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Hello 2021

Hello 2021

2020 was certainly a heck of a year and that's putting it lightly. These past few months have taught us to be even more grateful especially for our health and our families. This pandemic caused quite the disruption to our daily lives, while also adding uncertainty, fear, anxiety and lifestyle changes. Needless to say, this has been an extremely challenging year for us with lows and highlights.

While it's time to turn the page on 2020 and welcome 2021, I wanted to take a moment to celebrate all the significant moments we've accomplished and should be proud of - they certainly have brought us together in so many ways! On a global level, we developed a vaccine in record time, started to show more appreciation for local and small businesses, have put more of a focus on mental health and supporting those in need, learned to be grateful for those close to us and our health, spent more time at home and outdoors, witnessed incredible feats with social and racial injustice, found the silver lining in the little things and the list goes on!

While I didn't post as much as I had hoped for on my blog this year, I couldn’t let the year go by without publishing my annual end-of-year post where I share a recap on the year and my goals for the upcoming year. 

Hello 2021 By Rosalyn Gambhir The Staycationer


I wanted to share something I wrote on Instagram on March 22, 2020 - a week after we went into our first official full lockdown:

Truth: It’s been a long and tiring week staying up to date during these challenging times. This weekend I finally took a moment to let everything sink in and reflect. ❤ I've been avoiding talking about what's happening (publicly) as it adds to my anxiety and positive thinking lets me coast and avoids stress (I know I’m not alone).⠀

During this difficult time, my feed and stories will be a place of positivity for our community and I look forward (with you all!) to share practical yet inspiring ways to uphold our #YGK spirit in the face of this global challenge. As always, I’ll be continuing to share my love of local businesses/restaurants, recipes, bae and his gardening (@rootswithryan), our pup Dakota and more! And leave a comment below to let me know what YOU would like to see, hear and learn more about!

We will get through this together. 

The response I received from this post made my cheeks hurt from smiling as I do what I do online for the love of my community! The words I wrote above still ring true to the type of content I hope to share and the feelings still linger as well even as we welcome a new year. This emotional rollercoaster of a year had us feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, helpless and exhausted, but most importantly we persevered. We were hopeful, resilient and strong! Even though we were six feet apart, it brought us closer together as a community more than ever.

Personally, it definitely allowed me to spend more time with my fiancée and pups Dakota!

Rosalyn Gambhir, Dog, Fiancee, Home Sweet Home Doormat

2020 was filled with...

A global pandemic. A vaccine. Unprecedented times. Staying home. Quarantine. Face masks. Flattening the Curve. Social distancing. Endless amounts of hand sanitizer. Lockdowns. A new norm. Essential workers and front line staff. Unemployment. Chaos. Struggle. Black Lives Matter movement and racial reckoning. Grief. Climate change. A presidential impeachment. A monumental election. Transformation. Supporting local and small businesses. Work from home. Zoom calls. FaceTime. Microsoft Teams meetings. No makeup days. Loungewear. Baking bread.

Working from Home

On March 11th, the World Health Organization officially declared that COVID-19 was a pandemic and thus, the new norm of working from home was set upon my colleagues and I on March 16, 2020. While many thought this to be temporary, we were wrong. We're now almost 11 months in and no end in sight. Working, sleeping, eating, breathing and trying to decompress all in the same space has become exhausting. Pair all of that with an increase in screen time and well I don't need to tell you what that does to someone's mental health.

In 2020, the lines between home life and work were very much blended. While the luxury of working from home was appealing to many, what we’re forgetting is that, for most of us, an office wasn't just an office, it was a place where we spent most of our time. A place to eat lunch with our peers, vent about the frustrations of work and life. An office provided a routine, a structure and above all, a community.

But now, our computers and our screens act as barriers as we sit at home. We don't get to see our peers every day like we use to. We might have check-ins, team meetings and mental health resources but at the end of the day, there is no substitute for seeing and interacting with people. We no longer have the spur of the moment meetings or casual hallway chats that lead to creative ideas or to simply catch up.

Personally, the work from home process was fine and dandy at the start, but I did get into a major rut. I was feeling unmotivated, anxious, tired and unable to sleep well. I was groggy when I woke up. My mind was foggy. While I juggled pretty much two roles and gave 110% to my day job, my personal life was lacking. Work-life balance was non-existent some days. My workspace at home became my office for my day job when it was originally dedicated as my creative zone.

While I did have workplace flexibility with my work schedule, this also hindered me as I'd sometimes do work at night when I knew I'd get bursts of energy or sparks of motivation or have my creative juices going to get work done for the social media aspect of my role. I was more focused and present, primarily due to it being silent with no distractions of my dog barking (love Dakota but she can be loud!), notifications, video calls or meetings. 

Overall, this work from home situation is still an adjustment. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Social Media & Its Consumption

With news of lockdowns and measures to stay home, it's no surprise people took to social media to keep busy and entertained this year. But 2020 was no joke for communications and social media managers as the start of the new decade brought on a whole new set of challenges with trying to stay afloat with the overload of information.

The positive to 2020 was the incredible community on Twitter that came together! There are some true gems out there in the industry that simply shined the light on the hard work we do as professionals and it was refreshing. Go follow these amazing folks on Twitter: @jsstanse @AnthonyYepez @jenncrim @HashtagHeyAlexa @SippinSocialTea @chvrlesjr and introduce yourself using #MarketingTwitter.

