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Archive for January, 2014

Marcelle Nutrilux Supreme Comfort Body Cream

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Marcelle Nutrilux - Supreme Comfort Body Cream packaging
Supreme Comfort Body Cream

The long, cold winter months calls for good skin hydration and moisturizing, so finding Marcelle’s Nutrilux Supreme Comfort Body Cream was just what I needed. For dry to very dry skin, this is absolutely perfect for my winter skin. The ingredient list includes shea butter, which is found in many many super moisturizing products out there. Add in that it’s hypo-allergenic, paraben free, non greasy and perfume free, how can you not pick this off the shelf to try?

 

The Packaging

Marcelle Nutrilux - Supreme Comfort Body Cream jar
Big tub

The tub is made of a sturdy, glossy plastic, with a screw top lid. This means, of course, that you need to scoop the product out. It’s not the most hygienic way to get the product out, however if you diligently wash your hands before dipping your fingers in, or if you use a clean spatula to scoop it out, then you should have no problems.

 

Marcelle Nutrilux - Supreme Comfort Body Cream open jar
Note: no inner seal

This will be something to note for some of you – there is no inner seal. Once you twist open the lid, you’re completely exposed to the cream.

 

The Product

Marcelle Nutrilux - Supreme Comfort Body Cream swatch
Swatch 

There’s 240ml of product in the tub. The above swatch shows that it’s white in colour, and has a creamy consistency. I find that my skin drinks it right up and leaves it feeling soft and smooth, without a hint of dryness to it. There is no oily or greasy residue afterwards.

A note to keep in mind is the smell. It has a strong, plastic-like smell to it, but only noticeable if you put your nose right up to the product. Otherwise, the smell is not strong enough to smell when you pull your nose away. I’m fairly sensitive to smell and I am ok with it, as long as I’m not walking around sniffing myself.

 

The Verdict

The feel of this body cream is amazing and makes my skin feel wonderfully soft. Unfortunately, it’s only an immediate effect. I’ve found that this feeling does not last. 24hr after application, my skin is already dry again. This has potential to be a really great product, but the lasting effects of hydration needs work.

 

Where to Buy

  • It is no longer available for purchase.

Written by Jessica

January 27th, 2014 at 11:48 am

Posted in Beauty,body,skincare

Ramen Isshin

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Ramen Isshin - store front
The still fairly new Ramen Isshin

It was quite cold over the weekend so Mr Pixelbunny and I decided to meet up with G for a ramen date. When it’s cold and snowy out, what better cure for the winter blahs than with a bowl of steaming hot ramen?

Ramen Isshin is brought to us by the guys who own and operate Kingyo (you can read about my dining experience here). They’re still working on getting their liquor licence, so you won’t find any alcohol here yet. Once they get proper signage, you’ll be able to see the ramen masters in the front window. This kind of setup reminds me of chinese BBQ houses, where you can see all sorts of BBQ’d meats hanging in the window, and can watch one of the guys behind the counter skillfully cut up all sorts of meats for dining and take out. Instead of meat, you’ll get ramen action here.

 

The Atmosphere

Ramen Isshin - decor
Decor on one wall

The inside is set up beautifully with bar seating in the above picture, as well as table seating on the opposite side. The other walls have a beautiful water-colour like paintings of greys, blues and gold, depicting dragons breathing golden fire with a looming mountain in the background (Mt Fuji?).

 

The Food

Ramen Isshin - menu
Menu

Their current offerings are on a one sided piece of paper. Likely they’ll have proper menus printed up once the liquor licence goes through.

 

Ramen Isshin - crunchy chicken karaage
Crunchy Chicken Karaage – $4.80

We started with crunchy chicken karaage. There’s 3 fairly large pieces of thigh meat. They were juicy, tender, and with a crunchy exterior. The lemon slice added some nice citrus zing to it, and the garlic kewpie mayo added some nice flavour to it. I liked it both with and without the garlic mayo.

 

Ramen Isshin - takoyaki
Takoyaki – $4.20

Next, we HAD to try their takoyaki. You get 5 perfectly rounded dough balls of with a crispy exterior, warm and soft centre, and a big chunk of octopus in there. Top it off with mayo, sauce (katsu?) and dancing bonito flakes, we devoured this one. The dough reminds me a little bit of potato? Is it just me or does anyone else think of a consistency of potato?

