Sunday, October 30, 2016

Fancy Lolita Tea Time - Royal York's Champagne Afternoon Tea

For October's Lolita meet we decided to go back to the Royal York's Library Bar since the majority of the group did not attend the previous meet up there in April. I found my previous experience there was very enjoyable and their accommodations were very good. 

While looking up the Library Bar's information to make the reservation, I noticed that October and November had a special featured 'Royal' menu to celebrate the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's visit to Canada this year. Below is the menu~

Royal York's Library Bar
In celebration of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's visit to Canada, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts will launch a special A Royal Champagne Afternoon Tea series for the months of October and November.  In collaboration with Chef Darren McGrady of Eating Royally, visitors to select Fairmont locations, including Fairmont Royal York, will have the opportunity to experience a menu fit for a Queen, including favourites of Prince William and the reigning monarch 
Royal Afternoon Tea
Smoked Scottish Salmon Gravadlax with Suèdoise Sauce
Sage Derby with Tomato
Coronation Chicken with Mayonnaise Bridge Rolls
Roast Beef with Golden Beetroot and Horseradish Crème Fraîche
Potted Shrimp with Warm Melba Toast
Jam Pennies
Additional Sandwiches
Selection of Pastries
Warm Scones with Clotted Cream and Fraise des Bois Compote
Vanilla Bean Shortbread
Raspberry Tartlets with Lemon Cheese
Earl Grey Fruitcake
Chocolate Biscuit Cake
Caramel Banana Cake
Battenberg Cake

Some of the savory and sweet items for afternoon tea.

The day that we all met up, because it was an overcast day and the table was set up in the middle of the room, the lighting was not ideal for taking pictures. We don't have very many pictures of the food or us in the restaurant due to the poor lighting. 

I quite liked the savory items in the menu and did not eat too many of the sweets. Unfortunately, the Royal York forgot my dietary requests that I initially provided in my e-mails, but our waiter was quite accommodating and found me some fruits and sorbet to substitute for the chocolate items. 

Since they lost my request, they also missed my special request to celebrate my birthday during our afternoon tea. I wasn't that disappointed since I did not want to make a fuss about it, but their lack of organization this time around was a bit odd.

Tour of the hotel
Part of the afternoon tea experience at the Royal York comes with a tour and we all opted to join it, I was more curious to see what new areas we would see or not see in the tour. This time around we did not visit the kitchen galleys or the executive suite levels, but got I see more of the large dining rooms and the ballroom. I didn't know that the film, Red, was filmed in locations inside the hotel. We also were allowed to go into the "smallest bar in Toronto", the York Station, that is run by one staff member named Alina. 

Our tour guide mentioned that they only do tours of the roof garden during the spring and summer months. 
Overall, it was a good experience at the Royal York. I prefer the standard afternoon tea menu rather than this special one since I found that all the desserts tasted very similar and sweet. There were some mishaps with the dietary requests and the restaurant lighting but the food was still very delicious and they provided great hospitality. For future reference, I will have to email them a few days prior to confirm my reservation and any special requests so that this does not happen again. 

For this month's Lolita meet, I wore Alice and the Pirates' End of Immortal Eden.

All photos are courtesy of Kimi.  

Until next time, 
stay fancy!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Lolita Closet - Metamorphose's Fancy Egg High Waist Pinafore JSK

This week's post, let us look at Metmorphose's Fancy Egg in the high waist pinafore version in pea green. The third post I have for the Fancy Egg print, this dress belongs to my friend, Keiko, who asked me to keep an eye out for it and to buy it if it ever popped up on the second hand market. It is her grail dress and she been obsessed with it every since the print was originally released, so for awhile I would check for this dress. Only lately, I have spent a lot of time looking for this dress and eventually I found it in this version and it came with the matching headpiece!

Metamorphose Fancy Egg in pea green
The pea green color was definitely one of the more unique colors in the original colorway options and I was surprised that it was a bit more muted in life and not as bright. It is definitely not a mint green, but leans more towards a more earthy tone of green. It might be hard to tell since my carpet is pink, but it is a very lovely shade of a soft green.

The dress has an empire waist cut and the main part of the bodice is embellished with diamond shaped trim and satin and grosgrain ribbon on the center panel.

Bodice details
You can see the different types of trim and lace that decorate the bodice and it is all dyed perfectly to match the green colorway. The skirt is gathered into the empire waist and can accommodate a medium sized petticoat.  The dress has a side zipper to help you get into the dress. Keiko told me, it is quite comfortable and because it is high waist dress, you don't feel constricted when you eat.

