Fairmont Chateau Laurier – Tea at Zoe’s Lounge…

A few weeks ago, during the Winterlude festival here in Ottawa, Alex and I decided to break the monotony of winter in our own little way — afternoon tea.  We were joined by his brother –whose first time it was– at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier, and had a wonderfully soothing and refined few hours.
Afternoon Tea at Zoe's Lounge, Chateau Laurier - Group
Chateau Laurier - Afternoon Tea - MenuThere are very few places (as of yet) to have afternoon tea here in Ottawa, and Zoe’s Lounge is certainly one of the most elegant places to have it in.

The experience started with a glassful of seasonal fresh fruit; delicious, and refreshing!  It definitely whet the appetite, especially as I have a habit of not eating anything at all before tea, otherwise I find I get too full, too quickly to do all the tiers justice!
Afternoon Tea at Zoe's Lounge, Chateau Laurier - Tea TrayI chose the jasmine tea –which was lovely and light in the beginning, but as time wore on, started to grow incredibly bitter.  I hope that Fairmont will consider implementing a little dish or tray to put your tea strainers in so that it doesn’t get over-steeped.  Apart from that, and the fact that the bread for the butter chicken salad seemed a bit dry and stale, everything was lovely.  I tried not to indulge too much in the Devonshire cream and strawberry jam (too scrumptious to be sparing), and savoured every bit of my scones.
Afternoon Tea at Zoe's Lounge, Chateau Laurier - Alex, Cathie, GuillaumeThe staff were very friendly and attentive, and helped to elevate the experience.  Many thanks to the lovely lady (I did not get a chance to peek at her name-tag!) for patiently letting us sniff our way through almost their entire tea repertoire!

The ambiance was restful –soft music (both classical and more modern piano pieces) played in the background, although I did notice that the television on the wall was on as well; it usually isn’t, which I prefer, as it can be distracting to one’s focus on and pleasure in the moment.

All in all, such an incredibly enjoyable way to brighten one’s day and shake off the winter blues.

Afternoon Tea:
Monday to Friday from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday from 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m.

*Reservations are required for Afternoon Tea. Please call the hotel directly at (613) 241-1414 to reserve.

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Afternoon Tea at Zoe's Lounge, Chateau Laurier - Cathie Maud

Fascinator:  Monsoon ‘Vivian’ velvet pillbox fascinator (2015)

Coat:  DKNY cascading ruffle wool ¾ length coat (2013) [buy here]

Top:  Kate Spade ‘abree’ cashmere sweater in black (2014)

Skirt:  J. Crew flounce skirt in bonded wool in cerise (2014)​

Shoes:  ALDO ‘Loralee’ ballet flats in red (2015)

For my outfit, I went a bit farther in my choices than I normally would, even for afternoon tea.  I remember feeling that day that I wanted to wear something ‘outrageous’ (for me, at any rate!) and pull it off because I liked it, whether or not anyone else giggled, smirked, or thought me odd in the belfry.  Wearing a substantial headpiece definitely was a little bit out of my comfort zone, but either people in Ottawa are incredibly kind, or being confident and forgetting that I am wearing lots of fabric on my head makes other people feel that this is normal fare.  I’m not sure which, but I truly felt that I had grown up just a little bit more.  It’s nice to try something with aplomb!

I wore my ‘Duchess of Cambridge-esque’ ruffle coat from DKNY — love the ruffle detail on the bodice, and all that is missing is for me to add a belt to the ensemble, and then the ‘copy-Kate-ing’ will be complete.  😉

For shoes, I really wanted to wear a pair of pumps, but knowing that I would be walking through wet, slushy streets, I decided for the still not-quite-sensible, yet slightly more practical ballet flats.  I was all about the pops of red as well; my skirt was the same bright hue, and it is a shame it didn’t get documented, because it has the most beautiful flouncy, ruffly hem!

Do you have any favourite afternoon tea spots?

Speak soon!

— C.x

October Fun…

Goodness, October is always such a busy month!

There’s Thanksgiving, Hallowe’en, my birthday (and two of my family members’ birthdays!), as well as being in the swing of French classes.

There is so much fun and exciting energy that, coupled with the absolute beauty of autumn, there is no surprise that October is my favourite month.

Let’s start with my favourite picture –the pie I made for Thanksgiving!  It is Jane Austen themed, with Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett cut out of the crust.  I am quite proud of my ‘skills’ in making this!
Canadian Thanksgiving Pie

If you would like these Austen themed cookie cutters, I got mine from the Jane Austen Centre’s gift shop here and here.  I could browse the lovelies there all day!

