Fiddleheads,chocolate, tea and a story.
My second day in Ottawa had to be taken up with the market. Who can resist the promise of stalls selling local produce, flowers, artisan items and browsing a variety of independent stores?
Having said that, actually, the first store I went in was The Bay, I can’t even remember now, why I did, but something was calling me, and that something was chocolate. In one section of the store Lindt chocolateirs had a small chocolate demo stand, and coffee bar. This day they had a big sale, and huge pic-‘n-mix stands of more varieties of their chocolates than I had seen before. How could one resist?
I figured I needed to do way more than my 10,000 steps to walk all that off, so best get going!
Now into the market. There were cheese stores, and bread stores and places to savour local delicacies. All the stalls were bright and cheerful offering fresh flowers local produce, maple syrup and honey. As well as ethnic stores selling bright coloured clothing, material and accessories. The atmosphere was just as bright and cheerful alive with chatter, and venders shouting, traffic noise and coming and going.
Selling local produce
For once the camera was put away in favour of senses and memory telling the story.
What a treat to be able to take some of these ‘home’ and be able to cook my own dinner.
I wandered here and there and everywhere, exploring more stores and finding more areas of market, including an indoor market and a bakery; a fresh made bagel will go well with the Fiddleheads.
Then, I saw the sign. It simply said TEA in bold yellow and green lettering. Well, yes, I could do with a cuppa, the British in me screamed!
As soon as I opened the door I was in love. WOW!
Immediately along the left wall was the counter top displaying lots of goodies, and the proprietor was busy kneading a batch of dough whilst welcoming me both with words, a smile and the heavenly smells.
All other walls were shelved with jar after jar of delicious looking tea blends. Names such as Buckingham Palace Breakfast Tea, loganberry, fruit teas, spice teas. Teas from Ceylon. Teas from India. Black teas, Green teas, blended teas and Nut teas. Did I want to take a seat and have tea?
Although there were many different types to choose from, it was tea time, so I asked for the best blend of Earl Grey he could provide. Whilst waiting I looked at the displays, and savoured every minute of being there. Taking tea is an experience deserving our time and attention. Not to be hurried. Tea is served. Would madam like anything else. Oh dear, yes madam would. The lemon and cranberry slice was irresistible.
I enjoyed the first cup of tea, hot, just the right amount of milk and correct brew. The second cup was taken with the cake, which was also delicious, lemony and correctly balanced with the cranberries. I was also enjoying the ambience; not too busy with just the right amount of customers to make business but not too busy. The staff obviously enjoyed working there, and engaged with regular customers and those new and needing help choosing, showing great knowledge of their produce. I felt right at home, it was my kind of store, one similar to the place of my dreams if I were ever to be blessed with the opportunity to own a business. I did not have my tablet, but I always carry a note book and pen, so out they came, imagination was fired up, and produced a Little Teasers story, first draft to be worked on later.
Ideas abound when surrounded by tea!
I did further exploration of the area which will merit a separate blog. Just one last thing…
Fiddleheads in a peanut sauce, baked beans, toasted bagel. Ginger and lemon grass pressed. Crystalised pineapple and matcha covered almonds, and a chocolate to complete this repast.
Thank you for enduring this long epistle. Join me for further meanderings through Ottawa and my mind, as you deem fit.
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