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.


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

Monsoon – Dressed to Perfection…

I was recently asked if I would be interested in writing about Monsoon’s holiday dresses, and while I beg to be believed when I say I’m very selective about saying ‘yes’, there was no chance of my turning down this request.  Monsoon pieces have long been on my wishlist (I’m all about building an international wardrobe –i.e. clothing from every country in the world!) and I decided that this was the perfect opportunity to showcase some of the current collection’s dresses that have caught my eye…Monsoon Winter DressesNebraska Rib Longline Dress — is the perfect dress for the girl on-the-go.  Cozy, unrestrictive and chic, take to the skies with confidence.

Vivienne Jacquard Prom — Why stand in front of the closet in your undies wondering what to wear to the holiday cocktail parties when you could be stepping out (on time!) in this gorgeous metallic and brocade frock?

 Elm Lace Dress Strictly speaking, this LWD is a ‘summer’ piece, but with a stylish angora bolero shrug, tights, and the right accessories, you can successfully ‘transition’ it into the colder season, and be wonderfully appropriate in winter white.

Lorton Dress — Oh so glam.  Perfect for twirling in front of the mirror (I’m all for dressing up with no place to go) or on the dance floor.  Whether it’s a black or white-tie affair, be sure you will rival the Duchess of Cambridge herself in the fashion stakes with this absolute stunner!

 Fawn Speckle Lurex Dress — A dawn-til’-dusk piece that mirrors the winter sky, this is the perfect  choice for the busy career girl with too many tasks to complete, and just as many parties to go to!  The soft dusting of stars keeps this black curve-flattering dress from being boring.  Spice it up with a fierce pair of heels and accessories!

 Marilyn Lace Trim Flare Dress — Fitted in all the right places, and with a slight flare where it counts, this beautiful dress is a lovely harmony of nude, black and lace-detailing.  Cute with ballet flats during the day, yet sophisticated enough for some night-time fun!

I hope you enjoyed my picks!  If you’re interested in seeing the other fantastic frocks Monsoon has to offer (but don’t limit yourself, they have everything –accessories, bags, shoes, beachwear, etc.!) check them out via this link.

Please note that none of these links are affiliate links, and I am not being paid to write this post –I do adore the dresses Monsoon offers, and hopefully one day, will have a sartorial wish fulfilled.

Hope you find something pretty!


— Miss Cathie