 

Ramen Isshin - Tonkotsu Shio -Sesame- ramen bowl
Tonkotsu Shio “Sesame” Ramen – $8.95

My go-to ramen whenever I try somewhere new, is shio. Hence, I tried tonkotsu shio “sesame” ramen. It comes in a big bowl of tonkotsu broth that is beautifully seasoned and not overpowering on the salt. There’s a generous helping of wood ear fungus, bamboo shoots, green onions, half a marinated soft boiled egg (I really wish it was a whole one), and two very thin slices of braised pork belly cha-shu. The noodles themselves were a soft chewy texture, and my noodles were thin. Though not the best noodles I’ve ever had, they’re still really good.

 

Ramen Isshin - Tonkotsu Shio -Sesame- ramen
The whole “set”

The neat thing about the shio is that it comes with a mini mortar and pestle so you can grind up your own sesame seeds. It’s recommended that you add it to your ramen halfway through to change the flavour. Personally, sesame flavour isn’t that strong so I don’t know how much change in flavour you’re going to get. I added it halfway through my ramen and didn’t taste that much of a difference. It was neat trying to grind up the sesame seeds though. I have the exact same mortar and pestle that I picked up from Daiso when I was last in San Francisco.

 

Ramen Isshin - Isshin -Red Miso- ramen
Isshin “Red Miso” Ramen – $10.25

Both Mr. Pixelbunny and G ordered Isshin “red miso” ramen. Their broth consists of red and white miso pork broth, a generous helping of bean sprouts, wok fried ground pork, onions, carrots, wood ear fungus, green onions, and 1 thin slice of pork belly cha-shu. The miso flavour is strong, and the broth is rich and not overly salty. The noodles are of the thick variety, and they had a soft chewy texture to them. Again, not the best noodles I’ve ever had, but still very good.

 

The Verdict

A truly delicious bowl of hot ramen. If only their pork slices were a bit thicker, it would be amazing. Right now, it’s not too busy but I suspect once the liquor licence is approved, the line up will be out the door. Look out Toronto, another ramen contender is here.

 

The Place

Ramen Isshin
421 College St,
Toronto, ON
416-367-4013

Written by Jessica

January 24th, 2014 at 11:55 pm

Posted in Food,Restaurant

Shiseido Ibuki Starter Kit

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Shiseido Ibuki - Starter Kit Box
The New Shiseido Ibuki line

When Shiseido announced they were about to debut a skincare line aimed at a younger age group than their usual demographics, I got pretty excited. Shiseido had always seemed to market themselves to the older asian ladies group, targeting age spots, wrinkles, and dullness in the skin. With Ibuki, Shiseido aimed at targeting the 25 to 34 age group. The purpose of the Ibuki line is to target specific stressors to skin in that age range: dry office environment, sleeping without taking makeup off, too little sleep, skipping meals, and being outdoors. Being a shift worker, I definitely fall in the category of too little sleep, skipping meals, and dry office environment. I was already pretty happy with my skin care routine but I decided to give this one a try. Plus, the starter kit was only $30 and would last me 2 weeks, so I figured why not?

 

The Packaging

Shiseido Ibuki - Starter Kit
Three deluxe sample sized tube and bottles

The box quite pretty to look at and it’s currently still sitting on top of my dresser, even though there’s nothing in it. Don’t you ever do that with your empty boxes? The deluxe size sample tube and bottles have a off-white/yellowish tinge to it which I’m assuming is how they are colour identifying the line (pinkish purple for white lucent, golden for benefiance, blue for pureness). For those with really poor eyesight like me, it’ll be easy to tell which is which, due to packaging. The gentle cleanser is in an upright tube, the softening concentrate is in a opaque bottle, and the refining moisturizer is a solid coloured bottle.

 

Shiseido Ibuki - Gentle Cleanser
Gentle Cleansing nozzle

The gentle cleanser has a screw on type lid, with a fairly large nozzle to deposit product. The tube bounces back to its shape after you squeeze some out, and being able to stand up right meant that gravity works to keep product close to the nozzle.