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I always love dressing up for my birthday weekend even if nothing grand is planned, and when it is to work, a less frilly outfit must be worn of course!  I still have fun through the details –combining my love for a sleek fit-and-flare silhouette with sheer tights, polka-dots and bows.  I hereby present to you my ‘practical’ birthday outfit: Cathie 27 Birthday

Jacket:  Danier ‘Bree’ lamb leather jacket in Port (2014)

Top:  Kate Spade ‘abree’ cashmere sweater in black (2014)

Skirt:  Club Monaco ‘Minkie’ skirt (2013)

Tights:  Gap polka-dot tights (2015)

Shoes:  Vaneli ‘Lenita’ pump in black Soffio patent (2013)

Jewellery:  Pandora charm bracelet –birthday gift from husband (2014); wedding + engagement ring from my husband.  White gold swirl ring with diamonds. (2014)

Cathie 27 Birthday Outfit

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We went for sushi for my birthday lunch at 168 Sushi Buffet.  It isn’t our top favourite place to go for sushi in Ottawa, but it is a convenient location, and when the staff is not too busy, the food is fresh and very tasty.  If you catch them on a busy afternoon though, prepare to have missing items from your order and/or the food to not be up to its usual standards.  Following-up usually leads to them bringing the order in, so if you are not in a hurry, it isn’t ideal but not truly awful either –especially if you pay the all-you-can-eat price.  We sometimes simply re-order what was missing.

Sushi Couple
We two.
Autumn Heels
An autumn perspective.

Birthday 2015 Sushi
The sushi.

October was a beautiful month; I hope you enjoyed yours!  I will write in soon with my November happenings…

— Cathie

A Gibson Girl — and My Autumn Fashions Wishlist…

Today, I’m going to be sharing my Autumn clothing purchases, and those elusive dreams that I hope will make their way into my closet someday soon!

But first, I wanted to share this picture of my first attempt at a Gibson Girl hair do!  You see, all this Anne of Green Gables reading has rather affected me, and once I get an idea into my head, I have to act on it.
Put my hair up in a Gibson twist at the back. Super easy #hairstyle!!
So there I am… It’s not quite perfect, but I thought I got the general idea down pat.  Of course, when I went down and Alex saw me, he did a double-take. Then he said, “Was there a thunderstorm upstairs?”  This man is adorable, but he Torments me!

Sparkly DividerNow on to the exciting part! 🙂

Cathie Maud's Autumn Wardrobe Wishlist 2014Colour palette:   Mostly neutral colours.  I truly love the simplicity of neutrals.  My wardrobe used to be all about dark, vibrant, vivid colours, and I still know the stunning effect of a deep, dark red…  But I also appreciate the quiet elegance of neutral shades, and with lots of textures and patterns, they are flattering and invite one to take a deeper inspection in order to understand their whispered loveliness!

The pieces:

(click on the bolded text to shop!)

This Aritzia Babaton ‘Spencer’ black wool coat is anything but ordinary.  It has a sleek funnel collar (you can fold it to lay flat, too) and interesting seam details.  The lines are sleek and the buttons simple, but if you look closer, you find all the hidden beauty in this gem of a coat!

Kate Spade has a gorgeous sense of ladylike yet whimsical style and taste, end of story.  I absolutely love her ‘Madison Ave.’ collection watercolour rose scarf.  The dusty, rosy pinks are reminiscent of an olde-fashioned Autumn spent walking in a secret garden.

This Ballet Beautiful x Ivory Row pointelle wrap is cozily delicious for chillier nights.  Made of cashmere, it would be hard not to feel like the graceful White Swan when you put this on!

DUO’s ‘Fia’ Spanish-style riding boots  are perfect for riding or strolling off stylishly into a new adventure this Fall.

There is a story connected to this Fisherman Out of Ireland Aran Criss Cross Rib Polo Sweater!  Allow me to regale you with it.  🙂  I stumbled upon a picture of the pullover last year, and it was the perfect chunky piece that I had envisioned but could not find!  I wanted it so badly, I scoured all the Irish gift and clothing shops online.  Only one had it (supposedly), but they never shipped it, and I ended up cancelling the order after waiting for two months!  I gave up on it, and decided that it was one of those elusive things that would remain an unfilled wish.  Two weeks ago, I was browsing my favourite Irish gift shop, Blarney.com, inspired by a friend’s upcoming visit to Ireland.  Well you can guess what I saw, the squealing I did, and the impatience that gripped me.  You see, I wanted to be good with my budget, so I had banned myself from shopping for two weeks.  Anything could happen in that time!  But happily, it was meant to be.  And as of yesterday, it is now on its way to me!!  ^_^  I can’t wait.

The last piece that I am coveting this Autumn is this House of Bruar Ladies Plaid Short Kilt, specifically in the blue/lilac/camel colourway.  I’ve always had a weakness for plaid and kilt-like skirts, and this just seems so classic and preppy-cute, and perfect!  Another thing about it is that it is pure wool, so will be quite nice and warm!

What are you dreaming of having in your closets this Autumn?

xoxo,

— Cathie