We had a tough time planning our Big Day Downtown. As anyone who follows our blog may know, we rarely plan. It is our unwritten rule in our eight rules of local travel. But we had a guest, and $100 visa card, two rare additions to our adventures, so we attempted to plan.
We tossed around a lot of ideas, made a few phone calls, and in the end we ended up with an awesome, if not somewhat random, Big Day Downtown (#BigDayDowntown).
Working up a Sweat at Serpentine Studios
We met @SteveDinn and his wife @JulieMacFitness at Serpentine Studios (@SerpStudios www.cabaretserpentine.com) on Barrington. Serpentine Studios is shaking up the downtown fitness scene with unique classes like Burlesque, Circus Fit, and tribal fusion bellydance.
We opted to try a class in Hula Hoop. For 30 minutes, serp co-owner Monique guided us through one of the best abs workouts of my life. The best part – normally when Drew and I try a new activity he excels and I fall flat on my face. Hula Hoop classes were my revenge for a summer of flipping off wakeboards, struggling through blacksmithing and getting trapped 20 feet in the air trying to zipline. By the end of the class, we could all master the basics and a few tricks.
Monique also told us about some of the other unique programs they have at Serpentine. In addition to private hula parties and bachelorette bellydance sessions, you can book a burlesque bachelorette, including dance instruction, pasty making and a pin-up photo shoot.
Between class hours, you can also drop in for a session in the infrared sauna, with or without massage added in. And, for those more inclined to watch rather than do, Serpentine Studios offer special event performances including fire and sword dancing, belly dance, hula hoop performance and more.
Award Winning Cocktails at Middle Spoon
After torching so many calories (one hour burns up to 600!) we naturally wanted to drink them back on so we continued our Big Day Downtown down the street at The Middle Spoon (@TheMiddleSpoon). I had never been to The Middle Spoon before but two weeks ago a tweet on their Experimental Tuesdays caught my attention. Each Tuesday, Jenner mixes up custom cocktails for $8 a piece.
Nothing could have prepared me for the drinks at Middle Spoon. The menu is filled with unique combinations, everything from dill to jalapeno to elderflower. They make all of their bitters and have a cocktail menu designed 100% in-house. This is not the place to go for a mere Cosmo or beer. The cocktails at middle spoon are a full sensory experience.
We each selected a different cocktail from the menu and Jenner took us through a cocktail lesson on each. Every detail is perfected, starting from the glass ware and ending with the aroma’s that hit your nose when the cocktail hits your table.
Jenner speaks about cocktails the same way a master chef talks about a fine meal. He took us through elements I had never considered, how tastes build upon one another, the role of scent, appearance and temperature. He gave me a new-found appreciation for the art of bartending. I’m always fascinated by where people who are really passionate about creating something, whether it is a sculpture or a cocktail get their inspiration. One of the drinks we ordered, the Tango, was inspired by a salad that Jenner had in Toronto made with jalapenos, mangos and coconut dressing.
At the Middle Spoon, everything is in the details, from the right glassware, to the right bitters, to the right garnishes to even the proper way to shake a cocktail. Paying attention to detail pays off for anyone looking for a flavour adventure.
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