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New Korean Restaurant: Seoul 2 Soul


In case you haven’t figured it out with my last few blog posts and older ones, I love food and experiencing new restaurants but also new cuisines! Say hello to Seoul 2 Soul on Princess St in downtown Kingston.

This was my first time actually getting the full low down on Korean cuisine. I know there are already quite a few Korean restaurants in Kingston and well, I thought it was about time I try something new. As a foodie, I'm always willing to step outside my comfort zone and go on an adventure.

So if you loved Kenko Sushi, then you'll fall in love with Seoul 2 Soul as it is run by the son of the same owners of the much loved west end spot. But this time, owners Jon and his wife Bo are offering quick and delicious traditional and fusion Korean dishes in a casual ambiance.

New Korean Restaurant Seoul 2 Soul in Kingston Ontario
Bae joined me on this new adventure and obviously, he's my foodie partner-in-crime so it was a no brainer. We were greeted by Jon the owner who was charismatic and gave us a quick lesson that Korean cuisine is largely based on rice, vegetables, as well as meats and provided us with some great suggestions. We ordered at the counter, they gave us a buzzer and away we went to find a seat. When the buzzer vibrates, well our food was ready to be picked up!

p.s. they also offer take out and prices are amazing for what you get.
Scroll down to have a peek at what I enjoyed with my foodie partner-in-crime:

New Korean Restaurant Seoul 2 Soul in Kingston Ontario

New Korean Restaurant Seoul 2 Soul in Kingston Ontario

BIBIMBAP WITH BEEF BULGOGI

Bibimbap is probably one of the most well-known Korean dishes. This ultimate one-dish meal is made up of steamed rice, assorted vegetables (bean sprouts, steamed spinach and carrots in our case) along with bulgogi aka thinly sliced marinated meat (we had beef) and topped with a fried egg.

It was a refreshing dish but also one that fills you right up! Definitely, a must-try if you haven't had Korean food before.

Bibimap Korean Restaurant Seoul 2 Soul in Kingston Ontario

DUKBOKKI

This dish seemed a bit odd at first but as always, I'm up for trying things outside my comfort zone and boy was it ever good.  It was a neat combination that I wasn't expecting with the cheese, boiled egg and meat. It had spicy flavours from the sauce that balanced out with the cheese. Dukbokki is typically spicy and chewy rice noodles served with gochujang sauce and is a popular Korean street food.

If you can't handle spice, (I'm honestly so weak), order a glass of water just in case.

Dukbokki Korean Restaurant Seoul 2 Soul in Kingston Ontario

GAMJATANG - PORK BONE SOUP

 Gamjatang, as we found out, is a wonderfully hearty and rich but a spicy Korean stew made with noodles, pork bones (oh so tender and fall of the bone delicious!) and potatoes. It’s was the perfect comfort meal to have on a cold winter Canadian day and was especially satisfying meal when paired with a bowl of rice. The green onions in the dish along with the sides added a nice profile. Overall, it was amazing and they give you gloves for a reason!

Highly recommend!

Gamjatang Korean Restaurant Seoul 2 Soul in Kingston Ontario

Gamjatang Korean Restaurant Seoul 2 Soul in Kingston Ontario

SIDES - BANCHAN

It's not a real Korean meal without banchan which are various side dishes that are presented along with your main entrees. Our mains came with buttered mushroom, kimchi and steamed spinach.

Banchan Korean Restaurant Seoul 2 Soul in Kingston Ontario

SPICY PORK ONIGIRI

Basically, a big rice ball shaped into a triangle. It was such a surprise - crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and it was quite the treat to have as it was stuffed with spicy pork but other options included spicy chicken and tuna mayo. If you're on the go, this is the perfect lunch or snack.

Onigiri Korean Restaurant Seoul 2 Soul in Kingston Ontario

 Overall all this place gets my vote and we'll be back!

