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Kingston WritersFest Announces 2016 Authors


As a writer of a different medium, I very much admire the work of my predecessors and all they have achieved. Having grown up reading novels whenever I could, escaping to another world for even the slightest amount of time made me quite content. Before the world of the Internet, reading consumed my hours and naturally what followed was leisure time spent writing stories and journals. Fast forward to the digital age and I am proud to call myself a local blogger - a digital writer of sorts.

With a wide realm of writing niches, I am also delighted to announce that the place I now call my hometown and inspired me to pursue my passion of content curation has been graciously hosting one of the top Canadian literary festivals - Kingston WritersFest. As a vibrant literary city, Kingston is a city that not only writes, it reads. So it is no surprise that Kingston's ever so popular five-day reading and writing event is gearing up for another year of festivities from September 28th to October 2nd. It will feature some 60 authors from across the country and around the world.

This fall the festival welcomes David Mitchell, Eleanor Wachtel, Ian Brown, Anna and Jane McGarrigle, Robert Bateman, Gail Bowen, and Peter Behrens, along with the best of this year’s new writers: local, regional, and national.

Kingston WritersFest Announces 2016 Authors

This past Thursday evening marked the launch of the event at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. A unique highlight of the festival included the announcement of prominent award-winning writer Emma Donoghue kicking off the festival at the International Marquee event at the Grand Theatre. Montreal-born Rosemary Sullivan, author of the historical account Stalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva also made a wonderful appearance with a reading.

Kingston WritersFest caters to everyone within the community as its goal is to celebrate the power of the written word by connecting writers and readers in conversations. It hopes to inspire, engage and change our world so which ever you fancy, you will be well satisfied with the line up of authors and events this season.

Tickets for all festival events are now on sale. They are available online kingstonwritersfest.ca or through the Grand Theatre Box Office at 218 Princess Street and by phone at 613-530-2050.

To view full event schedule, visit here.

To view full list of authors, visit here.

-xoxo
Rosalyn Gambhir
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Hi I'm Rosalyn!


I'm the gal behind The Staycationer and have been for the past five years. Originally from Montreal, this blog started out as a creative outlet to deal with the stress of my post-secondary studies. Though my love for the city I lived in - Kingston, Ontario while attending Queen's University slowly grew on me and eventually I escaped the campus bubble. I married my hobby of writing and my foodie knowledge to share my favourite local eats, weekend adventures as well as go-to events. Fast forward today and I am fully committed to my passion.

Throughout this time, I've had the wonderful opportunity to work with amazing brands, companies and local organizations. But most importantly, I've connected with so many of my lovely readers and met creative like-minded folks in my community that I now call home.

There's one woman in particular that I recently had the pleasure of meeting and her name is Valerie Mitchell. She is a fabulous photographer who inspires the world with vibrancy which simply resonates with my outlook on life. For quite some time now, we have been following one another on social media and fate finally brought us together - our personalities simply clicked. Chatting over lattes at my favourite go-to spot Juniper Cafe in the Tett Centre, Val captured some stunning images and this was the result:

Rosalyn Gambhir

Rosalyn Gambhir

Rosalyn Gambhir

Rosalyn Gambhir

Where: Juniper Cafe at the Tett Centre, 370 King St W, Kingston, ON

-xoxo
Rosalyn Gambhir
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Groovin' with The Porch Jazz Parade


The Skeleton Park Arts Festival is in full force this weekend and if you still haven't ventured down to the park then don't worry as there is still time to do so. To wrap things up on Sunday and as per tradition, folks will be joining the Porch Jazz Parade with What Cheer? Brigade from porch to porch.

This walking journey is filled with musical amusement through the streets of Kingston with pit stops for concerts along the way and leading it off this year is the fabulous What Cheer? Brigade. Sounds from Paul Morrison, Binky Swings, Spencer Evans, Talk of the Street and Inside Out can be heard with half-hour sets at each location (listed below). It all starts at 12 pm and runs till 3pm

Bring your friends, kids, partner and of course yourself as you follow along while dancing in the street. But if you have weak knees then not a problem, bring a lawn chair and sit back!

