The moment we stepped out of the car, the ball of nerves that had started as a tiny seed and had grown to something akin to the size of a small cantaloupe, disappeared. This was particularly good because I don’t like cantaloupe very much. Or feeling nervous. Meeting strangers is always a bit nerve wracking for me – especially when heading into a quite intimate setting of a cottage retreat on the Georgian Bay where almost everyone knows each other rather well already. We stepped out of the car, and Thom came out of the house shaking our hands, declaring himself the welcoming party. We did, in fact, feel so very welcome.
Thom is amazing, and his wife Nikaela is a contributor to the magazine, and has a lovely blog, Rose & Crown. I am not even exaggerating when I saw that every single person we met was tremendously creative and passionate about what they did. I was familiar with a few beforehand, but getting to know everyone was the most fun of the day - and so very inspiring. Since Kinfolk is such an expansive network of writers, photographers and artists, a small group of us getting together and sharing a day together was a joy.
We spent the day snacking, sweating, swimming and preparing the dinner and dessert. I spent a lot of time making strawberry parfait (French ice cream, pretty much), and dark chocolate cookies for post-dinner ice cream sandwiches. I love that so many were so excited to help in any way they could! I do regret taking zero photos of this process! Lots of work for a tasty summer treat, and no photos to share! Maybe someone snapped a photo of an ice cream sandwich…I also had a great deal of fun helping Nikole prep the fish for dinner. There really is something to say for getting to know someone by sharing a kitchen in the heat of a summer day.
The cottage was breathtakingly gorgeous, and belongs to Juli and John. Every single detail was captivating and perfectly curated to create a magical lakeside retreat. I was busily prepping food, meeting people, and exploring the cottages, leaving little time to snap photos. Thankfully, the vast majority of the group had cameras in hand. Dining on the deck at sunset by candlelight was the perfect end to a perfect day, and so very magical. I’m so happy to have a network of amazing, creative friends now in Toronto. I look forward to more visits, and the Toronto Kinfolk Dinner Reunion 2013. Let’s start planning.
p.s. The sweet Sarah Britton of My New Roots shared the photo below with all of us today. (Don’t look too closely – it was quite a hot day!)