Monthly Archives: October 2017

Totally biased product review by me — Taste Of India Vindaloo Sauce

Taste Of India Vindaloo Sauce

The price is comparable at $7.00 which is quite good actually as that’s a saving of $2.01 which helps a little bit if you have a fiscal imperative to save the spondoolies

Where do you go when you need a beautiful table ornament made out of gold paint-sprayed pine cones, holly and twigs? A fetching turquoise blue glass jar? A plaid cushion that you’re proud to show guests?

You got it — HomeSense!

Where do you go when you need a vindaloo sauce?

You got it — er, HomeSense?

Yes, trust us. We were surprised too when we stumbled across this product when browsing for home furnishings. At only $4.99 for a large packet, we had to give it a go.

It’s a sauce inside, but be careful not to get it on you as it’s pretty oily. Maybe it was Ghee, a staple of British-style curries back home.

But what set this product apart was the little extra bags of spices that came with it. A bit like those crisps that came with a little blue salt bag back in the day, the diner of this product can choose their spice level. It’s not just culinary democracy — it makes the whole prep time a fun experience too.

This one had a bay leaf, some chili powder, vindaloo spice mix and that little twig thing that you forget about until you crunch it and it goes between your top back teeth and into your gums. We didn’t use that one.

Taste? Very authentic for a shop-sold product. Nicely rich and flavourful. Throw some chicken in there, onions, tomatoes, peppers and minced ginger/garlic and you have a decent curry. It also freezes well for re-heating.

All in all, very impressive … and we give it a Brits in Toronto 5/5 stars.


Welcoming Scottish-produced haggis to Canada


This must be the place!

Had a massive craving the other day for a savoury pudding containing sheep’s pluck (heart, liver and lungs), minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, traditionally encased in the animal’s stomach.

Luckily, Brits in Toronto had been invited to a networking reception to taste the very best of Scotland’s food and drink. Keith Brown MSP, the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, was also in attendance to celebrate the arrival of Scottish-produced haggis to Canada for the first time in 46 years.

It was organized by Scottish Development International and took place at the Berkeley Bicycle Club, a pretty nice venue on Jarvis.


Guests were treated to this fine assortment of Scottish fare

To meet Canadian regulations, offal is not included in this particular haggis, but it was still very tasty via the samples we tried. The haggis was even piped in:

Keith Brown made a speech and then posed for photos. Here he is with Chef John Higgins:


Chef John Higgns (left) and Keith Brown

It was a really fun evening with some great Scottish food and drink on offer.


Scottish salmon was a big hit


For those with a sweet tooth


Whisky tastings for those who fancied a tipple


Or feel like some Scottish gin instead?


And last but not least — don’t forget me!

Be transported to London, England … in 2004 … but in Toronto … with Shaun Of The Dead

Shaun Of The Dead

Don’t forget to bring your cricket bat

Remember that excellent classic Shaun Of The Dead? Had the ginge from the Star Trek reboot and Mission Impossible in it. Bloody good it was too!

Well, British comedy zombie fans … now you can relive that fun time of having your face bitten off — in Toronto!

Be transported to London, England, to experience the 2004 zombie epidemic documented in the film Shaun Of The Dead: The Movie Experience. Join the actors from October 25-28, when The Monarch Tavern will transform into The Winchester Pub.

From lights to sounds to scripts to props, all guests will participate in a re-creation of cinematic delights while professional actors will bring scenes from the iconic film to life.

Dress Code: 2004 British pub wear and/or zombie attire.

So, if this sounds like DEAD fun to you, or something you’d like to GET YOUR TEETH INTO or — ha ha, stop there! — then click here for all the details and buy tickets.

Totally biased product review by me — The Queen and Beaver Public House

The Queen and Beaver Public House

Craning our necks to see what famous Brits are up on the second floor patio

I recently had the opportunity to dine at The Queen and Beaver Public House. It’s been on my to-do list for ages, but I happened to be staying in the vicinity so took advantage of an unseasonably balmy night to grab a patio seat and went to town.

Snap pea soup with creme fraiche

Snap pea soup with creme fraiche

First up as my starter was the snap pea soup with creme fraiche; it was on as a special and nicely British, so dived right in. It was very velvety, thick and delicious — but thought it would have worked well as a gazpacho too.

House smoked tomatoes and cheddar on toast

House smoked tomatoes and cheddar on toast

My dining companion (“the missus”) had the house smoked tomatoes and cheddar on toast. Posh cheese on toast, basically. This was a hearty bite and the cheddar had a nice tang to it. The tomatoes were nice and juicy and this would be the kind of comfort food that you’d crave after a night on the lash.