This year’s parade will be venturing to the following porch locations:

303 Montreal St - Paul Morrison
133 Charles St - Binky Swings
32 Patrick St - Spencer Evans
13 Redan St - Talk of the Street
Skeleton Park - Inside Out

Skeleton Park Arts Fest The Porch Jazz Parade

Skeleton Park Arts Festival Location :

McBurney Park (also known as Skeleton Park), located at Ordnance Street and Alma Street.

Get more details here: 


-xoxo
Rosalyn Gambhir
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Community Love at The Elm Cafe


Tucked away down on Montreal Street in the city of Kingston lies an unexpected yet wonderful place that simply exudes it's own unique vibe - here you will find The Elm Cafe. As the first business of its kind in many years in the inner harbour, this coffee shop is a new addition to the growing lively neighbourhood. Owners Logan Kerr and Matthew McCartney have unveiled a fresh new space that will now serve as a destination for casuals lunches, first dates, catch-up sessions and so much more in the area!

The Elm Cafe

Formerly known as Laverne's Laundry, a place that holds a dear spot for many Kingstonians, the opening of The Elm Cafe has been graciously accepted with open arms by friends, family and neighbours alike. The feeling of belonging and community is felt immediately as you walk in, as though the cafe had been there years prior and magically transformed. You are greeted with such friendly smiles behind the counter and glancing around, you quickly notice the local support for artists as their stunning artwork draws you in.

The Elm Cafe came to fruition with the passion of spreading positive vibes, providing a warm atmosphere for customers and bringing the community together over delicious food and coffee. Turning this notion into a career and owning a coffee shop was the logical step. From specialty coffee, homemade treats and savoury sandwiches, The Elm Cafe goes beyond traditional coffee shops in terms of what it stands for. It caters to all backgrounds as it allows folks to collaborate and share ideas, socialize, create and overall grow a vibrant community. Values that mean a great sense of importance to owners Logan and Matthew.

As proud parents to a new business, both young owners originally from Kingston knew their ties to the city would bring them back after life adventures. Their skills combined of working in the customer service, hospitality and trades industry as well as pure passion allowed them to follow their calling and add a little gem in a popular neighbourhood.

Don't forget to scroll down to see more fun snaps of the fabulous space:

The Elm Cafe

The Elm Cafe
{Incorporating a beautifully hand made elm wood bar displayed front and center}

The Elm Cafe
{Bright as the sun, this specialty coffee machine sure does make darn good espressos}

The Elm Cafe
{Specialty coffee brewed in house}

The Elm Cafe
{Cozy seating towards the back of the cafe}

The Elm Cafe
{Sip, savour and enjoy the view}

The Elm Cafe
{Lemon blueberry muffins}

The Elm Cafe
{Spiced ginger molasses cookies}

Where: 303 Montreal St, Kingston, Ontario

Go give 'em some love: www.theelmcafe.com

- xoxo
Rosalyn Gambhir
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Skeleton Park Arts Festival 2016


The Skeleton Park Arts Festival has officially kicked off with a bang - from live music to an early morning dance party, the city of Kingston is coming alive with high energy on all fronts. The annual festival is one that certainly draws the community together and especially those in the neighbourhood for which it’s named. It is an eclectic mix of friendly folks, vibrant musicians and slew of artisans blossoming into one space for the collective effort of spreading creativity through heritage and culture.

And I for one, am all about it!


This year I look forward to the fabulous line up of events but also sad to think that old ones are forever gone. The dance party in front of the Sleepless Goat is no longer due to their closure this year, it was a place that held memories for many in Kingston. As a foodie, it was my go-to brunch and meeting spot. Though to remedy the situation and celebrate weekend festivities, there will be a wicked after party at The Toucan Pub featuring the prominent band P.S. I Love You originally from Kingston, which of course I will be in attendance.

The one aspect I truly admire about the festival is that it truly brings different generations together and exploring each others passion for the art scene. So much so that the festival has expanded from its original location of McBurney Park also most popularly known as Skeleton Park to other sites around the city. This year has gone far and beyond with events such as live music aqua fitness to early morning yoga classes. Bonus: all free!

As part of the five day of artsy festivities, the weekend is filled with outdoor programming at Skeleton Park from 10am till 9pm from live music, dancing, theatre, workshops, puppet theatre and children’s games. So don't worry, there is fun to be had for all ages - simply get ready to shake to the tunes and admire the scenery as the park sparks with magic.

