A Lunch at Langdon Hall

20170816_144448 (2)A trip to the elegant and luxurious Langdon Hall has been on my “must do” list for something like….forever! The beautiful Relais & Châteaux designated estate (the only such property in Ontario) offers a unique hotel, spa and restaurant experience. Based on a strict criteria for the highest order of service, character, and cuisine, it is a favoured destination for special anniversaries and birthdays. The perfect place to pamper your body and your belly.

After months of hint dropping about this gourmet food heaven, the boy planned a funventure escape to Cambridge with a lunch reservation in the Main Dining Room of the Hall. With the sun high in the sky, we made the one hour drive that concluded with a treelined winding drive to the 75-acre estate and the mansion on top of the hill.

The massive main house sits surrounded by woods, an orchard, and private seasonal gardens that are a primary source for the Langdon kitchen. As we made our way around the estate, a soft murmur of conversation drifted from the area around the sparkling lily pond where guests engulfed in fluffy robes flitted between the spa, the pool, and the former stables turned guest suites. This is what I call “la dolce vita” – the sweet life.

20170816_115656 (2) 20170816_115907 (2)20170816_115913 (2)But the boy and I headed for the dining room of the 120-year-old main house and the star attraction of Langdon Hall, the seasonal creative cuisine that I had been salivating over for months.

Although most of the guests chose the sunny patio for their lunch spot, we sat in the cool of the dining room and feasted on beautifully presented mains and gloriously rich desserts served with tea from Langdon Hall’s extensive tea collection (they offer 48 varieties!). With prices representative of the quality of ingredients and service, the cost of a meal may be prohibitive to some but I have three words for all those considering a visit….ALL WORTH IT!20170816_120510 (2)20170816_120335 (2)     20170816_120515 (2)20170816_120249 (2)20170816_124848 (2)20170816_124918 (2)20170816_124932 (2)     20170816_132801 (2)20170816_121834 (2)20170816_121629 (2)20170816_121808 (2)      20170816_121734 (2)20170816_121741 (2)20170816_121714_HDR (2)20170816_121700 (2)    20170816_121705 (2)20170816_121608 (2)20170816_143148 (2)20170816_143006 (2)20170816_143011 (2)     20170816_143405 (2)20170816_143713 (2)20170816_143951 (2)20170816_143840 (2)20170816_144252 (2)20170816_144235 (2)21640622_10154686451466046_1358031544_oWe were blown away by all aspects of what Landgon Hall has to offer.  Not only were we treated to an exquisite meal and attentive service, but the buildings and the grounds reflect the the highest level of care and attention to detail. A visit to Langdon Hall truly feels like an escape into luxury…even if for a few hours. I hope you experience it yourself soon!

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A Morning Date with Edgar & Joe

Edgar and Joe's Cafe Interior | London, ONI am a diehard advocate of, in my humble opinion, the most important meal of the day – BREAKFAST! Whether hot or cold, at home or out, I always start my day on a full stomach.

The boy is, by now, familiar with the sound of my alarm clock gently tinkling in the darkness. It urges me up at 6am (two and a half hours before I leave for work) so that I can indulge in my ritual of a steaming cup and a warm breakfast. Always warm! My tastes run from a smooth egg scramble with bacon to warm apple and cheese filled crepes. Sunday is always a Dutch Baby extravaganza! All a bit time consuming in my bleary eyed state. But well worth it.

However, I cherish the days when I can hand over breakfast making duties to the experts. Enter my other favourite boys, Edgar & Joe‘s. Edgar and Joe's Cafe Sign | London, ONIt’s a little spot that has found a firm hold in London’s blossoming downtown.

Part of the Goodwill Industries, it touts itself as a cafe with a purpose, serving fresh, local, and affordable food that keep the patrons coming back.

Chalkboard Menu at Edgar and Joe's Cafe | London, ONInterior of Edgar and Joe's Cafe | London, ONDecor Lighting at Edgar and Joe's Cafe | London, ONCoffee Preparation at Edgar's and Joe's Cafe | London, ONItems for Sale at Edgar and Joe's Cafe | London, ONItems for Sale at Edgar and Joe's Cafe | London, ON   Table and Decor at Edgar and Joe's Cafe | London, ONDecor at Edgar and Joe's Cafe | London, ONBarista Preparing Coffee at Edgar and Joe's Cafe | London, ONCappuccinos at Edgar and Joe's Cafe | London, ON      Cappuccinos at Edgar and Joe's Cafe | London, ONBreakfast at Edgar and Joe's Cafe | London, ONSo if your tummy starts to rumble at the sight of the last pic, grab a spot at Edgar & Joe’s and start your day off right!

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Dipping into Delicious at Revive Kitchen

20160806_173043 It has been a little more than a week since the end of another successful Londonlicious event. Although the boy and I popped into a few favourites, Revive Kitchen, a new kid on the restaurant block, was the best of the lot.

We had passed by the location on Wellington a number of times, staring at the paper plastered windows and wondering what would take the place of the former Organic Works Bakery.  To my delight, the new restaurant anchoring the up and coming SoHo neighbourhood and headed by the gracious and affable Executive Chef Alfred Estephan and Chef de Cuisine Ashton Gillespie, not only incorporated the delicious treats of Organic Works but upped the ante on innovative, elegant cuisine in London, Ontario.

