Event: Terroir Symposium, Toronto

Food makes any event pretty darn great, doesn’t it? Well, what about an event that showcases the best-of-the-best in culinary gems? Count me in! Today, I’m sharing news from the Terroir Symposium. Founded by Arlene Stein, the symposium brings together chefs, pastry chefs, food enthusiasts, publishers, bloggers, and more to showcase and share the achievements of Canada’s culinary industry. This year, Terroir was held at Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). In short – the event was memorable!

I arrived around lunch, and easily made my way around the food booths. Lunch was presented by Ocean Wise, and each chef prepared a dish to highlight Canada’s sustainable seafood offerings. I was in fish food heaven!

Hor mok, steamed white fish from Georgian Bay, and rice in a banana leaf, from Chef Noureen Feerasta of Rickshaw Bar

crispy fried pickerel wings and cheeks with thai larb, from Chef Kristin Donovan of Hooked   

Acadian Shortnose Sturgeon Toasts, from Chef Katie Venables Lloyd of lbs

albacore tuna donburi, from Chef Michael Hunter of Antler

Water and wine flowed.

S. Pellegrino – an event sponsor (and one of my faves!)

I met up with my friends from Langdon Hall for some bonding over food.

me, Anna, Chef Jason Bangerter, and Franco Stalteri (of Charlies Burgers)

Mingling and desserts pair very nicely together, so that’s where we headed post-fish! The desserts were so beautifully presented in the centre court of the AGO. Were they delicious? Of course they were! I had multiples just to be sure! (I had to do the research to report back to you, right?) The flavours were rich, and everything was of the highest quality. The pastry chefs and their teams sure did spoil all the attendees!

eclairs from Atul Palghadmal of Nugateau 

white perfection (white chocolate, vanilla cream, maple mousse, biscuit) from Lior Aronovich of Amadeus Patisserie

from Chris Kwok of Cluny Bistro

With a full belly, we happily attended sessions to learn about Canada’s culinary industry from the experts. We started with a session on cookbook publishing. It seemed right up my alley considering my background in writing. The panel consisted of Michelle Meade (senior editor, Figure 1 Publishing), Lisa Jager (art director, Penguin Random House), and Trish Bunnett (publicity manager, Penguin Random House). It was moderated by Alison Maclean. These four women spoke about the cookbook publishing industry for chefs, bloggers, and enthusiasts. I was pleased that bloggers were included in several presentations throughout the day. The women spoke of the publishing process – for pitch to proposal to editors meetings to writing to food styling – there are so many parts that go into book making, and I soaked it all up!

We then turned from cookbook publishing to Quebec’s culinary traditions in a session titled “French Flavour.” Since my trip to Montebello, Quebec has been on my mind quite a bit, so when I saw this session in the program, I was curious. We heard from Alex Cruz and Cyril Gonzales (co-owners: Société-Original and L’École Buissonnière), Anne Desjardins, Geneviève Vézina-Montplaisir (Caribou magazine), and Simon Thibault.

The third session we went to before the break was titled “The Science of Flavour.” In this session, moderated by Brian Gilvesy (YU Ranch), Joshua Evans (PhD student), Mark Schatzker (author and hst on Flavour TV), and John Szabo (master sommelier) addressed questions and concerns about flavour. Why do people taste things differently, what are we doing when we grow our food to enhance or change flavour, etc. “Tomatoes” was a hot topic…flavourful or flavourless? It depends on the time of year and where they’re grown, of course!

At this point in the day, attendees were invited to a reception. While I could not eat more caviar (I know, I know, but I couldn’t!), I did manage to sip on a delicious bourbon cocktail! And just like the food and desserts that were served earlier in the day, the cocktails were made with much attention to detail. Loved it!

The late-afternoon sessions first consisted of a panel moderated by Matty Matheson, Viceland TV host and chef, Parts & Labour. We saw clips from Kevin Kossowan’s dramatic film about food and agriculture, learned about pulses (which are dried goods like chickpeas and lentils) from Courtney Hirota from Pulse Canada, and Michael Ableman, author and organic farmer. It was a session that urged us to think about where our food is grown, where we buy it, and how we can maximize our local efforts.

Following this, we heard about the San Pellegrino Young Chef competition. Jacob Richeler of Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants moderated the session with Alison Ramage (Design to Dine) and Normand LaPrise (Toqué). Could you imagine judging a food competition? That would be amazing! They should get the public (aka people like me) right on in there alongside the top chefs! Right?