Be sure to visit my top 5 events I recommend during this year's festival - you don't want to miss out on all the fun!

Visit www.skeletonparkartsfest.ca for more event details.

-xoxo
Rosalyn Gambhir
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Introducing a Culinary Adventure with Kingston Food Tour


Uncover a world of authentic, mouth-watering foods in historic downtown Kingston through a new culinary adventure - Kingston Food Tours. This amazing new venture showcases some of the best local restaurants and one-of-a-kind specialty food stores that the Limestone City has to offer but there's a catch it's all on foot. Whether a foodie or not, tourists and locals alike will experience intimate tastings at eight local spots led by a passionate local guide for a duration of about three hours.

Prepare yourselves to savour in the finest local cuisine while immersing into the culture of this wonderful city and taking on a local's perspective. Though be sure to come with an appetite - by the end you will walk away with new culinary perspectives, big smiles, satisfied taste buds and the confidence to continue exploring new areas!

Kingston Food Tours
{First stop on the tour is Dianne's Fish Shack and Smokehouse}

All of the Kingston Food Tour partners are locally owned businesses that share a passion for creative, fresh, locally sourced food. The Classic Kingston tour includes stops at: Dianne's Fish Shack and Smokehouse, Pan Chancho Bakery and Cafe, Olivea, Tango Nuevo, Atomica's Pizza and Wine Bar, General Brock's Commissary, Kingston Olive Oil Company, and The Common Market. You'll have to scroll down to read all about the delightful tastings - they certainly will tickle your fancy and take you on a culinary journey into downtown Kingston's hidden gems.

The guided foodie adventure commences on the front steps of the Kingston Visitor Centre where introductions are made followed by an outline of the next few hours. This is great chance to mingle with new folks and make new friends.

Let's go on a Kingston Food Tour:

Stop #1: Dianne's Fishbar & Smokehouse

The first stop of the afternoon was just a few steps away situated on the corner of Ontario St and Clarence St at my local favourite Dianne's Fish Shack and Smokehouse. We were quizzed on our tequila knowledge (no surprise mine was non existent) while being served refreshing margarita and presented with a gracious story about the history of the establishment and its owner Tim Pater. We learned about the proud Oceanwise partnership i.e. paying slightly more money for a product that is caught and maintained properly rather than overfished and may be depleted with the next few decades. Quite fascinating!

Plated in front of us was Beer Battered Baja Fish Tacos filled with pico de gallo, avocado tomatillo crema, roasted tomato salsa, shredded napa cabbage, pickled onions on a corn tortilla (featured above). Each bite was filled with crush and flavour.

Kingston Food Tours

Stop #2: Pan Chancho Bakery & Café

A savoury and sweet option was brought out at our next stop as we passed by City Hall - Quebec Maple Chômeur and BellaVitano Espresso cheese on an olive and rosemary sourdough respectively. Ding ding! We were in for a true treat as this destination was a treasure spot for all things breads, cheeses and other goodies that you wouldn’t want to go in there hungry or else you'd come out with a bag full. The Maple Chômeur was sweet yet moist and truly melted in your mouth, while the cheese and bread complement tied it all together.

Kingston Food Tours

As we walked through Rochleau court in behind Chez Piggy, we stopped for a moment and learned all about rockstar turned restauranteur Zal Yanovsky and his wife Rose Richardson. The eclectic pair had quite the prominent impact on downtown Kingston that went far beyond the food scene and we certainly owe our thanks to them for revitalize neighbouring businesses and maintaining the limestone buildings.

Stop #3: Atomica Gourmet Pizza & Wine Bar

At Atomica we were seated up at the bar and indulged in an item that was not on the menu, we sampled the Katrina pizza topped with pine nuts and fresh greens that was perfectly paired with an easy drinking Red Fox Summer Ale by Mackinnon Brewing. The brew had a distinct colour and flavour thanks to the additions of beets, yes beets as in the veggie. The pizza was nice and light with a slight flaky crust - as a side, guests were offered a homemade chili sauce that was refreshingly sweet with a hint of tanginess rather than being overwhelmingly spicy - quite the nice added touch.

Kingston Food Tours

Stop #4: Olivea

A few doors down on Brock St, our next destination brought us to Olivea, an eatery specializing in traditional and contemporary Italian fare. Lovely bowls of potato gnocchi with beef cheek ragù were served and parmesan was grated over top. Conversation flowed seamlessly between guests as we savoured each bite and glanced at picture books of staff and owners on trips to Italy.

