Patricia Morris - Gardens & Parks
I was born and raised in: Forest Hill—Toronto
How I make a buck: I'm a Crown Attorney
My favorite activities include: dining out; traveling; being outdoors
3 things I love about the Stratford Area:
It's relatively franchise-free; there is an eclectic mix of arts and artists; and it has a very sophisticated dining culture.
3 Favorite local hidden treasures you shouldn't miss:
Garden Strolls Stratford's parks and gardens are world famous winning many awards fromCommunities in Bloom. What's not to like with the Avon River, the swans and shady walks stretching from the Shakespeare Gardens to the Arthur Meighen Gardens surrounding the Stratford Festival Theatre. I recommend downloading the Garden Stroll for an audio tour that points out the highlights while you wander.
Tea Leaves Tea Tasting Bar Enter a cozy living room, and enjoy a flight of teas selected from over one hundred options by the foremost tea sommelier in Canada. She'll share with you the origins, methods, flavour profiles, and health benefits of your experience. Very relaxing and enriching.
For anyone with a sweet tooth there is a triumvirate of chocolatiers here, each catering to your various chocolate needs. At Rheo Thompson Candies select from over 100 different kinds of chocolate like the renowned mint smoothies. They also create the most artistic packaging around.While crediting their training to having worked at Rheo's for five years, the owners of Chocolate Barr's Candies Inc. do things a little differently. Here you can find homemade fudge, hard candies, brittles, and chocolate truffles made with red chili peppers—worth a taste. Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory is fully stocked with fudge, chocolates, and gelatto, but the unique treat here is the candied apple! This reinvention of your dentist's favourite fruit is dunked in chocolate, caramel, nuts, candies, smarties, and goodness. I love to explore all of my favourite chocolate stops on the Savour Stratford Chocolate Trail!
My perfect day spent in the Stratford Area:
We would start at the Stratford Farmers' Market to sample and buy some organic meats, cheeses and fresh breads to snack on later. A convenient alternative would be The Gentle Rain, Stratford's organic grocery store and naturopathy centre. It has a great selection of healthy and environmentally friendly products. Later, rent a paddle boat and drift on the Avon. Wander the romantic and intimate Shakespearean Gardens, a truly poetic place to stroll. Apparently many couples have their wedding photos taken there. From there we continue our walk to the Art in the Park—a gallery of artisans displaying their crafts along the river. We could then browse some of the shops, book stores, and a localart gallery. Or, you can't resist a visit to Cozyn's Garden Gallery where the green houses seem to go on forever. Then we would head out to Tea Leaves Tea Tasting Bar, where we'd indulge in an exotic flight of teas. There are quite a few very fine dining restaurants to choose from that boast Stratford Chefs School grads who emphasize "slow food" and eating locally. My personal favourite is called Bijou. It is truly a gem of a romantic spot, serving modern French cuisine with a seasonally selected menu. Before catching one of the many shows offered in repertory by the Stratford Festival, we'd stop at Relish Day Spa on Ontario Street for a pedicure for two. With perky feet we walk to the number one theatre festival in Canada.
Downtown has quietly become the hot spot for Festival actors to go for a post-show cocktail. Reclining on cushioned banquets, amidst the Stratford arts crowd communing in theatrical discourse, we make our cozy toasts to a lovely day.