 

Shiseido Ibuki - Softening Concentrate
Softening Concentrate nozzle

The softening concentrate has a small nozzle for more precise deposit onto your cotton pad. It also has a screw on type lid.

 

Shiseido Ibuki - Refining Moisterizer
Refining Moisterizer nozzle

The refining moisturizer is larger so be careful when pouring out the product! It will flow fairly quickly. This bottle also has a screw on type lid.

 

The Product

Shiseido Ibuki - Gentle Cleanser - swatch
Gentle Cleanser swatch

The gentle cleanser comes out white, but when you work it into your skin, it doesn’t foam up like crazy. A sight lather works up but it is soft and smooth and makes my face feel like a dream. I use gentle circle motions all over my face to work the cleanser in, then rinse it off in the shower. My face feels clean, moisturized, and doesn’t have the “squeak” feel to it. My skin is glowing and not irritated. I’ve also found that because this cleanser doesn’t foam up, it works really well with my Clarisonic and doesn’t get into my eyes. Bonus!

 

Shiseido Ibuki - Softening Concentrate - swatch
Softener Concentrate swatch

The softener concentrate surprised me. I was expecting a very liquid like fluid like the softener from the White Lucent line. Instead, this was much thicker, with a slight gel consistency. The result was that I didn’t need as much as the other softener for my whole face. I applied it to my Shiseido Facial Cotton (oh these are heavenly), then gently wiped from the centre to the outside of my face. Skin is immediately feeling cooled and prepped for moisturizer.

 

Shiseido Ibuki - Refining Moisterizer - swatch
Refining Moisterizer swatch

The refining moisturizer is light and very liquidy. A nickel amount is enough for my whole face. Most of the time, I end up pouring a little too much and am able to use the excess on my neck. My skin absorbs it very quickly, and leave me with a non-greasy feel. This is a great moisturizer for day and night, especially since I’m indoors all the time. For those of you who are outdoors, it’d be best to add sunscreen to protect your skin.

 

The Verdict

I love this! Shiseido has made a product that I am loving even more than the White Lucent line, and I would happily switch over to this one. It’s a great way to try out the set out without splurging on full sizes. Even though the sales lady told me the trial set would last me two weeks, it’s now 1.5 months later and I JUST finished it! And for only $30! There’s 30ml in each bottle/tube which works out to $0.33/ml. If you purchase the full size versions, here are the price (CND) comparisons between Ibuki and White Lucent:

Ibuki Ibuki Price Ibuki Unit Price White Lucent White Lucent Price White Lucent Unit Price
Gentle Cleanser $30 for 125ml $0.24/ml Brightening Cleansing Foam $35 for 125ml $0.28/ml
Softening Concentrate $24 for 75ml $0.32/ml Brightening Balancing Softener Enriched W $48 for 150ml $0.32/ml
Refining Moisturizer $45 for 75ml $0.60/ml Brightening Protective Emulsion W $54.50 for 75ml $0.73/ml

 

You can see that the cleanser and moisturizers are a little cheaper in the Ibuki line, but the softeners are pretty much the same thing. For me, I’m looking forward to repurchasing this again!

 

Where to Buy

  • Shiseido counters at department stores – $30
  • Sephora

Written by Jessica

January 20th, 2014 at 12:07 pm

Posted in Beauty,face,skincare

Bero

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T and S were in town for the holidays so the Mr and I met up with them for one of our favourite things to do: eat. Our restaurant to try? Bero. Bero was recommended to me by a foodie friend who had described his experience as “foodgasm”. Knowing his tastes in food, I knew it had to be good. A reservation was made and we eagerly awaited the big day.

 

The Atmosphere

Bero - wine bar
Beautiful wine bar

The place is small and intimate, so it makes sense that advance reservation are highly recommended! Tables are set very close together so you will likely be bumping into the guest seated behind you. When we were seated, our server had to ask the gentleman at the table next to ours to bring his chair in so I could squeeze into mine. There is a very impressive wine bar which takes up a good portion of the room with intimate table settings surrounding it. Bar seating is also available for those who want to be close to the drinking action.

 

The Food

We ordered the Chef’s Menu ($98) for our dinner, which is a collection of 7 dishes, beautifully plated and presented before you. S and Mr. Pixelbunny opted to have wine pairings with their meals.