I know for myself that friends and colleagues sometimes underestimate my responsibilities and assume my job in social is fun and easy. At the end of the day, we are digital bodyguards to a brand - we take all the hits and avoid situations from escalating up the chain. We know first hand the voice of the customer as we interact with our audiences on a daily basis, so we will certainly know how they'll react to information that is shared. We have crafted engaged and insightful communities where ultimately we have set a tone for the page. 

You might be asking yourself, why the heck is she going on about this stuff? The reason is that social media managers were online front line staff as well during 2020. Many suffered from burnout and were constantly exhausted by the bombardment of information, trolls, angry customers but also the consumption of evolving news while keeping up with the demand of their jobs.

One of the things I wanted to focus on during 2020 was to not have my work be my identity aka as a social media manager and communication lead, I am not the brand I work for aka I don't take anything personally when people comment, tweet or message. So when I finally close my laptop or put down my phone and disconnect from work at the end of the day, it’s my personal happiness, values and fulfillment that matter most.

Social & Racial Injustice

In June, I shared on the blog (read here) about how we need to use our voice with everything that still continues to happen even if it makes us uncomfortable. Taking the risk to speak up rather than staying silent. We showed that discomfort leads to bigger things. If we want to instill change, we need to do our part. We need to listen. We need to do our research. We need to start advocating for change in politics. We can't just plainly ignore what is happening. We need to have the willingness to learn. We need to open our hearts and our minds. If we have the capacity to speak out, respect boundaries and do so. I reminded people to have a conversation to “call-in” others rather than “calling out.” Our voices are powerful. We are a strong community that can make a difference. We need to be unified when it comes to injustices and continue this journey well into 2021 and further.

Supporting Local & Small Businesses

2020 allowed us to show our appreciation for local and small businesses more than ever! As we know, Kingston is a wonderful city and we know darn well the value and importance of community. With the news of the lockdown in Ontario, this year I focused on spreading the message of local love and supporting local, not just today but every day, as small businesses are the backbone of our community.

Remember that our community of passionate people keep our city alive and gives it its unique flavour. So by supporting those businesses, you also ensure that uniqueness is preserved as a part of our community. Also, in some shape, way, or form, we are personally invested as our friends, family and neighbours are local business owners or are employed by those owners. We celebrate when our favourite local business succeeds and we mourn when they're forced to shut their doors.

So please do me a favour. In 2021, let's continue to show our love for local! 💕

Supporting local and small businesses

Staying Home with Bae

If you asked my fiancée aka foodie partner in crime what he thought of 2020, he honestly would say that it had its silver lining. With all the chaos and disruption 2020 presented us with, he shifted his mindset to be more positive but in a manner where the tasks and projects he took on allowed him to have control in what seemed like an uncontrollable world. As he spent more time at home, he focused on our backyard, expanded his garden yield allowing us to be more self-sufficient in our eating habits, allowed us to become healthier (he's great in the kitchen!) and made our backyard a true zen zone.

Staying home brought about a newfound appreciation for the things that made us feel alive and finding joy in small things. While I was working from home, my escape from my desk was the outdoors and our backyard. Our evenings were filled with walking our dog Dakota, bonfires and roasting marshmallows, dinners on our deck, making homemade pizzas using our Ooni Karu (wood chip pizza oven!) and enjoying each other's company. Sounds cheesy and old couple like but we'd also bird watch as well! 😂

Lastly, along with the vegetables that Ryan grew this year, a highlight to each start of my work week was the fresh cut flowers from our garden on my desk along with my morning breakfast of toast with homemade jams that he made with the fresh black raspberries from our garden as well as local blueberries, strawberries and apples. Honestly, I think he needs to open his own shop!

p.s. go follow @RootsWithRyan on Instagram!

Backyard zen zone with tall trees and garden fresh tomatoes

In 2021, I hope to...

In an effort to try and end the year on a positive note, here are a few items I want to focus on in 2021:

1. Slow Down & Be Present

I'm committing to setting healthy boundaries in my life to prioritize and valuing my well-being. I've realized that I need to take moments to slow down, rest and recharge. It’s so easy to get caught up in the cycle of never sitting down, trying to cross off items on your to-do list and always feeling like you should be doing something. I’m quite guilty of this and taking a much-needed break is definitely needed if I want to perform and give my best to those around me.

Self-care is a priority, not a privilege.

As social media and communications professionals, we are part of an “always-on” culture. Always responsive. Always listening. Always plugged in 24/7/365 to our news feeds and consuming information even if we're not on the clock.

Like a pendulum, sometimes slowing down can feel like you’re moving backwards, but as I see it your stepping back to reflect so you can be pushed forward to grow even more. So today and moving forward, I'm going to allow myself to slow down a little. Remember that taking time for yourself is not selfish or lazy. We need to commend ourselves for getting through 2020 and knowing when I need to refocus to make space for mental breaks and protect my mental health is key to my well-being.

2. Stay Positive

Like I said in my post for 2020, this isn't a new goal whatsoever but a reminder. Having a positive mindset has played a huge role in my life for a few years now. Learning the ability to stay resilient when times are tough in life or work has held me together.  If you're struggling to shift your mindset, don't worry, honestly, it takes baby sets and doesn't happen overnight. Simply know and say to yourself that this is a moment in time that you will get through and get past it. Celebrating the small happy moments and the little joys in a day.