Lighting, Revive Kitchen, London Ontario       Patio, Revive Kitchen, London Ontario, View from the kitchen, Revive Kitchen, London OntarioRevive sign, Revive Kitchen, London Ontario        Restaurant interior, Revive Kitchen, London OntarioWine selection, Revive Kitchen, London OntarioChef Alfred Estephan, Revive Kitchen, London OntarioView of kitchen, Revive Kitchen, London OntarioGenerous portions of seasonal and locally-sourced ingredients blend into offerings that are at once comforting and familiar, yet have a contemporary twist in preparation techniques, combinations of flavours, and presentation. And the light filled restaurant has a quiet elegance that doesn’t take away from the food. I personally enjoyed the huge window that allows for a theatrical view into the kitchen where the magic happens (although my highlight was taking a sneak peak behind the scene with Chef Alfred…it was an honour!).

Beef sirloin dinner, Revive Kitchen, London Ontario      Lamb shank dinner, Revive Kitchen, London OntarioTomato appetizer, Revive Kitchen, London OntarioCappuccino semi fredo, Revive Kitchen, London Ontario     Strawberry short cake, Revive Kitchen, London OntarioRestaurant interior, Revive Kitchen, London OntarioAlthough I encourage all of you to reserve a spot for lunch or dinner and indulge in Revive Kitchen‘s offerings, if you only have a moment for a coffee and a quick treat, stop in at the coffee bar for a warm cup  and a fresh, organic, gluten and allergen free sweet delight.

Coffee bar, Revive Kitchen, London Ontario

I hope you take the time to visit this new addition to London. It is well worth it!

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Roasted Potato and Mushroom Salad

Roasted potato and mushroom salad on spinach and arugula with hemp seedOne of my favourite things about trying new dishes in restaurants is attempting to recreate the ones I enjoyed at home (not always with success, unfortunately).

On a recent girls’ lunch in Toronto, celebrating 10 years of an amazing friendship, I had the opportunity to vist Harvest Kitchen, a place where vegetarians bring their meat eating friends (in their own words). Although I am a carnivore through and through, the beautiful veg-based options bowled me over and I tried quite a few!  The ones that stood out for me immediately were the ‘Meatless Meatballs’ and the ‘Mushroom French Fry Salad’. I definitely thought the latter was worth recreating at home.

The resulting salad, my version, was a huge hit with the boy. A mouthwatering mixture of warm crisp potatoes and salty mushrooms on a bed of fresh greens. It has now become a staple of our Meatless Mondays and I thought I’d share it with you all. With a few substitutions you can make it truly vegetarian or gluten free.

3 large yukon gold potatoes
2 Tbsp duck fat (substitute olive oil for vegetarian version)
1/2 lbs of button mushrooms
1 tsp soy sauce (substitute tamari for GF version)
2 cups baby arugula 
2 cups baby spinach
2 Tbsp of mayo (substitute for vegetarian version here
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 clove garlic (grated)
1 tsp hemp seeds (optional for garnish)
 
Prep time: 10-15 minutes     Cook time: 35-40 minutes (mostly roasting time)
 

1. Place roasting pan in the oven and preheat oven to 425 degrees Celsius.

2. Peel and roughly cube potatoes into small uneven pieces.

3. Remove the roasting pan from oven and add 1.5 Tbsp of duck fat, spreading it around the pan. Then throw in the potatoes, coat with fat, and return to the oven.

*Roasting time will depend on your oven but may take approximately 40 minutes. Don’t forget to stir the potatoes once or twice during roasting for even crisping.Roasted potatoes 4. Slice mushrooms and place in pan with 1/2 Tbsp of duck fat and the soy sauce on medium heat. Keep cooking until all liquid evaporates and continue to caramelize and brown the mushrooms.Roasted mushrooms in a pan5. Wash the spinach and arugula and place in mixing bowl.Baby spinach and arugula in a bowl6. Place mayo, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and grated garlic in a small bowl and stir to combine. Olive oil and garlic mayo dressingMixed mayo and olive oil dressing7. Once the potatoes are roasted and mushrooms are browned, combine all warm ingredients in a bowl with the greens and cover with dressing. Roasted potato and mushroom salad topped with dressingTossing roasted potato and mushroom salad8.Toss to combine and plate. Sprinkle with hemp seeds for a little extra protein.Roasted potato and mushroom salad with hemp seedsI want to dedicate this post to two special ladies that always keeping me laughing. And yes, my smile does sparkle that much when I’m with these two!Cobblestones and Cappuccinos and friends.I hope you enjoy and give this delicious salad a try. And if you’re in Toronto, pop into Harvest Kitchen for those meatballs!

9 Perfectly Chic Frozen Treats

Chocolate semi freddo

Photo courtesy of food52.com

 

I scream, you scream, we all scream for something cool and delicious! I haven’t given up on the hot summer weather just yet. So when I found this post on delicious frozen treats, I had to share it with all of you. Alice Medrich is a master of the chocolate truffle and a genius in cutting edge desserts.

Enjoy!