To end Terroir Symposium, we attended an “Iconically Canadian” panel with Lynn Crawford, Dufflet Rosenberg, Susur Lee, and Matty Matheson. The four chefs have different personalities and culinary backgrounds, so it was interesting to hear about their perspectives on the Canadian culinary industry. While the session focused on Toronto, I know that there are many gems across Canada that add to our culinary excellence!

So would I attend the Terroir Symposium again? You bet I would! Food, mingling, art, and learning…these are some of my favourite things, and Terroir served them all!

All photos by Jordana.

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Event: Relais & Chateaux Congress at Langdon Hall

Please tell me you’re still enjoying all of my #WhiteCabanaGoestoLangdonHall news. I thoroughly enjoy my visits there. It’s a unique gem, and I’m happy to share stories about my experiences. The staff is so kind and welcoming, and I’m thrilled that I get to keep visiting. Some friends have asked me about my recent dinner there, so I thought I’d write a little something about it in case others were interested in learning, too.

Last week, Langdon Hall hosted the Congress of the North American Relais & Chateaux partners. Owners, general managers, and others from Relais & Chateaux properties came to Langdon Hall for a few days of learning and mingling. On the Sunday before the learning began, Langdon Hall hosted a reception for its guests – congress attendees and a few other friends, too. I was thrilled to have been invited to join in on the fun.

I arrived at Langdon Hall on a rainy evening, but the weather didn’t dampen anyone’s mood. As soon as I stepped inside the main house, I was handed a glass of champagne (rain? what rain?). While sipping on the bubbly, I chatted with a few of the guests. Everyone was in a happy mood, and everyone seemed to be amazed by the beauty of Langdon Hall. I know! I get it!

Wine tasting was happening in several of the rooms, and in addition to the Bergström and the Guado al Tasso wines, I was fascinated by the Coravin wine opener. A needle punctures through the cork, and the wine is poured. Through the power of magic (and engineering), after you take the opener off the bottle, the cork remains in place. The wine is protected, and it won’t spoil, since the cork remains as the seal.

While we were sipping on champagne and wine, plenty of hors d’oeuvres were passed around. Presentation was beautiful and we were treated with plenty of delicious treats!

A little while later, all guests were invited to make their way to the Firshade Room which is Langdon Hall’s newest event space (I wrote about it when it was set up for a wedding open house.). Here, Langdon Hall’s owner, Mr. Bill Bennett, welcomed all of his guests and introduced three performers from the Stratford Festival – Sean Arbuckle, Blyth Wilson, and Laura Burton on piano. They performed a few songs, and the songs from Guys and Dolls were especially entertaining. It seems like it’s a really fun show!

costumes from A Little Night Music

And then…we feasted.

Chef Jason Bangerter and his team worked wonders once again. Charcuterie, truffle risotto, beef and pork with turnip purée, oysters, and apple slices topped with cheese and marcona almonds? Oh, jeez, I was in food heaven! The meal was served buffet-style, and everything was plated in style. As is the Langdon Hall way!

And to end our meal? Pastry Chef Rachel Nicholson and her team created so many artistic treats. There was something for everyone. I opted for a creme brul̩e and a peanut butter and strawberry mousse. It was hard to resist at just two Рlet me tell you!

The evening was memorable, fun, interesting, and delicious. I had great conversations throughout the evening, and I learned more about several Relais & Chateaux properties.

Thanks again, Langdon Hall, for welcoming me in so warmly!

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Beauty: Indulge in a Vichy Scrub at the Langdon Hall Spa

Please tell me you’re not sick of me talking about Langdon Hall! If you are, then skip this post. If not, keep reading.

As I had last Friday off from work, I opted to book a last-minute treatment at the Langdon Hall Spa. I am not much of a beauty fanatic, and while I do like a good manicure and pedicure, I have only ever had one facial in my life, and I have never had a massage.

Considering my lack of spa experience, I basically asked Julie for any treatment any time during the day. And I didn’t even want to think about it or make a decision (can you tell I’m tired!?). So Julie took the reins and suggested the Vichy scrub. Say what? After she told me it was her favourite treatment, I said “book me in” without knowing anything about it besides that it’s done in the crazy looking shower treatment room that I saw on my spa tour. Here’s what I’m talking about:

Yeah. What the what? But Julie is the Spa Director and she knows a heck of a lot about spa treatments, so I put my trust in her.

Now let me tell you what this treatment is all about.

After I got over the fact that I was in this crazy shower room, I listened to my esthetician (Hi Reem!) who told me to lie on the table/bed. She adjusted the water temperature, then swung the shower head contraption over my body which led to a full body water massage. Definitely interesting. She scrubbed, gave me a hair treatment, and cleansed and tone my skin. The post-water massage part included a full cream application (which was massage-like), which almost had me sleeping. Amazing!

