Thursday, May 25, 2017


2017  So far sooo good!

Having a child has really taken the wind out of the sails of my blog writing, Two posts in the last two years!?  I promise to do better!  I haven't been sitting on my laurels in the world of tea however, so let me bring you up to speed.

Since travelling back west last year, I was busy busy at my day job while preparing for the Toronto Tea Festival!  It was the 5th Annual and it went off without a hitch.  I was one of the organizers and also handled social media, while my husband lent a hand taking pictures on the day and distributing posters in the weeks beforehand along with the team.  I love tea festivals and this one did not disappoint.  I bought so much tea!
Tea lovers lining up to get into the 5th annual Toronto Tea Festival
Hard working volunteers
Beautiful gaiwan waiting for tea

Tao Tea Leaf (co-sponsor of the Toronto Tea Festival and one of the best tea shops in town)
The winners of the TTF Tea Tasters Box Competition (#teaTastersBoxTO)
Some tasty tidbits to go with all the tea
Honey with tea? Perfect combo!
Dan Bolton of Tea Journey Magazine (Media sponsor)
Puer tea cakes on display (Jalam Teas)

The real spices that can be found in Chaiwala's chai

More shortbread! I HEARD these were really good, they were sold out by the time I got back to their booth. Sniff sniff...

CBC interviewing Kevin Gascoyne of Camellia Sinensis 
Linda Gaylard, The Tea Stylist & fellow Tea Sommelier 

Old guard and new guard. Laura Byran, retiring co-chair and Raelene Gagnon, new co-chair of the Tea Guild of Canada
 (co-sponsor of the TEA FESTIVAL)

Korean Tea Ceremony

Bill Kamula (co-chair of the Tea Guild of Canada and George Brown College tea program instructor) narrating the Chinese Tea Ceremony 

Japanese Tea Ceremony
Featured tasting competitions! Guess who got to steep, pour and mark papers…

After a busy and successful two days, time for some tea! Ahh....

This post featured photos by me and my guy, Drew Taylor: eclectic artist. You can see more of his work @drewtaylorphotos on Instagram.  What makes him eclectic? Writing, acting, directing, photography... .

Saturday, November 19, 2016

West Coast: Westholme, Ucluelet, Tea, Sun and Son!

What a summer it was! My family and I were able to do a bit of travelling on the West Coast of Canada back in September.

We visited Vancouver then took the ferry over to Vancouver Island for some sun, beach and TEA! We visited the Westholme Tea Farm, home to Canada's first ever single estate grown tea!  Oh yes, I have tasted tea grown in Canada!  And written an article for Tea Journey Magazine about it!

A beautiful, sunny Sunday afternoon, tea plants all around, a jazz duo plays while customers lounge on the patio sipping fresh Canadian teas and delectable treats. You can read more about the teas and the pairings and learn about Victor and Margit of the Westholme Tea Farm here.


As you can imagine, travelling all the way across Canada just to sample tea grown here was worth the well as driving through the incredible landscape of the Pacific North West, seeing all those beautiful old growth trees and young mountains until finally we arrived at the westernmost part of Canada.  The west coast of Vancouver Island, home to some of the most magnificent beaches and a few decent restaurants and nice places to stay.  We holed up in a resort in Ucluelet called the Terrace Beach Resort.  Owned and operated by the family of Jason Priestley, we noticed the family resemblance although I'd say he got the looks overall.  I don't know where he was, but he didn't show up while we were there and I'm just a little disappointed.  What's up with that J.P.? I even had tea for you...

The entire structure is built on stilts made of heavy timber.  Tsunami proof I'm guessing.  They were giving the place a face lift when we arrived, scaffolding all around the building we stayed in but it didn't manage to scare off the young buck deer grazing out front.

Although they have private access to a cute little inlet, we hopped back in the car and drove up the coast to Long Beach.  Sixteen kilometres of awesome sandy beach with rough driftwood structures scattered along the shore to offer some reprieve from the endless winds and pounding of the surf.
The odd washed up kelp looked
like it belongs in a space movie.  While my husband satisfied his inner caveman body surfing in the chilling seawater, my son had the time of his life running back and forth between the tide and the shore, carrying small rocks and shells to and from.  This summer the boy overcame his fear of the water in no small part due to seeing a short animated film, "Piper" that accompanied the Disney Pixar film "Finding Dory".

Once we'd worn the boy out (he slept easily and deeply that night), we ordered some takeout from Hank's Smokehouse, a gem of a restaurant we found through a friend on our first visit during our honeymoon a couple of years ago.  We overdid it the first time, but this time a balance of smoked this and that and salad and some overpriced drinks we picked up at the Ucluelet Liquor store (remind me to stick with the government outlets next time!).

Jealous yet?  I miss it already.