Next time, I'll be trying out bulgogi gimbap which is sauteed vegetables, beef, sweet pickled radish and rice are rolled and tightly wrapped in a sheet of laver seaweed. Very similar to sushi! 

Where: 282 Princess St. Kingston, Ontario
Rosalyn Gambhir
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Cozy Winter Staycation in Kemptville Ontario


With the start of a new year and let's just say a few stresses of life, my friend Lindsay and I took a much-needed girls getaway to the nearby town of Kemptville to recharge. A bit random? Nope, not at all! If you're a longtime reader and by the title of this blog, of course, I'm all about staycations and discovering small towns along with their charm! Being in Kingston, we're blessed to be so centrally located to so many amazing destinations.

Kemptville South Eastern Ontario Staycation

The Start of the Adventure

The picturesque drive up highway 15 from Kingston to Kemptville in the winter scenery was just spectacular especially after the snowfall we had the night before (sadly no photos as I was too busy admiring lol). If you've been to Ottawa up highway 416, then you definitely have driven past Kemptville located in the Municipality of North Grenville in South Eastern Ontario.

From a spa visit, overnight stay, foodie adventures (obviously!) and trail walk, Kemptville is a great day trip or in our case, an overnight stay!

Kemptville South Eastern Ontario Staycation

 Here are a few of my favourite spots that I discovered during my visit:

APHRODITI ESCAPE SPA & SALON

A girl's weekend wouldn't be complete without a mani and pedi of course! After our drive to Kemptville, Aphroditi Escape Spa & Salon was our first spot to get pampered. As soon as you walked in, it had big city vibes with a gorgeous luxurious feel, exposed brick and chic elegant decor. You honestly forgot you were in a small town.

Along with the impeccable service and an immediate connection with my esthetician Em (who had studied in Kingston so our conversations were just all over the place), hands down my favourite part was the pedicure as they did a neat sugar scrub followed by a eucalyptus spearmint foot mask. It was truly relaxing.

Aphroditi Escape Spa & Salon is the perfect destination for a day at the spa and an out-of-town getaway if you need a break from the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life. Whether you're a bridal party, on a mother-daughter trip, as a couple, with friends, or even on your own, the options are endless for relaxation and wellness. From couple massages, deep cleansing facial, blowouts and more, you'll have no problem de-stressing.

Kemptville South Eastern Ontario Staycation

Kemptville South Eastern Ontario Staycation

Kemptville South Eastern Ontario Staycation

Kemptville South Eastern Ontario Staycation

Kemptville South Eastern Ontario Staycation

Where: 103 Clothier St E, Kemptville, ON

SALAMANDERS

After getting our nails done, we were obviously a tad famished and were recommended to try Salamanders just across the road and were not disappointed.

We started off with deep-fried ravioli aka breaded and deep-fried pasta. If fried pasta sounds strange to you, seriously keep an open mind - crispy pasta shell, soft cheese filling and marinara sauce for dipping. What's not to like? and who doesn't love fried food? 😂🙋‍♀️ Let's face it, if you're on a foodie adventure, calories don't count.

Kemptville South Eastern Ontario Staycation

Next on the list was the burger special - three cheese onion garlic burger. Can you tell I was hungry?!

It was a 7 oz burger topped with cheddar cheese, swiss cheese, brie cheese, (hello cheese overload!) roasted garlic aioli and onion ring served on a sourdough bun from a local Grahame's Bakery. It was so intense I had to cut the burger in two to avoid making a mess.

Kemptville South Eastern Ontario Staycation

Say hello to the most scrumptious homemade peanut butter fudge pie.

Oh, my word was this a delight that we shared. Of course, we made room for dessert.

Kemptville South Eastern Ontario Staycation

Where: 28 Clothier St E, Kemptville, Ontario

OVERNIGHT STAY AT KEMPTVILLE SUITES BY ROB THOMPSON HOTEL

Located in the heart of Old Town Kemptville and right above the spa, Rob Thompson Hotels offers luxury suites that are simply stunning with its heritage charm and modern aesthetic. Uniquely designed, this boutique hotel was warm and cozy as we arrived with the fireplace going and welcome note on the counter! Our suite was just beautiful with huge windows, the cutest kitchenette, a great selection of complimentary snacks, Nespresso machine, teas, free wifi and more.

