Saturday
Sep032011

Quebec Volume 1: Eastern Townships

On the road again. We risked life and limb for these scenic shots on the side of the highway, all 
in the name of journalistic integrity and pretty photos!


 

Restaurant Auguste in downtown Sherbrooke. Local, refined, creative and very, very 
delicious fare from chef Danny St-Pierre.


 

The Musee des Beaux Arts de Sherbrook. Get your culture on with Joe Fafard, please don't pet the animals.


 

The bucolic Spa Eastman. Our day was capped by spa treatments and a rainbow. No really, 
there was a rainbow over the mountains as we sat out.


What better way to stretch out the final weeks of summer this Labor Day weekend than a road trip? Fate was my friend in this endeavor and put me in the path of the lovely team at the Quebec Ministry of Tourism.

 

Husband and I have been saying for years that we need to take advantage of our beautiful neighbor to the North (at only 4-5 hours away from Boston to Montreal and the Eastern Townships) but never got around to planning the adventure. I left the planning to the Ministry this go around, packed my bags and hit the road along with my trusty friend and co-pilot Sarah, of Style on the Couch (see more on our road trip at her Tumblr which she diligently keeps up to date real time while we are here!). 

Our first day took us to the Eastern Townships (Cantons-de-l'Est)- which rubs shoulders with the US and is known for its picturesque landscapes, Victorian Architecture and did I mention the wine route?!

We drove straight in to Sherbrooke, where we dined at the utterly delightful and uber delicious Auguste. Helmed by the talented chef Danny St-Pierre and his lovely wife, we were immediately served one of the house signature dishes, the poutine inversee. I was imagining a "deconstructed" poutin (I haven't spoken French in a while people, that was the best I could come up with for inversee!) but no, it was in fact, 100 times better than that, being a deep fried ball of goodness, stuffed with gravy and cheese. They are truly deserving of their own post, so stay tuned for more on our adventures here.

From Auguste, we skipped up the street to the lovely Musee des Beaux Arts de Sherbrooke, where we were treated to a tour of works by the Director, Cecile Gelinas. The museum's extensive collection focuses on artists of the Eastern Townships, historical through contemporary. Founded 1982, the museum is housed in the gorgeous (former) home of the Eastern Townships Bank. Upon entering, you are ushered into the current exhibit, a collection of over 50 works by Joe Fafard. His lively bronze work covers politicians, artists, the bovine and the equine. The permanent collection of the musee is extensive, partially displayed on the third floor of the space, and prominently featuring the work of the famed painter Frederick Simpson Coburn.

Our final stop? The Spa Eastman, in Eastman, Quebec. How else would you expect two road warriors to recharge after a day of driving and dining? We were warmly welcomed at the spa by Jocelyna Dubac, the CEO and Founder of the sprawling grounds. Jocelyna personally walked us through a series of relaxing treatments, from a hot tub with soothing jets, to a quick dip in the picturesque pond pictured above (a series of hot/cold treatments) to relax the nerves and stimulate the body. Feeling thoroughly refreshed, we then enjoyed dinner at the spa, along with organic wine (mais oui!), finally calling it a night with a sumptuous sunset from our deck.

A delicious, cultured, relaxing, totally delightful start to our trip.



Friday
Sep022011

Never Been Worn: Digging It


Above: Club Monaco pants, J Crew vest, Club Monacao t-shirt, Marni heels, Oliver Peoples glasses.

This post kicks off a new series I have been meaning to do for a while, called "Never Been Worn". We all have them. Those items we can't live without in the store or while online window shopping, but for some reason find themselves relegated to the back of the closet never to see the light of day?

This series will highlight those neglected souls. The items I bought, perhaps a bit too impulsively, that I have never worn before. How many of them exist? Let's just say, conservatively, enough to start a series on the blog.

I do love this sparkly J Crew vest. Had it for months. And just never seemed to work it into an outfit. It had so many possibilities in my mind when I made the purchase, sparkle for day, fun layer for night, and it never made it into the heavy rotation. Perhaps it is my fear of the sequin that needs to be conquered?

