Samuel’s Thursday Night Sushi is Back!

31 Jul

Samuel's Summer Sushi Backby Diva Calista Powell
Transitioning from living in the city for 5 years to moving back to Huron County is something I welcomed with open arms back in March. I knew that I would not miss the hustle and bustle of traffic, the blaring sirens and unfamiliar faces. But my gosh, I did not consider how much I would miss sushi. Luckily, a good friend and foodie extraordinaire, Jill Donnelly, notified me that her work, Samuel’s Hotel in Saltford, serves these beautiful rice rolls every Thursday night. Conveniently located across the street from my Dad’s house, I met up with Jill and our mutual friend Brittany and was pleasantly surprised to see the wide variety of sushi rolls on the menu. I would have to say that the best part about the menu was the great promotion they have on Thursday night called “A Dinner for One”. For $21, you can order your choice of 1 starter, 1 roll, and 1 dessert. This was a great choice for all of us as Jill is an experienced sushi connoisseur, and Brittany had never tried any before so we ordered to share.

The summer fresh rolls.

The summer fresh rolls.

After mowing down our appetizers of always-a-great-choice edamame and some super gingery summer rolls (fresh rolls), I felt nearly full already but had to continue when the main course arrived. Jill, feeling daring, ordered the Fusion Fire roll which was a spicy blend of Lake Huron white bass, cucumber, and peppers topped with a chili mayo, and after having a couple pieces I thought my mouth was going to literally light on fire. They don’t joke when they say extra spicy, but then again I’m kind of a sissy when it comes to hot foods. Britt chose the safe option and went with the Teriyaki Chicken and although she was a little timid to take the first bite, she ate every last piece and tried some of mine and Jill’s. I decided to go with the Fusion Salmon roll which was cold smoked salmon, cream cheese, chives, cucumber and avocado topped with a pile of fish roe. Britt asked what the “little orange balls” were, and with our encouragement she tried, and liked arguably as much as Jill and I did.
Teriyaki chicken rolls. I have such great friends for letting me sneak a few morsels  off of their plates. “Guys, it’s for a Travel Diva’s article, come onnnn”.

Teriyaki chicken rolls. I have such great friends for letting me sneak a few morsels
off of their plates. “Guys, it’s for a Travel Diva’s article, come onnnn”.

If we weren’t wowed enough already, when the chocolate brownie and emperor’s napolean desserts came out we were definitely impressed. The presentation was so beautiful I almost felt bad destroying it, but it was worth every bite. I have never seen a dessert as elaborate as the emperor’s napolean. As expected, the sweet crispy wontons, green tea whipped cream, summer berries and raspberry chocolate liquor sauce were to die for. I have to say that one of my favourite things to do is introduce friends to excellent cuisine and I don’t think we could have picked a better place than Samuel’s Hotel to dine for girls night.

To view the rest of Samuel’s Special Thursday night Sushi menu: http://samuelshotel.ca/component/content/article/11-dining/31-summer-sushi

Samuel’s Hotel Inc. are located at
34031 Saltford Rd.,  Goderich, ON N7A 4C6

 

A deliciously rich brownie

A deliciously rich brownie

All hail the emperor’s napoleon.

All hail the emperor’s napoleon.

Huron County Playhouse II – Run for Your Wife

30 Jul
David Leyshon, Michael Lamport and David Talbot Run For Your Wife, 2014 SeasonPhotographer, Scott Williams  Photo taken from the website - http://goo.gl/6KUiIl

David Leyshon, Michael Lamport and David Talbot
Run For Your Wife, 2014 Season Photographer, Scott Williams Photo taken from the website – http://goo.gl/6KUiIl

by Diva Christine Harris

After having a wonderful time at the Huron County Playhouse II in June, I was really looking forward to my visit this month in July.  This time I would be seeing a British Farce by Ray Cooney called “Run for Your Wife”.  David Leyshon stars as a taxi driver named John Smith who has been successfully keeping two marriages a secret until he has an accident at work and bumps his head.  This throws off his entire schedule that has been keeping things running smoothly, and now he has to try to pick up the pieces to keep each of the wives from finding out about each other.  The set was brilliantly crafted by David Antscherl who has separated a large room by colour so that the actors could either use both sides at once to simulate both wives at the same time, or use the whole set at once as one of the homes.  Once the wives Mary and Barbara played by Susie Bernett and Stacy Smith realize that John is not home on time from work (because he keeps a precise schedule), they fret and worry.  Complications ensue when police Sergeants played by David Talbot and Anthony Bekenn become involved even when neighbours played by Michael Lamport and Aidan deSalaiz try to help out.   Find out if John Smith can keep his double life a secret by booking your tickets today!

Run for your Wife runs at the Huron Country Playhouse until August 2nd.

Drayton Entertainment
Huron Country Playhouse
RR 1, the “B Line”
Grand Bend, Ontario N0M 1T0
GPS coordinates: N 43° 18.834 W 81° 43.549

1-855-drayton

ArtSee Cafe Eats in Bayfield, ON

30 Jul
The mushroom spinach and ham crepe in a white wine cheese sauce. Delish!



The mushroom spinach and ham crepe in a white wine cheese sauce. Delish!

