I love those moments where you discover something new in your home city. We were just walking along Wellington street, which is filled with small, independent stores, all very interesting. In reality we had come to try out another hot chocolate, the one at Macaroons and Madeleines, but they informed us that they only serve hot chocolate in the winter. So we decided to take a walk around and I’m glad we did. As we wandered down Wellington street, there was a general smell of cinnamon buns in the air because of all of the bakeries in the area, and the local residents are obviously cyclists because of all of the bike stores. As we continued down the street we stumbled upon a very nice white and green terrace in front of a large open storefront, with colourful hoola hoops hanging in the window. It beckoned us in…we did not resist…we had found this morning’s hot chocolate.
Thyme and Again opened its doors in 1991 “with a business plan, two refrigerators, one over, three dedicated individuals and a dream to bring great food to homes, businesses and special events throughout Canada’s Capital Region.” Sheila Whyte, president and owner of this company, is an Ottawa business powerhouse having won several business related awards including Businesswoman of the Year Award, and is very engaged in the community. The company has catered numerous high profile events including the Queen’s visit in 2010, the opening of exhibits at The National Gallery of Canada and even the opening of the International Ottawa Airport.
The menu changes weekly and is based on fresh seasonal ingredients and supports a long list of local farmers. The space here on Wellington showcases this quite well. They have the expected dessert displays filled with beautiful looking cakes and pies for sale or to eat in store. This side of the space is also where the coffee and cookies are served. The other side is where food is prepared and tempting soups and sandwiches and piled high already ready for the imminent lunch crowd.
We ordered two small hot chocolates and go and sat near the window. Next to us two large refrigerators were humming, jam packed with bags and boxes filled with frozen pies, quiches, scones and cookies. The store also has a number of displays filled with bits and pieces that at first look a bit like junk but upon closer look are interesting bits and pieces to add character to any kitchen. I was unexpectedly pulled in by a large canvas bag with the large face of a goat screen printed on the front, perfect for using as a shopping bag.
When our hot chocolates arrived, they looked stunning. If you go there, the woman at the counter will ask if you want whipped cream and marshmallows with your hot chocolate. Say yes! The marshmallow is a beautiful, hand made square of sweet deliciousness. It is light and fluffy and generous, and was the highlight of my morning. The hot chocolate itself was very nice. Not very sweet or rich, it was light and easy to drink. You wouldn’t want it sweet because of the sweetness from the whipped cream and marshmellow. All together it was really very enjoyable.
Verdict: A fantastic little find. Next trip there needs to be around lunch time so I can try some of their famous food! Thyme and Again, 1255 Wellington St., Ottawa, Canada