Making Christmas Memories at Bobbette & Belle’s Newest Location with Tea, Cookies, Alfajores & Macarons!

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I know Christmas comes and goes every year and I know it might not be the happiest occasion for some folks, but for me, it’s my favourite time of year.  I love Christmas even more than I love summer and that’s saying a lot because my birthday is during the summer and I love me my birthday celebrations.  I love Christmas so much and I look forward to the season and everything it brings each year and I always feel so happy when everything I love is happening within a span of a month (seeing friends, holiday menus, holiday displays, exchanging presents, and taking a ridiculous amount of photos of all of the aforementioned) and when it’s all over I always feel a little nostalgic and sad.  So I try my hardest to soak up every moment and to make as many fun memories as possible.

I made many of these wonderful memories yesterday when I spent one of the best days ever with my best friend for the holidays.  Part of the ultra fabulous day included an afternoon stop at Bobbette & Belle’s 2nd location in uptown Yonge-Lawrence village for hot drinks and sweets!

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Not only am I so in love with Christmas but I am absolutely smitten with Bobbette & Belle’s newest location.  I didn’t even KNOW they opened a 2nd location until late last week when I was just out and about in the area and happened to walk past it.  I was so stunned I nearly shouted, “WHAT!?” right out on the sidewalk.  Sigh.  This is what happens when I stop blogging and, for the most part, being tuned out of all my foodie outlets for nearly half a year.

I have no idea when Bobbette & Belle opened this new location but am I ever sure glad they did!  I love it even more than their original flagship on Queen Street East.  While the Queen East location is big and airy, the Yonge-Lawrence location has such a warm, comforting, communal feel to it.  The decor and aesthetic is very similar: gorgeous cake pedestals displayed on shelves, beautiful china dishes and tea plates hung stylishly on the wall, a chalkboard menu, wood floors, and platters and stands full of pastries and sweets (tarts, cupcakes, macarons, cakes, scones, cookies and so much more!) just waiting to be devoured.  The difference?  The cafe aspect and feel.  The Yonge-Lawrence one screams Parisian cafe to me with its small tables and seating section in the back and the beautiful cushioned booth seating right up in the front by the storefront window (which can seat 4 sets of 2) is prime real estate, baby.  It’s bright, it’s soothing, and with the cushiony seating and knitted pillows, it’s the perfect spot to spend time with someone over a delicious dessert and hot drink.

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I was so excited finding out about their new location that I took advantage of the timing and ordered something holiday-themed: a Christmas tree-shaped shortbread cookie (which is actually what I had the last time I was at Bobbette & Belle during Christmas, go figure!  Check out that blog post here) along with two delightful macarons in cassis and chocolate mint, an alfajores cookie, and a nice big hot steaming mug of Citron Calm tea from their selection of Sloane Fine Teas!  I am over the moon that they serve Sloane teas as their teas are delicious.

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Ugh, this was such a delicious afternoon treat!  I knew I loved their macarons and shortbread cookies and now I love their alfajores cookies.  A lot.  The cookie has such great texture (sturdy yet soft and moist) and the caramel was nice and thick and gooey without being mushy and the coconut it was rolled in gave it the perfect crunch.  LOVE.  And in addition to the Christmas-themed shortbread cookies, they had a chocolate candy cane peppermint cupcake on hand as well as some apple caramel pastries, apple cider, and several other holiday yummies.

Their new location is in an accessible part of town (walking distance from Lawrence subway station) and it’s in an area that I really enjoy being in as I love the Yonge-Lawrence and Yonge-Eglinton neighbourhoods.  I cannot wait to come back for scones and tea, or maybe a tart with a macaron, or a slice of cake, or just more alfajores cookies.  And a hundred plus more cups of tea.

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Bobbette & Belle is located at 3347 Yonge Street on the east side of Yonge at the corner of Snowdon Ave. (Fairlawn Ave. being the street on the west side of Yonge) in the Yonge-Lawrence Village neighbourhood.  Their hours are 9am-6:30pm from Monday-Friday and 9am-6pm on Saturdays and Sundays.  Their original flagship location is in Leslieville at 1121 Queen Street East.

Sweet, Lemony & Bursting with Blueberry Sass – A Photo Spotlight on the Blueberry Lemon Cupcake From Desmond & Beatrice!

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Have any of you ever felt that your to-do list, whatever it may pertain to whether it’s errands, chores, or a bucket list on life, is never-ending?  I’ve been writing this blog for nearly 4 years and I still feel so behind on everything I want to eat, photograph and write about.  I suppose that’s just the nature of blogging.  So much to do but so little time.  And money.  And, well, person.  If only I could clone myself so that I could be in multiple places at once!  That way, I could be at multiple markets at the same time, check out all the Summerlicious spots I want within that tiny 2-week window, and take advantage of festivals that happen on the same day.  How accomplished I would feel!

Case in point: when I started Ate by Ate I wanted to knock it out of the park by posting lots and lots of yummy coconut, lemon and blueberry things (coconut and lemon desserts and blueberry breakfasts for the most part) among other delights but when I look at my current catalogue of posts I think, “pft, SO not good enough.”  I was hoping to have at least 1 post on coconut cake (or pie or something), 5 on blueberry pancakes and a ballpark of around 10 on lemon cupcakes.  Cue disappointed shake of the head accompanied by tsking.  I’m getting closer to that benchmark on the lemon cupcakes front but I’m nowhere near where I want to be in the blueberry department.