In a previous post, I said the following and it certainly still applies,

Staying positive leaves us more motivated, productive, improve our mood and of course likely to succeed. Remember to fuel your passion and go that extra mile - blogging and work can be quite demanding with struggles of burnouts and criticism. So keep your head held up high and rock what you've got!

We made it! Cheers to a new year!

Let’s look forward and hope for the day where we may see our loved ones who we have missed so much, travel again and not live in fear for our well-being.

Read more »
Rosalyn Gambhir
Kingston Foodie Holiday Gift Guide

Kingston Foodie Holiday Gift Guide

 The holiday season is officially here! If you’re shopping for a foodie, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve curated together this guide to make your holiday shopping a tad easier with a collection of some of my favourite Kingston foodie items that will make the perfect gift. And! Since I'm a practical gift giver, what better way to cheer someone up than with food. But most importantly since 2020 has been a year filled with uncertainty, we need to come together to show our love for our local businesses, restaurants and shops now more than ever.

Kingston is home to so many amazing local businesses, artisans and producers, so let’s do our best to support local!

Kingston Foodie Holiday Gift Guide, Charcuterie Box, Chocolate Covered Strawberries, Olive Oil, Brunch Plate, Chocolates

Festive Treats by Festa Kitchen 

Festa Kitchen makes the most delicious treats in Kingston and offers gourmet gluten-free items too! This burnt basque cheesecake would make the perfect holiday treat for friends and family. So if you’re craving something sweet, definitely message via Instagram for an order of cupcakes, cookies or cakes this holiday season!

Follow on Instagram: @festakitchen_gf

Kingston Foodie Holiday Gift Guide

Indulge in Mio Gelato

If you’re looking for a sweet treat, Mio Gelato is a great option. As their doors closed for the season on December 13th, head to their website to order online and bonus, they offer free delivery in Kingston this coming week! So hurry and order now! Also, be sure to get their holiday flavours or else you’ll have to wait for a whole year! My favs include gingerbread and egg nog!

Update: Officially closed for the 2020 season! 

Follow on Instagram: @miogelatokingston

gelato containers for holiday gift guide foodie edition

Sweet Treats by Cocoa Bistro

Cocoa Bistro in the west end of Kingston carries a variety of gourmet hand made chocolate that would make a great gift. They also have chocolate bombs that are all the rage this season when making hot chocolate! Perfect for all ages!

Follow on Instagram: @chocolatewithlove

Kingston Foodie Holiday Gift Guide

Charcuterie Box 

While officially booked up for the holiday season until December 31st, the amazing ladies behind The Cheesy Pear are offering gift cards to de redeemed in the new year! You definitely want to try one of the custom-curated charcuterie boxes! 

Follow on Instagram: @thecheesypear

BUT! Don’t worry ‑ if you’re still craving a box, check out the online shops for Pan Chancho Bakery and Black Dog Home as they’ll both deliver charcuterie to your door or a friend's! Makes for the perfect gift paired with some vino!

Kingston Foodie Holiday Gift Guide

Kingston Olive Oil Company

This foodie gift may be odd but if you have someone special who truly enjoys cooking then olive oils will go over well especially from Kingston Olive Oil Company. My recommendations: If you're looking for a bread dipping combo, my favourite include Black Mission Fig Balsamic Vinegar with Nocellara Extra Virgin Olive Oil or the Hojiblanca Olive Oil. Though my favourite cooking oils the Lemon Infused Oil and Garlic Oil.

Follow on Instagram: @kingstonoliveoilco

Kingston Foodie Holiday Gift Guide

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

While sold out for the holiday season, I simply had to include Love and Berries as you deserve to simply treat yourself or someone special in the new year! That lucky person will certainly be surprised!

Follow on Instagram: @loveandberries_

chocolate covered strawberries, kingston holiday foodie gift guide

Decadent Cupcakes

How cute are these cupcakes?! They're available on Dessert Indulgence's online shop along with several other sweet treats like cheesecakes, mousse cakes and more! OHH and if you’re vegan or gluten-free, don’t worry, they’ve got you covered! They also have chocolate coffee and red velvet yule logs for the holiday season.

Follow on Instagram: @dessertindulgence

Kingston Foodie Holiday Gift Guide

Date Night at The Everly

Treat someone special with a gift card to The Everly! Dishes range from handmade pasta, pork belly, oysters and so much more goodness! Order online or pick up at the restaurant. 💃🏻🍷

Follow on Instagram: @theeverlykingston

Weekend Brunch

Did you know Northside Espresso + Kitchen offers gift cards?! So give your friend who dreams about weekend brunch all week the gift of an amazing brunch experience in downtown Kingston.

Follow on Instagram: @northsideespresso

brunch dish featuring eggs benny with hollandaise sauce, Kingston Foodie Holiday Gift Guide

Cheesecake in a Jar

For that someone who always needs a sweet midnight snack or a treat on the go, Cheesecakery Bakery has got you covered. The best part, these jars of wonders are available at several shops in Kingston. Also, I'd recommend getting a trio of cheesecakes in a jar so your friend or loved one can indulge and sample a few flavours. Getting just one jar shouldn't be allowed, they're that good!