Kingston Food Tours


Stop #5: Tango Neuvo

As appetites slowly started being satisfied, we made our way in the opposite direction of Market Square down King Street to a restaurant that embraces the concept of fusion tapas - Tango Neuvo. As we awaited for our tasty bites, we admired the decor and were also introduced to the story of how the restaurant came to be. Don't worry I won't spill the beans - you'll just have to take the tour!

As we waited patiently, the chatter continued as a traditional soft, Turkish pastry called Börek was placed on the table. The cloud of savoury pastry alongside a olive tapenade was stuffed with feta, cheddar and parsley. It was delectable and I was amazed at how the phyllo pastry was so soft and succulent towards the bottom but gradually crispy towards the top. A must try tapas!

Kingston Food Tours

Stop #6: General Brock's Commissary

With bellies filled with local flavours of downtown Kingston, a stop at the General Brock's Commissary was a nice touch. Though not a restaurant by any means but a one-of-a-kind specialty food store, it featured an array of local artisanal foods: jam, chutney, mustard, relish, hot sauce, rubs and herbs, lavender and so much more!

Kingston Food Tours

As we walked in, we were greeted by General Brock himself in full attire (but actually it was the owner Chris a retired colonel who has a fond fascination with military history). Then again who doesn't love a man in uniform - off topic I know! We munched on samples of ginger shortbread cookies from Sprucewood Handmade Cookie Co., mustard pickles paired with quinoa crackers from Enerjive, peppercorn salami from the Mennonites of St. Jacobs and my favourite dark chocolate topped with salt and filled with a heavenly chocolate ganache. Are you drooling? Because I sure am! Boy was I impressed with the selection and you will be too!

Stop #7: Kingston Olive Oil Company

Just a few feet away, the tour group found ourselves at the Kingston Olive Oil Company, a family owned business. We headed to the back to their tasting bar and as an introductory we had a sampling of mild, medium and robust oils to identify the taste we were most appealed to, as told our palette would very much differentiate based on the flavours.

From colour, taste and texture, we learned a wide array of interesting facts about olive oils, balsamic vinegars and fascinating food pairings as well as great cooking tips!

Kingston Food Tours

Kingston Food Tours

With one more stop on the food tour, we ventured down a few side streets while listening to our guide  Daniel recite the most interesting stories about buildings along the way such as St George's Anglican Cathedral and the Frontenac Club Inn. If stories spark your curiosity, this tour is the perfect fit as it combines history, modern day successes and beautiful scenery.

Stop #8: The Common Market

Probably one of my favourites stops along the food tour and the last, I was most impressed with the items we were happily delighted with from unique flavoured ice creams of burnt marshmallow and campfire. I simply wanted to take a pint of each home with me, it was so good.

Kingston Food Tours

Kingston Food Tours

To cheer the end of the tour, we sipped on a cortado - an espresso coffee mixed with a small amount of warm milk which was locally sourced from Limestone Creamery. With drink in hand, we made our way back to the starting point for a few more quiz questions and farewells.

Kingston Food Tours

Thank you to Kingston Food Tours for the kind invitation to take part!

Tours run Wednesday to Sunday at 11 a.m. from now until October in downtown Kingston.

Book your Kingston Food Tour now: www.kingstonfoodtours.ca

-xoxo
Rosalyn Gambhir
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Top 5 Events at the 2016 Skeleton Park Arts Festival


The Skeleton Park Arts Festival is back into full swing this week and I couldn't be more ecstatic! The five day festivities from June 22-26 is an annual celebration of summer solstice. A magical atmosphere reigns down onto the city of Kingston showcasing local artists, musicians and all sorts of talent in historic McBurney Park, also most popularly known as Skeleton Park.

So bring a blanket and you're set for a picnic feast as musicians play to the beat but there's a twist - with most events being free, this year's festivities are one of a kind and will get you shaking your hips. Get ready to see this gal having fun!

Here are my top 5 must-do for the Skeleton Park Arts Festival:

2016 The Skeleton Park Arts Festival

1. Morning Dance Party 

June 22 at 6h30-8h30am | FREE
Location: Central Public School - 237 Sydenham Street

Get your booty in gear and groove to the beat at this early morning dance party. It's a time to let loose, dance and start the day on a good note on the dance floor. So come dressed in your best and ready to express yourself!

