Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Tuesday Treasures

Reporting today as I am still busy sorting out our recent photos.

Tom hosts Tuesday's Treasures.

May 2014 - Toronto ON

Yesterday we went to some of the Toronto Doors Open exhibits.

Doors Open Toronto is an annual event when approximately 150 buildings of architectural, historic, cultural, and social significance to the city of Toronto open their doors to the public for this free city-wide celebration.

Doors Open Toronto was developed as a millennium project in 2000, by the City of Toronto (developed from a European model) and has since attracted over 1.7 million residents and tourists. Doors Open Toronto gives people of all ages and backgrounds the opportunity to learn about Toronto's history, get involved and celebrate Toronto's built heritage.

Doors Open Toronto was the first city in North America to launch this type of program, and it has inspired similar programs across Canada and in the United States. Many participating buildings organize guided tours, exhibits, displays, and activities to enrich the visitor experience.

We were especially interested in visiting the Ontario Legislature as it is not normally open to the public.

The Ontario Legislative Building (French: L'édifice de l'Assemblée législative de l'Ontario) is a structure in central Toronto, that houses the viceregal suite of the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, and offices for members of the provincial parliament (MPPs). The building is surrounded by Queen's Park, sitting on that part south of Wellesley Street, which is the former site of King's College (later the University of Toronto), and which is leased from the university by the provincial Crown for a "peppercorn" payment of CAD$1 per annum on a 999 year term.

Designed by Richard A. Waite, the Ontario Legislative Building is an asymmetrical, five storey structure built in the Richardsonian Romanesque style, with a load-bearing iron frame. This is clad inside and out in Canadian materials where possible; the 10.5 million bricks were made by inmates of the Central Prison, and the Ontario sandstone—with a pink-hue that has earned the building the colloquial name of The Pink Palace—comes from the Credit River valley and Orangeville, Ontario, and was given a rustic finish for most of the exterior, but dressed for trim around windows and other edges. There can also be seen over the edifice a multitude of stone carvings, including gargoyles, grotesques, and friezes. The exterior is punctuated with uncharacteristically large windows, allowed by the nature of the iron structure.

Inside, a central hall runs between the main entrance at the south and a grand staircase directly opposite, from the mid-landing of which is accessed the parliamentary library in the 1909 block. At the top landing of this stair is the lobby of the legislative chamber, with the door to which centrally aligned in the south wall. From this core, wide corridors extend east and west, each bisected by a long and narrow atrium lined with ornate railings; the east wing is decorated more in the Victorian fashion in which it was built, with dark wood panelling, while the west wing corridor is more Edwardian Neoclassical in style, the walls lined with white marble, and reflecting the time in which it was built.

 Some not so traditional portraits that caught my eye.


The crest is a black bear standing on a gold and green wreath

The shield of arms — which appears on Ontario's flag — consists of three golden maple leaves, representing Canada, on a green background. On a chief is the Cross of St. George, the name saint of King George III, in allegiance to whom the Loyalists first came to the land that would form the province.

a moose and deer

The motto is Ut incepit Fidelis sic permanet, Latin for Loyal she began, loyal she remains.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Hearst Castle Kitchen and Wine Cellar

March 2017 - San Simeon CA

Click here to visit the guest houses and grounds that are part of the Cottages and Kitchen tour.

The guest houses at the Hearst Castle do not have kitchens, the only kitchen is in the main house.

Newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst sent to San Francisco for the good linens and china in September 1929, when preparing for the upcoming visit of British politician Winston Churchill to his grand estate named La Cuesta Encantada.

 Although Churchill appreciated the efforts that were made in his behalf, it did not stop him from keenly observing his host, writing to his wife Clementine: “Hearst was most interesting to meet, & I got (sic) like him - a grave simple child - with no doubt a nasty temper - playing with the most costly toys. A vast income always overspent: Ceaseless building & collecting not very discriminatingly works of art: two magnificent establishments, two charming wives; complete indifference to public opinion, a strong liberal & democratic outlook, a 15 million daily circulation, oriental hospitalities, extreme personal courtesy (to us at any rate)...”

All of the meals were prepared in this kitchen and all guests were expected to dine communally in the refectory each evening. One night Winston Churchill tried to order room service to Cottage B. Mr. Hearst called the Prime Minister himself to say that room service is not offered at the Castle and he’d have to come up to the main house himself.

Our guide, in answer to a question regarding whether Mr. Hearst was good to work for, stated that he was very good to his staff. If a guest was rude to a servant or as he called them, an employee, he would send the guest home!

Guests from Cary Grant, Charles Chaplin, Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Gary Cooper, Claudette Colbert and the Marx Brothers to Baron Rothchild, Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt dined in the 27’ x 67’ dining room (with a 27’ ceiling).

Dinners at Hearst Castle were prepared with the estate’s own fruits and vegetables (oranges, lemons, persimmons, pears, apples, tangerines, apricots, prunes, plums nectarines, figs grapefruit, mulberries, kumquats, peaches, avocados, guava, quince and many kinds of berries –– black and English walnuts). His son said his father enjoyed “fowl and birds [pheasant, guinea hen, partridges, quail, ducks, geese and turkey were raised there], lamb chops, cornbeef [sic] and cabbage, hominy grits, and on rare cases, roast beef [always well-aged], kidneys tripe etc.”

Buffet lunches were served on electric warmers at 2 pm (promptness was requested, a loud cow bell would be rung). Dinner was served at 9pm. Breakfast was served between 9am and 12 and guests would have juice, fruit and coffee and then order their breakfast that would be cooked to order (Mr. Hearst only had fresh fruit and coffee with a lot of hot milk –– he rose quite late).

Here is a sample daily menu from the ranch. The menu always included a film that would show in the Castle’s movie theater after dinner. This menu was served on November 28, 1945: Source
La Cuesta Encantada, San Simeon, California
November 28, 1945

Spare Ribs – Hominy
Fine Herb Omelet
Pastry, Ice

Lentil Soup
Roast Ringneck Pheasant
Bread Crumbs, Bread Sauce
Gravy – Mashed Potatoes
Buttered String Beans
Apricot Tartlets

“Blythe Spirit”
Rex Harrison – Constance Cummings
United Artists – MGM Exchange
Breakfast 9:00 to 12:00 – Luncheon 2:00 – Dinner 9:00