We left off the other day with happy tales of my visits to Indulgence Bakery and Mossimo’s Pizza in Pelham. The picture above is a slightly dopey smile of pure, unadulterated, carbohydrate-induced contentment. High carb stupor might not make for the most glamorous self-portraits.
But thanks to Ken and his magnificent idea to venture into Pelham, our day was going so well. Could it get any better?
Well, yes – starting with a visit to Churchhill Meats. We had visited Churchhill once before, but were eager to return.
I was spoiled in Toronto. I had four amazing butcher shops within a fifteen minute drive from my house. When I moved to Niagara, I wondered where I could go to get the fabulous meat I had been accustomed to. I prefer naturally raised or organic meats, and if I can find grass-fed beef, I will do a dance of joy. Seriously. As Churchhill offers primarily grass-fed (but grain finished) beef, I was dancing in the street. Yes, this type of meat can be pricey, but so, so, worth it.
Entering the shop, you are immediately presented with some local ingredients.
And a bounty of other tasty products
And friendly, attentive staff waiting to assist you with your selections. I think at first they didn’t know what to make of us. I mean, how many people go shopping with a camera, and want to take pictures of your store?
Bloggers, that’s who.
I explained what I do, and they couldn’t have been more accommodating – telling me to take all the pictures I wanted, and graciously even being in a few themselves.
But now, the meat. It was actually a bit tough to decide what to get.
Next to Ken, beef tenderloin is the love of my life. I’m sure he would say the same. Churchhill’s beef tenderloin is quite honestly the best we have had in a long time, so this had to be purchased again. Luckily for us, it was a special of the day.
We also got some ground beef and sausages to complete our carnivorous supplies.
As we were checking out, the helpful gent who served me suggested we go up the street to Nature’s Corner. He said they made wonderful desserts and coffees, and he thought I could get some good pictures there.
So off we went.
What an inviting, charming place.
And their selection of baked items was to-die-for.
At first, I thought I might get more Empire Biscuits. (See in the photo above, right hand side?) Yes, I am slightly obsessed with them. Believe it or not, they weren’t so easy to find in Toronto – at least not in my usual spots. Nature’s Corner even has gluten-free ones, so if you love Empires like I do, you’ve got some choice here.
But lo and behold, I saw a Peanut Butter square, and decided I had to have it. Ken went for the Raspberry Hazelnut square, with a latte.
I thought I should be civilized and elegant….
But within about two seconds, my fork was discarded. Hands are much better to use when chocolate and peanut butter are involved. My friends, this square was divine. The chocolate and peanut butter flavours were balanced perfectly. You could taste them both, but one did not overpower the other.
Little did I know, there was more chocolatey goodness to come.
Just up the street from Nature’s Corner we discovered an amazing chocolate shop – Sweet Thoughts.
This is heaven for every chocoholic you know. Filled to bursting with hand crafted chocolates, chocolate arrangements, and bouquets, just in time for Valentine’s Day.
But it’s not just for Valentine’s Day.
How about something for the musician in your life?
Or for the baby shower you are hosting?
Or your dearest friend, the shoe fanatic?
Or just some special treats for yourself?
We left with a variety of chocolates, and they were absolutely decadent.
Feeling just slightly stuffed, Ken and I finally decided to head back home. On the drive back, we talked about how much more exploring we want to do in the Niagara region. In one afternoon, we found some fabulous places that I never knew existed. And there are so many more. Did you know there is a Hawaiian restaurant in Pelham? Yes, Hawaiian. This is something I must try. Also, is discussion with the lovely lady at Indulgence Bakery, I got a tip on where to go for good Indian food.
One of the things I really love about living in Niagara – corny as it might sound – is the people. Everywhere I go, people want to help you, give you good service, help you enjoy your meal, let you take all kinds of pictures. They are more than happy to suggest other places for you to try – even if they are their competition. As a formerly-jaded ex-city girl, this honestly blows my mind all the time. It is, to me, what makes this region even more special.
Wonder where we’ll end up this weekend?