Stay tuned, many more of these items to be featured in the coming months! Do you have something like this, lurking in your closet? Come clean, it's liberating! I promise!

Wednesday
Aug312011

Currently Obsessing: Useful Things Edition

Currently Obsessing over.....

Nifty, space saving, or just plain pretty gadgets for the home.


Slightly creepy, very much cool, vintage antlers from Acquire in the North End. Pretty much anything looks better for hanging from them.

Part mouse pad, part note pad, very fun with the pooch and an "n" for Noelani, how did I exists without this before? Note taking has never been so chic.

Space saving, utilitarian, and easy access to my wine. Design at its best and cheapest from IKEA.

Vintage crystal cordials, unearthed from a box at the farm house. They made a nice addition to my bar and I like to imagine my grandfather sipping something manly from them.

Another IKEA wonder at work. Clear, magnetic, hold anything cases. I have turned them into a spice rack in my space challenged kitchen!

Monday
Aug292011

ASOS Preview and Fall Picks

British based eretailer ASOS made a visit stateside last week, hosting a Boston based fall preview at the Ames Hotel.  

Not familiar with ASOS yet? With over 850 brands on the mega site, including multiple in house labels, ASOS is an online retailer that aims to bring you fashion forward styles with blinding speed and ease.

The fashion teams at ASOS work with deft efficieny to bring us the latest styles (a la Zara), turning around on trend clothing from design, to production, and sale on the site in six weeks. ASOS magazine, featuring brands and designs from the site boasts the second highest circulaton behind Glamour in the United Kingdom.

What does all this mean for us? Delicious clothes with British panache, delivered directly to your door. Free shipping, all the time, both ways, with no minimum purchases.

Moth, flame. Me, shoes and dresses from ASOS. Here are a few of the items currently sitting in my cart. Oh and speaking of carts, I learned that ASOS will soon be trimming the time you can securely hold items in your virtual cart from a comfortable two hours to a stress inducing thirty minutes. As if I needed any more pressure with all the overwhelming choices they have....





Friday
Aug262011

Fall Prep with the Tannery Continued....


Above: Tall glass of Vena Cava in a rich burgundy hue.


The makings of a fun afternoon with my new besties YSL and Sea.


Mackage jacket/vest, ALC top, Alexander Wang skirt with Rag and Bone boots. Yes please.


The delightful Talal, half of the brotherly duo behind the Tannery.


It's a jacket. No wait, it's a vest. Double your pleasure for one investment piece.


My back against the wall. Wearing under.ligne dress, 
Etten Eller nekclace and Jimmy Choo heels.


My big tattoo reveal! Brownie points to anyone who knows the artist and painting!


Last but not least, the lovely Brittney Rothweiler, Tannery buyer and chic lady about town.


The Tannery started in retail roughly 40 years ago, initially providing footwear to well healed Bostonians. Fast forward to today- the burgeoning empire now includes new locations in Harvard Square, downtown, the Concepts store, as well as the original locations on Boylston and Cambridge. I love to shop and support local, and best of all this is a family business folks, run by the visionary and ever stylish brothers, Talal and Tarek.

For those of us who have shopped the Tannery long enough (ahem, I won't reveal just how long I have been shopping there), you will have noticed the subtle transition from our basic Clarks to our shiny, heeled favourites Jimmy Choo and YSL. I welcome them with open arms.

I would be remiss not to mention the new labels they have been steadily stocking for clothing: Porter Grey, Opening Ceremony, Surface to Air and Edun to name drop a few more.

Yes, I confess I did take something home with me from the shoot, and no it wasn't the Jimmy Choos, though goodness they were a temptation I had to resist! I ventured back and picked up a pair of Sea pants, in the same print and style as the jumpsuit. I had a moment of sensibility, rare to me, and thought they might see more action than the full jumpsuit......while coming in well under budget from those Choos (something husband appreciates).

What are you favourite items from the shoot?