Monday, January 30, 2012

A Simple Blue Bowl

As is so often the case, I love the simplicity of things. I am much attracted to the understated, the unadorned. I am very much of the "less is more" philosophy.

I love the look of this simple deep blue bowl, perched on a tree stump. Who needs a side table, when a beautiful wooden stump will do the job?

After admiring it for a time, I decided to add a shot of colour to the depths of the bowl's inky blueness... a single coral bloom plucked from a nearby plant that is wintering indoors. Photographed in the window for the light, but now back in place atop the stump.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Tea-tasting Afternoon

In the middle of a winter afternoon, how better to shake off the cold and seasonal doldrums than with cups of tea, and the taste of something a little exotic.

Add some traditional Chinese music playing softly in the background and some friends to share in a tea-tasting. Sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch... all the senses are engaged.

Teapots, tea cups, strainers and tea leaves set out and at the ready.

Multiple tea cups ready for heating with hot water before receiving multiple infusions of tea. A different set of cups for each type of tea.

What better way to enhance a tea-tasting than with an offering of sweetness: cookies with almond, pistachio, aniseed, ginger and orange blossom water flavourings.

With a Chinese tea cake made with pu-er tea and lotus leaves that measures about 4 inches across, you can see just how small these miniature tea cakes are. Perfect for slipping into a tiny silk purse to give away to your guests so they can make another pot of Chinese tea at home and bring back memories of a winter afternoon spent transported to exotic places for a short time. An afternoon shared with the serenity and relaxing ritual that the serving of tea offers.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Winter Post

On this winter's day, a post of another kind to blog about, topped with snow. Its rough texture a welcome constrast to the bland winter landscape.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tea Cosies

"Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cosy, doesn't try it on." - Billy Connolly

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Colours of Winter

I have been known to think of winter as being shades of black and white, with perhaps a little grey and blue thrown into the mix.

What an eye-opener it was for me to be presented with evidence to the contrary as I walked along the river one late afternoon.

Such beautiful pinks and oranges, along with the blues and mauves.

For I had forgotten how a sunrise or sunset can add to winter's colour palette.

And things are not always as they seem.

Here was a reminder that we must continually look at the familiar in order to see the constant changes in what we might mistakenly believe is static and unchanging.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Brit & Chips in Old Montreal

On our recent trip to Montreal we were so pleased to come across, just by chance, this fish and chip restaurant. We had been walking in Old Montreal and were getting a little hungry. When my youngest said that a pastie would be good, I certainly thought that it was highly unlikely that there were any pasties to be had anywhere near by.

But I was wrong, because just around the corner we discovered Brits & Chips. And yes, they have pasties on their menu... along with all sorts of different battered fish and fresh unfrozen chips. They aim for an authentic British feel and the prices are more reasonable than you'd expect for a restaruant located in Old Montreal. Good food, friendly service, nice décor.

Brit & Chips, the winner of the 2011 Best of Montreal Readers Poll, is located at 433 McGill Street, in Old Montreal.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Returning to the Scene

A few more photos of McGill College Avenue with its Christmas lights, taken a week after the last one posted on December 29th. This time it was late afternoon as I passed by on Sherbrooke Street and there was a whole different atmosphere to the scene.

It was a chilly damp day, the kind that makes you want to stop in at cosy cafés for a hot drink. Lots of stops at lots of cafés along the way.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year

A walk in the woods on New Year's Day brings beauty in all forms...

delicate seed pods...

and a spot of colour among the monochrome.