Saturday, March 16, 2013

Macaron Café

Life (and Alan) whisked me away on a very spontaneous trip to New York City! Unfortunately the purpose was not vacation, but we still managed to find time to relax between assignments. Naturally, there was no way I was going to miss out on exploring cafés in this amazing city.

Don’t be fooled by the clichés, New Yorkers love to relax with a cup of (preferably) snobbishly good coffee and some kind of Apple device with them in a low-key hipster spot. The city is ridden with coffee shops but I found myself at the Macaron Café. This cute spot houses one of my favourite desserts and was conveniently located just 5 minutes from our apartment. Known for their carefully created, delicate macarons, this café is greater for catering corporate functions but also for providing personalized wedding favours. Macarons are also the perfect gift for any occasion.

I had a lot of trouble deciding which flavours to get because all the macarons just looked amazing! The café is known for their time-tested flavours, seasonal flavours and even cocktail flavours. They also have amazing coffee. I chose to take a caffeine break and ordered a Hazelnut Hot Chocolate instead, which was to die for! I enjoyed every sip of it and had to refrain from ordering a second cup.

After a long day in the city, we couldn’t think of a better way to unwind than with a glass of Riesling and some macarons. My favourites were rose, white chocolate, cappuccino and pistachio. Next time I’m back in the city, I am absolutely going to try more flavours. If you’re in New York, I insist you stop in here to treat your taste buds and dismiss that New York-minute-mentality. You will not be disappointed! 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Lucia Candle Collection

Lucia is the creation of Lucie Vernier and Andre Pace, a husband and wife team based right here in Montreal. Their collection consists of 12 fragrances, which are all numbered. Each fragrance consists of various products such as candles, soaps, room sprays, and reed diffusers. This line was inspired by unforgettable memories of traditions past, and by the clean, sensuous modernity of the future. The latest additions to my candle collection include numbers 9-12 of the Lucia family.

Bourbon Vanilla & White Tea (No. 9) is my favourite candle to keep in the kitchen. Its spicy yet strong scent carries through and warms the entire room within minutes. Damask Rose and Cypress (No.10) is my candle of choice. It sits on my desk while I study because I find the soft, sweet smell of roses very relaxing. This scent is my favourite! Next is a very exotic and alluring scent called Blue Lotus & Sicilian Orange (No.11). I love the sweet scent of this candle. Lastly, the Eucalyptus and Gardenia (No. 12) candle sits in my bathroom. This fragrance reminds me of my many childhood trips to San Diego, where we found eucalyptus trees everywhere.

These organic, soy candles are made from pure essential oils and are made with natural and environmentally safe ingredients. The warm fragrances help transform the ambience of any room – making it more inviting and relaxing. They are great to put in any corner your house, or perfect to give away as birthday or hostess gifts. Find Lucia at Etiket.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Marilyn Monroe Cafe

            Home Sweet Home! I’m finally back under my parents' wings for a week of well needed rest and relaxation. Over this reading week, I met up with my McGill friend Karla, who also happens to live in my hometown of Oakville. Our newest discovery is called the Marilyn Monroe Café located right in the heart of Downtown Oakville. Karla is a fan of traditional, simple drinks and ordered a cappuccino extra hot. She said it was perfect and paired nicely with a chocolate marble cake. I ordered the Dolce Cinnamon Late (half sweet of course), which tasted like perfection in my mouth! I also got the deliciously crunchy biscotti to go with my latte.

The café had a different atmosphere altogether. It was warm and cozy; and would make for a great study spot. Marilyn’s presence was tastefully shared in various small accents around the café such as photos and décor. Her classiness and elegance was apparent everywhere. Comfortable chairs, couches and booths were available on 3 floors, and the use of space was fantastic. My only complaint is that they should be a little more environmentally conscious, by investing in reusable dishes rather than serving food on disposable plates. I loved the atmosphere in this café and noticed that everything was personalized from the sugar packs to the napkins. Next time I’m home I would love to come back for a coffee and perhaps read a good book. My suggestion: Blonde by Joyce Carol Oats a historical fictional novel that chronicles the inner life of the fabulous Marilyn Monroe.