Shanan and I have been excited lately to add field trips to the roster of fun things we’re up to. Inspired by the Natural Habitat series Shanan has written and shot for the Symmetric blog, we wanted to branch out and feature some of our favourite shops & eateries. I’m pleased to introduce Creemore Kitchen for the inaugural instalment of Field Trips!
Nestled amongst the galleries and specialty stores in the village of Creemore sits the Creemore Kitchen. I know I am not alone when I say that their opening last spring was keenly awaited. Just what Creemore needed – a little “hipster in the rural hood,” so to speak, with good food & drink to boot.
The contemporary-but-cozy, white wood-sided building references a barn and is the perfect aesthetic for the “farm to table” adage of CK.
“Everything in the restaurant comes from our home,” explains Sam Holwell, who runs the front of house. “It’s just who we are – the food, the music, the style.” This overall vibe, if you will, is relaxed but intentional. From the grey army-issue wool blankets that drape casually over the eclectic mix of chairs, to the rustic raw sumac branches that artfully showcase birds, gingerbread and other homemade Christmas decorations, the feel is all “house made.”
The same house-made ethos is evidenced in the menu as well. Caesar Guinto is inspired by his pastoral environs and the healthy ‘100-mile’ culture of the village of Creemore. “Local” isn’t just about food source and proximity for Sam and Caesar, though – it’s about relationships.
“We want to be able to say to people – see that table over there? They grew your food!” This language of “good food local” resonates for both of them and they pride themselves on the collaborative and dynamic relationship that exists between the front of the house, the kitchen and their community.
What inspires them, I asked? Jokingly and with a touch of irony, Sam admitted their mood board is empty. Not for lack of inspiration, however – Caesar confessed he rules their covetable collection of print media with an iron fist (okay, maybe not iron, but he doesn’t like tearing out magazine pages!). Right now these two love Bon Appétit, Kinfolk, Living Etc, and Vogue Living Australia. They adore vintage (big points) and have a delightful mix of new & old treasures in the restaurant. There is also a charming take-away and bakery counter in a little ante-room which boasts beautiful hand-made sweets and treats, mismatched vintage shelving & charming hand-penned labels (by the young daughter of one of the serving staff nonetheless. See, it really is all about relationships!).
And, it isn’t hard to believe it’s all about relationships when you get to know these guys. Both warm, witty and welcoming – they are wonderful hosts. From house-patented, hand-poured cocktails (with fabulous names I may add – ‘Highfield Hooker’ or ‘Holly Go Lightly,’ anyone?), to heaping cups of steaming hot chocolate on a bitter cold Santa Claus Parade Day, to Instagram posts of child-patron crayon drawings, these two are gentlemen through and through. So, if you haven’t paid a visit: Please do! Now for some more eye candy….
Sam brown-bags fresh bread for bakery patrons.
Most recently we visited Creemore Kitchen for their weekend brunch, which features gluten-free pancakes, french toast, eggs with all the fixings, and a savoury breakfast sandwich with a twist (it’s served on a biscuit!). Yummy.
Caesar meticulously ices hundred of handmade sugar cookies in preparation for the holidays (NB – he did not request assistance from Frida or Theo – shocking but true!).
A stunning paprika statement chandelier hangs from the raw pine vaulted ceiling in the main space.
The unglazed concrete black and white ‘modern moorish’ lattice print tile are a stunning focal point in the entryway of the restaurant.
Bold persimmon-hued table numbers double as wall art in the main space.
The retro-inspired signage recalls the days of the General Store and adds a splash of colour to the streetscape.
You can visit Creemore Kitchen via their website and follow their food adventures on Instagram (warning: there are many shots of gourmet donuts). Thanks so much to Sam and Caesar for letting us take photos and sitting to chat with us. We will undoubtedly see you very soon!
All photos by Shanan Kurtz / The Symmetric.