Bero - pinot noir and creme de figue
Holiday drink – $16

I started the night off with one of their holiday drinks, of which the name escapes me. I do distinctly remember that it had fig liquor in it. I couldn’t really taste any fig, but the drink was nice with a tiny hint of sweetness to it.

 

Bero - tempura shrimp with dijon mustard
Tempura shrimp – complimentary

We were started off with a crispy battered tempura shrimp with small dollops of dijon mustard. The shrimp was small, but perfect for an amuse bouche. It was rather humorous amongst my party as we were trying to figure out do we eat the whole thing? Tear the head off? Use fingers or are there utensils? In the end, we deduced that it was small enough to be a finger food, and since it was battered, it would be ok to eat the whole thing. It was warm and crispy and lots of wonderful flavour, even without the mustard. A great way to start the night.

 

Bero - hamachi
Hamachi

This dish was my favourite out of everything. It consisted of two beautiful pieces of cod, topped with cured ham, chili that packs a nice punch, all in a small bowl with beautifully full flavoured broth. It was difficult to slowly enjoy this one because it tasted so incredible. Loved this one.

 

Bero - foie gras
Foie gras part 1

Bero - foie brioche
Foie gras part 2

These two were served together, the foie gras and foie brioche. The foie gras itself was light and a little salty, and there was a part of it that was slightly frozen, so it almost had a slight sorbet kind of texture. There was also some dots of hibiscus jelly which added some nice sweetness to the foie gras. The foie brioche was like a biscuit, but warm and soft with a chewy texture. It went very well with the foie gras.

 

Bero - bone marrow gnocchi
Bone Marrow Gnocchi

The bone marrow gnocchi was served with escargot, celery root, and thin garlic crisps. The escargot and garlic had the strongest flavour while the bone marrow gnocchi and celery root had the weakest. The gnocchi had a soft pillowy texture and though I expected a much stronger flavour with the gnocchi, I couldn’t really taste much bone marrow.

 

Bero - scallop
Seared Scallop

I was excited for this when the plate was set down. I love scallops and the way this as cooked was delicious. It was served with this crumbly brown crumbs that resembled something between bread crumbs and quinoa. The blackish dollops were a sweet sauce reminiscent of hoisin and I can’t remember what the orangish cylindrical things were. Possibly carrots? Or was it sweet potato? Ahh my memory fails me. What I do remember is that the brown crumbs added some nice texture when paired with the scallop. I do wish the serving was a bit bigger though as I had finished it in a few bites.

 

Bero - duck
Duck Breast

Let us take a moment to look at the beauty of that duck breast. Beautiful. The green was some kind of pureed broccoli, then rolled in little tiny broccoli buds. Other than the presentation, the broccoli was just plain broccoli. The powder or the paste that’s smeared on the plate weren’t all that memorable. The glaze was best paired with the duck.

 

Bero - cheese
Cheese

I’m not sure if there are rotating cheeses on the menu, but we were told that the cheese we had was a raw milk cheese from Quebec. I don’t know if all three were the same cheese or if they were all different, but it came in three forms. The first was a soft form, almost like a brie texture. The second was a small thin slice that was more dried out. The third was a very dried powdery-like consistency. Again, a very small portion that I wish was larger.

 

Bero - baked lemon
Baked Lemon

The dessert course was a baked lemon, almost like a custard/flan. It had a tart lemony flavour to it with a small piece of candied lemon on top. The presentation was quite cute (small, medium, large, all decorated the same). Good, but not amazing.

 

Bero - shortbread and mint chocolate
Shortbread and Mint Chocolate – complimentary

With our bill came a plate of shortbread cookies (S ate one already) and mint chocolate. The shortbread cookies were little discs you easily pop into your mouth (if I remember correctly, they were lemon curd dots on top). The mint chocolate was a good size, minty and refreshing without being too sweet.

 

The Verdict

Dinner was great, but to be honest I was disappointed. I think I had gone in with too high of an expectation, and when dinner wasn’t what I expected, I felt really unsatisfied. For the price I was paying, I was expecting more. Reading other people’s reviews, it sounds like diners are experiencing either a hit or a miss. Keep this in mind if you decide to go.

