Cafe explorers

My friend Mandy and I were meaning to get together for awhile- but Christmas and the New Year happened in between so we finally found a time to go out for coffee this beautiful Saturday afternoon. The weather in Toronto was warm that it almost felt like spring was on its way!

Don’t get me wrong. I love Starbucks. I like the atmosphere, its omnipresence (there are three in 3 minute walking distance from my place and work), the consistency, and free wireless, etc. I’ll probably be going to Starbucks more than I go to any other places. But for this coffee date and for many more to come, Mandy and I agreed that we need to branch out and explore more of Toronto’s hidden gems rather than relying on the international chain for our daily caffein dose. So here was our first stop- the Bulldog Cafe just off Carlton street in the downtown core.

I couldn’t believe how close this place was as it was less than a ten-minute walk from my place. The cafe was small, warm, and bustling with neighbourhood charms! The cool-looking baristas certainly added to the magic as well. The menu wasn’t as diverse as Starbucks but I didn’t expect it to anyway. I ordered soy chocolate chai latte and Mandy’s pick was something mint latte (I don’t remember!) But I thought latte with mint flavour was pretty cool!

The baristas drew us cool latte arts with chocolate syrup:) cute!

Over coffee we chatted about our work, books, relationships, New Year’s resolutions, and all kinds of random things, including how to use ‘Bump’ app in our Iphone. It’s always nice to catch up with her. She is the type of person you walk away inspired and feeling warm. We decided to make our coffee date a monthly event, each at a new local coffee shop. Another thing to look forward to this year.

On this nice, relaxing Sunday morning I started it with toasts and Sarabeth’s plum and cherry jam I just bought on Saturday. I’ve heard so much about their jam and I really wanted to try it. The jam was very fresh and full of flavour rather than tasting like sugar and pectin in jams I normally buy.

This weekend has been truly relaxing so far. I’ve loved every minute of it. I got sufficient amount of sleep, worked out, read books, watched shows (they’re back!), hung out with good friends,and ate good food. What more can I ask! Hope everyone’s having a nice first weekend of 2012!