We dressed up a little and went for lunch at the fabulous Terrace Fifty Five Restaurant in the Pavilion at the gorgeous Assiniboine Park, a huge urban park along the river that also houses gardens, a conservatory, an art gallery, two fine restaurants, a zoo, a forest, sports fields, a duck pond, and walking and biking paths.
Our restaurant was at the back of Pavilion and was in the style of a large glass conservatory that looked out over the grounds of the park. For lunch I had a lobster and shrimp roll with salad and for dessert we shared a trio of tiny crème brulees: a lavender one, a chevre (goat cheese!) flavoured one and a pistachio one. The lavender was my very favourite!
It was wonderful to have some one on one time with my friend. It is especially nice that she is in Winnipeg now. It is a truly romantic ending to a beautiful story. (Short story: a friend of Hubby’s at our wedding fell for my beautiful bridesmaid and wooed her across country until eventually she moved to Winnipeg and they married! – I love it when that happens!)
Okay, back to our afternoon in the garden. We finished lunch and popped upstairs to the gallery to visit this little guy. Look familiar? Yes, Winnie-the-Pooh is named after the City of Winnipeg and the story is rather lovely.
Then we wandered down to the English Garden where I took some pictures of those things that were unique to this beautiful site.
This fellow originally presided over the Canadian Pacific Railway’s Royal Alexandra Hotel and now has found a cosy corner of the garden to live out his retirement.
He is made of Tyndall Stone, a limestone from Manitoba used in many important historical buildings including Canada's Parliament Buildings. Personally, I find looking at Tyndall Stone is like looking at an “I Spy” book, soon enough you will spot a skeleton of a long-extinct marine animal (yes, those squiggley lines are the trails of things that once moved around)
From the English Garden we wandered the paths over to the stunning Leo Mol Sculpture Garden. This garden features bronze works from the incredibly talented artist Leo Mol, who sadly passed away at the age of 94 last month. Now, I have to tell you – I am a bronze fanatic.
I love bronze. I love the patina, the texture of it, I love how it ages, but most of all, I love how it feels. It seems to actually warm up under my hand when I am touching a sculpture. It must be because bronze is a good conductor of heat, but the effect really makes this a ‘living’ metal for me – fantastic for recreating the sense of a living being.
It’s obvious that Leo Mol understood his medium well. His sculptures thrum with life.
Of course, there is nothing like adding water to reflect all that beauty around to create a restful and rejuvenating garden experience. The ponds in this garden are stunning. There is a large wooden pagoda at one end of a pond where my friend and I sat and talked and talked and watched grandmothers and babies get their picture taken in front of the water.
Ahhhhh, now, is there anything quite like a beautiful afternoon in a garden with an old friend?
Hope your summer holidays create some new happy memories!