Welcome to Bears Without Borders!

*~ Not sure what to do this weekend? No worries! This is a site to share my beloved passion and experience of dining, playing, and exploring. If you love to explore, then this site is for you! If not, well, it's time to get out there! Life is too short to just sit there and rot :P Hope you enjoy your stay here! ~*

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Summer holiday is here!

Can't believe the school year is almost over... wow... time pass by really fast! I am so relieved that I passed the "test" and I have to say this year is probably the least stressful one of my teaching career.  I actually look forward to go to school each day!  I hope next year will be the same, if not better :)

Glad I made the change!


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Taste of Iceland in Toronto

One of my goals for this year is to visit Iceland to explore its natural beauty and see the Northern Lights.  Although my trip has been delayed, I had come across a special opportunity to have an Icelandic meal right here in Toronto during the Taste of Iceland event at Drake Hotel. 

The 4-course prix-fixe meal was prepared by Chef Hakon Mar Orvarsson and Chef Darren Glew, sourcing the freshest ingredients straight from Iceland.  The seating was a bit tight, but the meal itself was quite enjoyable.  The drinks were not included in the prix-fixe.  The signature cocktail tasted looked pretty but tasted like cough syrup to me :( The lavender lemonade was bearable on the other hand. 

The 1st course (appetizer) included 5 plates of food to share. The Icelandic butter was yummy on the chunchy toast, but the Icelandic dried fish was too chewy.  The grilled langoustine were so delicious I can eat a whole plate of them.  The Atlantic shrimps didn't have much taste to them but were refreshing with the caviar.  Mmm... the deep fried cod potato balls were sooo gooddddddd.  The pickled herring was my least favourite dish of all.  

There were two main courses: smoked salmon and seared free range lamb with berries and root vegetables.  The thickly-cut smoked salmon had a lovely texture that melt in your mouth.  The lamb was seared perfectly, not tough or hard to chew, with just the right amount of fat.  It was well seasoned too with local herbs and berries.  The root veggies on the side were delicious as well.

By this time, we were quite full.  Still, a meal would not be completed without dessert.  It was the famous Icelandic yogurt: skyr.  It was made into a mousse so it had a cheese-cake-like texture without any cheesy taste.  The taste was light so it was made to combine with the sour rhubarb, the crispy oat hazelnut crumble, and the apple jelly.   At the end, the chef came out to talk to us and it was a wonderful night.

I am looking forward to eat more Icelandic food when I visit Iceland (though I know the meals and the trip will break my wallet... LOL).

The ambiance

Book shelves in the background

A limited time special event

The menu

Regular drinks menu

Lavender lemonade

Signature cocktail: Sons and Daughters

The candle

It was small bear bear's b-day, she is happy to have a special cake made from mama

Hardfishkur with Icelandic butter

Atlantic shrimp with lumpfish caviar

Grilled Icelandic langoustine

Deep fried crispy balls of cod and potato

Pickled herring

Nice pot

Naturally raised Icelandic smoked salmon

Seared free range Icelandic lamb with glazed root vegetables and wild Icelandic blueberry and herb jus

Skyr mousse with apple jelly, crispy oat hazelnut crumble, cinnamon poached rhubarb


Sunday, December 9, 2012

December Events 2012

Can't believe it's almost the end of this year! Wow... this blog is almost one year old!  

In Toront/Greater Toronto Area
- Toronto Christmas Market (November 30-December 16)
- City of Craft (December 8-9)
- Winter Solstice Festival (December 15) 

- Burlington Festival of Lights (November 30- January 9)
- New Year's Eve in Toronto (December 31)

Mid-distance to Toronto 
- Christmas Magic in Cobourg Lights Display (November 23-January 2)
- First Light @ Sainte-Marie among the Hurons (November 29-December 1) 
- Victorian Christmas at Dundurn National Historic Site (November 24-December 30) 
- Frost Fenzy Fireworks @ Blue Mountain Village (December 1-31)
- Wonders of Winter: A Festival of Lights (December 1-31)
- Christkindl Market (December 6-9)
- Bakersville in Port Perry (December 8-29)
- Niagara Falls New Years Eve (December 31)

Far from Toronto 
- Victorian Christmas Trail @ Stratford (November 15-December 19)
- River Lights Winter Festival (November 16-January 1)

- Festival of Northern Lights @ Owen Sound (November 16-January 3)
- Alight at Night Festival at Upper Canada Village (November 30-January 5)
- Simcoe Christmas Panorama (December 1-January 6)

- Victorian Holiday Festival @ Fort Henry (December 2-18)

There are also many winter lights and new year's eve celebration (December 31) in every little town.