In short, if you like any of the following, you should book yourself in for a Vichy scrub:

  • long, hot showers
  • soft skin
  • scalp massage
  • perfectly scented products
  • massage
  • toned skin
  • not having to do anything while your body is scrubbed and cleansed

I thought the relaxed feeling would wear off as soon as I drove home, but it didn’t. Neither did the delicious smells of the Valmont products, and neither did my soft skin. My skin continues to feel fresh and soft days after my Vichy scrub.

Would I do this again? Most definitely. I learned that people tend to have this scrub twice per year, and people who really love it have it four times per year. Regular visits to the Langdon Hall spa is something I could get used to. I think I need to start a spa fund.

I realize this post is getting rather long, but one more thing before I let you carry on with your day. If you do plan a visit to the Langdon Hall Spa, then I highly recommend that you arrive a little early so you can enjoy the whirlpool, sauna, and steam room.

The Vichy Aroma Rain Scrub is a 50-minute session and costs $135. To book this or any other treatment, check out the Langdon Hall Spa.

Thanks to Julie for making my visit a special one!

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Food: Langdon Hall + Shoushin

I absolutely do not know how to begin this post. Do I start by telling you about the 10-course menu? Or maybe about the first time I sipped on sake? Perhaps I could tell you about how I shared an evening with a group of strangers. A good place to start might be to tell you about how two celebrity chefs came together to plan a unique dining experience. Okay, you want me to just get to it, don’t you?

You already know that I’m a big fan of Langdon Hall. Ever since I drove up the winding driveway and saw Langdon Hall for the first time in June 2015, I’ve been hooked. It’s not just something in the water. There’s something in the air, the food, the surroundings, the garden, the architecture, and the people. The place is special.

A couple of weekends ago, I was invited to be a guest at an exclusive dinner prepared by Chef Jason Bangerter of Langdon Hall and Chef Jackie Lin of Shoushin. This dinner was a celebration – and collaboration – of two cultures. It was a dinner that brought together tradition from the Japanese and French. It was a unique feast that showcased the culinary art of two incredibly talented chefs as well as incredible sake and wine pairings from Kado and Halpern, respectively. It was certainly a night to remember!

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A 10+ course meal? I trained for it! I only ate breakfast that day in preparation for the event! (Although I did have some Terroir upon arrival…do you blame me?). I’m pretty sure my eyes nearly popped out of my head when I saw the extensive menu. Chef Jackie Lin prepared fish that was flown in from Japan for the occasion. Chef Jason Bangerter worked with Jackie to prepare and pair the fish with French flavour and flair, and, as per usual, he sourced many ingredients from Langdon Hall’s gardens. It was inspiring, educational, and delicious! It was chemistry. It was art.

British photographer Simon Boucher-Harris snapped a collection of beautiful photos that I’m thrilled to be able to share here.

Behind the scenes…

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(Simon took this photo of Chef Jackie during the cooking demonstration the following day, but it’s such a great photo that I had to include it!)

The dinner…

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Each course – as you’ve seen in the photos above – was paired with sake or wine. I had never had sake, so I was a bit hesitant, but since I was sitting beside Kiyoko Miyashita – sake expert and owner of Kado – I was given excellent explanations of what I was drinking. Sake has a higher alcohol percentage than wine, and it has a unique flavour. I thought I had tasted anise, but Kiyoko assured me that there was no anise in the drink. Althought I was told that the flavour is even better after the drink sits for a while, I could never seem to let mine sit for too long since it was so delicious!

As the evening was a celebration of two cultures, we were also lucky to sip on French red wine for some of the fish courses and the venison course.

It’s hard to put into words how special this evening was. Although many of the 30 people in attendance started the evening as strangers, after clinking glasses to toast, sharing travel stories and laughs, we ended the evening as new social media friends and conversations continued after the evening ended. To have two remarkable chefs collaborate to create a menu just for us, share their recipes, and mingle as they put finishing touches on our meals at our tables was extraordinary. Shoushin at Langdon Hall was a very good idea!

This event was a partnership between two well-recognized establishments – Langdon Hall in Cambridge, Ontario and Shoushin in Toronto.

Photos by Simon Boucher-Harris.

Thanks to Langdon Hall for inviting me to be your guest.