After our combined lunch/dinner at Salamanders, we were so stuffed that we decided to lounge around having a girls night in, chatting until the wee hours, amusing ourselves with TikTok videos and watching reality tv aka The Hills: New Beginnings (it's back with Audrina Patridge, Brody Jenner, Heidi Pratt and the crew PLUS kids!).

The next morning, getting out of bed was quite hard as it felt like you were on a cloud enveloped by the comforter. Once we managed to roll ourselves out, it was so nice to know that our suite was within walking distance to scenic views, coffee shops and local bakeries.

So whether you're a bridal party, looking for a staycation or simply need a cure for your wanderlust bug, Rob Thompson Hotels should be at the top of your list. Bonus, they are also located in Brockville!

Kemptville South Eastern Ontario Staycation

Kemptville South Eastern Ontario Staycation

Kemptville South Eastern Ontario Staycation

Kemptville South Eastern Ontario Staycation

Where: 103 Clothier St E, Kemptville, Ontario

THE CRUSTY BAKER

If you're familiar with the Kingston Memorial Farmers' Market than you would already know about the infamous Crusty Baker and their heavenly baked goods. From bacon butter tarts to garlic jalapeno focaccia bread, you're in for a treat! From the moment you walk into their Kemptville storefront, it's a smell of bakery haven. They also serve soup and sandwiches onsite - perfect for a winter day.

Kemptville South Eastern Ontario Staycation

Are you drooling?

Kemptville South Eastern Ontario Staycation

Where: 16 Prescott St. Kemptville, Ontario

GERONIMO COFFEE

So while we may have recharged with sleep at the hotel, recharging with caffeine is also something that is necessary. It was a real no brainer to check out Geronimo Coffee. From cute mismatched furniture, vintage feels and art all over the walls, it was an adorable coffee shop with unreal coffee and savoury breakfast sandwiches.

Lindsay and I honestly stayed here for quite a bit of time and simply enjoyed our beverages while chatting away losing track of time. I'll definitely be stopping by again when I'm headed to Ottawa next!

Kemptville South Eastern Ontario Staycation

Probably the best chai latte I've had in a while.

Kemptville South Eastern Ontario Staycation

The most perfect bacon and egg biscuit breakfast sandwich!

Kemptville South Eastern Ontario Staycation

Kemptville South Eastern Ontario Staycation

Where: 103 Clothier St E, Kemptville, Ontario

GRAHAME'S BAKERY

Sadly this bakery was closed when we visited but if you're in the area, you HAVE TO check it out. It was located right around the corner from our suite.

Why the appeal? It is home to a heritage wood-burning oven (if you've been to Upper Canada Village, it's very similar to the bakery!) and has been a staple of the Kemptville community since the early 1930s. Now that's passion and true dedication.

Where: 115 Clothier Street East, Kemptville, Ontario

MR. MOZZARELLA KEMPTVILLE

You can't have a gals get together without pizza! We enjoyed cheesy slices of the Mr. Mozzarella Special.

Kemptville South Eastern Ontario Staycation

Where: 103 Prescott St, Kemptville, Ontario

MM BOOKS

If you're looking to get lost in books, this hidden gem in Kemptville should be added to your list. There is a huge selection of books ranging from all genres and prices are quite fair. The charismatic owner Merv is delightful and definitely has true knowledge for books as he provides suggestions (and jokes!). With high ceilings, every nook and cranny of the store is filled with books from military history to unique finds to commons books and children's books. (How many times can I say the words books in a paragraph lol)

Kemptville South Eastern Ontario Staycation

Where: 4 Asa St, Kemptville, Ontario

NORTH GRENVILLE TRAILS

After indulging in so many savoury items, a trail walk to enjoy the sights of nature was in order. We did a short loop of the Beech Trail which was quite stunning with the snow.

