thai at Sukho
::The pulled pork sandwich at the Black Camel
::The gnocchi poutine at Mildreds Temple
::The duck ragout at Terronis
::The lemongrass chicken pho at Hanoi 3 Seasons
::The butter chicken at Ghandis

sweet
::The maple bacon ice cream at Ed’s
::The piping hot, made-to-order donut holes at Little Nickys
::The lattes at Balzacs  – they come in a bowl which sold me from the get-go.
::The almond croissants at Sen5es (or Petite Thuet)
:: Farenheit for their delicious loose leaf teas and positive attitude at all hours of the day
::Daniel & Daniel for the most delicious baked goods (and catering!)
::The tiramisu at Café la Gaffe
::The cardamom lemonade at Barchef
::The pouding chommeur at Papillon on the Park
::The chocolate chunk cookies at Hammersmith’s
(pair it with an organic coffee – some of the best in Toronto)
::The blood orange margharitta at Reposados
::The brown sugar croissant at Clafouti

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tackle toronto: what to do.

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I often get emails from readers asking for tips on where to find the best Toronto haunts. Whether it’s shopping, eating or simply something fun to do on a Sunday afternoon, I’ve p
ut together a quick guide to Toronto from my eyes. Check-out my “where to eat” & “where to shop” guides and stay tuned tomorrow for my “must try” guide to tackling this wonderful city. And if you have any recommendations, feel free to chime in! I’m always on the hunt for a new stomping ground.

Today: what to do!

{visit sugar beach}
{meet a girlfriend for tea at nadège}
{hike the leslie street spit}{grab a macaron at bobette & belle}
{sail around toronto}

with girlfriends:
::Get dressed up for afternoon tea at the King Edward Hotel
::Catch up at Nadege. Try one of their macarons
::Grab lunch on back patio at the Red Tea box.
It feels like a secret garden
::Get your hair done at Solis. It’s inexpensive,
the staff are amazing, and guess what: free wine!
Talk about being pampered.
::Visit the pink umbrellas at Sugar Beach
(grab a drink at Against the Grain when the mood strikes)
::Head over to the Thompson Hotel and enjoy their rooftop pool
::Wine-bar hop along the Harbourfront
::Take a day trip to the Scandinavian Spa
::If you want to stay in the city, try the Hamam Spa
::Head over to Kensington Market to take in the immensely
diverse crowd, find vintage clothing shops,
unique furniture stores and delicious food.
::Learn how to knit at the Knit Café

on a date:
::Spend a night at the delicious tequila bar, Reposado’s
(complete with a perfectly secret back patio)
::Head to Barchef for a great drink experience. Try one of their molecular mixes
and enjoy the jars and bottles of smoking mixtures that line the bar.
::Grab a Bixi bike, take the ferry to the Toronto Islands
and bike around for the day.
See if you can find the nude beach (if that’s your thing)
::Alternatively: rent a boat and sail around the islands. Beautiful!
::Hike around the Leslie Street Spit
::Walk through the shops and art galleries in the historic Distillery District
(on Sundays there’s a market. Find the lady with
the cinnamon buns. Thank me later)
::In the summer, grab your organic fruits and veggies
at the Leslieville Farmers Market
::In the winter, head over to the Brickworks farmers market for the same thing
::Grab breakfast at the St. Lawrence Market as you shop
the food and craft aisles (may I suggest a peameal bacon sandwich?)
::Spend a night at the Gladstone hotel
(where each room has been designed by a different artist)
::Try to get an invite to Charlies Burger: an underground food experience
in which you must pass an interview to get an invite
::This (entertaining at the very least)


good for groups:
::Grab a coffee and a soccer ball and head to Trinity Bellwoods Park
::Take in a drive-in movie at the Docks
::Play the most expensive bowling game of your life at the Ballroom.
Try the nachos, they’re unbelievable
::Head over to Snakes and lattes: a café filled with hundreds
of board games, begging for you to play
::Go apple picking at Chudleighs
::Rent a cottage in Wasaga beach


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tackle toronto: where to shop.

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I often get emails from readers asking for tips on where to find the best Toronto haunts. Whether it’s shopping, eating or simply something fun to do on a Sunday afternoon, I’ve put together a quick guide to Toronto from my eyes. Check-out my “where to eat” guide and stay tuned the rest of the week where I’ll be sharing my “what to do” and “must try” guides to tackling this wonderful city. And if you have any recommendations, feel free to chime in! I’m always on the hunt for a new stomping ground.

