My first official press tour has sadly come to an end. And what a whirlwind it was. My friend and fellow Ottawa influencer, Katie Hession from Yow City Style, joined me for a road trip to Toronto for the weekend. I drove us in a brand new 2017 Ford Escape, courtesy of Ford Canada. We had a hectic agenda and truly made the best of our time there, sans our family! It’s quite refreshing to travel with someone that has the same interests and goals: do, eat and see all the things in Toronto! No need to deal with kiddies or hangry husbands who want to eat before we have had a chance to photograph our food. I know most of you were following our Instagram stories, and I have to say it was nice staying in touch with Ottawa while we were in Toronto. Hopefully we made you proud, and you were able to enjoy it as much as we did!
I want to thank Merivale Vision Care for lending me my eyewear for the weekend. I actually planned my 3 outfits around each pair of sunglasses. It was a very effective way to pack and commit to my outfits while I was there! This could explain why I did not feel the need to buy very much clothes when I was there. But, I did invest in some new BIKO jewelry during our private tour of the studio and I bought my gorgeous orange crop blazer from BCBG at the Hudson’s Bay.
Here’s a very quick recap of what we did during our stay, and hopefully you can make use of some of our recommendations for Toronto restaurants and cafes.
DAY 1- FRIDAY
We came in late on Thursday night and slept in. But when we left the condo in the morning, we marched right to Dineen Coffee Co, one of my favourite coffee shops in the city. We did a bit of shopping at Topshop and Eaton Centre and headed to the BIKO jewelry studio for a private tour. We met with the lovely owner, and chatted about her business. She gifted us each a gorgeous necklace, and we did some more damage of our own! I can’t wait to show you my loot!
Katie booked us in for manicures at Her Majesty’s Pleasure for my first ever nail art experience! What an awesome place to enjoy a relaxing manicure and cocktails. We rushed back home to change and made it out to our first night at Fashion Art Toronto. We saw some pretty incredible fashion shows and talented fashion designers. As you can see, we hadn’t eaten all day and concluded the evening at Bar Isabel with more cocktails and delicious tapas.
DAY 2- SATURDAY
We headed to Lena for breakfast and more shopping at the Hudson’s Bay, where I bought my new orange blazer. We walked and walked for miles on Queen Street West and stopped in to the Smithery’s pop-up shop, the Store on Queen and other awesome local boutiques. We stopped into Nadege for some macarons and sweets and had a picnic among the cherry blossoms in Trinity Bellwoods Park.
After a quick wardrobe change, we met up with some friends for some cocktails and snacks at the Soho House, a members-only club. We had a delicious dinner at Momofuku, spotted Harvey Specter who was filming an episode of Suits and raced back to Fashion art Toronto to catch the evening shows.
DAY 3- SUNDAY
We started the day with a delectable brunch at Oretta Cafe. This place is absolutely gorgeous and complete Instagram heaven. The décor, the food, the service… it really blew us away!
To conclude the trip, we made a quick visit to the Wildcraft Care studio. It’s a fairly new natural skincare line from Toronto, and it’s run by an old high school friend of mine. She gifted me her entire line and gave an overview of each product. I look forward to sharing a full review of the Wildcraft Care products on the blog soon.
DIVING THE 2017 FORD ESCAPE
I really enjoyed driving the Ford Escape. I already drive an SUV, so I was used to the size. This model was fully loaded and had some convenient features like navigation, Bluetooth activation for my phone, heated seats and moon roof. Some bonus features that I quite enjoyed were the auto start-stop technology, where the engine slows down when the car is idling (better for the environment!) and I made a lot of use of the foot activated hands-free liftgate (a.k.a the trunk opens with a swipe of your foot!). I used the navigation system quite a bit and synced my phone to listen to tunes and take any calls. Although I tested the Active Park Assist when I drove the car in the Ford parking lot, I admit that it scared me quite a bit. I am still not used to the idea of self-driving cars… my brain just cannot compute it, even though we are almost there! The car can park itself in paralleled or perpendicular, all you do is control the gas and brake pedals and it does the rest. The car has a great deal of sensors around its perimeter, which helps you get to know the dimensions of the car. It will also alert you if anything is too close for comfort, which I appreciated!
We drove to Toronto in miserable rain on Thursday evening. I hate driving at night in the rain, but I felt very safe in the car. The automatic wipers and lights were a great feature to have in those conditions! Our sunny drive back home on Sunday was awesome and we made sure to take advantage of the sunroof when we could!
Pumping gas is super quick with the Ford Escape. There is no gas cap, you simple place the gas nozzle right in! The car is very efficient on gas too, our entire trip cost us 2 tanks of gas (around $100).
Thank you to everyone who made this awesome trip possible! I look forward to the next one!
Photo credit Kamara Morozuk