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Beauty: The Langdon Hall Spa

Months and months ago, I was invited to the unveiling of the new Langdon Hall Spa. Unfortunately, I accidentally deleted all the photos I took of the gorgeous space (oh, those walnut floors!), so I didn’t share it here. I did, however, create a hotel to home post featuring the spa’s marbled bathroom.

When I was invited back to Langdon Hall a couple of weekends ago for a ridiculously memorable dinner (more on that soon), I opted to begin my stay at the spa. I thought it was the perfect opportunity to get pampered (as if the dinner and overnight wasn’t enough, right?) and experience the spa as a guest.

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I’m so predictable. No mistaking which locker is mine!

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Surely, I’m not the only one who loves a good embroidered bathrobe!

I arrived about an hour before my pedicure appointment as I thought it would be a good opportunity to enjoy the whirlpool, steam room, and sauna before my appointment. Good idea, I say! This gave me just enough time to get changed, relax, read a couple of magazines, and then enjoy a tea and treat in the lounge. If you go for a service, I would definitely recommend allotting some time to enjoy the water area. It was definitely relaxing and got me in the slow-spa-mood. You know what I mean? Forced relaxation…that’s what this gal needs!

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Spa guests are welcome to enjoy the whirlpool, sauna, and steam room before or after their services.

The spa is beautifully designed. The colours are calming, the decor is traditional yet current, and the furniture is extremely comfortable. I did not want to leave the chaise in the lounge, and I’m pretty sure another guest had fallen asleep on hers. Total relaxation!

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enjoying my tea and a magazine – covered in a light blanket!

I had a pedicure on this visit, and I was very pleased with the service and result. The Langdon Hall Spa uses only the best products (hello Valmont!), and the scrub, cream, and polish were all from SpaRitual – a vegan organic product line (The company has been around for just over a decade, but I first learned about it at the Ritz Carlton Sarasota this past summer).

Many of the products are also available in the spa shop. I think I need to go back to pick up the SpaRitual protein nail polish (I can’t remember its exact name.) Apparently, it would be good for my nails, especially during the winter months.

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a glimpse at the spa shop

Would I go again? You bet I would! I might try a massage at some point soon – I’ve never had one, but I’m thinking that it would be a great way to relax after my hectic school term ends.

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See you soon, Langdon Hall! You know it’s impossible for me to stay away!

Note: I don’t usually apologize for iPhone photos, but these look unusually blurry, don’t they. Any tips? Perhaps my iPhone went into relaxation mode at the spa, too!

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Event: Happy Halloween!

After a very eventful weekend (attending fun Halloween event for the Red Shoe Society, antiquing at Aberfoyle and Southworks with Rox-Anne, getting pampered at the Langdon Hall spa, and feasting on an incredible 10+ course meal with Chef Jason Bangerter of Langdon Hall and Chef Jackie Lin of Shoushin), I have a bit of catching up to do work-wise, blog-wise, and life-wise. Don’t be surprised if posts are light this week.

For now, here’s a cute (not spoooooooky) easy Halloween DIY:

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ghost leaves

Happy Halloween!

Food: Langdon Hall’s Terroir Noir

Yes, yes, I’m back with more news from Langdon Hall. I could easily start a regular Langdon Hall series on White Cabana. The place is amazing, and I’ve recently been calling it My Langdon Hall. Yes, I am totally biased and also completely smitten by the place.

Anyhoo – a few months ago, the team at Langdon Hall invited me to interview Executive Chef Jason Bangerter and Pastry Chef Rachel Nicholson. An interview, I asked? About what? Chocolate! Tough gig, I know.

You see, Langdon Hall decided that they should have their own signature chocolate (as if the place wasn’t special enough), and they wanted some help to get their story out.

You may have seen this post on Instagram recently if you follow me or @LangdonHall or @LangdonHallChef:

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via @LangdonHallChef

You see those words right there? Yeah, I wrote them (with some edits from LH)! So cool! Since that paragraph only provides a glimpse into LH’s chocolate, I was given permission to share the full story here on my blog. Read on if you’d like to learn more about how this chocolate came to be.

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Making of Langdon Hall’s Signature Chocolate: The Beginning
Jordana Garbati

Being whisked away to France on a highly unique chocolate mission seems like an incredible experience to add to one’s bucket list. For Langdon Hall’s Executive Chef Jason Bangerter and pasty chef Rachel Nicholson, this experience turned from dream to reality in February.

Jason and Rachel were invited to Cacao Barry’s prestigious Or Noir in Paris to develop a signature chocolate recipe for Langdon Hall. Only a few Canadian chefs, and only about 200 chefs around the world, have developed a signature chocolate recipe! Armed with a few goals in mind and a clear idea of the flavours the chefs wanted to include in Langdon Hall’s future house chocolate, the duo zipped off to Paris for a three-day chocolate adventure.

