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2014/09/15 / Shanan


Chris and I haven’t been out on a date in, oh, sixty years or so? I mean, give or take.  It was clearly time to bust out of that rut with some ye olde romantic country brunch action.


I recently had the pleasure of meeting lovely Miriam, who runs the Mad Maple Inn with her husband (he’s in the photo above!) near the town of Creemore.  It’s the most gorgeous little bed + breakfast spot and I was dying to try their food – which was both delicious and charming and exceeded all expectations.



We feasted on farm-fresh egg frittata, homemade sausage patties, yogurt with plum crumble parfait, just-pressed apple cider, mini scones with strawberry jam, potatoes sautéed in more butter than might be actually legal… I could go on.  Clearly we tucked in quicker than I could whip out my camera.


Everything was served on beautiful vintage dishware and wooden boards, with herbs and edible flowers and the whole nine yards.  We had the most perfect, relaxing meal.




Afterwards we took a little walk around the property to see their chickens and vegetable garden and wildflowers. Note that at this stage in the pregnancy I can only be shot from a distance of 100 yards (much like a wild game animal).




Mutual admiration society: I coveted the chicken’s hairdo’s while they checked out my vintage boots.  Caramel brown for fall, folks.


No really — how’s my hair?

Thank you, Miriam and Neil, for such a fantastic morning.  Marriage.  Saved.  Visit the Mad Maple Country Inn at their website and on Instagram.

xx Shanan

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2014/03/17 / Shanan


When my family visited Barbados at the end of January, I made sure to get some shots inside the Timothy Oulton showroom, thinking it could be a candidate for The Symmetric’s Field Trips series.  And somehow I drafted an entire post, then forgot to publish it.

I know that Timothy Oulton is a big name lifestyle retailer, but I always enjoy this particular shop and all its vintage displays.  In addition to their signature leather and industrial-meets-vintage pieces (the London-based company makes furniture for Restoration Hardware – from what I can tell, TO designed my current sofa, the Fulham), the two-storey shop features a wine cave and small Italian cafe that serves house-made pasta lunches.

A cool place to poke around amidst antique treasures and well-crafted reproductions.  Love that wall of dishes and… what can I say?  Kind of wish I was still there, wearing a sundress and sipping a soda.

timothy oulton shop barbados vintage furniture







Someday, for when I own a beach house…






You can see more on the Timothy Oulton website.  Here’s some info on the Wine Cave and Gianluca Cafe. Barbados, I do miss ya.

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2013/12/13 / Gillian


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.

Creemore Kitchen restaurant exterior

The contemporary-but-cozy, white wood-sided building references a barn and is the perfect aesthetic for the “farm to table” adage of CK.

creemore kitchen bar christmas pickles preserves

“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.