The Gift of Ontario : A Local Guide to the Holidays
This year, Jessica has moved into a stunning new studio space at the historic Cotton Factory in the Dye Works building. With exposed red brick and beams, this light filled space is a beautiful backdrop for her class.
The winter workshop is a true local experience. The season's bounty -- foraged branches, vines, twigs, berries and winter greens come from La Primavera Farms. Coffee and treats are served from Vintage Coffee. And the delicious cheese + charcuterie boards, those are from one of my favourite Hamilton spots, Two Black Sheep.
This weekend I headed out on the open road. The journey was as beautiful as the destination, and I made some furry friends along the way. I enjoy shopping local for the holidays and I was delighted to discover Black & Smith Country General. A quick drive from Hamilton along quiet country roads, the shop stocks handmade housewares and gifts.
If you are looking for unique gifts for friends and family this holiday season, visit a local shop in your neighbourhood or a craft and makers fair. I'm looking forward to Craft Mart at Hamilton Artists Inc during art crawl this coming weekend. And Hamilton Flea's Last Minute Holiday Market on December 21 at Mills Hardware.
From Whitehern Historic House and Garden to Dundurn Castle, I always discover beauty in the Victorian style decorations these homes are dressed in for Christmas. Every year my mom and I take in a bit of history on a tour of Sir Allan MacNab's lavish home. I find myself admiring the Garden Club of Hamilton's seasonal adornments of cedar boughs, ribbons and dried flowers. The evening tours are my favourite. You get to sample traditional Christmas goodies right in the historic kitchen. Oh, and I have to give a shout out to Brydie Huffman, who really is the best tour guide ever.
As winter drifts upon us, I find myself drawn to visiting the Distillery District's Christmas Market. From chestnuts roasting on an open fire to mugs of mulled wine shared with friends, there's a special kind of warmth and savory comfort that the market brings. I always enjoy perusing the shops, galleries and artisan booths with a hot cup of cocoa in hand.
However you celebrate the season’s offerings, I hope you make local memories that last well beyond the holidays. Share your holiday traditions and memories in the comments. I love to hear from you!