G and I spent some of the Labour Day weekend holed up at our favourite hotel in the city, the Le Meridien King Edward. It was wonderful to again spend time with G after being away. We chilled in our room, hung out in the oh-so-nice Royal Club Lounge, and met up with Blee on Saturday night to explore one of Toronto’s finest places for cocktails – Pravda Vodka Bar.
4) G examines the magazines in our room; 5) the bed – comfy, king-sized and an 8 out of 10 for comfort
6) the Royal Club Lounge comes with free cocktails and appetizers and breakfast in the morning … it’s such a great sanctuary; 7) the view from our room of St. James Cathedral and Old York
8) pigeon landing!; 9) G examines who’s in the house in the lobby of the King Eddy
After cocktails and munchies in the Lounge, we made our way over to Pravda to enjoy some vodka tastings. Pravda stocks over 70 types of vodka from around the world and you can taste flights (3 shot glasses of 3 different vodkas) from either a standard, premium or exceptional selection. We tried a premium flight which served three vodkas:
- Wyborowa Exquisite – which was just plain wonderful and heads and shoulders above the other two;
- Slava; and,
Historically, vodka has been around since about 800 AD and was initially a hodgepodge of vegetables tossed in the ground, under snow, and left to rot. The custom of drinking vodka with black bread and dill pickles was started so that – back then – you’d sniff the bread to hide the rank odour of the vodka, toss it back, and then quickly wolf down the pickle to kill the taste of what you just ate. Appealing huh?…
We tried this method at Pravda as well and it was fun, though there was no need to do this with the Wyborowa, it was truly exquisite. Blee and I tried their mixed martinis – mine complete with the ever-bitter Campari – and we all shared a plate of caviar (with no guilt).
Sufficiently soused we then ordered a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Champagne (what else eh … life is short!) and listened to our waitress, the wonderful Andrea, regal us with stories of the bar and the Russian mafia who frequent it. Lots of fun! A tour of the vodka ice vault completed the evening.