Follow on Instagram: @cheesecakery_bakery

Kingston Foodie Holiday Gift Guide

Charcuterie Boards

This might just be THE perfect gift for a foodie! Nick Allinson Creative offers the most unique charcuterie boards in town. All you need is a variety of cheeses and crackers from Cookes Fine Food and you’re good to go! My fav includes these boards with brass handles! Head on over to his Insta page and be sure to message if you’re interested!

Update: Officially out of wood for the 2020 season aka completely booked!

Follow on Instagram: @nickallinsoncreative

Kingston Foodie Holiday Gift Guide

Calling All Coffee Lovers!

Head to Northside Espresso + Kitchen as they have the cutest and most unique gifts for that coffee lover in your life. Limited stock, so be sure to hurry!

Kingston Foodie Holiday Gift Guide

A Brew‑tiful Day

So have someone on your Christmas list who is serious about their coffee? Well, chances are they have all the basic items they need to make their favourite brew. So you definitely don’t want to get them something they already have or won’t ever use, so what should you do? Get them the Christmas blend or YGK blend from North Roast ‑ a fair trade organic coffee roaster located in the west end of Kingston! While I'm a single cup of coffee in a day type of gal, I appreciate each sip and this blend gives me just the right amount of energy to get me going in the morning with a smooth taste. ☕️

Follow on Instagram: @northroast

Kingston Foodie Holiday Gift Guide

Cheers to Local Brews

Check out this sweet gift bag thanks to Red House loaded with goodies ‑ toque, t‑shirt, $25 gift card, beer nuts, face mask and growler of Mackinnon Brewing Brothers Ale! 

Cost: $80 ($105 value) and limited quantity. 🍻 

Available downtown as well as at the west end location.

Kingston Foodie Holiday Gift Guide

Best Local Maple Syrup 

Flights of maple syrup for the food lover on your list! Salt of the Earth Farm offers a trio of amber, dark, and very dark for $25! Highly recommend! 🍁 DM them directly via Instagram to place your order!

Follow on Instagram: @saltofkingston

For the West End Foodie

Gift cards are back Go Italian Restaurant! For every $50 in gift cards you purchase, they’ll give you a $10 gift card for FREE! Who doesn’t love pasta, pizza and everything in between! 🍕🍝🍷

Follow on Instagram: @goitalian_restaurant

Pan Chancho Bakery

Pan Chancho Bakery in downtown Kingston is the one-stop-shop for all things foodie related! This holiday season, they are offering sweet and savoury items as well as holiday feasts, complete with turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes and more! Head to their online store to order! 

Follow on Instagram: @panchanchobakery

New Shop in the Neighbourhood

Say hello to Daughters General Store ‑ a new store in the North of Princess neighbourhood. It carries a great selection of locally made goodies along with gluten-free and vegan-friendly products. Bonus: They now carry gift cards as well!

Follow on Instagram: @daughtersgeneralstore

The Best Maple Syrup with a Twist

Whiskey barrel-aged maple syrup by Kinsip Spirits ‑ YUM! This is by far the best maple syrup I’ve tried and you can find it at Bella Market in the west end of Kingston.

Follow on Instagram: @thebellamarket

Seasonal Gift Baskets at Olivea

Olivea has gotten creative this season and is offering wonderful gift baskets! See below for a great selection and be sure to call 613‑547‑5483 to place your order. I’m definitely eyeing the afternoon tea and wine and cheese basket!

Follow on Instagram: @olivearestaurant

Kingston Foodie Holiday Gift Guide

Kingston Coffee House

If you know someone who is on the go and just doesn’t have time to make a cup of coffee at home, a gift card to Kingston Coffee House might be the perfect option! Bonus, they are also stocked with amazing local goodies ranging from chocolates to coffee beans, organic teas to plants, coffee equipment to delicious cookies and lots more! 🍪🍫

Follow on Instagram: @ygkoffeehouse

The Perfect Ceramic Pieces for a Foodie

Though not in Kingston, I simply had to include this County favourite! Mary Wood is a lady of many talents and one of those is Lyle Ceramics (along with One Hundred Acre wood + Roadside Burger). Her pieces are handcrafted and simply amazing that every foodie (including myself) has her ceramic pieces on a wish list! Head to her online shop to order now!

Follow on Instagram: @lyle.ceramics

Kingston Foodie Holiday Gift Guide

Keep Your Coffee Warm

If you’ve got someone on your list that complains about their coffee getting cold 🙋🏻‍♀️, a Yeti product is a MUST especially a Yeti Rambler that’ll keep any beverage warm (or cold... hello wine!) for hours. But if you’re working from home, these mugs are amazing so you don’t have to keep microwaving your cup of coffee.

Head to Trailhead in downtown Kingston or Atkinson Home Hardware in the west end!

Pizza Oven 

Everyone deserves a great pizza! This summer I gifted my fiancée an Ooni Karu wood‑fired pizza oven and it’s been the best purchase! You can make a pizza in less than 2 minutes and did I mention that it’s portable as well! Locally in Kingston, you can head to Friendly Fires online store to order!