 

The Place

Bero
889 Queen St E,
Toronto, ON
416-477-3393

Written by Jessica

January 17th, 2014 at 4:15 pm

Posted in Food,Restaurant

Broadway Nails imPRESS Press-On Manicure

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Running late and didn’t have time to do your nails? Broadway Nails imPRESS Press-On Manicure has you covered. From my Influenster #MapleVoxBox, I received the pattern in Holla!

Broadway Nails imPRESS Press-On Manicure - package
imPRESS Press-On Manicure – $8.99-$10.99

The packaging itself is a very pliable plastic box. Easy to open.

 

Broadway Nails imPRESS Press-On Manicure - container
Container

On the display tray are five different designs in five different sizes. There are two of each design in the same size so you can match your left and right hand if you wished. The remaining nail covers are loose behind the display tray.

 

Broadway Nails imPRESS Press-On Manicure - designs
Beautiful designs

There are 24 nail covers in total, with 12 different sizes. Each nail cover is made of hard plastic and is rounded, so as to fit the natural curve of your nail.

 

Broadway Nails imPRESS Press-On Manicure - designs 2
Another look at a different angle

 

Broadway Nails imPRESS Press-On Manicure - on nails
On my nails 

I found the application of these nails to be incredibly easy. After measuring out which nail cover fits which nail, I laid them all out on a table and started applying them in order. Most of the time was spent figuring out which nail cover fit which nail. Putting them on took me less than a couple of minutes. I do feel the nail covers on my nail, and the feeling may or may not go away, depending on how sensitive you are. For me personally, I could still feel the nail cover. Although it’s not an uncomfortable or painful feeling – it’s more of an annoying kind of feeling – you know it’s there and it’s not going to go away.

My overall impression is that these nail covers are a fast and easy way to have a beautiful look in a very short amount of time. For parties or even just a night out, I think these work great. For long term use, it doesn’t work for me. I would likely use them for a few hours out, then take them off when I got home.

Have you ever tried printed nail covers before? Let me know your experience below!

 

voxbox-blogimage-popup2*I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. I was not compensated in any way. My opinions are entirely my own.

Written by Jessica

January 13th, 2014 at 11:08 pm

NYC New York Color Big Bold Plumping Lip Gloss and Big Bold Curl Mascara

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Some more goodies I received from my Influenster #MapleVoxBox were these two from NYC New York Color. I’d never tried anything from this line before so I was pretty excited to try it out. Let’s start with the Big Bold Plumping Lip Gloss.

NYC New York Color Big Bold Plumping Lip Gloss - tube
Big Bold Plumping Lip Gloss – $4.99

The Big Bold Plumping Lip Gloss that received was in the colour 468 – Big City Blush. It’s a beautiful peachy pink with tiny rainbow shimmer in it. The first thing that caught my eye was how big the tube was. It’s fairly thick and has a good weight in your hand. In total, it holds 11ml of product inside.

 

NYC New York Color Big Bold Plumping Lip Gloss - applicator
Rounded slant applicator

It has a rounded slant applicator which allows for quick and easy application. I did find that I needed to scrape some against the edge of the tube when I pulled the applicator out. Otherwise, a big dollop of lip gloss would come out – too much for one application.

NYC New York Color Big Bold Plumping Lip Gloss - swatch
Swatch

The swatch is really pretty and is quite nice on the lips too. It does have that sticky lip gloss feel to it so be wary of your hair blowing onto your lips on windy days. I do like the colour and how it looks on my lips and after applying it, there’s a slight tingle to my lips. The adverts boasts a 50% fuller looking lips with a high gloss shine. I can’t comment on it’s lip plumping properties as my lips are quite full already. Something else to note: the smell. It has a very strong plastic, fake berry kind of smell to it. I can’t help but also smell a little bit of vaseline in there? It might not bother some people but for me, the smell is very off-putting, and I don’t think I can bring myself to use it. It’s too bad, since I do like the colour a lot.

 

NYC New York Color Big Bold Curl Mascara - package
Big Bold Curl Mascara – $4.99 

Next is the Big Bold Curl Mascara.

NYC New York Color Big Bold Curl Mascara - tube
Tube

The tube is also a fairly large size, but a really small base. You can stand it upright but it will tip over pretty easily.

