🎶 Sleigh bells ring, are you listening?
Up the hill, snow is glistening.
A steak house tonight
Walking in a winter wonderland. 🎶
Christmas At the Castle
Santa’s elves have bedazzled Casa Loma with fun, fabulous festival lights for some enchanted evening like no other. Picturesque and majestic like out of a fairy tale, couples and families revel in holiday spirit. There are two separate events happening at Casa Loma. Christmas at the Castle is during the day, and in the evening, Holiday Lights beams across the gardens outside the castle.
From 9:30am–4pm (performances run between 11-3) theatrics abound with the Knight Before Christmas performances of swordplay and archery, the astonishing Canadian Majinx illusion show, a live aerialist soaring through the Great Hall, roaming mimes, artists and a wandering and interactive magician, and so much more.Children eagerly pen their letters to the North Pole while visiting Santa Claus, Mrs. Santa and the elves in their castle workshop. Look waaay up to the top of the 25ft decorated-tree in the great hall and at eight signature destination-design trees located throughout the castle
The Lightness of Being …with Holiday Lights runs in the evenings from 5pm – 10pm (last admission,) until January 6. Stroll through the winter wonderland of landscaped grounds, walkways and tunnels in a self-guided walk and be embraced by the lights and decorations and the joys of the season amidst live performances including a magic show, a fire performer, roaming mime artists, mascots and stilt walkers, a trio of Christmas carolers, and Santa and his entourage. Who could ask for anything more? For details, times and program tickets on sale now, go to: www.casaloma.ca.
(The CP24 CHUM Christmas Wish toy drop-off is happy to receive donations of wrapped gifts, and one dollar from each adult admission will be donated to the CP24 CHUM Christmas Wish Foundation.)
Dinner at the Castle
The heart of the castle is its kitchen. There is no better way to start an unforgettable evening of Holiday Lights, or complete it, than with cocktails and dinner at BlueBlood Steakhouse. It’s warmth and glamour are internationally recognized. It was voted Best Steakhouse in Toronto by OpenTable, and was the only Steakhouse in Toronto to be featured on their Canadian Top 100 list. Unique heirloom furnishings juxtaposed with the most edgy art of the day by Salvador Dali, Artworks and Mr. Brainwash, make the fascinating room a feast for the eyes as well. The menu offers the finest cuts of beef from the world’s steak capitals. A visit to the wine cellar in the Castle is not to be missed. No celebrity of stage, screen or playing field leaves Toronto without at least one visit to Blue Blood.
For enthusiasts, this steak menu has an exciting variety of options: American beef from Nebraska, Kansas and Mishima Reserve farms; Canada Beef from Alberta, Ontario, PEI and New Brunswick; as well as Australian beef and wagyu from Japan. Combined with seafood towers and tableside-Caesar, crunchy duck fat fries and velvety rich house-made gnocchi luxuriating in gorgonzola, our only hard decision is: shall we enjoy the table-side pyrotechnics of Crepe Suzette or Baked Alaska?
Give me Liberty!
Challenging circumstances of the past few years have only strengthened the resolve and imagination of Liberty Entertainment Group, led by Nick Di Donato and designer-extraordinaire, Nadia Di Donato. That has not gone unnoticed as international accolades and awards have recognized their creativity that has elevated Toronto’s dining culture.
The magic of the Don Alfonso 1890 restaurant and its breath-taking design has earned Nadia Di Donato the prestigious Best Design in the Category of Restaurant – Americas and Caribbean at the 2023 International Hotel and Property Awards by Design et al. But the restaurant experience is not all about design. As further proof of its merit, the kitchen has been awarded a Michelin Star two years in a row. La Liste recently ranked Don Alfonso 1890 among the best restaurants in the world. Seated at a table in Don Alfonso, seeing the panoramic nightscape view of all sides of the city, pampered with eloquent service while enjoying the fruits of land and sea, we feel encouraged and believe that everything in life is possible.
It is no surprise that DaNico has been shortlisted for the same award as garnered by Don Alfonso as well as in the Category of Restaurant – Global for the 2024 Awards. Executive Chef Daniele Corona has raised the bar for Toronto restaurants. It’s massive doors have been reclaimed from an Italian Palazzo, framed by Versace porcelain tiles, they open electronically, and I enter a vast space. There is beauty wherever the eye falls: modern luxurious furnishings of buttery leather curved booths, and printed velvet sofas at tables. A perfect, open, single pink rose in a pretty vase centres each table. We appreciate the high-backed chairs that add discretion to tables for two at the window walls and recognize that window treatments mimic the pipes of church organs. Facing the entrance, a huge 27-foot pillar (an original structural beam) is camouflaged by an artistic Maple carving. And from her personal collection, the iconic bronze Salvador Dali melting clock. Brilliant design by Nadia Di Donato.
Adam Waxman is an award winning travel journalist focusing on food, wine and well being. As well as an actor in film, television and formerly, the Stratford Festival, he is the Publisher of DINE and Destinations magazine.