I wish everyone a happy holidays with their loved ones... see you in the new year :)

Waterloo's Wonders of Winter: A Festival of Lights

Waterloo's Wonders of Winter: A Festival of Lights

First Light @ Sainte-Marie among the Hurons

Burlington Festival of Lights

Simcoe Christmas Panorama

Burlington Festival of Lights

Niagara Falls New Years Eve

Alight at Night Festival at Upper Canada Village

Alight at Night Festival at Upper Canada Village

Toronto Christmas Market

Christkindl Market

Toronto Christmas Market

Simcoe Christmas Panorama

Simcoe Christmas Panorama

Monday, November 5, 2012

November Events 2012

The days are getting colder and darker :(  Still, nothing is going to stop me from exploring out :P

In Toront/Greater Toronto Area
- Beautylicious (October 25-November 4)
- Cirque Éloize's iD Circus Show (November 1-3)
International Home Show (November 1-4)
- SpeakEasy's Fall Art Fair (November 1-7)
- The Everything to do with Sex Show (November 2-4)
- The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair (November 2-11)
- Oakville World of Threads Festival (November 2-18)
- Burlington Studio Tour (November 3-4)
- Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival (November 6-17) 
- Toronto World of Threads Festival (November 9-December 2)
- Luxury Chocolate Show (November 4) 
- Ajax Santa Claus Parade - Santa's Magical Parade of Lights (November 10) 
- The Gourmet Food and Wine Expo (November 15-18)
- Oakville Tree Lighting Ceremony and Santa Claus Parade (November 16-17) 
- Seasons Christmas Show (November 16-18) 
- Santa's Parade of Lights Oshawa (November 17)
- Vaughan of a Kind Art & Craft Show (November 17)
- Holiday Magic at Bloor-Yorkville (November 17 - December)
- Cavalcade of Lights (November 17-December 31)
- Toronto Santa Claus Parade (November 18) 
- One of a Kind Christmas Show & Sale (November 22-December 2)
- Richmond Hill Santa Claus Parade (November 25)

Mid-distance to Toronto 
- Stratford's Victorian Christmas Trail (November 3-December 20)
- Orillia Christmas Artisan's Tour (November 9-10)
- Burlington/Hamilton Holiday House Tour of Distinctive Homes (November 9-11)
- Hamilton Santa Claus Parade (November 10)
- Port Perry Tree Lighting (November 16) and Santa Claus Parade (November 24)
- Niagara Falls Santa Claus Parade (November 17)
- Christmas Magic at Cobourg (November 23-January 2)

Far from Toronto 
- Wassail Prince Edward County Winery Event (November 17-December 2)
- Amherstburg River Lights Festival (November 16-January 1)
- Kingville Fantasy of Lights (November 17-January 6)
- Poinsettia Christmas & Candlelight Event (November 22-25)
- Christmas in the County (November 23-25)

Cambridge Night Santa Claus Parade
Christmas in the County

Downtown Torotno Winter Magic Ice Sculptures

Christmas in the County

Toronto Santa Claus Parade

Toronto Santa Claus Parade

Toronto Santa Claus Parade

Waterloo Santa Claus Parade

Holiday Homes Tour (No photos can be taken inside)

Calvacade of Lights

Calvacade of Lights

Luxury Chocolate Show

Downtown Toronto Winter Magic Windows Decorating Competition

Seasons Christmas Show

Seasons Christmas Show

Gourmet Food and Wine Expo

Gourmet Food and Wine Expo

Poinsettia Christmas & Candlelight Event

Poinsettia Christmas & Candlelight Event