A Coast-to-Coast Canadian Adventure!
I love travelling, and sometimes it seems as if I have travelled all my life, and indeed I have……..I was born in South Africa, lived in Hong Kong for many years before finally moving back “home” to the UK, which seemed like a foreign country to me. Then followed a few years living in the USA, Germany, Cyprus and finally France. In between I have visited Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Raratonga, Tahiti, The Panama Canal and Panama City, Trinidad and Tobago, The Azores, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Turkey, most of mainland Europe, Mauritius, India, The Middle East, Barbados and Canada! (I think I may have left a few places off the list…..but, you get the gist!) My travel lust started when I was very young, we moved all over the world due to my dad’s job, and when I left home, I just carried on travelling…….
……and so it is that I am off on my travels again, in just under a week I will be flying to Toronto, for the start of one of the biggest adventures of my life, a Coast-to-Coast journey across Canada. Regular Lavender and Lovage readers will remember that last year I visited the Atlantic Canada, namely Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. I loved both provinces, but Newfoundland really blew me away, it was a country of vast beauty, where sea and sky seemed to merge into one and where giant icebergs sailed sedately past hidden coves and beaches. The food I enjoyed and the people I met will stay with me for ever, and whenever I think of Newfoundland now, I think of all the warm, friendly people who made me feel as if I had always lived there, it is the friendliest place I have ever visited!
This year’s Canadian adventure starts next week when I fly with several other bloggers to Toronto with Air Canada; I’ll be travelling with Amanda from Glamorous Glutton, Anna from The Foody Traveller, Jeanne from Cooksister and Kavey from Kavey Eats, and we will be making our way to Niagara on the Lake to cook with Anna Olson and her husband Michael in their beautiful Niagara home. On the menu is, and I’ve added it as I know how you all love a good menu:
Dinner at the Olson’s
Friday, September 11th, 2015
5pm – 8:30 pm
Cooking Demo/Preparing together:
We will have 3 stations set up: grill, baking table & cooking island
Guests can jump in as they wish or sit & watch
Maple Vinegar Chicken Wings
Corn Blueberry “Toss”
Assemble Blackberry Meringue Tarts
Peach Blueberry Sticky Buns (for next day)
Maple Walnut Scones (for next day)
Local cheeses, cured meats, pickles and preserves
(available throughout cooking portion of evening)
Grilled Maple Vinegar Chicken Wings*
Grilled Beef with Chimichurri*
Michael’s Signature Back Ribs with Peach BBQ Glaze
Anna’s Corn Blueberry Toss*
Sweet Potato Salad with Pumpkin Seed, Onion & Lime*
Autumn Apple Succotash*
Mike & Tina’s Heirloom Tomatoes
Grilled Bread with Salmorejo*
Blackberry Meringue Tarts*
Plum Sorbet with Peaches Foster
Local Rose & Red wines
Iced Tea, Lemonade & Water
Saturday, September 12th, 9-10 am
Peach Blueberry Sticky Buns*
Maple Walnut Scones*
Olson’s Eggs Benedict
Poached Eggs on Scallion Waffles with Roasted Peameal Bacon
And Tomato “Hollandaise”*
Welland Market Tour
Walk through the Welland Market – each guest is given $10-$15 to spend on fresh produce they wish to turn into a savoury or sweet condiment or preserve at Niagara College
Niagara College Cooking Session
Saturday September 12th, 11 am-2 pm
Cooking Session 11-12:30-ish
Each guest will get to be creative and cook a condiment/preserve (sweet or savoury) to serve with lunch.
Lesson will be around preserving principles.
Par stock of essentials will be on hand: sugar, salt, vinegars, herbs, spices, onions, garlic, etc
Grilled sausage on a bun
Ice Cream & Cookies
After our weekend with the Olsons, we all head back to Toronto, before I fly off to Quebec and Montreal by myself. I’ve always wanted to visit Quebec and Montreal and my itinerary there is varied and exciting – I even get to meet some on-line friends in person, whom I have known for over 12 years. I’ll be staying in Old Montreal at the charming Hôtel Nelligan, and here’s just a few places I’ll be visiting: The Chinese Lantern Festival, St. Viateur Bagel for a bagel making class, a cooking session Chef Marc-Oliver Eloy of Au Petit Extra Restaurant, breakfast at Olive et Gourmando, dinner with friends at MAISON BOULUD, a visit to Sweet Lee’s Rustic Bakery and a fascinating day visit to the Eastern Townships (Cantons-de-l’Est) with an ice cider tasting session at tasting at Domaine Pinnacle and lunch at Le Cafetier de Sutton (Café de village)
It’s then back to Toronto to see more on-line friends and a stay at one of their country homes in Cobourg. The next day is the start of my coast-to-coast adventure and the realisation of a “bucket list” dream – I set off on The Canadian, the coast-to-coast Via Rail train, via Winnipeg and then through the Rockies to Vancouver. I have a cabin on board and will spend a night and two days travelling to Winnipeg in Manitoba, where I’m stopping of for three days of food, foraging and heritage baking adventures! (I have family there that I am trying to trace before I arrive, as well as friends, which is exciting) The next part of my trip is back on the Via Rail train bound for Vancouver through the Rockies, a dream come true! I have always loved train travel, it is my favourite way to travel and I am extremely excited about this part of the journey.
Finally, I arrive in Vancouver, where I will meet up with Niamh from Eat like a Girl; after a night in Vancouver we then both fly to Penticton next day to attend the Go Media Canada event, and where there are more adventures to be had around the area of Penticton, as well as meeting with top Canadian, provincial, territorial and regional Canadian tourism organisations, major hotel properties, attractions and transportation companies at a series of one-to-one appointments…….it’s then back to Vancouver, where I’ll explore the city before being driven in a high performance car (I have my eye on the Lamborghini) up to Whistler, another place I have always wanted to visit. And, finally, after four days in this beautiful mountain ski resort, I will transfer back to Vancouver for an overnight flight back the UK, some twenty-five days after I set off on my Coast-to-Coast Canadian adventure!
This post is JUST a brief teaser of what’s to come…….I will be posting regular updates as I travel around and across Canada, here and on my social media channels here:
Main Hashtag #ExploreCanada
FaceBook: Karen Burns-Booth
FaceBook Page: Lavender and Lovage
See you here for more Canadian Traveller’s Tales!
Disclaimer: I will be the guest of the Canadian Tourism Commission and certain provincial tourism offices, that I will mention in my individual posts; all my flights, train journeys, transfers, accommodation and meals will be included, as well as all trips, excursions and special cookery sessions with local chefs. With profound thanks to all the people and organisations who will be looking after me to make my trip so memorable and exciting.
Images: Are all stock photos and images from the Destination Canada website. Mine will follow soon!