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Monday, January 21, 2013

Tasty tours, theatre and winter fun across Southern Ontario

   One-Tank Trip for Jan. 19/13

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Tasty treats in Toronto, cheesy travels in Oxford, fine theatre in Stratford and Niagara-on-the-Lake, and winter being postponed in Orillia highlight some interesting “one-tank trips.”

    Yummy, yummy
Pan-seared whitefish with chorizo and potato hash, buttered beans and smoked tomato vinaigrette is featured at Against the Grain Urban Tavern during Winterlicious.
    Combine this season with something delicious and you come up with Winterlicious, Toronto’s annual culinary treat.
   This popular prix-fixe promotion runs from next Friday (Jan. 25) to Feb. 7 and involves a tasty 191 restaurants.

   There’s truly something for every taste and budget with three-course fixed price lunch menus at $15, $20 and $25 while dinner feasts are $25, $35 and $45.
   Bar Vespa serves up “simple New York-style cheesecake” during Winterlicious.
   Event publicist Giannina Warren said in the past 11 years, Winterlicious and Summerlicious dining spots have served 3.7-million meals.
   The culinary events series features 14 “one-of-a-kind” experiences featuring diverse cuisine hosted by some of Toronto’s finest restaurants and venues.
   These are priced from $38 for “Guilty Pleasures” at the Drake Hotel to $125 for “Pasta Knowledge with Mama Rosa” at 7 Numbers Danforth.
   Reservations are “strongly recommended” and can be made directly with the participating dining establishments. Details and guidebooks: toronto.ca/winterlicious

   Shep Ysselstein gives Cheesemaker for a Day classes at Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese. (Handout – Tourism Oxford)
   Say cheese!
   With Oxford County being known as Canada’s Dairy Capital, it’s no surprise it is also the big cheese.
   Tourism publicist Cathy Bingham says there is a new Oxford Cheese Trail guide for a great getaway in the country around Woodstock.
   Cheesemaking was at its peak in the 1800s when there were 98 cheese factories in the county.
   Today there are artisanal cheesemakers, sheep and goat cheesemakers and large corporate makers such as Saputo and the Bright Cheese House.
   At Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese, there is a class to become a Cheesemaker for a Day while visitors can sample various varieties including cheese curds. oxfordfresh.com; tourismoxford.ca; 1-866-801-7368
Daniel Briere and Sara Topham star in Romeo and Juliet at the Stratford Festival. (Photo by Don Dixon)
    The curtain rises
   The Stratford Festival experience is about to get even better this season, says Executive Director Anita Gaffney.
   It starts with tickets being offered at up to 25-percent off until Jan. 31; an opportunity to exchange dates with no extra charge; two-for-one tickets for Tuesday evenings, except opening nights; $20 student tickets; and twice-daily bus service from Toronto at $10 each way.
   The season begins April 23 and runs until Oct. 20, featuring Romeo and Juliet, Fiddler on the Roof, the Three Musketeers, the Merchant of Venice, Tommy, Blithe Spirit, Othello, Measure for Measure, Mary Stuart, Waiting for Godot and two new Canadian plays, Taking Shakespeare and the Thrill.
   With Shakespeare as the centrepiece, the Forum is a series of events to enrich the play-going experience.
   There’s also a new Social Ticketing app to coordinate visits and a seat-selection function. stratfordfestival.ca; 1-800-567-1600
   Scott Wentworth is the Fiddler on the Roof at the Stratford Festival. (Photo by Don Dixon)
    Fine theatre and wine
   Down Niagara-on-the-Lake way, the Shaw Festival’s 52nd season begins April 3 and runs until Oct. 27.
   Public relations director Odette Yazbeck said there will be a “potent and diverse mix of plays from the past and present” including Major Barbara, Guys and Dolls, Lady Windermere’s Fan and Enchanted April.
   There’s the world premiere of Peace in Our Time along with the Light in the Piazza, Trifles, Our Betters, Faith Healer and Arcadia.
   Cash in on “early ordering savings” until Jan. 31and also receive a complimentary wine tasting voucher from Peller Estates and Trius Winery at Hillebrand, valued at $28 a couple. shawfest.com; 1-800-511-7429

   Goodbye winter
   Winter has been postponed in Orillia – at least until the Family Day weekend.
   Actually an event known as Winter Active, designed to get people out and having fun and set for this weekend, has been postponed.
   Darcy Hoover, Orillia’s market manager, said that “due to unsafe ice conditions and lack of snow,” the weekend of free winter activities will go ahead instead from Feb. 15 to 18.
   “The postponement will hopefully allow the ice to thicken and the snow to deepen ensuring that the events will be safe and fun for everyone who wants to get outdoors and get active,” he said. orillia.ca/en/livinginorillia/winteractive.asp; (705) 329-7250

   Yuk, yuks
   - Rob Schneider will headline the second annual Comics on the Rocks festival at Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville from Feb. 8 to 10.
   The event will feature comedy at several locations including Deerhurst’s new Legacy Hall venue, said Kate Hillyar, publicist with Skyline Resorts.
   Two-night packages are from $259 a night. deerhurstresort.com/comedy; 1-866-276-0724


Jim Fox can be reached at onetanktrips@hotmail.com
For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca

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