Having a Royally Good Time : “The” Wedding and a Dinner Out with Friends

queen mother cafe sign queen street west toronto

Hello! On this Wednesday following the Victoria Day weekend, when Canadians had a three-day weekend in honour of Queen Victoria, (whose birthday we've been celebrating since 1845), I'm going to conveniently run with the "Royal" theme, and stick two stories together.

Of course, the big wedding was on Saturday!

We got up at the crack of dawn and tuned in.

As you probably know, Harry and Meghan began their relationship in Toronto, where she was living during the filming of Suits. One afternoon Nick saw Harry's motorcade going up Spadina Avenue, on their way to her place. At least on that occasion, getting him there was quite a spectacle, with motorbikes leading the way, stopping traffic at each block. Then four identical black cars with tinted windows went by (they used several, so no one would know exactly which one the prince was in). These were followed by more motor bikes.

I don't really remember the previous royal wedding being a big thing here, but the fact that Harry and Meghan first dated in our city seemed to have caused quite a lot of interest in their wedding. In addition to the viewing parties held in people's homes, the "Princess of Wales Theatre" on King Street West held a big one with every one of their 2,000 seats being filled and people all dressed up. This theatre was named in honour of Diana with her consent. (I posted about it here, if you'd like to see pictures of it).

There were also events at the The Royal York and King Edward Hotels, who both hosted fancy tea parties. I read that the lobby at The Royal York was transformed with an English garden installation, which must have been beautiful to see.

We didn't go out for it but we did plan ahead, making sure we had the right groceries to prepare a themed breakfast, and some rum to make a spot of "Nick's Sinners' Tea" (recipe here).

After waking to the 5am alarm I quietly brought my pillow and a blanket down to the living room, just as the guests were beginning to arrive at Windsor Castle. Nick still hadn't stirred so I thought I'd be watching solo, however, he made his way downstairs just as Meghan's mother was arriving at the ceremony.


screen shot of royal wedding

snap of television royal wedding harry and meghan

If you also watched it, you will have seen how lovely it all was. I imagine they had one video stream which the various broadcasting networks were given access to, so 29 million people around the world were watching the exact same thing at the exact same time. It's quite remarkable that love brought so many people together in that way.


↑ Good morning, Sunshine ↑

english muffin cream cheese and cherry jam breakfast on royal wedding day

↑ For breakfast we had our version of scones with clotted cream and jam -- Toasted English muffins with cream cheese and cherry jam. Have you ever tried toast with cream cheese and jam? I ask because Nick had never had it before. It's a delicious combination, with the perfect marriage (see what I did there?) of salty and sweet. ↑

Moving onto the second royally themed story, these next photographs are of a double-date with my long-time friend, Stella and her husband Charlie.

This dinner would not have made it into this post if Stella hadn't selected "The Queen Mother Cafe" from the list of restaurants I suggested. I was glad she chose it because it's one of my favourites.

But, I'm getting ahead of myself -- before we went for dinner, we went for a drink at a place nearby on John Street, just north of Adelaide -- The Town Crier Pub offers 50 different kinds of beer.

I was particularly interested in going there because it is housed within a unique row of historic Victorian era homes, built in 1889. (There's a picture of them here if you'd like to see.) However, I wasn't going to encourage guests to go someplace just because I wanted to see the inside, so checked Yelp beforehand, where The Town Crier gets very good reviews.

town crier pub john street toronto

menu of beers at town crier pub john street toronto

↑ All those brews are listed and described on a menu which is a book at least an inch thick. Certainly a lot to choose from! ↑

I had a German Pilsner, Nick had a Czech one, and Charlie an Italian one. Stella had a glass of white wine.



They also serve German and Belgium food which we didn't try because we were having dinner later, but what I saw on the tables around us, it looked good.

at town crier pub toronto

at town crier pub beerhouse john street toronto

From The Town Crier, we headed north to Queen Street West, crossed the street, turned right and made our way to The Queen Mother Cafe.

queen street west at john street toronto

approaching restaurant

Housed within another historic building, this one erected in 1880, it's called a "cafe" because it originally opened as one back in October of 1978. But, that changed quickly and it expanded to became a restaurant with a full menu. It was named "The Queen Mother" on a whim, thanks to a vintage black and white portrait of her that had been found amoungst the salvaged pieces the owners had collected to decorate their place.

at queen mother cafe queen street west toronto

Their 40 years of experience has given them plenty of time to get it right, and I've never been disappointed. Many people feel the same way, because it's always quite busy. It's pretty large and has a great patio open during the warm months, so there's usually no problem getting a table, but they do take reservations if you don't want to risk it.

Thinking back, this is the restaurant I've been to the most often in recent years. This is because I really like their Queen Mother Burger, a vegetarian burger made with grains and beans. It may be unadventurous, but I usually order the same thing and I know it will be excellent. (There's a picture of it pppin this post, if you'd like to see.)

But this time --insert confetti emoji -- I busted out and ordered something different! At the recommendation of the friendly server I had "Ping Gai", which is "boneless chicken marinated with garlic, coriander and black peppercorns, grilled crispy and served with salad greens, steamed jasmine rice and a spicy lime coriander dipping sauce".

ping gai chicken at queen mother cafe toronto

It's their most popular dish, with good reason. It was a large serving, so I ended up taking some home and therefore having a most delicious lunch the next day.

Nick had Steak and Frites and Stella and Charlie both had Pad Thai.

n and me

↑ Nick and I sat in these very same seats nearly 19 years ago, when we came here for brunch the morning after our wedding, with his family who had traveled from afar to be with us. ↑

s and c


vintage street festival sign at queen mother restaurant queen street west toronto

me and s

↑ A shot of me and my dear friend, taken on her phone. ↑


↑ We didn't have dessert but admired the display of cakes on our way out. Very tempting, in deed! ↑

Thank you very much for reading. I hope you're having a good week.
xo loulou

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