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It was the final week of the Claude Monet Secret Garden exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery. I had no idea why it took me so long to finally check it out, but I made it! CC and I planned a fancy girls’ day out.

Claude Monet Secret Garden at Vancouver Art Gallery

Claude Monet at Vancouver Art Gallery

I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibit, witnessing the evolution of Monet’s work. In addition to the Water Lilies, my favourite pieces were Taking a Walk Near Argenteuill, Wisteria, and Weeping Willow.

Claude Monet Secret Garden at Vancouver Art Gallery

Claude Monet Secret Garden at Vancouver Art Gallery

Claude Monet Secret Garden at Vancouver Art GalleryClaude Monet Secret Garden at Vancouver Art Gallery

A pleasant surprise was Stephen Shore‘s photo exhibit in conversation with the Monet’s exhibit. (more…)

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A couple of weeks ago I managed to steal a couple hours of free time from CC, so we went for afternoon tea at Cakes n Sweets. It’s a small bakery tucked in the corner of a strip mall in Coquitlam. It’s my second time for afternoon tea there; first time, I took Mama Lam and we quite enjoyed it.

Cakes n Sweets

Food

For $19.95 each person receives a selection of sandwiches, sweets, scones and a pot of tea.

High Tea at Cakes n Sweets

The Buttermilk Scones were freshly baked. The scones were flaky, slightly crumbly. They were still hot to the touch, so the devonshire cream kind of melted as I spread it on. (more…)

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As part of our review of The Dirty Apron Cookbook, we tried the recipe of the Dirty Apron Scones. I was very impressed by how easy the recipe was, and for making it for the first time, how great the scones turned out. Are you preparing a brunch on New Year’s Day? This will be a good recipe to prepare ahead of time and just finish it off in the morning after recovering from all the champagne and drinks!

Dirty Apron Scones

Although the recipe was easy to follow, we discovered a few things that we would suggest tweaking as you make your next batch of scones. We’ll note the suggestions at the end of the post. The recipe below is as found in the cookbook:

Basic Scone Mix

Recipe provided by David Robertson / The Dirty Apron Cooking School

Ingredients

  • 3-1/3 cup All-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon Baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2/3 cup Unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes

Dirty Apron Scones

Preparation

  1. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Using your hands, a pastry blender or even two knives, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse oatmeal.
  3. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 month or freeze for up to 3 months.

Dried Fruit Scones

Recipe provided by David Robertson / The Dirty Apron Cooking School (more…)

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We don’t venture out to Fraser Valley often, so when I had to take Mama Lam out to Langley for some wedding related activities, I decided to find some eats there. A deal voucher led us to having afternoon tea at Frosting Cupcakery.

Frosting Cupcakery

Food

As with other afternoon tea experiences, we started with selecting a tea of our choice. They have a decent sized list, but unfortunately they were basic tea selection and were not very interesting. That being said, they have a really nice collection of tea pots. The two that we got, despite both being white in colour, were of different designs. They had simple, monotone design that reminded you of a bird nest and seashells.

TeapotTeapot

When the tower arrived, we were quite surprised. One, it seemed like there was a lot of food; two, it’s not two of each kind. For savoury items they provided two of the same, but for the cupcakes, they actually gave us four different flavours — I thought that’s neat, so you could try more varieties, but the downside was, we had to split every cupcake so we could try all the flavours.

High Tea Tower

Here is the list of items on the tower: (more…)

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It has been a couple of year since Mama Lam and I went to Fairmont Hotel Vancouver for its signature Afternoon Tea. Back then, it was still at the 900 West Lounge on the ground floor. This year, as they are giving the ground floor space a face lift, they temporarily turned the 15th floor ball room into The Roof, continuing its service of breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. I thought, why not taking afternoon tea to a new height?! I decided to take Mama Lam there for a Mother’s Day celebration.

The Roof at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

Food

We went on the Saturday instead of Sunday. Believe it or not, a day difference equals $10 difference in price. The Afternoon Tea is priced at $49 per person where on Mother’s Day it’s $59.

As usual, we were given an extensive tea menu with a variety of black, green, white and herbal tea. This time I chose the Lovers Leap, a floral black tea. Not super fragrant on the nose, but as you drink it, it had a lot of floral note on the palette.

Lovers Leap in a Tea Pot

Interestingly, the afternoon tea was more than just the typical tiered tower of scones, finger sandwiches and pastries. We first received a Honey Yogurt Panna Cotta with Fresh Berries. You can see the vanilla bean seeds in the panna cotta; the panna cotta was creamy with the right texture and the fresh berries made a good pairing.

Honey Yogurt Panna Cotta with Fresh Berries

And then there’s more! We also got an Asparagus Tart and Apple & Chicken Roll. (more…)

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