 

NYC New York Color Big Bold Curl Mascara - wand bristles
Wand applicator

You can see in the above picture how the wand applicator is like. It’s huge and it’s curved, almost like a smile (or a frown, depending on how you hold it). This is supposed to allow for a more even coat of your lashes in a single stroke. The adverts boast of one stroke giving 12x more volume and 99% more lift. On my lashes, one stroke certainly did no such thing. It did take many strokes to get the desired look. It definitely gave my lashes a more boosted and lifted look compared to without mascara. There was a tiny bit of clumping but overall, my lashes had a really nice fluttery, feathery look to them. I was hoping there would be a waterproof version but alas, they do not. So those with runny eyes, this may not work for you.

 

voxbox-blogimage-popup2*I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. I was not compensated in any way. My opinions are entirely my own.

Written by Jessica

January 13th, 2014 at 12:46 am

Giveaway: Laneige Water Sleeping Pack EX

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With winter in full swing, my skin has been having it’s fair share of dryness. The iciness of the bitter cold while out shovelling the snow is enough to do a number on my sensitive skin. For those who follow me, you know that I love my Laneige Water Sleeping Pack EX. You can read my full review here.  I use it 1-2 times a week to bring back moisture into my skin and banish away the dryness. Now I’m happy to announce that I’m going to give 3 of my dear readers a chance to try this out!

Laneige Water Sleeping Pack EX minis
Aren’t they so cute?

Sasa.com had a sale towards the end of last year for free shipping so I picked up these 3 minis for a giveaway. They are brand new and never opened.

Want to win? The rules are simple!

  • Contest runs from today until the end of Jan 27th, 2014 at midnight
  • Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below
  • Open to Canadian residents only
  • Winners will be announced here on the Rafflecopter widget
  • Winners will have 48hr to reply to winning email
  • If winners do not reply within the time period specified, then I will choose another winner
  • Prize will be mailed out to the winner

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Written by Jessica

January 10th, 2014 at 10:08 pm

December 2013 Empties

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December 2013 Empties
Not much for December

Montagne Jeunesse Glacial Clay Spa Mask

I reviewed these here. Would love to repurchase but I have a ton of sheet masks to get through first.

Nivea Free Time Shower Cream

The scent was really nice but left me with a bit of that greasy feeling afterwards. I don’t think I would purchase a full bottle.

Smashbox Photo Finish Oil-Free Foundation Primer

Now that the humidity is gone and the climate is much colder and drier, I found myself reaching for this primer again. It controls my shine well and I can save my heavy-duty Benefit 15-hr Primer for the hotter months. Would definitely repurchase this one again.

Klorane Extra Gentle Dry Shampoo

This dry shampoo is wonderful! I loved how it made my hair feel after spritzing it at the roots. The greasiness went away and my hair looked voluminous and flowy. The only thing I didn’t like (as is the case with every dry shampoo I’ve tried) is the dullness it leaves my hair with. I have a natural sheen to my hair and dry shampoo takes that away. I suppose I could always work in a little bit of hair oil but that would defeat the purpose of removing grease, wouldn’t it? Would repurchase this one.

Written by Jessica

January 8th, 2014 at 9:58 am

Windsor Arms Hotel

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For my friend, M’s birthday, we all went out for high tea. It was something that we’d always wanted to do, but never set a date to do it. So for her birthday (which so happens to be the same as my birthday too!), we ventured to the Windsor Arms Hotel for tea. Prices are as follows:

Mon-Fri – $38/person
Sat-Sun – $45/person
Holiday times (including the whole month of Dec) – $50/person

There’s also a gluten-free menu available as long as a reservation is made at least 24hr in advance.

 

The Atmosphere

We were seated in the beautiful Purple Room, which is literally purple. The walls are painted a dark purple, the drapes are a light lilac, and even the dark purple velvet chairs match the walls. There’s a beautiful fireplace against the back wall which I’m told is original and still working.

Windsor Arms Hotel - chandelier
Christmas decor up already too

I thought it was pretty cute to see Christmas ornaments hanging from the chandelier. It gives it a merry touch, doesn’t it?

