After a delicious and satisfying meal, a bit of flavourful and complex scotch or brandy (or cognac) really goes a long way to helping it all settle down, or so my husband and his friends claim. I keep the most popular scotch and cognac choices in my decanters, which makes them look much more sophisticated than if they were sitting there in the bottle. My husband says it reminds him of mad men style, a show that has brought back a lot of things from the 50’s and made them cool again. I like to pair the brandy decanter with large bubbled brandy glasses from Crate & Barrel. The brandy glasses make a lot of sense visually when paired with rounded bubble shape of the brandy container.
For the living room centerpiece, I got these fresh and fluffy pussy willow branch and a bunch of a tangerine-pinkish coloured blossom stems from one of the flower shops on Avenue and Davenport, in downtown Toronto. Just across from Yorkville on Avenue road, there are four or five flower shops all in a row, each having something unique to offer at ridiculously low prices. However, unlike most flower shop’s these stores will not package the flowers in a nice bouquet; you’re on your own to arrange the flowers. I usually skip the first flower shop, the one farthest south of Davenport road since it tends to be significantly more expensive than the others. My strategy is to go into the next one up, browse until I find something I like, then go to the other three and do a quick price comparison. The one with the best mix of freshness, quality, and price is where I buy. These flower shops charge lower prices on flowers and stems than any grocery store or any flower shop I’ve been to, if you live anywhere near that area, it’s worth going down there for your floral needs. If you don’t live in Toronto but are a close drive, keep these flower shops in mind, as they are a great place to go when buying flowers in bulk for a large event. If you talk to them they might even cut you an even better deal, although I’ve never tried so don’t hold me to that.