Cupcakes, Cookies, Biscotti, Macarons, and Other Sweet Notions – Escaping to The Sweet Escape P√Ętisserie: Part I

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I’m so excited to finally post about The Sweet Escape and to share my scrapbook layout for it! ūüėĬ† The first time I mentioned The Sweet Escape was back in December when I was posting about¬†Christmas at the Distillery District,¬†the adorable life-size¬†real gingerbread house right outside the caf√©, and the yummy gingerbread cupcake I had!¬† And¬†it’s actually been 2 and half years since¬†I first laid eyes on this place for the first time.¬† I was waiting for the perfect moment to write about this amazing cupcakery, bakery, and caf√© and because I didn’t have a scrapbook layout ready at the time, I’ve been itching for over 2 months to get this post up!¬† The Sweet Escape is truly a favourite within a favourite with¬†some of¬†my FAVOURITE cupcakes in the city in one of my favourite neighbourhoods in Toronto.¬† Aside from Kensington Market, The Distillery District is is my favourite area to be in.¬† It doesn’t get any better than that!

Even though the cupcakes here are the biggest pull for me, The Sweet Escape is what I refer to as the “triple threat” of caf√©s.¬† You know how celebrities are sometimes referred to as “triple threats” because they can sing, act, and dance?¬† Well, this p√Ętisserie, situated in the heart of The Distillery District in downtown Toronto, is a triple threat.¬†¬†Baked goods, chocolates and candy, and lunch food stuff.¬†

Michelle Edgar, owner and pastry chef of The Sweet Escape, whips up delicious cupcakes along with cookies, cheesecake, biscotti, meringues, caramels, brownies, and rock candy among many other sweet treats.¬† On top of all that they serve soup and sandwiches including panini and, from what I hear, some of the BEST pulled pork sandwiches in town.¬† I will report back when I try one, I promise.¬† I would have ordered one a long time ago, but it’s so hard not being tempted to order an entire sugar buffet when you’re there!¬† Not only is their selection of yummies to die for, they also offer lots of gluten-free options!

I have a lot to share, so¬†I’m doing a¬†2-parter for The Sweet Escape.¬† I’m going to share all my cupcake love tomorrow, so¬†I leave you now with my scrapbook layout and a bunch of my favourite pictures, enjoy!

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The Sweet Escape P√Ętisserie is located at 55 Mill St., Building 47 in The Distillery District.¬† The Distillery District is east of The St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood, sitting south of Front St.E, and sandwiched between Parliament and Cherry St.

Scrapbook materials used: buttercup yellow, pale yellow, baby pink, bubble gum pink, and baby blue cardstock (Recollections); sky blue cardstock (DCWV); magenta cardstock (Best Occasions); dotted patterned paper; alphabet stickers (K & Company); Christmas gingerbread embellisment stickers (Recollections); medium scallop circle paper punch (ek success); scalloped edge decorate scissors (Provo Craft).

Foodie Districts – The Toronto Christmas Market, and The Charm and History of The Distillery District, Part II

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The Distillery District in Toronto is beautiful and it is my favourite neighbourhood in the city.¬† It may not be¬†a glamourous, shopping mecca like Yorkville, or trendy like Queen West, but it has history and character, not to mention it’s a photographer’s playground because of its¬†restoration back in 2003.¬† Every time I go, I lose myself in its charm, quietly walking¬†the brick and¬†pebbled lanes, scoping out good eats and admiring all the beautiful artistry in the buildings that host classes like glass blowing and jewelry crafting.¬† It opens the mind and is deeply inspiring.¬† And at a time like Christmas, it makes me feel like a total kid again! *cue excited squeals*

One of the first memories I have of being in this neighbourhood was attending a wonderful artisan’s Christmas market a number of years ago, (where I came home with heart-pumpingly gorgeous handmade jewelry for presents) and after finding out about the Toronto Christmas Market¬†happening this year (thanks CP24 news feed!), I knew it would be an opportune time to snap some nice photos and to indulge in some holiday treats!¬† The Christmas market itself is set up with a bunch of different wooden house booths all along the streets with holiday candies, chocolates, European pastries, and tea among many others.¬† I came home with some yummy chocolate covered cake pops and some coconut almond loose tea!

If you know how much I love markets, you know I can’t leave one without coming home with a little something!¬† The cake pops came from a booth for Leonard’s Cake Company (I picked up two as they had a 2 for $5 deal; a red velvet cake pop and a chocolate one), and the loose tea came from Leslieville’s Steeped¬†and Infused, and let me tell you, it’s fantastic.¬† I am quite fond of tea and this tea is gooood.¬† I bought a sample of it for $1.75 and it’s good for about 3-4 cups and you can bet I’m going to skip on over there when it’s not severe icicle weather to get more!

Now, the¬†Distillery District¬†hosts a number of different caf√©s, restaurants, pubs, and specialty shops such as The Boiler House, Balzac’s, the Mill Street Brewery, and Soma, just to name a few.¬† I haven’t yet eaten my way through them all¬†yet (but rest assured I will, ha!), but I have thoroughly and happily enjoyed both Caf√© Uno and The Sweet Escape P√Ętisserie and get excited about the prospect of going to both for an afternoon of yummy eats whenever I can.¬†

The first time I went to Café Uno was back in May for Doors Open Toronto where I had some sweet fruity gelato.  This time though, I wanted to enjoy a nice, warm sitdown meal as opposed to a snack, so I ordered the butter chicken dinner with rice and a side of vegetables, and although the butter chicken was certainly not the kind served in Indian cuisine, it was still tasty (think moist white chicken breast chunks in rotisserie sauce) and my favourite part of it was the chickpeas and vegetables as they just scream warmness and comfort to me.