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So I’m, shall we say, putting pedal to the metal on this one and ramping things up a bit.  Since we’re on the topic of awesome lemon and blueberry sweets (re: my recent post on the lemon blueberry scones from Cobs Bread), I’m continuing on with a photo spotlight on the fantabulous and yummylicious blueberry lemon cupcake from one of my favourite bakeries and cupcake shops, Desmond & Beatrice!  The blueberry lemon cupcake ($2.75) is a vanilla cake studded with juicy blueberries topped with a generous amount of lemon frosting and a cute little dried blueberry.  Perfect for lemon lovers and blueberry muffin lovers who want to jazz things up cupcake-style!  If you haven’t already, check out Ate by Ate’s Cupcake Chronicles feature page on Desmond & Beatrice or enjoy some picturesque scrolling fun through all the D&B posts HERE!

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Desmond & Beatrice Bake Shop and Cupcakery is located at 750 Queen Street East, just one block east of Broadview Ave. in the Riverside District.  They are open 7 days a week from 10am-7pm.  You can visit their official website at https://desmondandbeatrice.com/ and follow them on Twitter @dandbcupcakes

Crazy in Love with Lemon Blueberry Scones! A Visit to Cobs Bread – The Ate by Ate Daily, Vol. 009

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DSCN2331Current obsession: the lemon-blueberry scones from Cobs Bread!  I’ve been going crazy over these since May, to the point where I almost can’t pass them up any time I’m around a Cobs Bread now.  Even my brother, who normally wouldn’t touch a blueberry much less eat one (it’s one of his least favourite fruits) has totally given in to the lemon-blueberry scone love and scarfed a few of these babies down right along with me.  THEY ARE SO DARN YUMMY.  The glaze, the oodles of blueberries bursting from every scone and the sweet and zesty lemon make for delicious teatime snacks and, if you like things sweet in the morning, breakfasts.  Just think, they’d be so perfect paired with the Blueberry Jam tea from David’s Tea or the Lemon Meringue tea from Tealish or any other sweet or citrusy fresh flavours.  You could plan a whole breakfast or tea menu around these lovely pastries, what with blueberry pancakes, lemon tarts, loaf cakes, lemon bars, blueberry oatmeal cookies…I could daydream about this for a long time!  I am a lover of all things lemon, especially lemon desserts, and most blueberry things as well so the two married together in a scone is just heaven in my mouth.

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They’re $1.75 each and I’ve been getting mine from the Annex location just west of Spadina on Bloor Street West but any Cobs Bread location will do.  So far I’ve only tried the lemon-blueberry and cinnamon flavours but my brother has given the thumbs up for the apple butterscotch one and my boyfriend has given a heartfelt, “Mmmm….” for their double chocolate ones so none of us have struck out on any of their scone flavours just yet.  While I love the lemon-blueberry ones to itty bitty pieces, I wouldn’t mind trying their berry white chocolate ones too so we’ll see if I can get my hands on one of them in the near future.  In the meantime, I think I’ll continue drooling over these.

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The Cobs Bread shop in the Annex is located at 370 Bloor Street West several blocks west of Spadina Ave. between Walmer and Dalton Rd.  Visit the Cobs Bread site: http://www.cobsbread.com/local-bakery/my-local-bakery for other locations in and around Toronto and the GTA.

Ate by Ate on Yummy Stuff’s *NEW* Website!

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Hot off the press: Yummy Stuff’s new website!

I’m so excited to finally share this happy news with you all: Yummy Stuff‘s brand spankin’ new website went live yesterday and yours truly, Deb of Ate by Ate, has FIVE of her photos featured on it!  I’m so happy and ecstatic!!!  This has been in the works for over a month now and I’ve been on pins and needles wondering which photos Morag and her team chose to use on the site and I got the happy news in my inbox yesterday to go check it out because it was up and live and running!  I feel so incredibly honoured to be on their site representing even just a fraction of all the delicious and yummy cupcakes, cakes, decorated sugar cookies and sweets that they offer in their shop and I am just on cloud nine right now knowing they liked my stuff enough to want to use it.

You’ll find the majority of the photos in Yummy Stuff’s “About Us” page as well as on their “Bakery” page – hurray to the max for the gorgeous red scalloped dish that I love so much!  I took some screen caps of the pages featuring some of the photos they decided to use and a screen cap of their “In the News” page where Ate by Ate proudly sits in their 4th square!  This is a really happy, smiley moment for me and I want to thank all of you for always supporting me and being my inspiration for Ate by Ate – it wouldn’t be fun or worth it otherwise.

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Yummy Stuff is located at 1660 Queen Street West in the west end Parkdale neighbourhood, east of Roncesvalles Ave.  They are open Tuesday-Sunday, from 10am-7pm from Tuesday-Friday, 9am-6pm on Saturdays, and 12pm noon-5pm on Sundays.  They are closed on Mondays.  Visit their official website here.