So I seem to be in Toronto an awful lot these days. Don’t mind it, for someone who works from their home, these trips seem like the only time ‘off’ from work – or at least it separates me from my work, so they’re very welcomed.
This time my son Jordan had a concert to go to at The Opera House. It started early and ended late so Jon and I had plenty of time to relax in the big city.
First we took the kids to Chinatown for lunch and a bit of shopping. Lunch at Pho Hung on Spadina was really bad. The food came out dry and we were given giant bottles of cheap processed sauce that was watered down. I don’t recommend it at all. We did a bit of shopping, mostly for the boys. From Chinatown to Honest Eds to Sonic Boom.
Dropped the kids off at the concert and Jon and I went to the Riviera Bakery on College for a rest, coffee and decadent pastry. We had a window seat to people watch and had a Zeppola.
Zeppola are the Easter pastry or the pastry Italians eat to celebrate S Giuseppe. It looks like a giant donut sliced horizontally and filled with luscious whipped cream and topped with a cherry or two. For those who know it better, it's feather light egg dough, deep fried and dredged in sugar, stuffed with whipped cream and decorated with special Italian preserved cherries - beyond delicious!
I asked why they’re making Zeppoles so early and the owner said there is such a frienzy a few weeks before Easter – people were lined up down the street and they just couldn’t manage the onslaught of business around that time. Now they start making Zeppole a few months early and that has helped as people now come in early for the favourite Easter treat.
It was early evening, we went to the Manulife Building and shopped in Chapters for a while. This is probably the largest Chapters anywhere and it was opened until 11 pm on Sunday. Decided to go up to the Panorama for a drink. The Panarama is a beautiful, sultry bar on the 51st floor of the Manulife. We sipped on wine and watched the lights of the city come on.
On our way up to the Panorama we noticed the cinemas. We wanted to see the King’s Speech but were too early for the late show and too late for the early show. But there was a showing in between at the VIP theatre. We’d be out in time to pick up the kids.
VIP is a much smaller theatre (probably holds 36 people) with larger, plush, very comfortable seats that rock and have plenty of leg room. There are small coffee tables on ether side of a pair of chairs and it’s a licenced theatre with full service. You can order wine, beer, popcorn, anything the theatre offers. The concept was great so we paid the extra $5 per ticket.
When we arrived the theatre was dirty; popcorn scattered everywhere and we had to pick the clean seats as many of them had sticky pop over them. We found 2 good seats and sat back; this was nice. We ordered popcorn and it came in it’s traditional paper bag – not very VIPish at all.
For service you need to be in your seats 10 minutes before the show and that was doable, but waiting for a movie is like watching paint dry, it’s simply not convenient.
The movie was fantastic, but the VIP theatre concept needs a bit of rethinking to get it right. Don’t think it’s worth the extra money unless it’s a clean space, popcorn comes in a bowl and the movie starts when you’re ready.
I love impromptu trips into Toronto, not everything works as you'd like or expect but it's a break for the ordinary and it's all good.