 

The Food

Windsor Arms Hotel - teapot and teacup
Individual tea pot and beautiful cup and saucer

Once we were seated, we were presented with menus. For my tea, I picked passion and envy, a passion fruit infused green tea. I liked how each person had their own individual pot of tea, and the pots are fairly large themselves. Each person also had their own cup and matching saucer, as well as a tea strainer and little metal holder for the strainer to go in. My tea needed to steep longer than everyone else’s tea, but once it was ready, I poured it through the strainer into the cup. Then I lifted the strainer and set it aside in the little metal holder. The strainer did a fairly good job catching the tea leaves, but some of the leaves managed to sneak through the little holes. My tea had a fruity aroma to it and was slightly bitter. Frequently during tea, our waiter would come by and ask if we wanted more hot water for our teas.

 

Windsor Arms Hotel - Afternoon Tea tower
The 3-tiered tea tower

Everything was brought out on this 3-tiered rack, with each plate bearing something different. Each tower had enough for two people.

 

Windsor Arms Hotel - Mini quiche with goat cheese
Mini quiche with goat cheese

The first thing we had was mini quiche with goat cheese. It’s not pictured above because our waiter had plated this for us as soon as he set the towers down. The quiche were warm with a flaky crust. The goat cheese gave it a good savoury taste. Too bad this was so small. Two bites and it was gone!

 

Windsor Arms Hotel - fresh scones
Freshly baked scones

The bottom tier contained two kinds of freshly baked scones: blackberry and lemon. They were served with homemade strawberry preserves, homemade mixed berry preserves, and Devonshire cream. Each person gets one of each scone, for a total of two large scones (they were bigger than the size of my fist!). They were a little dense as scones are, delicious on their own and even better when you added the preserves or Devonshire cream. I think my favourite was the Devonshire cream, but when layered with one of the preserves, just awesome.

 

Windsor Arms Hotel - fresh sandwiches
Cute little rolled up sandwiches

There’s three types of rolled up sandwiches here, and each one you can tell used white bread with out the crust. The bottom left of the picture is a cucumber with sundried tomato paste with dill cream cheese. The sundried tomato was the prominent flavour and the cucumber had a nice crunch to it. The bottom right of the picture is grilled chicken with Granny Smith apple citrus mayonnaise, greek yogurt and chives. I definitely tasted the sweetness of the apple and a bit of the greek yogurt, but not much of the chicken. There’s a decent amount of chicken in the sandwich, but in terms of flavour, not much oomph. At the top of the picture is a row of my favourite, smoked salmon with wasabi sour cream and salmon caviar. You can definitely taste the smoked salmon here, although no wasabi that I could detect. Having salmon caviar to top it off was a nice touch as each one “explodes” in your mouth for an added flavour. If I could choose, more of the smoked salmon and sundried tomato please!

 

Windsor Arms Hotel - Petit Fours
Petit fours

The top tier had petit fours, a set of four mini desserts. By this time, G and I were pretty full and we only managed to eat three of these. The top was a large raspberry macaroon. The right was a very light and fluffy strawberry cheesecake with gold flecks on top. The left was a mini chocolate cupcake with some cherry flavouring, whipped cream, and three small chocolate candies on top. The flavour is very reminiscent of black forest cake. The bottom we did not try, but one of our friends did said it was a rich, chocolate ganache centre, with the raspberry and gold flakes on top. I’m told it’s not too sweet either.

 

Windsor Arms Hotel - Petit Fours 2
The other petit fours

This was the petit fours from our friend’s tower. The cheesecake and mini cupcake were the same. The front two were different. One looks like a multi-layer cake to which M could only “mmmmmm!!!” in response. The one on the right was another chocolate ganache centre that wasn’t too sweet.

 

The Verdict

What a beautiful place for tea! The team room is unfortunately a bit small as there are quite a lot of tables crammed into a small space. It is fairly easy to get into an animated conversation and then realize you may be speaking too loudly. The food was very good and the desserts were beautiful too. And with their extensive tea list, there’s bound to be a tea for everyone. I definitely want to come back for high tea with the Mr.

 

The Place

Windsor Arms Hotel
18 St Thomas St,
Toronto, ON
416-971-9666

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Written by Jessica

January 5th, 2014 at 4:43 pm

Posted in Food,Restaurant