Download this trail map if you're thinking of checking it out!

Kemptville South Eastern Ontario Staycation - North Grenville Trails

BREWED AWAKENINGS

With our visit to Kemptville coming to an end, we needed a bit of fuel to wake us back up for the drive home to Kingston. Their brownies looked too good not to try and while it was topped with so much icing, it wasn't too overpowering or sweet to the point your teeth hurt. The perfect treat to enjoy in the car to get our energy levels back up as it was chilly out.

Kemptville South Eastern Ontario Staycation

Kemptville South Eastern Ontario Staycation

Where: 2868 County Rd 43, Kemptville, Ontario

OTHER SPOTS TO CHECK OUT:

BRIGADOON RESTAURANT

Looking for a reason to dress up and enjoy fine dining, look no further!

Where: 9 Bridge St, Oxford Mills, Ontario

LONG REACH BAR & GRILL

Great for brunch as I've been told!

Where: 116 44, Kemptville, Ontario

KEMPTVILLE FARMERS' MARKET

Open from May to October every Sunday, this farmers' market has so much to offer from baked goods, homemade jams to ethnic cuisines, there's something for everyone's taste buds with a focus on fresh and local.

Where: 200 Sanders Street at the B & H parking lot

KEMPTVILLE DAIRY BARN

Looking for a cool treat, Kemptville Dairy Barn is a must-visit. This roadside stop serves everything from soft-serve to milkshakes and sundaes.

Where: CR-43 Kemptville, Ontario

SETTLER'S TRAIL

On the west side of Highway 44 in Kemptville. Settler's Trail is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on a leash!

Where: Parking is available at the east end of the trail or off of County Road 44.

BIG SKY RANCH ANIMAL SANCTUARY

A safe haven for rescued animals, you can visit from Tuesdays to Sundays all year round and get the chance to pet animals of different kinds and sizes from horses, goats, donkeys, llamas and more.

Where: 810 Pelton Rd, Kemptville, Ontario

MOUNTAIN ORCHARDS


Did someone say apple picking? You’ll get to pick fresh apples right from the trees! The perfect fall activity while also being able to enjoy apple delights from cider, donuts and more!.

Where: 10175 Clark Rd, Mountain, Ontario

Thanks to South Eastern Ontario for sponsoring this post!
Rosalyn Gambhir
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Hello 2020


2019 was definitely an interesting year with highs and lows but also amazing people who helped me and supported me through it all. The start was all over the place and I'm just going to drive right on in.

Recap

Life took a bit of a detour unfortunately as my dad injured himself while overseas during the holidays which took me back home for a week or so and then to the hospital. He remained there after his diagnosis with a back brace until he recovered and then got transferred to a rehabilitation centre to regain his strength and mobility for another few months. And how was I doing through all of this? If you know me well, I don't get overly emotional and hospitals don't phase me, but also both my parents, have had their fair share of health-related issues growing up that I've learned to cope quite well over the years with life and unexpected things. (Also helps that I studied Health Sciences in college and did internship rounds in hospitals.) Learning to be positive has also helped immensely but what I wanted to share today was that, interestingly enough, one of my 2019 goals was to spend more time with my family so here's a reminder - cherish the time you have with those who raised you. Of course, all families have issues and drama but don't let that or stubbornness get in the way.

Another of my 2019 goals of getting back to my roots of food blogging started with baby steps and I immediately embraced it by starting with reviewing new restaurants in Prince Edward County and of course new features at some of my favourites in Kingston because I've always enjoyed sharing my dining experiences with my readers.

Also if you hadn't noticed, I semi ditched the curated Instagram feed and have been more into sharing my adventures via Instagram Stories. I’ve been less strict and scheduled and finding time to enjoy the little things more. Eating better, spending more time with bae, and all-around being the best version of myself possible without letting social media rule my life.