At Or Noir, Jason and Rachel were confronted with cacao beans from around the world and wasted no time working with Or Noir’s highly-qualified team to begin the process of developing Langdon Hall’s distinct chocolate.

Chef Jason wanted to ensure that Langdon Hall’s philosophy was well represented in its chocolate. He wanted the chocolate to instill ideas of the land, smokiness (we all know about Langdon Hall’s divine fireplaces), warmth, and tradition. Chef Rachel was on the same page and wanted to ensure that the final chocolate recipe would not only work beautifully on its own, but also become that more memorable when transformed into a chocolate ganache or pain au chocolat.

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 Chefs Jason and Rachel and the French team at Or Noir

The chefs went through Or Noir’s chocolate recipe development process whereby they explained their desired taste profile, explored cacao pastes from around the world, blended flavours, and tasted multiple production samples.

After a few gruelling days in the Parisian chocolate laboratory (as much as crafting a chocolate recipe can be gruelling), the chefs settled on the perfect recipes for dark and milk chocolate that are set to impress.

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Langdon Hall chocolate samples – some of the first pieces Langdon Hall’s dark and milk chocolates – ready for a taste test

The dark chocolate has an ideal amount of bitterness. It’s great paired simply with an after-dinner espresso, and it is sure to increase the quality of Langdon’s popular chocolate-filled pastries and desserts. The flavour lingers on the tongue and is of beautiful texture and consistency. The milk chocolate is as creamy and shiny as you would want it to be, and it is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Both chocolate recipes are as distinguished as Langdon Hall, they embody luxurious hospitality as much as a chocolate could, and they are yet one more piece that will raise guests’ experiences to another notable level. Jason-Rachel-Langdon-Hall-TerroirNoir

Executive Chef Jason Bangerter and Pastry Chef Rachel Nicholson with the first chocolate production at Langdon Hall

For chefs Jason and Rachel, the signature chocolate brings prestige and innovation. The creation of the Langdon Hall chocolate brings outside-the-box thinking and creativity. This addition to the existing repertoire of phenomenal recipes will entice new and returning guests to visit Langdon Hall to experience its inimitable chocolate.

After the recipe was created in February, the chocolate went into production in France. Since the arrival of the first shipment of chocolate, the chefs have been busy in their kitchen creating new decadent recipes.

On April 25th, Executive Chef Jason Bangerter will travel to the Art Gallery of Ontario to launch Langdon Hall’s chocolate and its top-secret name at the Terroir Symposium, which is an event that brings together top chefs, sommeliers, and artists with the goal to promote innovation, collaboration, and creativity in the field of hospitality. Industry leaders will no doubt be enthralled by the story of how Langdon Hall’s chocolate came to be and I challenge them to stop at just one bite.

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I should say that Chef Jason did make sure I had my fair share of chocolate during the interview (Thanks, Jason.) I preferred the dark, but the milk was so darn smooth. I know, such a tough gig. Hanging out at Langdon Hall eating chocolate – life. is. good.

p.s. In recent news, did you see that Drake went to Langdon, too? Cool.

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via @ChampagnePapi, photo by @CaitCronenberg

 

Celebration: Make it a Langdon Hall Wedding

So I’m not getting married. And I don’t work for Langdon Hall. But…seeing as I love pretty things, delicious food, flowers, gorgeous interiors, and parties, it seems very fitting that I bring you news of weddings at Langdon Hall. Right? Yes!

Last weekend, I was invited to attend Langdon Hall’s wedding preview day – a day where Langdon Hall dresses up in its best wedding attire, hosts vendors (makeup, music, florals, planners), and brides, grooms, and their families can tour the grounds and book (or confirm) a Langdon Hall wedding.

Or, if you’re like me, you’re a local blogger who can’t seem to stay away from Langdon Hall, so you attend the event and snap a gazillion photos of all the beauty.

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This visit was extra special because Langdon Hall’s new event space, the Firshade Room, was finally revealed! This new addition can host parties up to 120 people. I was impressed that the space has the traditional coffered ceilings, traditional furnishings, and walls of windows that make the space bright, modern, and inviting. Well done, LH crew!

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Any good party has a dessert table, am I right? Kitchener’s Cake Box – and owner Yvonne – were showing off some beautiful creations. The sugar flowers really caught my attention, and the cake “dripping” with icing was my favourite. I learned that there are many couples who are very much interested in the chalkboard effect on their cakes. I thought it was interesting how the chalkboard trend is popular in home and cake design.

