I can’t believe it is almost the end of November. Where did this year go? Moving to Niagara, getting the B&B up and running, and adjusting to my new life here has made 2014 the fastest year of my life, ever.
It’s been a great year. I’m already getting excited about what 2015 will bring – for myself, the business, and my blog. Lots of ideas are bubbling away in my brain, and I plan to be sharing many of them here soon.
But enough about that for now.
November is quieter in Niagara. There aren’t as many tourists, and the weather is colder. It also means I have the opportunity to get out a bit more, do some mingling with friends and colleagues, and cook. I have been cooking up a storm, which is very unusual for me. I am not known for domestic goddess-ness.
Here’s a glimpse of what we’ve been up to, lately.
We had a brief warm spell, so I took advantage of walking around my beautiful town. A lot.
We had fun at The Great Gatsby evening, a fundraiser for the Niagara Jazz Festival , held at Corks. This is Juliet, the brains behind the Jazz Festival, and my friend Kimberley, from Niagara Culinary Tours. Don’t they look great in their flapper outfits?
Alas, I had no flapper costume. But it was a great night in support of a great event.I understand there will be a few more evenings like this to raise funds for the Jazz Festival. You must join us. It is such a fun evening, it raises money for the Festival, and you can hear great jazz, which might tide you over until the full event next summer.
The next day we went to the Handmade Market, in search of some early Christmas spirit. Lots of wonderful products from local artisans.
As always, my favourite spot was the Sip&Savour Barn. Food and wine always gets my interest.
I made a bee-line for the samosa table, courtesy of Eudora’s Fine Foods.
I love Indian food. In Toronto, great Indian food is easily found. In Niagara, not so much. So I bought some samosas and sauce for Butter Chicken. The Indian food that I make is not anywhere near as good as what I have had in Toronto. But homemade Butter Chicken is in my very near future.
Then of course I had to wash it down with wine from the new Honsberger Estate Winery.
Aren’t these just about the coolest wine glasses you’ve ever seen? Love the serving board too.
And just as we were enjoying getting out and about, this happened.
Ugh. I am not a fan of snow.
But this is kind of a cool picture.
I am not a Canadian who embraces winter. Well-meaning friends have said “You just need to try and ENJOY the winter”. I have tried it all: skiing, snow-shoeing, tobogganing, skating… about the only thing I haven’t tried is winter camping, which would never happen , so don’t even go there. Winter is just not my thing.
However, Niagara-on-the-Lake is still very pretty, even in a snow storm. And to cure my winter woes, I knew just what I needed.
Dinner at The Charles Inn.
I love the Charles Inn. The dining room is cozy, with two fireplaces going. On such a wintry night, this was much appreciated. The food is spectacular, and they make a cracking martini.
In November and February, many of Niagara’s restaurants participate in a week-long event called Fabulicious. This is a great chance to try all the restaurants your heart desires. Three course dinner for $35, three course lunch for $25. Alcohol, taxes, and gratuities extra of course.
I started with hand-rolled potato gnocchi, with butternut squash and sage cream. Utterly delicious.
Followed by grilled striploin of Ontario beef, done to medium-rare perfection (I apologize for the fuzzy quality of this picture. I was just too eager to eat this beauty).
Finished off with a rich chocolate tart
The food and the ambiance warmed my heart on such a cold, blustery night. Look at this lovely dining room.
Fine dining is much more my style for winter activities. Though it is not my favourite season, I am sure I will find much to keep me happy here in Niagara this winter.