Box of Goodies from Bread & Butter Bakery 

Looking to spread some local love this holiday season? Check out these gift boxes from Bread and Butter Bakery filled with amazing holiday treats! Be sure to head to their online store to order and pick up in-store! Or better yet, have it delivered to a friend! 🍪

Follow on Instagram: @breadandbutterbakery

Kingston Foodie Holiday Gift Guide

Local Farmers’ Market

There’s no better gift for a foodie who regularly visits the farmers’ market than a gift certificate to Memorial Market! Available in increments of $10, $20, or $50 on their online store. Or better yet, sign up for an account, order some goodies to make your very own foodie gift basket all while supporting local producers and artisans! 💚

Follow on Instagram: @memorialmarket

Fresh Produce Right to Your Door

If you’re looking for a unique gift idea, Joe Deo Family offers great produce boxes of fruit and veggies! Customize your own box or pick one of the pre‑designed boxes! 🎄 These gift baskets are a perfect holiday gift that can be delivered within the city of Kingston to a loved one, an essential worker to say thank you, seniors and anyone on your list looking to start the new year on a healthy note. 

Head to www.joedeo.com to order now!

Donate to a Foodie Cause

When it comes to giving back to your community, any action big or small can make a real difference and have a positive impact. I’m a huge advocate of giving back to those less fortunate since I was young and during my time in Kingston, the following are a few organizations that hold a special place in my heart especially this holiday season ‑ Lionhearts, Kingston's Partners in Mission Food Bank, Martha's Table, and Loving Spoonful. So please donate if you can! ❤️

volunteers in kitchen serving meals

Happy Holidays!

AND! Since we're an amazing community of locals in Kingston, let me know what other spots I should include in this holiday foodie gift guide by leaving a comment!

Read more »
Rosalyn Gambhir
Scenic Fall Drive & Foodie Adventure in Napanee, Ontario

Scenic Fall Drive & Foodie Adventure in Napanee, Ontario

Well, folks, fall is officially here! While the season is quite short and bittersweet, it sure is the prettiest and has me craving all the comfort food with that slight chill in the air. With sights and good food, our region has amazing fall foliage, especially during these times where spending time outside is a safer alternative.

So if you're looking for a safe and physically-distanced activity with the family or perhaps a solo trip, you have to go for a scenic fall drive to Napanee, Ontario and stop by to take in the charm of its surroundings. Hop in your car, take county road 2 from Kingston and you're in for a real treat. This is the best time of year to enjoy the joys the region has to offer. After being cooped up in our homes during quarantine and winter quickly approaching, 😢 let's make the best of it this season!

Scenic Fall Drive to Napanee, Ontario


Springside Park is a must during the fall in the Greater Napanee area, especially for its charming waterfront trail. Don't miss the opportunity to take a stroll alongside the Springside Parks Falls and the Napanee River. The view is simply breathtaking, so get your cameras ready. This truly is a hidden gem tucked away where you can sit back to enjoy a picnic, throw a line in to do some fishing or simply enjoy the view.

Did I mentioned that there's free parking, a picnic area and a great food truck! (Scroll down!)

Where: 8460 County Road 2, Napanee, Ontario

Scenic Fall Drive to Napanee, Ontario

Scenic Fall Drive to Napanee, Ontario

The most beautiful scenery as you end your walk along the boardwalk.

Scenic Fall Drive to Napanee, Ontario


This is a case of don't judge a book by its cover. We've driven by Springside Park in Napanee numerous times and yet we never stopped for a bite at this local food truck. Along with the standard fare of traditional poutine and cheeseburgers, the Catering Company offers so much more.

Bae and I indulged in cheesy mac n cheese bites along with crispy fish tacos and blackened shrimp tacos, both topped with mango salsa. The portions were quite satisfying and overall, I really have to give this spot a major thumbs up!

 Just a FYI - while normally stationed at Springside Park, sadly it is now closed for the season. Though be sure to follow them on Facebook for updates as they will offer takeout from their downtown location.

Where: 5 Water Street Napanee, Ontario
Foodie Adventure to Napanee, Ontario


This is another spot that you have to try! If you haven’t tried The Dundas Street Bakery in Napanee, you’re missing out! And urgh I feel as though I’m cheating on Coffeeway Donuts in Kingston but I just had to being the foodie I am. Donuts aren't just the perfect morning snack, they also are a worthy treat after a long work week. 

Located in the heart of Downtown Napanee, this bakery makes all their donuts from scratch along with bread and other awesome treats! 🍩 You won’t regret it and definitely worth the short drive of 30 minutes from Kingston along scenic county road 2, especially with all the fall colours!

Where: 37 Dundas St E, Napanee, Ontario

Scenic Drive for Donuts in Napanee, Ontario


I couldn't write a post about Napanee and not include this restaurant! They offer outdoor patio dining overlooking the water and their food is delicious. Bonus: If you have a boat, you can simply tie it up in the canal and walk right up to the restaurant.

Where: 22 Water St W, Napanee, Ontario

Enjoy your fall scenic drive!
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Rosalyn Gambhir
New Restaurant: Wharf & Feather

New Restaurant: Wharf & Feather

Say hello to the Wharf & Feather restaurant in downtown Kingston!