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creations from Cake Box

Chef Jason Bangerter took me on a quick behind-the-scenes tour of the state-of-the-art kitchen in this building (still a bit of a construction zone – I wore a hard hat). The kitchen is done in stainless and white Corian, and the industrial stoves, fridges, and ovens are mighty fine! Chef has big plans for this kitchen, and I’m definitely looking forward to following along.

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I lost count of how many burners and ovens were in this kitchen

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a brand new kitchen (still covered in packaging!)

Chef and his team were serving up several delicious nibbles, including mini croque madame, beet-dipped quail eggs, and cucumber soaked in rose water and topped with powdered raspberry.

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Chef Bangerter serving up his creations

Beyond the new Firshade event space, other areas of Langdon were decked out for the day. The Orchard Room was bright and inviting with florals created by Tina of Living Fresh.

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guests can be spoiled by gorgeous views and fresh florals in The Orchard RoomWhite-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-19

a special table set-up for the happy coupleWhite-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-20

Tina and Katrina of Living FreshWhite-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-21

me and Tina (loving our black and white)White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-22

delicate calligraphy on the prettiest paper by All Things Lovely Paper Co.White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-23

the makeup artist’s tools – makeup application can be arranged for bridal parties via  Langdon Hall’s Spa Services

Vendors were set up in other rooms around the property, and I was drawn into so many of the florals! I appreciate floral design so much!White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-24

by The Event Firm

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by Inspire Event Rental and Design

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by The White Book

Inside the main house, two rooms were done up beautifully by Elaine of From the Potting Shed in Cambridge. Elaine is the house florist for Langdon Hall, and I very much enjoyed chatting with her about flowers, Paris, food, and the parts we love most about Langdon Hall! I hope to visit her studio soon, so stay tuned.

In Colonel Langdon’s dining room and conservatory, Elaine set up a lush floral garland down the centre of the dining table and had blooms in old-world vessels throughout the room. The conservatory was set up as it might be for a ceremony with chairs and a rose petal-lined aisle.

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ranunculus place settings and a garland (or flower train!) filled with hydrangea and rosesWhite-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-31

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picture perfect floralsWhite-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-33

The Conservatory – all florals by From The Potting Shed

Elaine also worked on the decor in the Red Room and conservatory, and while the space is much too colourful for White Cabana, it was stunning and made quite the impression. You can see Elaine’s creations in this Instagram photo and this one, too.

So much gorgeousness, right? It was so nice to wander through the rooms, see the decor, and enjoy the new event space. On top of all this goodness, it was a pleasure to meet Langdon Hall’s elegant owner, Mary Beaton. One of the things that I really enjoy about Langdon Hall is that it’s absolutely normal for the owner and the head chef to be mingling with their guests. On top of this, the staff I have met on my various visits are friendly. I am impressed when I am greeted by name, and I enjoy learning about each staff person’s role at Langdon Hall.

If you are planning a wedding – or a party – Langdon Hall might be one to consider (and book!). Its weddings have been featured on Style Me Pretty here and here and here.

Thanks to the Langdon Hall team for extending a warm welcome to me!

Photos by me.

Travel: Dining at Langdon Hall

Yesterday, I took you on a tour of my Cloister room and the main house at Langdon Hall. Today, I’m highlighting all the delicious food I consumed during my stay. Warning – you’ll likely want to make a dining reservation as soon as you see these photos.

Langdon Hall has received numerous awards and accolades for its cuisine (and accommodations, too). For example, it has held the CAA/AAA Five Diamond Restaurant award for ten consecutive years. Under the direction of head chef, Chef Jason Bangerter, Langdon Hall’s team of chefs create dishes that are made from local ingredients, including treats right from Langdon Hall’s own gardens. From its pastries to its country breakfast to its fine dining options, everything that is served at Langdon Hall is top-of-the-top.

A White Welcome

Waiting for me in my room was a bottle of wine and a beautiful tray of white goodies. White! For me! Just perfect! A white plate was covered with white mushroom meringues and white macarons.

White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-41 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-42 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-43Afternoon Tea

Soon after I checked in to my suite, I met my host, Kate, for afternoon tea in the bright white Orchard Room. Oh, this room was made for me! The walls are made of windows,  the tables were dressed all in white, and the beamed ceiling had me staring. The view is amazing, too. You can see some of these things in the photos below.

