Anxiously wanting to try a beverage from the highly recommended Choklat and requiring a bit more yarn for a current project, we bundled up and headed to explore Inglewood. Although the weather was quite gloomy, if we waited for a warm, sunny winter day in Calgary…we would be waiting quite a long time.
So, we put on our wool coats, wrapped up in scarves, and headed out. Inglewood was recently rated the best neighbourhood in Canada. I’m not sure if I would give it such a high rating myself, but, I would definitely place it on the top of my list for those located in Calgary.
With red brick buildings, iron lamps, and boutique stores, it’s a bit of a time warp as you stroll through the streets. With so many specialty stores, it’s easy to find one dedicated to that perfect item. You can find stores specializing in plants, knives, shaving products, yarn, spices, and military regalia just to name a few.
Naturally, we started at my favourite store, Stash.
I know I have been teasing you with bits and pieces of these marvelous yarns, but you’ll have to wait just a few more days while I prepare my feature post.
Upon entering the robin’s egg blue shop I perused through bins, trunks, and shelves of yarn – merino wool, baby alpaca, cotton, and fleece. Everything comes in a variety of colours and textures to help you make that perfect project. Then, as if selecting your yarn wasn’t a hard enough decision, there are buttons, pom poms, and other trinkets to add a little flair.
I carefully selected an orange tweed-like number, but made note of a deep purple alpaca wool that I might need to make a return trip for.
We left the boutique and continued down the main street, doing a little window shopping on the way to our next destination.
Large box windows were filled with antiques, twinkling ornaments, and children’s gifts. All hand made with care.
Unable to avoid our favourite spot, we strolled into the Silk Road Spice Merchant.
If there is a spice you need, this place has it. Everything is fresh and of the best quality. From peppercorns and salts to blends or pure spices, it speaks to the heart of any chef.
Each spice has been carefully selected from around the world, ground up, and placed into glass jars. Located beside each item is a tester, ensuring you leave with the perfect selection.
The wooden floors creaked beneath our feet as we made our way around the store. My favourites included spiced vanilla sugar, Indonesian cinnamon, and herbes de provence.
Cole admired the sweet mulling spices, which might make an appearance at our annual New Years’ Eve party. While I, having had my eye on the lavendar petals, decided to take the plunge and make a purchase.
A little further down the road, we headed into the Kent of Inglewood – a spin off from our favourite Knifewear boutique. This shop reminisces of an old time barber shop, filled with the finest razors and shaving creams.
I busied myself with the almond shaving butter as Cole picked out a new razor stand and pre-shaving oil.
Doesn’t the atmosphere just exude manliness?
Finally – we reached the height of our journey – Choklat.
Ever since Austria, I’ve been kicking myself for not purchasing some Zotter hot chocolate cubes. However, one of my colleagues brought this little shop to my attention – which is in fact, a chocolate factory. On display are delicious baked goods – brownies, biscotti, cupcakes,and cookies.
But that is not even the tip of the iceberg. You can order house-made truffles with a variety of fillings and chocolates, select gift baskets, munch on their house-made chocolate bars, or order one of their fine hot chocolates.
Given the cold weather, we happily ordered a hot chocolate (made from house-made chocolate and cream) and a few of the bars. The bars were incredibly silky and creamy. One had a hint of fruit while the other had a milky texture.
Our steaming hot drinks came out with blue whipped cream and chocolate bits. I sipped on the “OMG”, while Cole enjoyed a cinnamon and cloves version.
The whipped cream slowly melted and we continuously spooned the warm liquid into our mouths.
After all the window shopping our stomachs were grumbling. We took refuge in Spolumbo’s deli, each ordering a “mini” sandwich. Tuna for him and smoked turkey for me. Each came out layered with lettuce, tomatoes, and mustard, paired with a generous side of pickles.
Making our way home we discussed our favourite things about the area and how a few row houses and trendy restaurants would make it that much more livable. However, at the same time, one of the best parts about Inglewood is how small and relaxed it feels.
Inglewood is a great place to visit if you have out of town guests, but it is also a great place if you’re looking to get away from the big city life of Calgary. Call up a date or meet up with a few friends and go exploring!