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November 21, 2016 · Vendors

♥ Flagship BLAKE restaurant in Canmore now open! ♥
I
have been lovingly referring to BLAKE flagship restaurant as "My Favourite restaurant!" long before even setting foot in the doors. I was lucky to experience BLAKE for the first time this week-end and I can confirm that it is indeed instantly my favourite restaurant. You've likely heard me talk about how much I loved the tacos at BLAKE's PD3 bus this summer, that was just a tiny preview of the possibilities of the flagship restaurant. BLAKE is unlike any restaurant in the mountains and it is loved already. I don't dare show you the food yet because part of the experience of BLAKE is delighting in the unexpected presentation of the food. It's simple & not fussy but well considered presentation. The food is flavourful comfort food with a creative twist. The menu is designed to be made up of trying several things and sharing. When you order something it is brought out in the order that it is finished and it's the perfect set up for ordering a couple of things and then ordering more after your first selections have been devoured. There is something for everyone. Perfect for a romantic date night, family night out and everyday casual nights out. You will feel equally comfortable getting dressed up for a special night out or showing up in hiking pants after a great day in the mountains. BLAKE is also one of the more affordable restaurants in the mountains with amazing bites starting at $6. Make sure you arrive hungry though because you'll want to try everything.

There are thoughtful and creative local collaborations that shine and add to the uniqueness of the restaurant like breads from Le fournil, oils from Evoolution ,new weekly featured cake by Kake, airplants & florals by Canmore's Willow Flower Co., a whimsical and delicious collaboration with Fiasco, and even specially commissioned soap & foaming wash from Rocky Mountain Soap Co..

It has long been a personal pet peeve of mine that eating out in a tourist town means that servers will always ask where you are from and what adventure you are going on today which is thankfully not the case at BLAKE. The service is attentive and friendly but you don't leave feeling like you spent your entire meal chatting with your server instead of with the loved ones you came out with. You also feel like you are a local not a tourist. You expect to give a new restaurant a grace period during opening while everyone finds their way but we were there minutes after the door opened and it instantly felt like home with a great staff, amazing atmosphere and the best meals I've ever had the joy to experience.

I haven't even spoken about the space itself and it is perhaps the most impressive story to share. BLAKE was formerly Midway Automotive which at the time of purchase was really run down. To be able to transform an auto repair shop into what you see today is a bit mind blowing. I suggest that you google Midway Automotive Canmore before heading to BLAKE so you can fully appreciate it's transformation. What makes it even more inspiring is that BLAKE is a family run project between Father & Son and family pitched in along every step like pouring those amazing moonlike floors. I think that's why the space feels like home because every detail was handcrafted by family working countless hours.

I saw friends out and we all had different favourite must have items on the menu according to our widely varied tastes but a few items that seemed to be a common thread among us all were the aptly named crack fries as a table staple, anything and everything on the Bao menu, the Chicken n' Waffle cone, and dessert is simply a must every time.

BLAKE is now open for dinner at 5pm everyday this week with lunch service expected to start this week-end opening at 11:30am. It is well worth the drive from Calgary just for a meal here.
Although it looks nothing like it's former auto repair shop there are thoughtful references to it's former life like the gorgeous garage door windows that offer amazing views from every table.
The entrance offers a stunning view of the kitchen hard at work.
The moon like floors were poured by family & friends.
One of my favourite features of the space is the carefully considered spacing of the tables and the height of the ceiling all of which allow you to feel like you have privacy and personal space from other diners without feeling cramped like many mountain restaurants. It feels comfortable immediately.
Every detail has been carefully considered like the black cutlery that feels good in your hands. Another hidden detail is the thermal paint on the table which reveals patterns like a mood ring when anything hot like a cup of tea is placed on the table.
The menus also serve as colouring pages with pencil crayons on every table. Friends used the menu to check off items they tried this round and to circle those they wanted to try on the next visit.
I love the bathrooms at BLAKE! Ha ha! Just go check them out. There is even specially commissioned made in Canmore Rocky Mountain Soap Company foaming wash.









June 19, 2013 · Vendors

♥ Nigel + Ronelle ♥
K
evin and I have been extremely fortunate to live next door to incredibly talented musicians. Nigel plays cello and also makes bows and his wife Ronelle plays violin.

Nigel opened a Luthier studio in a Banff cabin where he makes bows and his partner makes cellos, violins and violas. Kevin and I went to visit the Luthier studio and watched a cello being made. It felt like we had stepped back in time and it was amazing to see how involved the process is in making a concert quality instrument.

Nigel and Ronelle are now offering their musical talent for couples looking for wedding music in the mountains. They are working on putting together a website so I took a few photographs of them to use. In the meantime you can reach them for your wedding here.









June 15, 2013 · Vendors

♥ Gingko and Ink Atelier. Paperie. Gallery ♥
T
here is a new shop in my studio building that I'm really excited about. It's called Gingko and Ink and it's a paper studio with loads of beautiful handmade papers for bookbinding and other projects and lots of other beautiful supplies for art projects.

It's in The Harmony Lane Building in Banff at 111 Banff Avenue. You can find it across the hall from Bernard Callebaut. Chocolate and art supplies in one place!
There are beautiful origami papers and books on how to make origami.
Papers, cards, coloured pencils.
I love these up-cycled journals made out of old bingo cards. There are also journals made out of vintage books.
You can find postcards made by local artists, cards and art prints.
Handmade papers that are worthy of framing.
Colourful straws for garden parties.
Gingko and Ink is set up to host workshops. The first workshop by The Banff Snail Mail Society will held from 5-8pm on June 20th.
For $10 you will be given stationery, stickers, and stamps to write love letters on one of the vintage typewriters. When was the last time you sent off a love letter?









June 13, 2013 · Vendors

♥ The New Willow Flower Company ♥
K
ailee Weil first starting working for Leo at Willow Haven Flower shop when she was 11. In high school Kailee worked at Willow Haven doing whatever jobs she could to be a part of the shop. Leo sent Kailee to flower school in Holland to train and when she came back she worked at Willow Haven before moving to Vancouver to work in a North Vancouver flower shop.

When Leo announced that he would be selling Willow Haven to pursue opening a fashion store Kailee bought the business.

Kailee just opened the doors to her new Willow Flower Company location right beside Rapunzel's hair salon in Canmore. I stopped by the shop today to find Kailee busy assembling centre pieces for events and took a few quick photos to give you a sense of her beautiful new space.

You have to go check it out. I'm really excited about it.
Kailee at work assembling centre pieces.
Kailee had lots of great and creative containers for centrepieces.
I am thrilled to FINALLY see airplants available in the mountains. I fell in love with them in Vancouver when I visited so I was excited to see that Kailee is now carrying them at Willow Flower Company. I have one hanging in my window and would love a collection like this. They are so beautiful and really really easy maintenance.
Willow Flower Company also has a great selection of cards from one of my favourite shops in Vancouver, The Regional Assembly of Text. So nice to have some great cards in town.
Congratulations to you Kailee on your beautiful new space!!! You can find Leo in the same spot on main street in Canmore where he has now opened Vida fashion.









November 16, 2012 · Vendors

♥ Orange Wreath - Rebecca Dawn Flower Design ♥
I am super excited about Christmas and was thrilled when Rebecca Dawn from Rebecca Dawn Flower Design agreed to create a custom orange wreath for me. It makes me so happy to have it.









 
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