2016 Skeleton Park Arts Festival

2. Live Music Aqua Fitness with Sheesham & Lotus & ‘Son

June 23 with two classes at 10am & 6pm | Free
Location: Artillery Park Aquatic Centre - 382 Bagot St.

Get your fitness on and splash around with Aqua Fit aerobics and have the wonderful opportunity to listen to a live acoustic concert by Sheesham & Lotus & ‘Son. A unique event for all ages, space is limited so be sure to register by visiting Artillery Park online.

2016 The Skeleton Park Arts Festival

3. Free Morning Yoga Classes with Live Jazz Accompaniment

June 24 - June 26 at 7h30am | Free
Location: Skeleton Park (McBurney Park)

Strike a pose outdoors with free morning yoga classes presented by Studio 330 with live jazz accompaniment by guitarist Dave Barton. This is your time to create calmness in your life and feeling grounded but most importantly you connect with your inner being to create a blissful moment of tranquility while listening to the sounds of jazz.

4. Saturday After Party

Saturday, June 25th at 10pm
Location: The Toucan

After all the festivities on Saturday, The Toucan is the place to be to for a wicked rock out after party. Warmer, Forty Seven Teeth and PS I Love You will be jamming out - so get yourself to the venue to unwind or come visit me as I'll be having a good ole time.

5.  Porch Jazz Parade with What Cheer Brigade
Sunday, June 26th

The Porch Jazz Parade is a walking journey filled with musical amusement through the streets with pit stops for concerts along the way and leading it off this year is the fabulous What Cheer Brigade. Sounds from Paul Morrison, Binky Swings, Spencer Evans, Talk of the Street and Inside Out can be heard with half-hour sets at each location. It all starts at 12 pm!

2016 The Skeleton Park Arts Festival

Images from Skeleton Park Arts Festival.

Visit www.skeletonparkartsfest.ca for more detailed information.

-xoxo
Rosalyn Gambhir
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Frozen Peanut Butter Bites


With warmer weather here, summer treats are great to have stocked up in your freezer. These creamy frozen peanut butter bites are quick and easy treats that are light and will certainly satisfy your sweet craving, while filling you up. These little gems are great after a game of baseball or simply coming home from a day out in the sun. So if you're quite the fan of PB like I am then this is just for you!

 Follow along to indulge in these little taste of sweets:

Peanut Butter Summer Frozen Treat

Serves 4.

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cup fat free cool whip
2 cups Planters smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup dark chocolate, chopped/shaved

DIRECTIONS

Place peanut butter in a medium size bowl. Slowly fold in the cool whip until blended and smooth. Use a spatula rather than an electrical mixer to avoid over mixing.

Fill an icing bag with the mixture and evenly divide the mixture into 4 muffin cups. Each cup will have approximately 4 tablespoons of the whipped up peanut butterer goodness in it. If you don't have an icing bag, easily take a Ziploc bag and cut off the corner. Voila! Or alternatively use a spoon. Sprinkle chopped chocolate over top.

Freeze your delights until solid and enjoy!

Peanut Butter Summer Frozen Treat

Thank you Planters Canada for sponsoring this post! 

While I have been compensated with product - this recipe and review is all my own honest opinions and experiences.
Rosalyn Gambhir
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The Loft Girls Launch Fashion Mobile Boutique


Say hello to Claire Bouvier and Niki Hodgskiss - the lovely gals behind Kingston's new venture The Loft Girls, a fashion mobile boutique on wheels.

While their experiences and backgrounds may differ - Claire in eco-fashion and teaching and Niki in food truck manufacturing, as friends a creative project seemed fitting. With fashion and style being at the top of the pyramid for these two, the idea of The Loft Girls came to fruition sitting at a dinner table where one thing led to another.

The world of fashion and a slight case of the travel bug inspired these fabulous girls to combine their passion and friendship into a thriving new entrepreneurial journey. Quite the unique concept and never seen in Ontario before, it allows the girls to bring the big city feel to girls in smaller communities. The fashion mobile boutique is a special place that is filled with carefully curated vintage pieces of clothing and accessories, local art and handmade products. From styling parties to festivals, The Loft Girls will be hitting the road this summer for fun filled adventures.

