WayHome VIP Preview Party at the Drake Hotel

By: Shelby Morrison

Although the WayHome Music & Arts Festival does not start until July 22, why not get pumped up a little early? With artists like Arcade Fire, Metric, Arkells and many more taking the stage, WayHome is sure to be loads of fun! The Drake Hotel hosted a VIP preview event of the festival to get us excited for what’s to come.

The atmosphere at the Drake was pulsating with DJ sets by Nino Brown and CRSB and a performance by River Tiber. I started off the night with a refreshing strawberry, sherry and Cointreau cocktail and made my way around the different stations. TopShop and TopMan were on site offering one-on-one consultations with personal stylists, while highlighting the top festival trends. After making my way over to the Equinox set-up, I was greeted with some fresh spa water with cucumber and mint. Massages were also being offered to guests, as well as free passes to the gym.

The Drake Hotel’s chef, Ted Corrado showcased some of his specially curated WayHome x The Drake VIP menu. A whole roasted suckling pig was offered at a create-your-own taco station with a variety of toppings such as guacamole, sour cream, salsa, hot sauce, cabbage slaw, and beans. Korean fried chicken lettuce wraps, as well as salmon fried rice was being passed out as well. These dishes were bursting with flavor and were the perfect accompaniment to the evening.

If you wanted to get creative, Paris-born, Toronto-based artist Jimmy Chiale was painting abstract art directly on people’s bodies. A photo wall by The Kit was set up to take selfies and pictures, while also informing guests about the 'Best Dressed' competition that will take place at the festival.

If concert goers weren’t hyped about attending WayHome before, this sneak peek definitely changed that!

Tickets to WayHome are on sale at wayhome.com

Shelby Morrison is a Toronto-based food blogger and freelance writer. She has a passion for food and living the most delicious life, while enjoying every step of the way. She eats her way through Toronto, yet loves to travel the world for unique and tasty finds.

The Drake Hotel - Toronto - Summer Menu Tasting

By: Alison Silveira

For years, The Drake Hotel on Queen West has been an eclectic hub for artists and musicians wishing to express themselves. When it comes to culinary creativity, executive chef, Alexandra Feswick at the Drake's Sky Yard restaurant showcases her unique talents with flair and finesse. I attended the Drake Hotel's summer party on the bustling, yet intimate patio at Sky Yard to sample the restaurant's newly launched summer menu. 

Feswick's summer menu features fresh and local seasonal items to tickle your taste buds. Her beets and blue cheese salad is an excellent way to begin any meal. Light and refreshing, the dish is comprised of Ontario Stilton, roasted beets, fresh raspberries, toasted sunflower seeds, watercress and flavourful avocado cream. 

Crowd-pleasing albacore tuna ceviche with avocado and charred scallion puree was a big hit. Perfect for sharing, scrumptious morsels of ceviche sat atop a perfectly crispy taro chip, which disappeared all too soon, but the sampling did not end there.

Seafood lovers will be in seventh heaven when they take a bite of the pan seared Ontario pickerel with fennel, arugula, pickled cipollini onions and white anchovies. Sourdough croutons gives the dish a nice crunch, while sherry vinaigrette complements the dish with an acidic bite.

A tortilla cradling creamed corn garnished with grilled peach relish is an interesting combination that had me craving more. While I usually enjoy tortilla chips with a piquant salsa, the sweet and salty combinations of corn, peach and chips were both surprising and delightful. 

Whet your whistle with Sky Yard's new Drink Well bottle service program. Take mixology into your own hands by creating classic Drake cocktails such as the dark 'n stormy, Moscow mule, mojito, gin 'n tonic and the old fashioned. A mixologist attended to our party, delivered the essential ingredients and taught us how to craft the perfect cocktail. Interactive and fun, the Drink Well program is a more relaxed approach to ordering bottle service and is perfect for birthday parties, a unique bachelorette party idea or simply trying something new. 

The evening ended on a sweet note with summery strawberry baklava. Baklava on its own is saccharinely sweet and I was concerned that the dessert would be overly sweetened with the added strawberries. However, it was love at first bite! Decadent and delicious, the strawberry filling was tart and the sweetness was cut with balsamic vinegar under layers of phyllo pastry.  

Take advantage of the balmy summer weather at Sky Yard and bask in the sun while enjoying a great evening of delicious food and drink. 

To learn more about Sky Yard, visit thedrakehotel.ca.