Toronto has never been on my list of must see places to visit. Vancouver yes, for its wide open west coast beauty but Toronto flies under the radar yet it is one of the coolest small cities I have been to as well as the friendliest.
From the taxi drivers to pedestrians who wil leap to your aid if they so much as see you looking at a map, to the polite restaurant staff, the Toronto locals cannot do enough for you.
Nikita was fun, the star Maggie Q has the face of an angel but makes Lara Croft look like a wimp and fights like a wildcat. As always, there was lots of sitting around on set waiting for interviews but Jess and I alleviated the boredom by trying on Nikita’s very bad wigs and sunnies!
If you’re ever passing through Toronto, here are my top tips for a brilliant visit...
By the Way on Bloor St West for brunch. Great lattes, fresh squeezed OJ and a three course breakfast on a plate. Mine was a gut busting omelette with feta spinach and mushrooms, accompanied by delish fried potatoes and melon and fruit oh and a toasted bagel. As we say chez moi...fat ass!
Le Select on Wellington St West for classic French food every bit as good if not better than the Cote d’Azur – and certainly cheaper – the bouillabaisse was authentic and divine.
Lee Gardens on Spadina Ave. Don't be put off by the slightly shabby decor, it’s always packed and the wilted snow pea leaves in garlic were a triumph, so much so that I ate the whole very large bowl!
Drakes Hotel on Queen Street West for the beach style roof terrace serving brunch until 4pm and home made lemonade.
Lucien on Wellington Street West serves authentic local ingredients cooked with a French twist. The octopus chorizo was novel and the pacific halibut and crushed snowpeas were, as Mr Winner might say, historic.
Brassai off King Street West is a cool bar, always busy at weekends and Johnny the London barman will make you a wicked mojito at the outside bar if he hears your British accent.
Kensington Ave, Augusta Ave and Queen Street West for the best vintage shopping EVER. Courage My Love, Fashionably Yours, 69 Vintage, Model Citizen where I bought Iain a fab limited edition Grace Jones print (had it framed in New York, forgetting I need to get it on the plane!) Bungalow and Heel Boy are just a few that made me feel so very welcome that I couldn’t leave without a carrier bag and Jonathan and Olivia on Ossington does designer capsule collections.
Could barely shut my suitcase when I left London and next stop after this is New York....