I have heard some very unfortunate news… Sori Yanagi passed away on Christmas Day, at the age of 96.
While we were in Japan over the summer we were lucky enough to catch an exhibition of Sori Yanagi’s work at the Ginza department store. Of course Yanagi will be remembered by his famous butterfly and elephant stool, along with his stainless steel kettle and mixing bowls. But going to this exhibition we caught a glimpse of the scale of Yanagi’s work: from ice cream scoops, to tape dispensers and scales, children’s toys, bathroom sinks, and even cars. The fascinating thing about the kitchenware we saw is that they are all unmarked ubiquitous items that are still used in many Japanese kitchens without knowing who designed it, but more importantly that it works well.
A very small example of Sori Yanagi’s legacy.
The winner is #51, Leah!
It sounds like you live in the Junction Leah, so stop on by to get your Kami mug!
Also, please note that Mjölk will be closed December 25 – January 3rd for a much needed break.
Birthdays in December are difficult. Sharing your special day with the holidays can mean less presents and less attention, so I am always careful to give John the best on his special day. With the baby on the way, this meant a surprise trip out of town.
I forgot the camera so this tale will be told via Instagram, with little to no consistency in filter use (sorry, but it’s my new toy…yup, late to the game).
We hit the road, with John expressing worry over the direction we were heading (north on Keele, for starters). Destination: Cambridge. Soundtrack: our friend’s band Tearjerker.
We stopped at the Cambridge Mill to grab lunch. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out. We were sat in a dark tucked away spot in the lounge and then neglected, while happy diners lunched away in a bright, riverside room. We don’t usually walk out as we like to give the benefit of doubt (maybe they were super busy) but it was stressful and as such, we knew we wouldn’t enjoy eating a meal and then paying for it after. We took in the river view on the outside.
We stopped by friend of the store Reid’s Chocolates, which was bustling with holiday shoppers. We said hello to owner Carrie and got our chocolate fix with mint chocolates and milk totoise (aka Turtles, but better). Carrie suggested we pop over to the Melville Cafe, which is located in the architecture school. This was definitely more our speed! We even ran into a Studio Junction intern while we were there. Pizza with a view of the river. $14 versus $60, with lovely service on the side.
Cambridge is a crazy little town, so typical of the state of Ontario towns. The approach from the highway is long and full of mini malls, garish signs, and big box stores and restaurants. It’s such a shame that this is what consumers want, because when you get to Galt (Cambridge), you are faced with a downtown that is full of beautiful old buildings. The area should be bustling with boutiques, cafes and restaurants, and yet, there is nothing really to note. It’s such a let down. We really hope that people start to demand better of their cities.
A quick dizzying stop at Southworks Antique Market.
Our ultimate destination: Langdon Hall.
We stayed in the Cloister Rooms which were so luxurious: giant king sized feather bed, wood burning fire place, beautiful marble bathroom. We miss the fireplace at the cottage and can’t wait until our reno is done so we can have a fireplace all the time, so we promptly got this puppy going.
Dinner was at 7 in the dining hall. They already knew it was John’s birthday and that I am pregnant, so I didn’t have to worry about anything. This is the first restaurant to feature a unique mocktail list, which was much appreciated.
There are three dining options. A la carte, prix fixe and We Cook For You (using seasonal ingredients). We figured, why not do it up so we went for option 3!
Nine courses of surprise dishes. The first 5 or so were seafood based. The picture on the left is of a smoked white fish in veal/chicken/bone marrow jus which was phenomenal, as was the quail egg, brussel sprout and stuffed pheasant (on right).
On the left was dessert #1, which they called “milk jam”. It was unlike anything we’ve ever had – foam, and then crushed ice, caramel, apple? and I don’t know what. And you can never have enough chocolate…
Apparently you can never have too much dessert either…
A cozy night!
In the morning, we enjoyed breakfast in the restaurant and then a Nespresso and newspaper back at the room before reluctantly checking out. John’s breakfast on the right was the real winner – Lobster and Cider Nage with Poached Eggs, Baby Leeks, Double Smoked Bacon.
We can honestly say that Langdon Hall was the best hotel experience we’ve ever had. Everything was top notch, so much so that we are already anticipating another visit.
We can’t believe it’s been two years already, can you? So much so that yesterday was technically our anniversary. Oh well! One of these years we’re going to have to have a big party in January. Until then…come on by, do some Christmas shopping and grab a cookie [Moomin cookies made by Lindsey Bakes]!
THANK YOU to all the amazing people who come into our shop every day, who enjoy our space and our products in person.
THANK YOU to all the new customers we have met online, through our webshop which we launched in July. You guys have cleaned us out of almost all of our stock and there is still one week left until Christmas!
THANK YOU to all of the writers, editors, stylists and bloggers who have talked and tweeted about us all year long. We appreciate your ongoing interest in our lives and our shop.
THANK YOU to our incredible designers: without your talent, skill and vision we would not be able to curate such a beautiful shop. You are the heart of it all.
THANK YOU for an amazing second year!!!
****CONTEST CLOSED*****As a thank you for all your support, we have a contest to win a Kami Mug by Oji Masanori. Just leave a comment and we’ll choose the winner December 23rd using a random number generator.
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I don’t think we’ve ever shown a tiny bit of our temporary apartment. Here’s a tiny peek while sharing an early Christmas present to ourselves.
We first saw Carly Waito‘s collection of mineral paintings at a group show at Narwhal Art Projects on Queen Street. Later in September she finished her first solo show called “Specimens”. Unfortunately it just wasn’t our time to purchase one of her works.
Just recently Carly made 2 new works, a smoky quartz and a watermelon tourmaline. There was something about smoky quartz that we really connected with… The strong contrast, the blacks and grays and the way the light was reflected in the painting. When the opportunity arose to get this piece we decided not to hesitate and risk the painting selling. Now it’s sitting above our dining table so we can look at it during each meal.
Also! Visit Narwhal’s new Junction location at 2988 Dundas Street West. POM POM has a great selection of small items (perfect for holiday gifts) by Alibi, Alicia Nauta, Andrea Glenn, Bad Day, CryWolf, Diana VanderMeulin, Douglas Brown, Eric Quebral, Elizabeth Knight, Erica Weiner, Fieldguided, Ginette Lapalme, Hunter and Cook, Jennie Suddick, Julie Moon, Kiel Meade, Laura Lombardi, Lara Vincent, Lazy Oaf, Maryanne Casasanta, Noel Middleton, Selena Wong, Shannon Gerard, Species by the Thousands, Tania Sanhueza, The Regional Assembly of Text, Touch the Dutch, Wool and the Gang, Yellow Owl and more magicians TBA.
We were honored to be interviewed by Mark Robinson from OEN.
Check it out here