The Merry Wives of Windsor from the Stratford Festival program
Photo from The Merry Wives of Windsor program, Stratford Ontario

Shakespeare and the other Stratford…

Last week we drove up to Stratford in Ontario, Canada to enjoy their Shakespeare Festival. Although I have been to Canada a number of times, it’s always been at the other end of the country – I grew up in Seattle.

So I had no idea that many of the towns in Ontario echo the names of their original counterparts in Britain. For example, London. And of course, Stratford.

Stratford Ontario Shakespeare Festival and garden

Although we came to see The Merry Wives of Windsor, we poked around and enjoyed the small village.

They have lots of shops and restaurants, and it’s generally just a charming place to be. We stayed at a hotel called The Parlour Inn which was quite nice, with an old English style bar, a car that took visitors to and from plays (there are several theatres, one within a few minute’s walk, and another that’s a five minute drive away),

Our room had a huge bathtub with jacuzzi jets, much appreciated on our first day as it was raining cats and dogs.

Watson's Chelsea Bazaar, Stratford Ontario
Lovely shopping in Stratford

My favorite shop…

Was Watson’s Chelsea Bazaar.
It was two floors of all kinds of unusual gifts, and home decor. And, it had a really large selection of Emma Bridgewater pottery. I didn’t get my Shakespeare mug there, it was something I already had, but you could probably find it there.

Emma Bridgewater Shakespeare mug

Just the name ‘Chelsea Bazaar’ is immediately appealing to any anglophile, like myself.
I can’t recall the history of the store, but it was interesting. I’ll put a link to their website at the end of the post.

Afternoon Tea – yes, please!

But not if you’re there on a Tuesday.
I thought we would pop into this tearoom with the charming name ‘Harry Ten Shilling’ for a nice cup of tea. I guess I forgot to check their hours – they’re only open Wednesday through Saturday.
Oh well, next time.

While Harry’s wasn’t open, I did find a very British grocery shop, The British Touch, across the street. I bought several packaged goods straight over from England and am preparing a British Picnic as I write. Check in soon for that.

Shakespeare's Garden poppies
Beautiful orangy red poppies in Shakespeare’s Garden

I also picked up some tea that we enjoyed in the garden of the theatre.

I should mention here that there is an actual Shakespeare’s Garden in Stratford. It’s off Huron street, and unfortunately, I didn’t realize it was there. But the one in front of the theatre is also lovely, just not as formal, and smaller.

Just a day and a half later, and we were on our way back to the U.S.A.

Shakespeare cookies

Shakespeare nibbles…

So, I’m back home now and enjoying cookies made from Shakespeare’s Kitchen by Francine Segan. All of the recipes are modernized to work for today’s cook, but based on historic Renaissance compilations.

This particular cookie is from a recipe (see link at bottom) she found in a 400-year old hand-written cookbook by Sarah Longe, an Elizabethan woman. They pair beautifully with a cup of tea and a vintage Shakespeare book.
Just the thing to remember our trip by.

……………………

Watsons Chelsea Bazaar
Shakespeare’s Kitchen cookbook
Stratford Shakespeare Festival
The British Touch, food imports
The Parlour Inn
Rose Cakes (cookie) Recipe