Thursday, 28 July 2011

Canada Part 6 - Another 360 in the Sky

July 12

As we had our usual early hours post U2 gig celebrations we had a lie in next morning.  After a breakfast of chocolate biscuits I met up with Deb and Julie in the foyer and we went to the St Lawrence Market.  There has been a market on this site since the early 1800s.  It's a lively place full of atmosphere, sights and smells, including a stall that sold every kind of burger under the sun, camel, buffalo, kangaroo, you name it they had a burger made out of it!  I loved it there and if I lived in Toronto I'd be a regular customer.

Afterwards we chilled at the hotel before getting ready for our meal at the 360 restaurant at the CN Tower.  We treated ourselves to a taxi and met up with Dan And Dianne at the base of the Tower.  It takes 58 seconds in the lift to get to the restaurant, our ears popped as we watched a whole new view of Toronto appear below.  The CN Tower opened in 1976, and for over three decades was the world's tallest free-standing structure at 1,815 feet, only recently losing that distinction.  I've always thought that it's a very elegant building and it helps you keep orientated in the city too!

Me, Debbi and Julie in the 360 Restaurant
We were given a table beside one of the windows, and when we first sat down we had a gorgeous view over the Toronto Islands and Lake Ontario.  The restaurant does one full rotation every 72 minutes so everyone gets a chance to see both the fabulous lake and downtown views.  We were there for over two hours so we saw it all both in daylight and when the city was lit up like a Christmas tree.  Mother Nature even treated  us to a gorgeous red sunset!  The rotation of the restaurant was very gradual but it was both funny and disorientating to suss out where the toilet was only to find it was in another place when you wanted to go again!

We ordered from the fixed price menu ($55) as there was no way we could afford a la carte!  Dianne has snails as a starter, Debbi and I were curious about them and tried a morsel each.  My verdict?  A bit like mushrooms in consistency and taste (the snails were cut into small pieces) but with a slightly spicier taste.  I had a delicious caesar salad for starters, followed by pan seared fillet of applewood smoked Atlantic salmon, Saskatchewan wild rice, wilted arugula and water cress, sour apple beurre blanc.  The salmon just melted in my mouth, I had no idea what argula was (I later looked it up, it's rocket) but it went perfectly with the watercress and wild rice.  We washed it down with a delicious Valpolicella which should be good at $51 a bottle, (Dan kindly put the first bottle on his bill, thank you!) 

My heavenly dessert in the 360 Restaurant!
Then the big decision, what do I have for dessert?  Dark chocolate tower with summer fruits and raspberry vanilla creme Anglaise or maple walnut roulade with candied walnut meringue and vanilla bean creme Anglaise?  The chocolate won (it usually does).  It looked almost too good to eat, it was truly a work of art.  The mousse inside the tower was perfection and I loved every morsel!

The service was very good and the atmosphere relaxed.  Yes, it wasn't cheap but the quality of the food was excellent and I don't mind lashing out money on good food occasionally.  It was also the last night Dianne, Debbi, Julie and I would be together and what better place to be than the 360 Restaurant after all the good times we've had on U2's 360 Tour over the last three years?  It was the perfect way to .  end it.

Dianne, me, Debbi and Julie getting the cobwebs blown off
in the Red Zone!
After the meal we decided to go out onto the viewing platform It was a tad blowy to say the least, we didn't spend very long out there.  We then went to the area that had the glass floor.  It's strange but even though you know the floor is safe (there was a sign saying it could withstand the weight of 14 large hippos!)  there is an inbuilt primeval fear of stepping into the "void". I eventually did step onto it, well I actually also lay on it for a photo, must have been all the Valpolicella LOL!

Then it was time to say goodbye to Dan and Dianne, they were going home the next morning.  It's always sad when friends who live a long way away leave as I don't know when I'll see them again.  But we have shared great times and I'm sure there will be more.

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