He owned our home! Yesterday we celebrated our anniversary by having lunch at 529 Wellington. We had never been there before. I’d always wanted to visit though, because the restaurant is located in the former home of Mr. James Henry Ashdown a Winnipeg mayor who once owned the warehouse where our condo is located. Mr. Ashdown who immigrated to Canada from England in the late 1800s sold hardware at a store on the corner of Main Street and Bannatyne and housed his stock of merchandise a block away in a warehouse that has now been converted into a hundred condo units.
James and his wife Susan and their five children moved into a grand mansion at 529 Wellington in 1913. Their former home now houses one of the city’s landmark restaurants.
We had a nice lunch at a table in the home’s former library. The wallpaper in the room intrigued me. It featured an old-fashioned illustrated alphabet. The border had words adapted from the Biblical book of Isaiah 35: 1. The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. But perhaps because the wallpaper is in a home it was chosen because the exact phrase on the wallpaper is used in a poem by Christina Rossetti called From House to Home.
I had a spinach salad and Dave had a roast beef sandwich. We ended our meal by sharing a blueberry bread pudding.
After lunch I toured the other rooms in the house which offer different options for dining and the friendly maitre de showed me the patio and offered to take my photo there.
Our forty-three year marriage has a long and interesting history as does the place we chose to celebrate it yesterday.
We are living in a piece of history
A Controversial Wedding Photo
Diamond Anniversary- A Family Affair
I had lunch at the new Stellas restaurant on Pembina Highway yesterday. I used the gender neutral washroom and really didn’t think about the fact that it was gender neutral till I came out of my private stall and a man was washing his hands at the sink. Sure it seemed a little strange because it’s not something I’m used to. But I had no problem with it. It made me wonder how segregated bathrooms had started in the first place.
Apparently there never used to be public washrooms for women since they weren’t encouraged to ‘go out’ in the world of men. Their place was in the home. “How archaic,” we think now. So in the early 1900s when laws requiring public restrooms for both men and women came into effect it was really a step forward for women.
I suspect my great-grandchildren will read one day about gender specific bathrooms in public places and say, “How archaic!” Many newly constructed public places are installing gender neutral washrooms and as older buildings are renovated their owners are making the change too. Within a generation or two gender specific bathrooms will be a thing of the past. As we continue to learn more about the science and sociology of gender identity, gender neutral bathrooms make sense and besides they save space and are more practical for families with young children.
The Most Beautiful Bathroom in Winnipeg
We visited a new restaurant last week along with other members of the Residents of the Exchange Association. Miss Browns hosted a special evening to introduce people who live in our neighborhood to their unique menu.
We were entertained throughout the evening by trio from a group called Blue Noise who bill themselves as the hottest new blues band in Winnipeg. We started out with a fabulous array of appetizers- smoked salmon mini bagels, fried pickerel on toast with avocado, brisket sliders and smoked chicken wings.
Jenny Tyrell and her husband Steve are the owners of Miss Browns. Jenny and Steve were doing catering at his mother’s boutique vineyard in Sydney Australia when Jenny who is originally from Winnipeg got the bright idea they should move back here and open a sandwich shop featuring meats they smoked on site. They’ve named their restaurant for their daughter who they playfully nicknamed Miss Brown when she was a baby. This was our main course- BBQ pulled-pork, smoked brisket, baby back ribs and a selection of side condiments and sauces. The meat at Miss Browns comes from All Natural Meats in Carmen, Manitoba and other food items are also locally sourced. We had a nice visit with a couple who live just a couple blocks away from us that Dave had connected with previously at his part-time job. There are always new eating spots offering unique cuisine opening their doors in the Exchange District. It’s one of the things that makes living here so interesting.
David Bowie In My Neighbourhood
The Most Beautiful Bathroom in Winnipeg
Meeting Wayan From Eat, Pray Love
My husband asked me out on a breakfast date yesterday morning to celebrate the birth of our new grandson. I have to admit from the parking lot, the place he chose, didn’t look like much. What kind of breakfast would we get there? When we walked inside the Marion Street Eatery it was clean, bright, warm and charming. There was a morning chill in the air so we opted to eat inside but our table looked out over the sunny patio which had a nice view of an architecturally interesting old church across the street.
The service was prompt and friendly and it wasn’t long before we had piping hot coffee in front of us and had given our orders. There was some interesting art on the walls including this intriguing painting of three bison.
The Marion Street Eatery promises you food that’s delicious but simple. Comfort food. My breakfast was exactly that!
We had a nice visit before heading off. Dave was on his way to the slow pitch ball diamond where he was playing in the second day of a tournament and I was going to the art gallery to give a tour to kindergarten kids and then headed to a final meeting about my students at the University of Winnipeg.
We’ll go back to the Marion Street Eatery. It’s a nice homey place for breakfast.
A Feast for Breakfast
Fools and Horses
We had lunch on the roof top of the Hush Restaurant in Toronto. Our waitress was from Newfoundland originally and was efficient and interesting to talk to.
Won Ton Chicken Tacos
Pear and Goat Cheese Salad
Faith for Free
Almost Touching Justin Bieber’s Shoe
A Fun Night in Toronto
Yesterday the media was filled with stories about singer David Bowie’s death. Bowie made multiple visits to Winnipeg during his career. The legend of Bowie lives on in a Winnipeg restaurant just one block over from our condo building. Johnny G’s is a popular local eating spot on McDermot Street. It has a large indoor mural featuring six music legends.
It shows John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, David Bowie and Neal Young having coffee at the counter of a diner. The prices on the wall indicate the diner is from a bye gone era.
Elvis Presley is also in the mural just to the left of John Lennon but I couldn’t fit him into the shot with my husband Dave. When answering the famous Proust Questionnaire for Vanity Fair magazine in 1998 David Bowie said the living person he most admired was “Elvis.” Presley died in 1977.
So if you are missing David Bowie you might drop into Johnny G’s and have a burger and a beer in a booth beneath his likeness in the mural.
Selfie with Willie Nelson
Walking Into a Bob Marley Tourist Trap
We had breakfast on Saturday morning at a new Winnipeg restaurant called Feast. They serve modern dishes rooted in traditional First Nations foods. Everything is prepared with locally sourced ingredients. Feast is at the corner of Ellice Avenue and Shebrooke just across from the West End Cultural Centre. The eatery is housed in an historic Winnipeg building designed by J.D. Atchison an architect from Chicago who designed more than a hundred buildings in the city in the early 1900s. The interior space has been beautifully renovated with lots of light, a bar and comfortable seating. They’ve maintained the old tin ceiling but added…….Lovely light fixturesand large illuminated photos of Manitoba landscapes that sweep across the space. The menu includes breakfast, lunch and dinner items featuring things like bannock, wild salmon, grass fed bison, home made berry jam, maple syrup, fry bread, cranberries and saskatoons. I had The Ellice for breakfast with bison sausage, hashbrowns, bannock and eggs. It could easily have been shared between two people. Feast was a cozy place for breakfast on a very cold morning. We will definitely be back.
Other posts about Winnipeg eateries…..
Fools and Horses
Tacos The Real Meal Deal