Today: where to shop! The furniture & accessory edition:{commute home}
{hollace cluny}
{mjolk{hardware}
{morba}
{bergo}

modern/contemporary/traditional stores:
::modehaus: for funky accessories and unique furniture
::love the design for art, furniture, accessories
and all things funky (my current fave)
::Visitor Parking to furnish your home at a reasonable price
::Hollace Cluny for high end pretties and iconic gems (think Eames & Bertoia)
::ella & elliot for modern baby furniture
::Teatro Verde for beautiful, quality made furniture, accessories
and an amazing flower selection

vintage/reclaimed/funky stores:
::Morba for mid-century modern furniture and lighting at reasonable prices
::Hardware for vintage and eclectic pieces
(think harvest tables and oversized wooden mirrors)
::507 Antiques for a hue collection of antique finds
(you may need to book an appointment – but its worth it)
::Commute Home: brilliant pieces
::Post & Beam for really cool reclaimed pieces
::GUFF for stunning mid-century modern finds at reasonable prices

flowers & accessories:
::bookhu: for beautiful accessories
::neat: a Type-A’s dream
::South Coast for lovely washroom accessories
::Flick & Company for unique home goods
and great accessories (one of my favourites)
::The Drake General Store for great gifts and cool knick-knacks
::Made for one of a kind pieces made by local artists and designers
::Mjolk for beautiful Scandinavian pieces
::Gardiner Museum for amazing ceramics
::Coriander Girl for stunning bouquets

custom pieces:
::Smash for custom-made pieces and vintage finds
::Carroll Street Woodworkers for amazingly innovative craftsmanship
::akroyd: for stunning custom made furniture pieces

 

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tackle toronto: where to eat.

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I often get emails from readers asking for tips on where to find the best Toronto haunts. Whether it’s shopping, eating or simply something fun to do on a Sunday afternoon, I’ve put together a quick guide to Toronto from my eyes. Stay tuned the rest of the week where I’ll be sharing my “where to shop”, “what to do” and “must try” guides to tackling this wonderful city; I’ll be sharing many of my very favourite spots. And if you have any recommendations, feel free to chime in! I’m always on the hunt for a new stomping ground.

Today: Where to Eat!
{grace}
{mildreds temple}

{osteria ciceri e tria}

For special occasions (pricy):
::Canoe: expensive but well worth the money. The view atop
this 54th floor restaurant is to die for
::Boehmer: for delicious food in what was once a mechanics garage
::Frank; located in the Art Gallery of Ontario (The AGO),
it’s beautifully designed and equally delicious
::Colborne Lane for an amazing dining experience
::Bistro 990 for consistently tasty food (and potential star spotting)
::Auberge du Pommier: tres romantique and the staff are over-the top nice
(and not that annoying nice – I hate that annoying nice. They seem genuine)

On a Saturday night (mid-range):
::Osteria Ciceri y Tria for authentic Italian,
and bread that’s served in folded paper bags
::Paradis for deliciously inexpensive French cuisine
::Foxley for tapas with your girlfriends
::The Black Hoof for their innovative charcuterie
(not for the faint of heart)
::The Nose (Gio Ranas) for delicious tapas in what was once an old bank.
Try to get a table in “the vault”
::Woodlot for their delicious local, Canadian
inspired food served on wooden planks
::Grace for a cute date night
(keep an eye out for Rachel McAdams, she’s rumored to be a regular)
::Banjara for authentic Indian food
::Pizzeria Libretto: it needs no introduction. Just go. Trust me.

Throughout the week (inexpensive):
::Golden Thai for the best Thai in the city
::Hanoi 3 Seasons for the most delicious pho
(try the lemongrass & basil version)
::Lil baci for wonderful, reasonably priced Italian food
(bonus: Ed’s ice cream is just down the street – dessert anyone?)
::La Societe for oysters and a great patio (fantastic people watching)
::Lee Garden for incredibly delicious Chinese food
::Khao San Road for authentic, inexpensive Thai food
::416 snack bar for late night tapas
::Paldo Gangsan for amazing Korean food
(ignore the decor, please. the food is worth it)

To-go (under $12):
::Delica Kitchen for hand-made, well thought out lunches
::Sukho Thai you may have to call 43 times to get through, but it’s worth it
::Black Camel for incredible sandwiches
::Agave y Aguacate for incredible mexican food

For Brunch:
::Mildreds Temple: equally good for dinner, but a lovely brunching experience
::Gilead (only on Sundays)
::Morning Glory Cafe: nothing on the menu is over $7 and
I’m convinced it’s all made with love
::Bonjour Brioche: to feel like you’re in Paris, just for a moment.
Their pastries and baked goods are made in-house and are ridiculously tasty
::Hammersmiths (my current favourite)
::Lady Marmalade

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