Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Big Day Dowtown (Part 1)

As I said in the previous post, I was paired up with Gillian Wesley (@GillianWesleyNS) of http://www.thelocaltravelerns.com/ for this year's Big Day Downtown promotion.  The idea was for each of us to take the other to some businesses in the downtown area that describes what downtown is to us.

This was the first time I have ever successfully hula-hooped.
On Thursday night, Gillian invited me to Serpentine Studios (@SerpStudios) on Barrington Street for a hula hooping lesson. I have never been been able to get a hula hoop to go around me with anything other than momentum from the initial thrust, but mere minutes into this session, I was able to do it! Monique from Serpentine explained that the size of hoop you should use (at least to learn) is proportional to your height, so after picking the "special" hoop, i.e., the biggest one in the place, I was finally able to work that thing like a pro. I had a profound sense of satisfaction at being able to transfer a Wii Fit skill into the real world. Hula hooping is definitely a great core exercise, and while we only picked up the basics, there are two different levels of classes designed for beginners and advanced 'hoopers'.

Our four drinks from the Middle Spoon
Another Barrington business was next on the agenda: cocktails at The Middle Spoon (@TheMiddleSpoon). We perused their drink menu and waited a big for the guy who was going to take us through some of the process that goes into making drinks. Now, I've been to lots of bars, and perhaps I just don't often order  cocktails, but what was to follow had me intrigued. We were shown how the staff at the Middle Spoon makes cocktails, not only what liqueurs, bitters, flavour-enhancers, atomized sprays, and garnishes are used as ingredients, bu also the process, and why things are done the way they are. Talking to someone as passionate about what they do as Jenner is about mixing drinks and coming up with custom drink recipes is fascinating  you can't help but be caught up in their enthusiasm for the subject. From how and why the glass is chilled to the reasons for adding certain ingredient in a certain order, to how to properly shake a cocktail, I was soaking it all in; and this was before even having a drink in my hand!

I had ordered "the Varclay", which is a coffee-based drink with absinthe, scotch, and vanilla liqueur. It was as good as I have led you to believe, and being a party to the creation process and not simply having it delivered to me by the kilted waiter made it that much better.

After our drinks, we parted ways, and I had to walk around a bit before I felt comfortable enough to drive home. Yeah, there was quite a bit of alcohol in that drink, but I apparently can't handle it like I used to :)

Stay tuned for part two where it's my turn to play host.

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