📍: Kingston, Ontario 

Formerly known as The Dox, this new spot is part of the rebrand under the Holiday Inn Kingston Waterfront renovations, which is now fully complete. Let's just say that this restaurant is back and better than before. With delicious food, unique shareable plates, craft cocktails, and the best waterfront views in Kingston, the outdoor patio at the new Wharf and Feather has it all.

Wharf & Feather Restaurant and Patio in downtown Kingston - Holiday Inn Waterfront

Whether you're looking to enjoy breakfast, a casual lunch, after-work cocktails, or relaxing dinner, this restaurant is definitely a must-visit this season. And don't worry, they also offer indoor dining if the weather doesn't cooperate (now that it is allowed again.)

It has a fully revamped menu, which now features several local ingredients and suppliers which makes me so incredibly happy! They include Mackinnon Brothers Brewing Company, Otter Creek Farms, The Fungi Connection, Patchwork Gardens, Seed to Sausage and more. With new executive chef Jeff Ryan, the team has certainly elevated the dining experience as Wharf & Feather now offers a unique pub-gastronomy feel, that is also contemporary and welcoming.

And if you were wondering, pricing is very reasonable!

Wharf & Feather Restaurant and Patio in downtown Kingston - Holiday Inn Waterfront

My foodie partner-in-crime aka bae and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves even amidst our current situation. We felt quite safe dining on the patio, had to wear our masks when we got up and of course, came ready with our own bottle of hand sanitizer. Honestly, you can never be too safe these days.

Scroll down to see a few of the dishes we sampled:

Wharf & Feather Restaurant and Patio in downtown Kingston - Holiday Inn Waterfront


The perfect dish to warm right up! Be sure to save the buttery biscuit for after to dish up the remaining chowder!

Fresh mussels, baby clams, shrimp, fresh fish, lobster, cream.

Wharf & Feather Restaurant and Patio in downtown Kingston - Holiday Inn Waterfront


The perfect shareable dish packed with flavour that will fill your appetite.

House cut fries, salsa Brava with aioli, scallions topped with queso fresco cheese.

Wharf & Feather Restaurant and Patio in downtown Kingston - Holiday Inn Waterfront


These were sweet but not too sweet with a nice crispy crunch. We will certainly be reordering these again.

Honey glazed duck wings with scallions on crispy rice noodles.

Wharf & Feather Restaurant and Patio in downtown Kingston - Holiday Inn Waterfront


Probably my favourite dish that we sampled, these fish tacos were the perfect afternoon dish paired with the white sangria I ordered - battered fish with crunchy kale slaw, crumbled cheese drizzled with a creamy sauce. 🤤

Ontario yellow perch served on corn tortillas with kale slaw, pickled onions, grilled corn, cotija cheese and remoulade sauce.

Wharf & Feather Restaurant and Patio in downtown Kingston - Holiday Inn Waterfront

Enjoy your visit!

Where: Holiday Inn Kingston Waterfront
2 Princess St, Kingston, Ontario

Thank you to the team at Wharf & Feather for the gifted experience!
Read more »
Rosalyn Gambhir
The Inn Thing: The Frontenac Club

The Inn Thing: The Frontenac Club

Here's your exclusive look at the newly renovated historic Frontenac Club!

📍: Kingston, Ontario 

Only steps away from Market Square and City Hall, this boutique hotel is officially redefining luxury in Kingston. As a limestone landmark, this building features a rich sense of history and recently underwent renovations that led to a major transformation from a traditional bed and breakfast to a luxury getaway in the nation's first capital.

The Frontenac Club in Kingston, Ontario

As a boutique hotel with a strong backstory, the building has been standing for close to 175 years aka since before Confederation. From a bank to a gentlemen's club, a strong emphasis was placed on preserving the storied history of the building and elements of times past found within the walls including stunning stonework, love letters, old coins, magazines, and more items that have been displayed throughout the site. The changes reflect a contemporary yet elegant style with influences of what makes Kingston special. Each space within the Club is a curated experience with a story - a window to the past and a chance to create new memories.

The Frontenac Club now offers a sense of grandeur that Kingston has not seen before, you'd think you were in Toronto or Montreal perhaps. No detail was left untouched as the renovations and restoration took place. A perfect blend between maintaining the historic look and feel and including modern amenities that guests come to expect. Kington is truly the perfect backdrop as it resonates with the mix of old and new.

The Frontenac Club in Kingston, Ontario - Boutique Hotel


From complimentary private parking onsite to gourmet breakfast to start your day, the Frontenac Club is also pet-friendly, so bring your furry friend with you on your next getaway or staycation!

The Frontenac Club in Kingston, Ontario - Boutique Hotel


Did you know the Frontenac Club was once the home of the Bank of Montreal Branch? Well, it only seemed fitting that the bar and lounge take on the name of its previous establishment.

This certainly makes this space quite unique as you sip on a handcrafted cocktail, whisky or glass of wine while enjoying locally sourced creative food dishes. So toast to the end of the day, a special occasion or just because, sit back and relax in the Bank.

Honestly, this space gave me all the Sex and the City vibes! Cheers!

The Frontenac Club in Kingston, Ontario - Boutique Hotel

The Frontenac Club in Kingston, Ontario - Boutique Hotel


The most amazing part is that the bank vaults within the Frontenac Club were kept intact and now one of them plays host to a spectacular dining area that allows for private tastings or dinner parties.