By Diva Calista Powell

ArtsSee Cafe’s website states they are, “Serving delicious, innovative, fresh and healthy food. Our service is friendly, casual and attentive. Our environment is relaxed, current, youthful and welcoming”, and I have to 100% agree with them. I have always wanted to go to this French-style bistro, so on a rainy day I drove up to Bayfield to have lunch here with my Grandma, Polly. It usually takes me about .5 of a second to decide what I am going to order but every single item on this menu was so intriguing. We ended up deciding on splitting a mushroom, spinach and ham crepe and the Mediterranean Panini made up of Metzger’s smoked turkey breast, artichoke hearts, crumbled feta, and sundried tomato mayonnaise grilled on a focaccia. It was nearly impossible to decide which meal I liked better. You can never go wrong with a healthy sandwich made from local ingredients, but then again the crepe had a white wine and cheese sauce that I wish I could eat every day.

The Mediterranean focaccia as recommended by our server. Definitely a good choice.

The Mediterranean focaccia as recommended by our server. Definitely a good choice.

The portions were great for a light lunch and the ambience of ArtSee Cafe was relaxed and welcoming. At one point a lady wearing her pyjamas sat down to an espresso to frantically scribble something on to a napkin that I could not make out . I later overheard as she was speaking to a friend who entered the cafe that she was visiting from London for a poetry workshop and just had a surge of inspiration. It made me smile knowing that someone from a neighbouring city would feel at home here and find ArtSee Cafe as wonderful as I did.

To view ArtSee Cafe’s Schedule and Menu go to their website at http://www.artseecafe.ca

They are located at 19 Main Street, Bayfield, Ontario

The super friendly serving staff Cassie Groot, Shannen Murray & Maddy McDonald.

The super friendly serving staff Cassie Groot, Shannen Murray & Maddy McDonald.

The culinary wizards who made my amazing meal! Big thanks to Guy Spence, Anita Spence and Stacia McLean.

The culinary wizards who made my amazing meal! Big thanks to Guy Spence, Anita Spence and Stacia McLean.

 

Bach Music Festival of Canada hosts Beijing’s Angel Voice Choir

29 Jul
A special presentation hosted by the Bach Music Festival of Canada

A special presentation hosted by the Bach Music Festival of Canada

by Diva Christine Harris

It was a pleasure to be able to see this wonderful choir from Beijing, China.  These 22 boys and girls range in age from 8-12 years old and were kicking off their Canadian Tour in Exeter at the Trivitt Memorial Anglican Church.  They were hosted by the Bach Music Festival of Canada.

Angel Voice Choir from Beijing performed in Trivitt Anglican Church in Exeter

Angel Voice Choir from Beijing performed in Trivitt Anglican Church in Exeter

The room was full of talent that night.  We were treated to a piano prelude by Marissa Li before the performance even began.  The Angel Voice Choir was conducted by Chao Li who also had an amazing part himself with the choir singing solo during one of their pieces.  The Choir performed some songs from Hayao Miyazaki who is a Japanese film director, as well as some religious songs.  One of my favorite parts of the evening were the solos performed by Houxuan Song and Sihan Ma, this is where their voices really shined.

We also got to hear performances from some of our local talent, the Cantabilettes and sisters Sydney and Amelia Harvey.  To top things off, at the end all of the singers came together and performed some Canadian folksongs, it was a wonderful way to end the evening.

Bach Music Festival of Canada
The Bach Music Festival presents a full Festival every other year – the next scheduled July 12-19, 2015.  LIKE them on Facebook to receive information on their annual events and activities.

Life is a Beach in Huron County

23 Jul

by Diva Calista Powell

It is easy to take for granted the beautiful beaches that we have available to us in Huron County. I have traveled around the world and lounged on some of the most incredible seashores; From Frasier Island’s champagne pools in Australia to Elafonisi’s pink sands in Crete, Greece. As wonderful as these exotic sands are, there really is no place like home.To me, there is nothing better than the freshwater Great Lakes and watching the sun set over the West Coast horizon. Here are a few favourite beaches of mine that I recommend you visit this summer:

The Stegall sisters performing at Summer Sunset Sounds for a crowd of beach go-ers.

The Stegall sisters performing at Summer Sunset Sounds for a crowd of beach go-ers.

Beach #1: Grand Bend Beach

Whenever I have to explain to city folk where my hometown is, I usually say, “45 minutes from Grand Bend”, because everyone is familiar with this lively strip and beautiful waters. From the night life to the soft stretches of sand, Grand Bend never disappoints. After a 27-degree day of sun tanning and water frisbee, I packed up my beach bag and strolled up to the observation deck stage to see one of my favourite bands, Stegall, perform for Summer Sunset Sounds. Summer Sunsets Sounds is a series of free live concerts that happen every Sunday night at 7pm on the main beach of Grand Bend. The sensational sunset and laid back atmosphere complimented the Stegall sisters beats in the most perfect way. To see the line up for the rest of the summer visit: http://grandbendtourism.com/events/summersunsetsounds

The waters of Grand Bend shining at sunset.