I’m excited to go back to try their famous panini sandwiches as well as they’re salad, soup, drinks, and oh my¬†goodness, their selction of dessert will have you standing there staring for¬†ages (!!!).¬†¬†Oh!¬† And they serve weekend brunch!¬† I’m writing that into my calendar too.¬† I really enjoyed the atmosphere too, with the industrial¬†yet homey feel of the caf√© and it’s just a great place to sit down and enjoy a lunch¬†with friends.¬† They have plenty of seats¬†beside big windows, along with some trendy bar stools and tables in between.¬† The¬†dessert at Caf√© Uno would have to wait though¬†as I was brimming with anticipation about my cupcake from The Sweet Escape!¬†

I love The¬†Sweet Escape.¬† It’s so cute and the desserts are lovely.¬† A more thorough post about this bakery will come soon, but for now, I’ll treat¬†you to my photos and account¬†from Tuesday.¬† Not only was I looking forward to my cupcake from there, but I was absolutely DELIGHTED when I saw this sign out front:

Wait, let me get this straight.  A gingerbread house you could play in??  OH.MY.GOD.  So I excitedly went in with Richard and lo and behold, a lifesize gingerbread house made out of REAL gingerbread sat there like something ripped out of Hansel and Gretel  *skips around*.  A beautiful gingerbread house made out of cookies, icing sugar, red and green frosted cupcakes sitting atop on the roof, colourful jube jube candies lining the windowsills, and green and red macarons adorning the doorway as a wreath, just sitting there, waiting to be played in!

And to my delight, The Sweet Escape had gingerbread cupcakes with a little jube jube candy¬†sitting on top of the frosting, waiting to¬†be inhaled by me.¬†¬†So I did.¬†¬†And it was delicious.¬†¬†The Sweet Escape¬†makes great cupcakes and¬†they have a great selection.¬† On Tuesday,¬†they had about 6 different kinds to choose from and all of them are priced at $2.50¬†each, putting¬†them at the bottom rung of the cupcakery pricing list, as many cupcakeries in the city¬†price them from about $2.50 to $3.50.¬† I¬†have to tell you, this particular cupcake had some wicked kick to it (duh, Deb, it’s gingerbread, it’s¬†supposed to!) and it’s made with cinnamon and cream cheese frosting.¬† DELICIOUS.

It was SO worth it being out in the cold enjoying this Christmas market and I really hope some of you get the chance to check it out.¬†¬†And if you don’t get around the holiday market, definitely explore the neighbourhood.¬† It’s my favourite and I can’t gush¬†enough about how nice it is.¬† It’s historically rich, charming, and entirely pedestrian-friendly, so go! ūüôā¬†¬†

 

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Caf√© Uno is located at 55 Mill St., Building 32, and The Sweet Escape P√Ętisserie is located at 55 Mill St., Building 47.¬† The Distillery District is east of The St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood, sitting south of Front St.E, and sandwiched between Parliament and Cherry St.

A Beautiful Tree, Gingerbread House, and Market Goodies – The Toronto Christmas Market at the Distillery, Part I

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I am SO, SO excited to be sharing these photos with you all!¬† If there are 3 things you should know about me, they are: 1) Christmas is my favourite holiday, 2) I am an absolute sucker for markets, and 3) The Distillery District is my favourite neighbourhood in Toronto aside from Kensington Market.¬† I can’t decide which area I love more, I love them both!¬† My boyfriend Richard and I went to the Toronto Christmas Market at the Distillery District on Tuesday and even though we froze our tooshies off, I had¬†SO much fun *prances around the room*.¬†

There was a gorgeous, GIANT Christmas tree, all the shops were decked out in Christmas greenery, wreaths, and bows, there were signs decorated to look like iced gingerbread cookies, and there was even a life-size gingerbread house to boot!¬† The market was beautiful with¬†an incredibly charming old-town feel to it, selling everything from toys to tea to meats to baked goods to cakes.¬† The Distillery District is beautiful and a photographer’s dream at any point in the year, but it looked especially magical with all the market festivities going on.¬† I only wish I could¬†go at night when everything is lit up, but I’m happy that I¬†got to go during¬†the day because¬†at least I get to show you all everything in daylight!

I have a lot to post tomorrow with more pictures and descriptions of everything foodie-related in the Distillery I could lay my eyes on and get my hands (or mittens!) on for that day.¬† So for now, I leave you with tons of pictures to get us started!¬† The Toronto Christmas Market is on until the end of Sunday, so you have plenty of time to still make it down and enjoy everything.¬† And yes, the gingerbread house is REAL, and yes,¬† you may go huddle inside and play, and no, you cannot help yourself and start eating the wreath.¬† Or the doorway.¬† Or the windowsill.¬† No, not the roof either.¬† I know, we’ll all have to exercise¬†self-control.¬† There, there.

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For more info on locations and directions, go here.  The Distillery District is located south of Front St.E, between Parliament and Cherry St.  The Distillery District is the neighbourhood east of the the St. Lawrence Market.  A huge thank you to my sweetie for the last two photos!