The Loft Girls Launch Fashion Mobile Boutique

June 1st, 2016 marked their launch at the impressive Tett Centre for Creativity & Learning - the turnout and community support was immense. Arriving shortly after 6pm with a lovely friend, we were delighted to see the pink fashion truck. Quite distinct in character with a skylight and a "loft" style feel with lots of natural light, a tall ceiling, and clean, white walls. Um hello can we move in please?

Venturing into the truck is an experience in itself and one well worth it.

Next stop: Skeleton Park Arts Festival!

The Loft Girls Launch Fashion Mobile Boutique

The Loft Girls Launch Fashion Mobile Boutique

Check out their tour dates here.

Give 'em some love: www.theloftgirls.com
Rosalyn Gambhir
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Sip and Savour at YGK Craft Beer Fest


What started as a gloomy day in Kingston turned into a gorgeous afternoon affair atop Fort Henry hill this past weekend for the annual YGK Craft Beer Fest. Mother nature sure held up and surprised the crowds with blue skies and soaring temperatures made for thirsty weather. Not surprisingly, thousands of people made their way to the festival to quench their thirst, savour in local eats and listen to live music with family and friends. It was a day filled with vibrant laughter, chilling on the hill and spreading good vibes all around.

YGK Craft Beer Fest

I had the wonderful opportunity to attend and having been to similar festivals in the past few years, I can say with confidence that lovers of ales, lagers and IPA's sure raised their glasses in delight. This year's ever-growing festival saw several breweries such as local favourite Mackinnon Brothers Brewery, newly added to the scene this year Skeleton Park Brewery and Gananoque Brewing Company.

From a dozen of craft brewers, with many more ales and lagers - there were also some cider to try out too as well as gourmet eats such as pulled pork carnitas tacos from Dianne's Fishbar, short rib poutine from The Grizzly Grill, lamb curry from Glocca Morra Grill and plenty more to satisfy those beer filled tummies.

With beer tokens in hand, I made my way through the crowds and sampled quite the variety of brews over the span of a few hours, well actually till the very end. I grooved to the tunes with my shades on and handy dandy camera in hand snapping a fun filled atmosphere.

My top picks from Beer Fest were 401 Cider Brewery's Black Currant Cider, Ottawa's Kichesippi Beer's Grapefuit flavoured Radler and Whiprsnapr Brewing's Sweet Rhubarb of Mine brew. As a woman who occasionally enjoys a good pint when out and about in downtown Kingston, I very much appreciate and have an appeal for both local and lighter brews.

YGK Craft Beer Fest
{Cheers to a great event atop Fort Henry hill}

Speaking of local, the success of YGK Craft Beer Fest can be attributed to Kingston being just that - a very local focused city. A new lifestyle to many, people tend to pay more attention to local breweries than the bigger names. The support has been overwhelming and to give props to those in our own neighbourhood or the next city over is always a thrill, especially in a huge market.

While the main spotlight of the event was the beer, I found great pleasure in meeting new folks and familiar faces at the festival. I also relished in the fact that I discovered new bands such as bluegrass folk band The Dead South whose unique attire caught my eye from start to finish.

Snapshots of my YGK Craft Beer Fest adventures:

YGK Craft Beer Fest
{Radio station 98.9 The Drive shared the love with their bouncy ball amongst the crowd}

YGK Craft Beer Fest
{Shades on, plaid shirt and tamed beards - perfect combo at Beer Fest}

YGK Craft Beer Fest
{Dancing to the beat thanks to The Elwins}

YGK Craft Beer Fest
{The boys from The Dead South hailing from Regina, Saskatchewan}

The scent of savoury deliciousness was in the air and eyes wide open as I walked by The Grizzly Grill's booth. Serving up a local twist of short rib poutine with roasted garlic double smoked bacon demi-glaze topped with Wilton Cheese curds and scallions. My foodie senses led me to this gal's hometown favourite.

YGK Craft Beer Fest
{Short Rib Poutine by The Grizzly Grill}

YGK Craft Beer Fest{Chilling on Fort Henry hill}

YGK Craft Beer Fest
{Label designed by Jenny Grant for the limited edition Fort Henry Tattoo Ale as part of the Homegrown Tattoo Contest}

YGK Craft Beer Fest
{Toodles and see you next year YGK Craft Beer Festival}

Thank you Fort Henry for spreading good vibes and inviting me to an awesome event!