Back of the dress
The dresses in this series do not have fancy buttons for the shoulder straps, and it one of those things I wish they could have spent a bit more time on since I think any kind of shank button or even a fabric covered button would have worked better than the plastic one they chose.

The back panel features a quarter panel of shirring, and you can lace up the back with satin ribbon. I noticed that this dress did not have waist ties, which is a bit more unusual and uncommon for a lot of lolita dresses. I would say a majority of dresses in my collection come with waist ties.

Once again, the print is beautiful in any of the colorways and I think the pea green brings out more of the gold details from the print. You can see the subtle lace print on the border and the hem is finished with the green pea fabric.

When I found this dress, it came with the hat headpiece that none of my friends knew about! I knew it existed but I preferred the barrette or the bonnet over the hat head piece. It's actually really cute in life, since the hat is stuffed and is very soft and light weight. There is a hair comb on the underside and the two ribbons are sewn on the side. The ribbon on the hair is removable so you can use that instead as a hair piece instead of the hat. The ribbon is made from chiffon and has a small cameo decoration on it made from plastic.

I might take a break from this print and move on to other things in my closet for future posts for now. I do have the black colorway of this print, so that definitely will come up later on!

I hope you enjoyed looking at Fancy Egg with me and until next time,
Stay fancy!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Lolita Closet - Metamorphose's Fancy Egg Tuck Pleated Pinafore JSK

Let's explore and examine one of my favorite prints in my closet, Metamorphose's Fancy Egg, also known as Egg Art. This version is the Tuck Pleated Pinafore JSK in medium length. Ever since this print was released in 2012, I knew I had to have it. Initially I bought the ice blue skirt directly from Meta, which I blogged about awhile ago. Over the years I've slowly accumulated the rest of the colorways and at some point, all the colors were in my closet. Meta recently re-released Fancy Egg in some new designs and included a red colorway. I still prefer the original colors rather than the new ones. Let's look at the original pink colorway in the pleated pinafore design!

Meta's Fancy Egg
I acquired the pink version of the pinafore JSK with the barette as a set. Initially I wasn't sure if I would like the color, since I normally do not gravitate to pink lolita dresses. However, the price was really appropriate and it was a deal that I could not pass up. I also thought it would be a nice piece to add to my Fancy Egg collection since I had already owned an item in the blue and black colorways. The silhouette is quite lovely and I have to admit that the medium length makes it even more elegant than I imagined.

Front and back detailing

The bodice has a yoke that includes pleated chiffon detailing and two brooches that are removable; one small bow and the other is a lace cutout with a "M" emblem placed on some satin ribbon. The overall print is designed with a harlequin motif and is more subtle with the pink colorway. The skirt is pleated rather than gathered at the waistband and the waist tie is made from chiffon. Although the chiffon gives a lovely airy effect, without any interfacing, it does not maintain a bow shape that you would normally have with waist ties made from cotton.

The back has a quarter panel of shirring and features lace up button holes with pink satin ribbon. There is also an invisible zipper on the side for you to use to get into the dress. I was not particularly fond of the buttons they used for the shoulder straps and in time I might replace them with pink or gold buttons.

This dress falls right below my knees when I wear it and I really like that I don't have to roll up my petticoat because it's not short on me. The pleated chiffon hem is really fun to walk around in since it shifts constantly with your steps. The fabric is made of a lightweight cotton so it's a great choice for summer or hotter days. You have to be careful not to snag any of the chiffon pieces on anything since it pulls quite easily. The inside of the dress is lined with pink polyester lining.

Details of the print
The main reason I love this print is the Faberge eggs and all the fascinating details in the print. It's so much more magical to see in life and I constantly talk about and show my friends this print all the time. There are so many hidden gems in the print and I always find something new when I wear it.  

I recall wearing this dress and some ladies saw me walking down the street and they stopped and stared a bit, and hid around the corner just to see me walk by. I thought it was quite cute and they stopped me to say that they loved my dress and had not seen this fashion before in Toronto. 

I hope to wear this dress more often in the future. I was not deterred by the pink color and I definitely love the design of this dress. If I manage to find this dress in a different colorway, I might end up adding it to my collection.

Until next time!
Stay fancy!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Fancy Lolita Tea Time - Ritz Carlton

This month's meet was pretty exciting, since we finally managed to get the majority of the group to have afternoon tea at the DEQ restaurant located inside the Ritz Carlton hotel. I had to book quite early in advance to secure the booking for a party of 11. They were very accommodating with my requests as I initially booked for 8 people but asked if we could change it to 11 people about 2 weeks prior to the date. I think partially because the manager e-mailed me asking me if I could change our reservation time from 12pm to 2pm because there was a private event happening and they could not set up in time for afternoon tea. If anything, it worked out for most of us, as it gave us more time to get ready!