The waters of Grand Bend shining at sunset.

Beach #2: Bayfield South Beach (Howard Street Beach)

The sleepy town of Bayfield is one of my favourite places to be in the summertime. This season, I made a point to stroll through Patina Studios to see the fine art and pottery by artists Joan Bailey and Tony Eyamie, stop in to see my friend Jean-Anne Hamilton at The Black Dog Pantry for a snack and then take the trek down the long wooden staircase on Howard Street Beach to soak up some rays. What I like about this beach is that it is fairly secluded and has a much quieter pace, so it is perfect way to recharge and take a mini-vacation from the hustle and bustle of work life.

The Bayfield sunset lights up the South Street Beach shoreline.

The Bayfield sunset lights up the South Street Beach shoreline.

Directions: At Brandon’s Hardware store on the square, take a right onto Howard Street and follow it all the way to the very end lot.

Beach #3: Port Blake Park

This was the first year I have ever visited Port Blake Park, and thanks to Best Host West Coast (a Huron Tourism Association training program) I now know about this Lake Huron gem. Port Blake is a serene, yet lively conservation area equipped with a picnic pavilion and BBQ areas. Over the years, this location has attracted guests from urban centres such as Kitchener and the GTA. Port Blake Park is a great place to bring the whole family for the day, and is dog friendly (as long as they are leashed). Admission is $4 per person or $10 a car load and is most definitely worth checking out this summer.

Address: 71155A Bluewater Highway 21 at Highway 83 (Dashwood Road)

For more information on beaches and to discover many more summer destinations, check out Ontario’s West Coast publications at http://www.ontarioswestcoast.ca/beta/news/publications-brochures/

Huron County – 29 Beautiful Hiking Trails

17 Jul MenesetungBridge

by Diva Calista Powell
When I was a kid it was nearly impossible to keep me inside in the summertime. I can vividly remember my best friend Brittany and I exploring the many hiking trails around Goderich. We told ghost stories at Tiger Dunlop’s tomb and watched many sunsets from the Menesetung bridge. To this day, my appreciation for nature has not subsided and I am happy to call Huron home as we have over 29 beautiful hiking trails to discover. Here are some of my favourites that I have explored this season:

Trail #1: Maitland Woods

This 3.3km hiking trail is on the south edge of Goderich and is family friendly. There are boardwalks put in place to protect the varieties of plant life along the way and it is not uncommon to see wildlife along the path. What is great about this trail is that in the winter time it makes for an excellent cross-country skiing adventure!

Directions: Main entrance is off of Parsons Court at the southwest corner of the Knights of Columbus parking lot in Goderich, Ontario.

MaitlandTrail2013-Goderich-11

THe Maitland Trail – hiking the gravel path at sunset.

Trail #2: Bannockburn Conservation Area

The Bannockburn trail has always been a favourite for my family, and every year we honour our tradition and attend their Fall hike hosted by the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority. I remember as a young kid I had a special mug that I would bring from home to fill up with hot apple cider to enjoy along the walk. The Bannockburn trail is also a favourite for many because you can bring your family pet as long as they are leashed. Also, there are alternate routes for hikers with a higher experience level. Come and enjoy the six natural communities Bannockburn has to offer; wet meadow, deciduous forest, old field, aquatic, marsh and white cedar.

Directions: Bannockburn Conservation is located on 76249 Bannockburn Line and is the first side road east of Varna off of County Road #3 (Mill Road).

Trail #3: MacNaughton-Morrison Trail

The MacNaughton-Morrison Trail is a 4km loop that is part of the South Huron hiking experience along the Ausable river. Known for it’s population of white squirrels, trail-goers can expect to see a variety of wildlife among the hardwood and pine forests. What is particularly great about this trail is that it is wheelchair accessible and even has a great volunteer-run “Trail Mobile” that gives people with limited mobility the chance to experience the beauty of nature free of charge. To book the Trail Mobile, contact Ausable Bayfield Conservation at 519-235-2610.

Directions: This trail is located off of MacNaughton Park in Exeter at 62 MacNaughton Drive.

MenesetungBridge

For more information on these trails and to discover many more, pick up Ontario’s West Coast Hiking Guide or visit www.hikehuron.ca

 

Bayfield hosts The Tall Ships

14 Jul Tall_Ships_Bayfield3

Tall_Ships_Bayfield5Diva Christine visited Bayfield to get a glimpse of two Tall Ships that docked here for the weekend.

Per CKNX Radio, the Tall Ships were hosted by ten local service clubs including the Optimists. Chair of the Optimists Tall Ships Committee, Mike Dixon described the ships:  “both two-masted square riggers, 72 ft long, and both with a permanent crew of about ten. Each ship also carries a temporary crew of a dozen students who sign on for one to two weeks.”  Bayfield is the first of eight stops the tall ships will make on the Canadian side of the Great Lakes this summer.

Tall_Ships_Bayfield2

Tall_Ships_Bayfield1

 

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