Toronto Photo Diary

Distillery District, Toronto

As you may already know from my Instagram Stories, Hubs and I were in Toronto during the August long weekend to see Taylor Swift! I know I say this with every mini break or vacation, but I feel like this one couldn't have come soon enough, especially with how stressful work has been this year. Here's a photo-heavy look at what we did. (Spoiler alert: There was a lot of food.)

Bed and room at the Thompson Hotel, Toronto

We opted to stay at the Thompson during our trip, which had comfortable well-appointed rooms (Dyson hairdryer! Rainfall shower! Air conditioning! King-sized bed!) and was close to everything downtown. I also liked the fact that it had a late-night diner downstairs and a rooftop bar and pool.

Chubby's Jamaican Kitchen drinking glass and menu

Hubs was keen on trying Caribbean food while we were in Toronto because we don't really have any in Vancouver, so on our first full day we headed to Chubby's Jamaican Kitchen for lunch. Everything we ordered was so good, from the watermelon salad to the jerk chicken wings and the curry goat. The interior is gorgeous too: Think elevated Jamaican beach house vibes, airy and bright with lots of colourful accents and greenery.

Chubby's Jamaican Kitchen watermelon salad

Iced coffees in hand, we braved the hot and humid weather and explored, ducking into shops like the Umbra flagship store to browse and cool off.

Umbra flagship store, Toronto

Then it was back to the hotel to shower and get ready for the concert.

Red lip beauty look selfie

Hmm what can I say about the Taylor Swift concert except one superlative after another? Our row 19 floor seats were close enough to the stage to see everything. There was one fantastic set piece after another——drummers, aerials, a giant inflatable snake, confetti, videos, even a working fountain. Everyone in the audience wore flashing wristbands that pulsed red, blue and pink to the beat.

What surprised me most was how much fun Hubs had though. He was singing along and taking photos and videos and was especially chuffed when she sang his favourite song "Style." Afterwards when I was teasing him about how he was having a lot more fun at Taylor Swift than Katy Perry, he shrugged without embarrassment and said simply, "Taylor has better songs." Hilarious. We had a drink with my Bar Method instructor Ange after the show, a.k.a. the true Swiftie among us who was also in town for the concert and helped me buy our amazing floor seat tickets in the first place.

Taylor Swift Reputation tour

The next day started with a late lunch of Thai food at Pai...

Papaya salad at Pai, Toronto

...followed by an afternoon in Old Toronto and the Distillery District...

Distillery District, Toronto

...and Argentinean food at Branca with my friend Anya!

Toasting with Anya at Branca

Not pictured: My first time salsa dancing in 2 years! Hubs and I used to go all the time and it was actually how we met, but in the last couple of years between work, blog, barre, and managing a chronic illness I just haven't had the wherewithal to stay out late dancing. Hubs still likes to find a place to go dancing in each place we travel to though, so Anya suggested Lula Lounge. Lula was a 5-minute walk from Branca and happened to have a live band that night and it was SO MUCH FUN. The place was packed. Hubs and I got a few good dances in and met some Toronto salseros, but for the most part people were just there to drink and enjoy the live music. My feet haven't been the same since (jamming heat-swollen feet into too-small dance shoes bruised my big toenails) but it was worth it.

Kensington Market

Our last full day in Toronto involved a hot and humid walk to Kensington Market. We were trying to get to a Japanese cafe/brunch spot, but gave up and headed into Torteria San Cosme instead for horchata, tortas, and esquites.

Horchata at Torteria San Cosme

By the time we reached the Bata Shoe Museum, I wasn't sure if I was more excited about the exhibits or the AC.

Posing next to the Bata Shoe Museum sign
Manolo Blahnik's shoe designs for Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette

If you're planning to visit the Bata Shoe Museum soon, note that they have a Manolo Blahnik exhibit on until January 6, 2019. The shoes on display are achingly beautiful, more like someone's surrealist confectionary dream of a shoe than functional footwear. The highlight for me? Seeing the pastel-coloured designs he created for Sofia Coppola's "Marie Antoinette."

Manolo Blahnik's shoe designs for Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette
Interior of Bar Raval

Our last meal of the trip was at the much-hyped Bar Raval and it did not disappoint. Think Spanish tapas in a cozy joint with an interior inspired by Gaudi's architecture. The jamon and anchovies were, as Hubs put it, "a transcendent experience."

Tapas at Bar Raval

Thanks for all the good food and good times, Toronto!

Selfie with Toronto sign

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