So my fiance and I made a stop at his favourite brewery in Toronto while we were home visiting. It’s probably some of the best beer I’ve ever had–granted though that I’m not a big beer drinker. I remember when if first opened up and lining up half-an-hour before the place even opened to ensure we got a table. The white-picket fence and arrangements of wildflowers in mason jars were always a nice touch given the rather white-washed industrial feel of the place, especially with the glass encased stainless steel fermentation tanks adjacent to the bar. I think the place used to be a auto-shop, in fact. They’ve definitely done a lot more to give the place a sense of warmth with the addition of all the illustrations of some of their limited-run beers. I particularly love the mismatching wooden tables to give the place a bit of a cottage vibe.
It’s definitely become one of the more popular spots for brunch or just a few brews in Toronto. Bellwoods has only been open about two years so we only got to visit a few times before moving to Bristol, but it was definitely one of our favourite destinations for the weekend or to even just pick up a few beers for the week from the bottle shop. It’s definitely not inexpensive beer but given the size of the bottles from the bottle shop, the high alcohol percentage, and the time and labour of a small brewery, it seems fair (although, I’m no expert of course!). Bellwoods is interesting for doing many different types of beers but limited runs of each so there’s always something new to try (and fantastic new artwork to go with it!). Though, that can be a pain if you get particularly attached to one beer and it’s no longer available in the bottle shop. We were also looking into getting some kegs from them for our wedding but we’re not sure if they’ll make that available by next year (our fingers remain firmly crossed). If you ever get a chance I highly recommend Wizard Wolf (and thankfully it’s in steady production)!
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I espied this luxurious looking balm online a month or two ago on the Symphony of Silk instagram and decided I would treat myself once I was back in Toronto and had a chance to drop into the Hermès. This is not something I would normally buy for myself given the hefty price for a container of balm (it came to around $80 Canadian dollars or £42), but I’m a bit of a sucker for all things Hermès and the scents were just irresistible. I was looking for something summery and fresh and Eau de pamplemousse rose definitely did the trick. It’s rich and absorbs wonderfully. It has this wonderful finish which reminds me of the Hermès men’s cologne Terre d’Hermès in it’s sort of mineral, vegetal fragrance. However, despite the woody tones it still manages to remain a fresh scent—perfect for the summer. I’ve also used it occasionally on my face and found it to be really nourishing but I definitely wouldn’t use it everyday. The container is the perfect size to take away on a weekend holiday (though obviously it’s not possible to bring in hand luggage as it’s 200 ml).
I took a lovely holiday with my fiancé a few weeks ago to Tenerife. As my old boss pointed out, it was the perfect response to the British election. I didn’t really understand what she meant until I looked up and realised we were absolutely surrounded by British people discussing the election. Ha! My auntie likened the Canary islands as being a similar destination as Florida for Canadians. Since Tenerife was so inexpensive we were able to afford a 4-star hotel in Los Cristianos (H10 Big Sur). The boutique-like hotel was exactly what we were looking for. We had read some complaints that it was full of seniors who weren’t up for a chat but that suited us perfectly. In fact, we were usually in bed long before all the seniors were finished partying poolside. The service was spectacular and the food wasn’t half-bad either.
We were initially booked for a mountain-view room but were upgraded to a pool view which we were pretty pleased about.
There was even a resident black cat that hung around the pool all day so obviously I was pleased-as-punch.
The architecture and colours were what really struck me about the area around Los Cristianos and Los Americanos.
We went whale-watching and saw a number of bottlenose dolphins and pilot whales but sadly my photos from that didn’t turn out very well. The following day we went on a tour of the island to see the dormant volcano: Teide. It has the highest summit in Spain and is a World Heritage Site. This was really our reason for picking Tenerife since neither of us had ever seen a dormant volcano!
Some of the plant life in the area was absolutely stunning! I took a good few photos and have narrowed it down to these. We also saw a ton of little lizards scuttling around but they were too quick to snap a photo of.
Driving by some of the hundred-year-old lava flows was absolutely amazing. You weren’t allowed to walk along them though since they would tear through your trainers pretty quickly. We didn’t have time to go up the Volcano, unfortunately, which according to my pal and fellow blogger Deirdre O’Brien (from Penelope’s Bed) was quite an amazing experience. I was really glad I wore my super-light cotton dress from Free People since it was only twenty six that day but it felt like it was in the thirties! The switchbacks up and down the mountain side were absolutely brutal, but the views couldn’t be beat. We took a quick break where I snapped a few photos.
Next we were onto a traditional Spanish town where we had some amazing sangria and bought some hand-embroidered table linens for a decent price.
If we ever make it back to Tenerife I think I’d definitely like to stay in Santa Cruz (the north side of the island). I did manage to get in a bit of shopping on the south side of the island, but according to my friend Dee there were some deals to be had in Santa Cruz. I would definitely recommend visiting Tenerife Pearl if you get the chance since they have such amazing deals and customer service. This trip has definitely imbued me with a desire to learn some Spanish, even minimally.