Photo credit: Ritz Carlton
The nice thing about the Ritz is that their afternoon tea menu changes every month or two. The theme for the month of August was Japanese high tea. I know previously in May, it was maple themed and I just saw that for September and October, it's a Gatsby themed tea set. It's nice that you can return and have something unique every time you go. 

This was our menu for our experience at the Ritz.

Wasabi mayo, pickled radish, romaine, flaky croissant
Pineapple, cucumber, mirin cured raisins, micro greens
Panko crusted chicken, candied plum relish, avocado, citrus mayo, sesame sliders
Roasted red peppers, spiced Japanese eggplant, crispy shallots
Broccoli and cheddar quiche
Pistachio Strawberry shortcake
Yuzu lemon tart
Matcha sables
Mango crème choux
Sweet plum pound cake
Freshly Baked Raisin Scones
Devonshire cream
Tea or Coffee

Our group had a nice alcove to ourselves in the restaurant and there was a fireplace where we were sitting. It provided great ambience but having the warmth of the fire in mid August was a bit odd. I think most of the girls were not deterred by this fact since the air conditioning was abundant and we got lucky with the some cooler weather that day. 

Tea selection
The Ritz serves Sloane tea for their tea sets and if I recall correctly, they had swapped out a Darjeeling for a Japanese Sencha for the month since it was more appropriate for the theme. Sloane tea is a Toronto based tea company and it's nice to know that they're supporting local businesses.

There was no time limit to our seating at the Ritz, it seemed that they normally allotted 3 hours for each seating, but they never mentioned a time limit to me when I made the reservation and there was never a sense that they wanted to rush us.

Each person was given their one pot of tea and the table was covered in teapots. Be mindful that the teapots are quite large and heavy. The tables had milk and sugar packets for your tea and a small jars of honey, jam and Devonshire cream for the scones.

We were served quiches that were served on a plate and they brought out the savory items on the tiered stands. It was hard to photograph the items on the stands and I hoped that they would give us the thinner frame stand for our food. I noticed that the Ritz has a variety of stands and some are quite unique looking. The table of two that was near us had a stand comprised of stacked cubes.

My favourite savory item was the smoked salmon croissant with the wasabi mayo. I wish I could have eaten more! A lot of locations in the United Kingdom offer refills of savory or sweet items, however it doesn't seem to be commonplace here in Toronto. I would have ate more of those croissants and taken home some of my sweet items.

Sweets time!
They served the dessert tiers after we were done with the savory and mine was brought out on a separate plate for my chocolate allergy request. There weren't too many differences with mine and the food items that everyone else had except that the chocolate topping pieces were either taken away or substituted with fruit.

One of the things that was brought to my attention was the large amount of sugar on the matcha cookies, I barely noticed it on mine since there was not much sugar, but Whitefrosty was scrapping the sugar off and she had a small mountain on her plate when I looked over.

I enjoyed the yuzu tart the most and I learned that it was less sweet compared to the version with the white chocolate topping. My sister said that she could taste the yuzu better in my tart when I let her try a bit of mine.

The normal desserts and my special non-chocolate versions of them. 

The raisin scones had a dense cake texture to them and were very filling. They weren't very large but eating one was definitely enough to send you into a food coma. I prefer my scones to be fluffy and lighter.

Overall I had a really pleasant experience at the Ritz for afternoon tea. The food was very good and we were provided with excellent service. They took into consideration all the accommodation requests that I asked for. I wish that we could have been seated at a normal table rather than the coffee tables that were in our alcove. I found that it was harder to eat and the couches were too comfortable. I think a few of us had started to melt into the couches after we finished eating since we were so full!

If you're looking to come here with a larger group of 8, it is best to book at least 3-4 weeks in advance, especially during the summer season. For a large group you will be sent an email and form to fill out with your personal and credit card information. It is a disclaimer and also a contract to advise you if you were to cancel within however many hours notice how much the Ritz would charge you for cancellation fees. As long as you contact them prior to that, any cancellation will not incur you any charges or fees.

For this meet I wore Metamorphose's Swan Lake.

Some photos from this post are courtesy of Kimi and Archangeli. Thank you!

Until our next adventure~
Stay fancy!

That fireplace!