One of the gems of Santa Monica is the Brentwood Country Mart. Its a collection of shops, most are specialty and local in nature, with an upscale farmer’s market vibe. We first visited the Farm Shop, a restaurant slash artisan market with a fabulous bakery making a plethora of delicious pastries and baked goods. I tried a number of yummy items but the bacon cheddar scone was especially memorable, moist with chunks of bacon and chives. On another day we went to Caffe Luxxe for a pick me up. Something new for me, I ordered the Shakerato – like a shakened sweetened latte lined with a chocolate sauce, so good. Finally on my last day in California, we made a final stop before saying our byes to friends at Sweet Rose Creamery. An organic ice cream shop making unique flavours from scratch and in small batches. I had two scoops, one scoop each of earl grey and Rasputin stout. Both were subtle flavours but completely identifiable. My friend MA got fresh mint with homemade chocolate chips and to be honest, it was the most refreshing mint ice cream I have ever eaten! It really was bursting with fresh mint – I’d definitely go back again.
Tag Archives: market
For the past 18 days now I’ve been on a “no dairy, no sugar (natural or artificial), no grain” challenge with my dragon boat team. So I thought to take advantage of the summer season, I wanted to go strawberry picking. I remember fondly, strawberry picking as a child with my mom – bringing home baskets of fresh berries for her homemade jams! Last weekend, along with my colleague S and her family we went to Forsythe Family Farms located north-east of Toronto. It was my first time at this farm and the strawberry field looked small but boy, was it full of ripe, juicy strawberries right for the picking. We then stopped by a local farmer’s market shop, Hy-Hope Farms, on the way back home that specialized in homemade pickles, salsas, jellies and preserves. I picked up a jar of Green Tomato Chow (like a relish) and a jar of Red Pepper Jelly (perfect on top of cheese and crackers)! With my fresh produce in hand (including fresh cut rhubarb from S’s garden), I decided to bake from scratch, a strawberry rhubarb crumble pie to take to a Canada Day BBQ! Everything just tastes so much better straight from the farm!
Back in August 10, 2012, I wrote my first post on Borough Market and I love this market so much that I make it a point to go every time I’m in London. What makes this visit different from the others is that I made a point to eat more food! And nothing was a disappointment! So, I’m going to keep the post short because I think the pictures speak a thousand words. Enjoy!
Canadian grocery stores are getting better (thank you President’s Choice) but the department stores definitely need to catch up when it comes to food halls. Oh, how I miss the good old days before Marks & Spencer decided to close its doors in Canada. So every time I go back to London, I hit M&S as many times as I can. Most of the time its a quick stop to grab lunch at a great deal with sandwiches starting at 1.45 pounds, so many different gourmet flavoured crisps (we call them chips) and my favourite, the sausage roll! And I love their packaging – the British are so great at their marketing! If you’re looking for some ideas for souvenirs, their biscuits, candies, etc. are fantastic as gifts…..and yes, I even bring home a couple of bags of crisps (its my weakness)! Check out some of the awesome things I found on this trip!
We visited Camden Lock Market on an early Wednesday morning and of course, we planned on finding a place there to have breakfast and our most important morning coffee! Roaming through the alleys we came upon Ruby Dock Cafe. With a breakfast/brunch menu and some delicious looking baked goods displayed on the counter we couldn’t resist. I’m obsessed with anything iced (and yes, I still order iced coffees in this frigid Canadian weather!) so it was an iced latte and toasted banana bread topped with cinnamon butter – it was delicious! A perfect way to start the day! If you’re in for something lighter, the friand (a small french cake that is apparently popular in Australia) is a good choice. I didn’t know this prior to popping into Ruby Dock but it looks like the owners also own two other popular restaurants in London: Lantana Cafe and Salvation Jane. I think I need to add these onto my next visit :)
Its been 13 years since the last time I was at Camden Lock Market and a lot has changed! From what I remember about the market, the majority of the vendors sold goods like clothing, art, housewares, etc. Food now has a dominating presence here reflecting the increase in sophistication of the British palate. Everything from Peruvian food to Dutch pancakes to Polish pierogies! Coffee bars, cafes and chocolatiers are scattered around the market – you will even find a nitro-ice cream lab! We went first thing in the morning around 10am so most vendors were just setting up – highly recommend going for lunch during the week as long as you don’t mind crowds. If you’re on the hunt for the typical “London” souvenirs (i.e. mugs, postcards, magnets, etc.), the street from the Camden tube station leading up to the market is lined with souvenir shops – the most choice and variety I’ve seen around London! Here’s some of my favourite photos – there was so much to capture!
The Harrods Food Hall reminds me of the department stores in Japan! What I loved about them was that each one had a food hall in the basement level of the department store, so full with ready made foods, a bakery, restaurants and food gifts! I could spend hours just roaming the aisles – well, I definitely did that here in Harrods. My favourite room was the bakery and patisserie room – you can’t pass these counters without having at least a look, the rainbow cake was calling me :) However, if there’s one thing the English do well, its their sausage rolls and pies. I have to admit, whenever I travel to London I grab one of these to go at least two or three times during my visit. There’s something about meat inside buttery pastry/pies that completely satisfies my hunger!