 In terms of self-growth and putting myself out there, I said yes to being a guest on a friend’s podcast (listen to it here!). It definitely was something different for me but in such an amazing way. I chatted about how I came to where I am today from studying computer engineering at Queen's University to working in marketing and maintaining a blog but also a few hurdles I experienced as well.


 In April 2019, I got the neat opportunity to join some amazing Kingston ladies I admire on a social media panel hosted by the lovely Claire Bouvier. I stepped outside my comfort zone of public speaking (I've been on panels before but this one was just different) and the introvert that I am, loved every second of it! Weird I know. So don't let those fears get in the way of you succeeding! It’s been great to see the love of the Kingston community through my journey of blogging and being online and want to thank those who have supported me!


In the fall, I also joined a panel hosted by Brockville Tourism chatting all things influencer marketing with fellow blogger Anna of STRUCKBLOG and another dear friend in the marketing and tourism industry.

In the mix of work and all of this, I also wrote how I was experiencing a bit of a burnout (read it here) and how things were getting a bit overwhelming. Just remember that things may look perfect on social or online, but in reality, everyone is human and has off days/weeks/months or whatever it may be. Since we're chatting about life, socially I spent more quality time with friends, made new ones, reconnected with old ones (still a work in progress!), removed toxic people out of my life and unfollowed people on social (not everyone can be best friends or bring joy). On top of all of this, I started experiencing eczema type symptoms on my neck, legs and arms. Might have been linked to stress as well as my gut health. But a temporary solution? Go on an elimination diet aka give up gluten, dairy and eggs for a few months and find alternative foods to enjoy. It was a tad tough but I got through it and am back to enjoying glutenous delights.

And on a professional level and quite exciting, I accepted an acting position at my day job as Communications & Relations Officer while doing double duty with my home position of Social Media & Digital Lead.

So with that recap of 2019, I'm rooting for 2020 to be a year where not a lot of things change but that I grow more as an individual. So are a few things items I'd like to work on this year:

1. Not Having Work Be My Identity

I was inspired by Youtuber Natalie Barbu on this one. And what I mean by the above statement, is that you are not your work. Work is something you do. Period. When someone asks you who you are, most commonly we identify ourselves based on our work. That's pretty much a no brainer. Work should not be your identity or your life purpose. I realized that I have so much more to offer and am passionate about so many things in life. I was reminded by a manager at work this summer that once you get home, your work should turn off. Well, I have had a bit of a hard time with this one since my work is social media and it just never sleeps, but of course, these, as I've realized are just excuses.

"With cell phones glued to our pockets, we are always connected and readily available to respond to work-related emails, calls, and meeting requests, often making it difficult to disassociate ourselves from our work. And for those of us doing what we love, we get stuck with the mindset that because we love it, we should be doing more of it." - Psychology Today

And on another hand, the passion of my blog is my life. Every time I'm out and about, the constant thought running through my mind is "Oh that would be great content" or "That would look good on Instagram," so at the end of the day, what I'm trying to say is that, yes I am a Marketer and a Blogger but I'm also me who enjoys photography, cooking, spending time outdoors and playing board games and chasing after my dog.

2. Staying Positive

This isn't a new goal 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. In a previous post, I said the following and it 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!

3. Start my fitness/wellness lifestyle

I'll keep this one nice and short. As someone who sits in front of a computer screen all day for work but also with what I experienced in 2019 with my skin, it was a prompt for me to take action. I'll be starting small with baby steps by taking daily vitamins. Then I'll progress to picking back up my yoga practice and then work with a friend on a fitness regime so we can keep one another accountable. But in terms of food, bae and I already eat quite well so that won't be an issue. And remember, life is meant to be enjoyed so indulge in your favourite dishes but in moderation! I've learnt that going cold turkey just simply does not work. So stay tuned as I share my progress on the blog along with some tips that could help you!

Cheers to a new year!
Rosalyn Gambhir
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[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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