Q&B sausages and mash with stout onion gravy

Q&B sausages and mash with stout onion gravy

My main was the Q&B sausages and mash with stout onion gravy. I chose this dish because it’s my go-to pub fare — but this version was off the charts. I can never go back to the sausages and mash that I normally have in another pub. That dish is dead to me now. These were really flavourful sausages with a hint of jalapeno in for a nice little kick. I pride myself on my mashed potatoes and these were just as smooth and creamy. A generous dollop of rich stout onion gravy and bob’s your uncle. Sorted. Best dish of the night!

All in all, tied in with the selection of beers and relaxed atmosphere, we give this fine establishment a Brits in Toronto 5/5 stars. Will definitely be back.

BONUS POINTS = Dining on the table next to us with his crew was TTC boss and fellow Brit Andy Byford. Had a quick chat and he passed on this tip for a good pub, so check it out: The Rebel House.

Brits in Toronto for production of Romeo & Juliet

Romeo & Juliet

Try and choose a nice ending where they don’t die or something, thanks

A friend mentioned she was in a play that sounded interesting and when we found out there were some Brits involved, we just had to find out more.

Reached out to Adam and here’s what he said: “I am over from the UK to work on this project and the founder of the company worked in Immersive Theatre in the UK for the last seven years. So there is a big British connection!

“We have teamed up with two Toronto-based theatre professionals to create the whole experience. We plan to have more events in different spaces in Toronto after this initial event.

“If you were happy to spread the word I would be very grateful indeed. It’s such a fantastic project but having only recently moved from the UK I don’t have a network of people here yet.”

Here’s the deets …

lost&gone are proud to present an immersive, contemporary production of Romeo & Juliet in a secret location in The Junction. With a cast of 22 actors playing characters old and new, enter the world of Fair Verona , and join the Capulet party: October 19-21 and 26-28, 2017.

Step inside — interact, explore and even help change the ending. Like a fairground, guests can eat, drink, mingle, and dance all whilst observing and engaging in this Choose Your Own Adventure wonderland. But there’s a catch …

Find us first.

Introducing lost&gone , Toronto’s newest immersive events company. We reclaim empty, unused, forgotten spaces that are soon to be demolished, and turn them into worlds from our imaginations. Inspired by old stories, cult TV programs, and classic film universes, our locales bring to life the places you’ve only dreamt about. Our team of Canadian and UK artists are excited to introduce ourselves to the Toronto scene.

● PRESS NIGHT: 7:00 p.m., October 20, 2017
● 7:00 p.m., October 19-21, 2017
● 7:00 p.m., October 26-28, 2017

● Secret venue in the Junction. Text message clues will be sent days before the performance.

Available ONLINE ONLY (no tickets available at the door)
● $35.00 (includes a welcome drink)
● For any accessibility questions or concerns, contact adam AT lostandgone DOT CA
● This show run time is approximately 90 minutes and will involve long periods of standing.

● Adam Lawler 647-225-7590 adam AT lostandgone DOT CA,,

Healthy Minds Canada Silver Dinner with Alastair Campbell

Healthy Minds Canada

London Calling is the theme this year

Mental illness and addiction is an important subject to tackle Maybe you know someone who has suffered from it? Maybe someone you know is currently suffering from it — and they hide it really well? Maybe you suffer from it?

We’re happy to give a quick plug to an upcoming event to support the cause.

Healthy Minds Canada’s Silver Dinner is one of Toronto’s premier mental health and addiction fundraising events.

The Silver Dinner is an inspiring and dynamic evening attended by over 400 Canadians who are interested in improving the well-being of those touched by mental illness and addiction.

Silver Dinner guests will enjoy an interactive reception, dinner, an exciting silent auction, and an engaging and honest conversation with Alastair Campbell, the 2017 guest speaker.

Alastair Campbell

Alastair Campbell

Alastair will be sharing his personal journey with alcohol abuse, psychosis, and depression, as well as the history of both suicide and schizophrenia in his family. Alastair is a writer, communicator, and strategist best known for his role as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s spokesman, Press Secretary and Director of Communications.

Alastair is still active in politics and campaigns in Britain and abroad, serving as a leading advocate for mental health, as Ambassador for Time to Change, Mind, Rethink and Alcohol Concern.

The evening on November 13 will be led by emcee, Hon. Seamus O’Regan, the Member of Parliament for St. John’s-Mount Pearl, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence. Seamus is likely best known to Canadians for his 10 years as co-host of CTV’s Canada AM and reporter for CTV National News and W5. He is proud to have been named Ambassador for Bell Let’s Talk and to be working towards eliminating the stigma surrounding mental illness.

Individual tickets are now available for $250 each. For more information, contact Katie Robinette at krobinette AT healthymindscanada DOT CA or click here.