See you next year!
Rosalyn Gambhir
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A Cheesy Affair at the Great Canadian Cheese Festival 2016


Sweet dreams are made of cheese and this past weekend, cheese lovers rejoiced at the sixth edition of the Great Canadian Cheese Festival held in the historic Crystal Palace in Picton, Ontario. It is a quintessential destination filled with magical spots and less than an hour drive journey, exploring the outside limits of my city's bubble is always a fun filled (of course foodie) adventure. 

A Cheesy Affair at the Great Canadian Cheese Festival 2016

This year the journey commenced on Saturday morning with copious amounts of coffee and scrumptious meals filling our bellies at one of my favourite cafes - Pan Chancho Bakery in downtown Kingston. With my foodie partner-in-crime and our travel buddies, the roadtrip to Picton from Kingston was quite smooth. With cooler bag and camera in hand, we were ready for a fabulous day of cheese satisfaction.

Throughout the festival we had a swell time savouring cheese, supporting producers from coast to coast and celebrating a wonderful community of locavores and passionate entrepreneurs. This was a full weekend of meeting and mingling with Canada’s best cheesemakers and artisan food producers, tasting the best cheeses and artisan foods, plus wine, cider and craft beer.

The Cheese Festival was the picturesque moment for cheese lovers, foodies and culinary tourists alike but it was also the the perfect chance to expand their palettes and sample pickles, jams, crackers, honey, charcuterie, and other compliments to cheese. As my fourth year in attendance with my foodie partner-in-crime (shocking right!), I am always amazed with the new additions of vendors and the gracious enthusiasm that fills the air. 

A Cheesy Affair at the Great Canadian Cheese Festival
{Honey wine by Honey Pie Hives & Herbals}

My favourites this year included: Goat Cheese Chocolates from Haute Goat, Dog House White from Three Dog Winery,  Asiago Cheese by Ontario Water Buffalo Co., Five Brothers Cheese by Gunn’s Hill, Pixie Sparkling Rosé by Rosehall Run, Cinnamon honey and mead Honey Pie Hives & Herbals and the list continues!

The highlight of the festival was of course indulging in cheesy purchases amongst which was Canadian Cheese of the Year - Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar of Cows Creamery. 

A Cheesy Affair at the Great Canadian Cheese Festival
{Canadian Cheese of the Year}

A Cheesy Affair at the Great Canadian Cheese Festival
{Canadian Cheese of the Year}

As the day came to an end and with a sufficient amount of vitamin d, my group was getting a tad peckish - the fellas went with shaved Water Buffalo sandwiches, while the gals had refreshing ice cream to cool off and blood orange lemonade for road.

A Cheesy Affair at the Great Canadian Cheese Festival
{Water Buffalo Sandwich thanks to Ontario Water Buffalo Co.}

A Cheesy Affair at the Great Canadian Cheese Festival
{Strawberry and Cream London Ice Cream}

With excitement and new purchases, I obviously had to indulge when I got home and make a cheese and carb loaded dish - hello mac n cheese casserole i.e. cheat meal. Stay tuned for a recipe blog post!

A Cheesy Affair at the Great Canadian Cheese Festival

A Cheesy Affair at the Great Canadian Cheese Festival

Don’t miss out on The Great Canadian Cheese Festival next year, which promises to be much cheesier than ever! See you on June 3-4th, 2017!

Satisfy your cheesy side by visiting the festival's site: www.cheesefestival.ca
Rosalyn Gambhir
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[name=Rosalyn Gambhir] [img=http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/n543/Rosalyn_Gambhir/Rosalyn_1.jpg] [description=Rosalyn Gambhir is the gal behind the blog The Staycationer. Whether its exploring the local food scene with her foodie partner-in-crime or taking in the view from her favourite cafe, Rosalyn is always a tourist, looking for the next exciting adventure. The Staycationer allows you to rediscover hidden gems in your very own backyard.] (facebook=https://www.facebook.com/thestaycationer) (twitter=https://twitter.com/rosalyngambhir) (instagram=https://www.instagram.com/rosalyngambhir/)

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