Afternoon tea began with a generous glass of champagne, and Kate and I toasted to my return visit to Langdon Hall as well as the new year! I then opted for the Cassis tea (yum!), and our individual treats were brought over soon after tea was poured. The three-tiers contained a selection of mini-sandwiches (my favourite was the egg salad in the croissant), two scones, and a selection of bite-sized desserts (I really liked the quince macarons, but the cheese cake was my favourite) prepared under the direction of Head Pastry Chef Rachel Nicholson.

Even if you do not stay overnight at Langdon Hall, you can still make the drive for Afternoon Tea. It would be such a special way to celebrate or just be spoiled on any random weekend.

White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-47 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-52 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-53 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-56 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-57Country Breakfast

If you book a stay at Langdon Hall, I highly recommend adding the breakfast to your reservation package. The food is high in quality, beautifully presented, and abundant. Service is friendly and attentive, and the dining room is gorgeous. Nothing is rushed, and care is taken to ensure a memorable dining experience.

The coffee is from local brewers Monigram, and the serving platters and flower pots are from Cambridge potters Hillborn. I commend Langdon Hall for its commitment to working with community partners. These details do not go unnoticed!

As I was sipping my latte, and before my meal arrived, a server came to my table with a surprise from the kitchen.  (A surprise? For moi? I love surprises!) Head Chef Jason and one of his sous-chefs, Chef Andrew, had prepared an egg and truffle amuse-bouche for me. (For me!) Chef Jason did not want me to leave Langdon Hall without trying some truffle (his fave), and seeing as I had no room in my belly for anything the previous night (after eating three tiers of goodness at afternoon tea), it was decided that I should indulge during breakfast. Good idea, Chefs! #trustthechef

White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-aOh, geez, was this ever good! It smelled delicious, looked delicious, and tasted delicious! A feast for the senses!

While I was very tempted to order the pain perdu for my main meal (dang it – I have such a sweet tooth), I opted for one of Langdon Hall’s popular breakfast items – the lobster omelette.

White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-bYes, this was as good as it looks! And, yes, I finished it all (and even had a croissant “for dessert”).

Service

The staff’s attention to detail surpassed any expectations that I had before my arrival. My table, for example, was the only one (or one of very few) that had a white rose plant on it (the other tables had colourful rose plants). A white rose plant for White Cabana? Whether this was a coincidence, I’m not so sure. It would be just like Langdon Hall’s team to pay attention to something like this.

Version 2I had the pleasure of meeting Chef Jason Bangerter, and I think it’s pretty common to see him mingling with guests in the dining room. He has achieved much success in Ontario and abroad and was recently awarded Relais & Chateaux’s Rising Chef Trophy.

Langdon-Hall-Chef-Jason-BangerterWhite-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-62Here I am with Head Chef Jason Bangerter in the main dining room.

As I hope you can see, the cuisine at Langdon Hall is top-notch and the staff make the dining experience is of the highest quality. There’s something for everyone, and even if you don’t stay over night, you can still enjoy a meal at this gorgeous hotel.

I’d like to end this two-part Langdon Hall review by extending a warm thanks to my host, Kate, for ensuring my stay was one to remember!

White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-dSee you again soon, Langdon Hall! I won’t be able to stay away for too long!

Note: Part 1: A luxurious stay at Langdon Hall.
Photos by me. I received a discount on my stay. All opinions are my own.

Travel: A Luxurious Stay at Langdon Hall

Before 2015 ended, I wanted to take one last vacation. (I’m always up for a vacation!) By the end of December, I had honestly had it with the stresses of life, and I felt like an all-about-Jordana escape was in order. That said, considering my limited budget and free time over the Christmas break, there was no real way for me to travel very far for very long. So, I did what any logical luxury-seeking gal would do, and I spontaneously booked a night for myself at the grand Langdon Hall.

Brilliant idea, right?

You may remember that I took a tour of this gorgeous Relais & Chateaux property in the summer (here and here), and I loved absolutely everything about the place. Langdon Hall is located in Cambridge, which makes it easily accessible and convenient for people like me who want a change of scenery, but don’t necessarily need (or aren’t able) to take a flight to do so. Honestly, dear readers, I made the decision to book a stay quite quickly (I’m usually a thoughtful travel researcher!), and I was so excited about my “vacation” as soon as I finalized the reservation.

I took so many photos, so I’ve decided to share my experience with you in two parts. Today, I’ll focus on the design, and tomorrow, I’ll be sharing news about dining at Langdon Hall.

 My Cloister Room Tour

Entryway and dressing area:

Yes, I did just write entryway and dressing area. My room – it had both! I stayed in a Cloister room, and my large entryway had hooks for my coat, a carpet for my boots, and a large mirror to check myself before leaving my room.

