Tasty Tuesday – A Little Place Called Stratford

Sometimes mistakes lead to something beautiful.

A few weeks ago, I was grabbing theatre tickets for mom and I for a little one day getaway. Thing is, there are two major theatre festivals in Southern Ontario: the Shaw Festival and the Stratford Festival. The Shaw Festival is down in Niagara-on-the-Lake, a little area that mom and I have been to loads of time since it’s right near where I went to university. We figured a little trip to their cutesy downtown would make for a nice mother/daughter trip.

And I’m sure it would have if I hadn’t accidentally bought tickets for the Stratford Festival.

I will admit, I was only looking at the show name (Guys & Dolls) and the discounted ticket prices so I just assumed I was on the right website. About twenty minutes after our seats were purchased my mom called me and asked what the festival name was because she couldn’t find anything about Guys & Dolls on the Shaw website. It was then that I realized my mistake.

Instead of calling the theatre and trying to wiggle out of the tickets we had just bought, we decided to make an adventure out of it and this morning we headed out into a slightly dreary day to go check out somewhere we’d never been before.

Now, when I planned this post I had figured it was going to be all about the food (hence why it was a Tasty Tuesday post) but I kind of forgot to take pictures of the food we did eat so this is more of a preview of our adventure where I mention the food. It’s kind of cheating, but hey, the pictures  I did actually take are cute.

As mentioned, it was a rainy day so our plans to venture around Stratford’s cutesy little downtown to take pictures and explore the shops were kind of cut short. We went in a few shops and then settled to go for lunch at the pub closest to the car so we wouldn’t get too wet. The place was called Bentley’s and it’s a bar and inn that advertises “Food, wine, beer, and beds”. It was a nice little pub with a large food and drink menu. Mom and I decided to split their traditional poutine and a croissant sandwich which was loaded with cured meats, cheese, and dijon mayonnaise. The food was great and the place got us out of the rain so that was nice.

After filling our bellies we headed to the Festival Theatre, the exterior of which is at the top of this post. It’s really a beautiful place and if for any reason you’re every kicking around Stratford I do suggest checking out a show there. It’s a unique venue and a whole lot of fun. The snacks and drinks aren’t cheap but they were all sorts of yummy.

As for Guys and Dolls, well, I’m in love and I’m planning on watching the film sometime this week. The show was funny, clever, lovely, and it had that rat pack vibe that I’m so in love with. The cast was phenomenal, hitting every note and step with the utmost enthusiasm and zeal. The quality of theatre you’re getting in Stratford is definitely excellent, even though the town is small the talent is big!

I love live theatre so much and any show that makes my heart swell within the first few minutes is definitely noteworthy. What got me this time was how they staged the opening dance number: the cast came out in all black and white outfits, one woman playing a photographer. Midway through the opening number the stage and house lights go down completely, leaving on the photographer illuminated. You see nothing else until a flash of light (meant to be her camera flash) goes off and the cast is back on stage in bright colours for one of those quick costume changes my high school drama teachers would have liked to see more of.

Of course, I couldn’t really pull this off as a Tasty Tuesday without at least one picture of food. It would have been a little nicer had I been able to snap it before my mom and I split the pie to take to our separate houses but hey, life is messy and not everything can be perfectly posed.

We grabbed the pie from a little shop outside of Stratford called Shakespeare (are you seeing the theme here?) and it was our treat for the evening. The shop (simply named Shakespeare Pies) didn’t have any strawberry rhubarb left so we went with blueberry and it was definitely a good backup choice. We also each grabbed a mini savoury Tex Mex pie and some pickled beats to have later on (lunch tomorrow maybe?). I have always loved pie but I think I developed a bit of an obsession for it after watching Pushing Daisies; Ned’s pies always looked so tasty.

So that was our little adventure to Stratford, the food was delicious and the company was the best. I’m sure another adventure there will happen in the future… except this time we’ll try not to drive home during rush hour.

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