There is nothing more decadent than a Lindt chocolate truffle slowly melting in your mouth. The hard shell breaking away to release the warm flowing centre to coat the tongue – pure heaven! I freely admit that I dip into this indulgence whenever occasion strikes. So when I learned that Lindt had opened a standalone location on Wellington Rd. near Exeter in London, Ontario, I wasn’t going to wait long to check it out.
Upon entering the store, the space feels like a jewel box with mirrored shelving, dark wood and crystal chandelier accents. The sign of the Swiss Master Chocolatiers since 1845 is prominently displayed in gold. However, the stars of this show shine even brighter. The individually wrapped coloured truffles are placed in easy to access bins and Lindt specialties line the walls.
The individually wrapped chocolates and truffles are sold by weight and the variety will have you filling the cellophane bags provided quickly. My favourites so far are the chocolate coffee truffles, the white chocolate lime, the champagne truffles, and the gianduia (a chocolate square with chunks of hazelnuts). There is so much to choose from that I’ll have to make this store a regular stop.
This weekend, the boy and I joined hundreds of people from London and area to explore heritage buildings, museums, art organizations, and the cultural life of our city…for free!!! In a collaborative initiative, Doors Open and Culture Days raised awareness and increased public engagement with historic organizations and cultural institutions, many of which are not normally accessible to the public. There were almost too many places to visit. We had to be judicious in our choices and decided to stick to locations within walking distance of home. So on a beautiful, sun-filled day we set out to explore London.
The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame was our first stop. Originally constructed in 1928 as a Bank of Toronto, it is a Renaissance Revival building that now features the remarkable contributions of Canadians to the medical field. The portrait gallery houses many well known names. But the one that struck me most was Dr. Leonora Howard King. She was the first officially licensed female doctor in China who by 1884 single-handedly established a practice devoted entirely to women and children. Had she stayed in Canada she would have been barred from practicing medicine yet her determination had made a difference to a group of people across the globe.
Next stop was the 1st Hussars Museum at 1 Dundas Street. The building was a little difficult to locate initially. We had a vague idea where we thought it should be as we walked around the Old Court House building searching for a sign or an entrance. Finding none, we made our way toward the river and discovered a tiny yellow house.
The unimposing structure built in 1880-1 and one of the last remaining original buildings at the Fork of the Thames, houses a very important and unique collection of memorabilia from both World Wars. A tour led by a volunteer, Colonel Joe Murray (who also turned out to be our high school teacher) was inspiring and detailed. And most of all, it exhibited the passion that all the volunteers hold for preserving the memories of the past.
Of course the tour wouldn’t be complete without a chat and a thank you to the men and women who keep us safe around the world today.
Next we admired the work of eleven artist exhibiting their pieces at the ARTS Project. The building first constructed in the mid-1880s as Hawthorn’s Hotel has gone through many incarnations to now house three galleries, a black box theatre and art studios.
Along our tour we also visited Museum London, DNA Artspace, and the Polish Hall (for a well deserved home cooked meal) before my feet gave out. I can’t wait to see what next year brings. If you didn’t partake this year, I hope you join the tours next year. If you did I’d love to hear what your favourite stops were in 2014.
One of the most attractive heritage building facades in London, Ontario is only steps from my neighbourhood. The London Mechanics Institute was built in 1876 in what I’ve come to find out is the Second Empire architectural style. Although I’ve found myself rushing past this building on many occasions, it took one glance up from across the street to realize the immense presence of this historic structure along Dundas Street.
I came across this fantastic orange vintage Ford truck in front of the London’s Central Public Library. I admire people who buy and restore classic cars. The designs and colours have more presence and personality than the waves of bland neutral vehicles polluting the roadways. I just wonder if the owner of this truck changes the colour with the seasons. I bet it’s a hit on Halloween!