White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-1Beyond the entryway, there was a foyer with a small console table where I could drop my keys and purse much like I do in my own home. Convenient! White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-2White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-7The large dressing room, located beside the foyer, had plenty of storage. It was a convenient place to house my luggage and spread out my clothes. The room has a drop-down ironing board as well as ready-to-wear robes (I love having a robe to wear when I’m on vacation!).

From a design perspective, I was impressed by how substantial the quality of the doors and knobs. They’re so substantial.

White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-3 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-4 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-5 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-6 Bedroom area:

Past the foyer and dressing room is the bedroom and living area. The decor is traditional and neutral, but updated. The bed’s high-quality St. Geneve (amazing feather top!) and Au Lit Fine white linens are complimented by some traditional plaid accents…

White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-31I couldn’t help but do a little White Cabana makeover when I arrived. I wanted the bright white embroidered linens to really shine, and I just had to see what the bed looked like without the plaid! And, yes, I did karate-chop the large square Euro pillows, too. White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-36 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-37 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-39White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-a White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-c White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-dLike some other hotels, Langdon Hall’s linens are available for purchase so that guests can recreate the same experience in their homes (I have my heart set on the feather top – heavenly, I tell ya!)

Living area:

The bed faces the windows that overlook the croquet lawn. Yes, I said croquet. Amazing. I already know I’d like to return in the summer to have a go at croquet! The living area has a couch, chair, desk, wood-burning fireplace, TV, and a beautiful view. The built-in cabinet neatly houses a convenient Nespresso machine and fridge.

Oh, one more thing about the wood-burning fireplace. It was fantastic! After I came in from my winter wagon ride (see below), I requested that my fireplace be lit. Within a minute or so, a young gentleman came to start it. I kept it going all night thanks to the stack of firewood that was in my room. Listening to and watching the fireplace in action made my night that much more relaxed and enjoyable. It was absolutely special.

White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-21White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-28White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-30 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-23 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-35White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-26White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-25      White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-32 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-33   White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-40

White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-22

White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-69 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-44One feature that I absolutely adored was the windows and the window closures. As you may already know, I lived in France twice, and whenever I see these windows, I think of my time there. I absolutely love these window fixtures, and they brought back many happy memories of my stays in France.

White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-24Bathroom:

Actually, I had 1.5 bathrooms. Yes. 1.5. How’s that for thoughtful design? Again, the tile work and overall bathroom design is traditional but updated. The walk-in shower is spacious, the bathtub is a deep soaker, and the bath items are from UK’s The White Company (how perfect for me, right? amazing!). The towels were plush and plentiful, and I was so happy to discover that the water pressure was strong (this is always a worry of mine when I stay in hotels…I hate low water pressure).

White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-8 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-9 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-10 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-11 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-12 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-13 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-14 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-15Here I am standing in the shower (hey, why not?) peeking out to the main part of the bathroom:White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-16 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-17 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-18 You can see the 1.5 baths in the photo below. On the left is a room with the toilet and pedestal sink; on the right is a room with a sink, counter, bathtub, and walk-in shower).White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-20

Langdon Hall

Beyond the cloister room where I stayed, I did pop in and out of the rooms in the main house. The holiday decorations were still up, and just about every fireplace was going. It was all very charming.

White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-eWhite-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-59 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-60 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-61Winter Wagon Ride

As if what I’ve already shown you wasn’t beautiful enough, right? Well, I have more to share!

During my stay, I had the opportunity to take a winter wagon ride through the forest trails on the property. Langdon Hall offers this free experience to guests who stay between Christmas and New Year’s, so I feel like I lucked out. It was especially nice to feel the crisp winter air after the afternoon tea (I’ll share an update about this tomorrow).

White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-63 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-64 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-65 White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-66 Isn’t this just so picturesque? It felt really quite magical. Turning the corner, coming out of the forest, and seeing Langdon Hall (in the photo above) really made me gasp in awe.  Absolutely gorgeous, isn’t it? It’s a magnificent building.

Before I leave you for today, I’m curious – Have you ever taken a vacation within your own city or region? Why did you do it? Will you do it again?

Come back tomorrow if you’re interested to learn about what I ate during my stay at Langdon Hall. Here’s a preview…

White-Cabana-Langdon-Hall-42

A collection of white mushroom meringues and macarons were waiting for me in my room when I arrived. This was just one of the many things that staff did to warmly welcome me. Everything, of course, was so delicious!

All photos by me.
I did receive a
discount on my stay at Langdon Hall. All opinions are my own.