An unforgettable dining experience awaits!

The Frontenac Club in Kingston, Ontario - Boutique Hotel


Each key unlocks a unique experience. This boutique hotel expanded from 16 rooms to 20 distinct rooms, that are anything but standard. Each room is uniquely designed with elegance, contemporary flair and sophistication. From limestone walls, private patio, deep soaker tubs to great views, every room immerses you in a different story of Kingston, our nation, and travel experiences of the owners.

The Frontenac Club in Kingston, Ontario - Boutique Hotel


You will have plenty of room to unwind in this spacious junior suite. With a luxurious king-bed and a sitting room around your fireplace, you will be able to entertain friends and family before heading out to explore Kingston. This is a large bright space with room for up to 4 guests.
This room is inspired by none other than Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King and you may come across an Ouija board as King had a bit of a spiritualist side and enjoyed conducting séances.

The Frontenac Club in Kingston, Ontario - Boutique Hotel


Dubbed the Backstage room, this room celebrates Kingston musical artists such as The Tragically Hip. It features high ceilings and large windows with a king bed, fireplace, a fabulous 4-piece bath and guests can also listen to a curated collection of Kingston music on vinyl.
 This spacious junior suite has high ceilings and large windows. Your king bed is framed by exposed brick and you can be the DJ spinning Tragically Hip records on the turntable by the fire. Your bathroom boasts a soaker tub and a large walk-in shower. We can guarantee there’ll be no knock on the door!
The Frontenac Club in Kingston, Ontario - Boutique Hotel


The large bathrooms are modern and sleek - everything about the room lends itself to a comfortable stay especially with a soaker tub that is begging for you to linger and enjoy.

Featured below is the Churchill Suite.

The Frontenac Club in Kingston, Ontario - Boutique Hotel


In case you thought I was done, nope. Welcome to the new private rooftop terrace reserved for guests aka Kingston's coolest rooftop with stunning waterfront views! This sure is a hidden gem of the Club.

Rooftop patio in Kingston, Ontario

Enjoy your stay at The Frontenac Club!

Where: 225 King Street E, Kingston, Ontario

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Rosalyn Gambhir
Paddling with Ahoy Rentals in Kingston, Ontario

Paddling with Ahoy Rentals in Kingston, Ontario

Hard work, perseverance and a challenge are what encouraged proud Kingstonian Andrew Kelm to establish Ahoy Rentals, located just steps away from the Pump House Steam Museum on Ontario Street.

Paddling with Ahoy Rentals in Kingston, Ontario

It all began in 1997 with only a few sailboats and bikes, that a modest business grew into being Kingston’s sole source for “on the water” rental equipment. Originally from Aylmer, Quebec and with over 15 years of sailing experience, owner Andrew makes it his mission to create a rewarding and happy experience for all who walk through his doors.

A visit to Ahoy Rentals is a chance to unplug, disconnect and spend a leisurely day on the water. From kayaks and canoes to stand-up paddleboards, there’s something for everyone at Ahoy Rentals.

Paddling along Kingston’s waterfront is soothing and spectacular, but easy to take for granted. From time to time, it’s important to put down your iPhones or Androids and just disconnect and get back to nature. Try surrounding yourself with friends or like-minded people to take the plunge and support a local business!

If you haven’t quite yet developed your sea legs, Ahoy also offers bicycle rentals and instructional programs tailored just for you! Their convenient waterfront location makes it easy for anyone to get out on the water for an hour or two. The staff at Ahoy Rentals are available to help customers learn how to securely maneuver their equipment and make their experiences safe and enjoyable!

If biking is your more your speed, cruising along the Waterfront Trail or touring Kingston’s beautiful downtown has all the makings for an active and fun-filled day. Other options include packing a lunch or visiting the Kingston Public Market for some healthy snack options before taking the 20-minute ferry ride over to Wolfe Island and cycling to Big Sandy Bay (closed for 2020 season)! Don’t forget your bathing suit!

Aside from rentals, Ahoy Rentals also provides tourists and locals with skippered sailing charters that include a leisurely sail and delicious picnic catered by Pan Chancho Bakery & Café. Let your skipper Andrew take you out on a personalized sailing trip and enjoy an afternoon or sunset sail aboard a 24-foot sailing sloop – no experience necessary!

Visit them online at www.ahoyrentals.com/

Where: 21 Ontario St, Kingston, ON

Previously published on VisitKingston.ca
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Rosalyn Gambhir
Explore Kingston's Amazing Waterfront

Explore Kingston's Amazing Waterfront

The Kingston waterfront might not see much traffic during the colder months, but when spring and summer hit, one of Kingston’s favourite attractions starts to comes alive!

Explore Kingston's Amazing Waterfront

Spanning over 8km, the possibilities are endless! You can hop on a Kingston Trolley Tour, enjoy a boat cruise around the 1000 Islands, or take in a free ride on the Wolfe Island Ferry! Don’t underestimate a leisurely stroll along the Waterfront Trail or along the streets of Kingston, either! Enjoy the historic buildings and settle down afterwards at one of the many downtown patios for a refreshing beverage while looking out onto the water.

Consider the waterfront an opportunity for self-discovery and an outlet for entertainment. Whether you want to learn how to stand up paddleboard or just enjoy the warm glow of an evening sunset, Kingston’s waterfront is for young and old with many breathtaking spots.

There are plenty of opportunities for water sports along the waterfront: try your hand at boating, canoeing or kayaking! If you left your equipment at home, Ahoy Rentals is located a quick 10 minutes away on Ontario Street and will rent you whatever you need to hit the water! Paddle your way along the shore or glide along on one of their many sailboats, taking in the beautiful, historic views of Kingston from the water.

Given its picturesque views, it’s no wonder that Kingston’s shores are home to the Kingston Rowing Club, Yacht Club and Canadian Olympic-training Regatta. The city’s numerous water sports and events are considered a crown jewel of the city, fostering community involvement and participation from the most affluent sailor, to the newest enthusiast.

 If you’re an avid biker or enjoy walking, then the Waterfront Trail is for you – a pathway connects downtown Kingston to the newly renovated Lake Ontario Park and beyond. Pack a picnic and you’re ready for a day of adventure and exploring in town! Start your journey at one of the many coffee shops in downtown Kingston to enjoy a cool beverage. No bike? Don’t worry! Bike rentals are also available at Ahoy Rentals!

On a warm summer afternoon, Kingston's youthful self comes out to play amidst its historic backdrop. Students, professionals, retirees and tourists are all out admiring the stunning views from the shore or cruising along on water. Step outside your door and the Kingston Waterfront awaits you – fish, sail, swim, or waterski! 


Rideau Trail
Portsmouth Olympic Harbour
Kingston Penitentiary & Museum
The Tett Centre
Bellevue House National Historic Site
Murney Tower
Newlands Pavilion
Pump House Steam Museum
Marine Museum of the Great Lakes
City Hall
Springer Market Square
Fort Frontenac
The Woolen Mill

The Waterfront Pathway can be entered at various points and parking may be found at the following locations: 


Lake Ontario Park
Portsmouth Olympic Harbour *
Macdonald Memorial Park
An Gorta Mor Park
Confederation Park *
Downtown Parking Lots *
Wolfe Island Ferry Dock
Douglas Fluhrer Park
Emma Martin Park

* Accessible Parking and Pathway Access Available

Previously published on VisitKingston.ca
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Rosalyn Gambhir
It's Patio Season as Kingston Enters Phase 2 of Reopening

It's Patio Season as Kingston Enters Phase 2 of Reopening


Exciting news as Kingston, Ontario has been given the green light for phase 2 of reopening and that means, patios are opening up throughout the city starting on Friday, June 12th. With the most restaurants per capita, I'm sure Kingstonians are itching to get outside to enjoy a meal with friends and grab a cold bevy on a local patio. But, within the limits of physical distancing aka at least 2 metres or 6 feet away!
Remember that patio season will look a little different as we welcome our new normal. 

Here is a list of some of the places where outdoor dining and drinks will be available starting Friday, June 12th:

Namaste Kingston
Riva (Gananoque)
Northside Espresso + Kitchen
Amadeus Cafe
Chez Piggy
Casa Domenico
Tango Nuevo
Dianne's Kingston
Harpers Burger Bar
Black Dog Tavern (Chien Noir)
Kingston Brewing Company
Pan Chancho Bakery & Café
Redhouse Downtown Kingston
Redhouse Westend
Union Kitchen + Cocktails
The Public House Kingston
Delightfully Different Tearoom
The Mansion
CRAVE Coffee House & Bakery
Mesa Fresca Kingston 
MacKinnon Brewing
Boston Pizza Gardiners Road
The Queen’s Inn Hotel
Merchant Tap House
The Grizzly Grill
Go Italian Restaurant
The Toucan
Score Pizza
Rose and Crown
The Loyal Oarsman
Tommy's Kingston
Smoke 'N' Barrel Kingston
The Duchess Pub
Jack Astors Kingston
Tir Nan Og
Daft Brewing
Juniper Cafe
Wolfe Island Grill
Musiikki Café
The Waterfront River Pub and Terrace (Napanee)
...and more to follow.

Check back as I'll be updating daily!

Patio Season in Kingston, Ontario during Stage 2

So if you’re planning on going out to a restaurant that has outdoor seating and serving food, definitely read the following to make your experience much more enjoyable:

Call ahead and reserve a spot.

Keep your distance.

Order everything you need at once.

Be kind to the staff.

Respect all the new procedures.

Be patient, be kind, and tip.

 Don't overstay your welcome.

Avoid sharing utensils, condiments, or drinks.

Avoid touching your face.

Stay home if you're sick.

Avoid public restrooms if you can.

Practice physical distancing.
(At least 2 metres or 6 feet away)

Bring your own personal protective equipment.
(Hand sanitizer, mask, gloves)

Practice good hygiene.
(Handwashing and coughing into your sleeve)

Now let's get this summer started! 

But please remember, if you aren't comfortable going out at this time, you can always order takeout instead to support your local businesses and restaurants.

And in all seriousness, if you need more information on how to protect yourself during these times, head on over to the Ontario Government website below.

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Rosalyn Gambhir
[name=Rosalyn Gambhir] [img=https://i.imgur.com/9rNiMGU.jpg] [description=Rosalyn Gambhir is the gal behind the blog The Staycationer. Whether it's 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 within Kingston, Ontario and beyond. 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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