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Salute to the Big Bands

 

big band is a type of musical ensemble that originated in the United States during the early 1910s and dominated Jazz in the 1940s. Often associated with jazz and the Swing Era typically consisting of rhythm, brass, and woodwind instruments totalling approximately 12 to 25 musicians. Whew, glad we got that sorted out of the way.

Jazz began in New Orleans in the early 1900s. Steamboats using the Mississippi helped spread the sound of jazz as many of the New Orleans jazz bands performed as entertainment on the boats. In the 1920s, the music of jazz began developing into a big band format combining elements of ragtime, black spirituals, blues, and European music. Some of the more popular early big bands included band members that would become future jazz stars and future big bandleaders such as Coleman Hawkins, Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Red Allen, Roy Eldridge, Benny Carter, and John Kirby.

When the depression hit the U.S. in 1929 the entire music business suddenly failed. The decline in record sales, coupled with the closure of speakeasies and jazz clubs after the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, forced many jazz musicians to move to New York or other highly populated cities and seek work at dancing venues in large ballrooms. Swing bands played a large part in people’s lives in the late 30′s as people tried to shake off the depression by dancing and while records and radio made swing music widely available, this mediated music soon inspired fans’ the desire to experience their favourite swing live.  

Big Bands still hold a special place in the hearts of many as it is a positive and optimistic music and an inspiration during one of the more difficult periods of American History. No person living at the time was not touched in some deep way by it as it helped guide them through the Great Depression, World War II and the post-war recession.  Swing music fulfilled the yearning for a sentimental, romantic escape from the mundane and at the same time was appreciated for its excitement and even as fine art. 

Today more than fifty + years later the sounds of Big Band music can still be heard at the Old Mill Toronto. Reviving the spirit, style and sound of 1930s and ’40s era, the Old Mill Toronto presents  Big Band 40s and 50s Rock’ n ‘Roll  on November 3rd with the Toronto All-Star Big Band, the Big Band Christmas Special on November 25th with the Swing Shift Big Band and on Friday December 1st and Friday December 8th “Invitation To Dance” is calling all Ballroom dancers interested in the Rumba, Samba, Cha-Cha, Waltz or Swing with the Bob Cary Society Orchestra.  

Remember, It Don’t Mean a Thing, If It Ain’t Got That Swing”!



Chipotle Sweet Potato Tacos with Grilled Pineapple Salsa

These sweet and zesty tacos are a satisfying meatless recipe. Grilled Sweet potato is tossed with chilli pepper and slightly sweetened with tangy pineapple salsa and all wrapped up in a warm corn tortilla. Simply delicious and filling! 

Grilled Pineapple Salsa

1 can (14oz/398ml) pineapple slices, juice drained
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
3 Tbsp (45 ml) minced red onion
2 Tbsp (30ml) chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp (2ml) minced garlic
1 Tbsp (15 ml) fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp (1ml) sea salt

Chipotle Sweet Potato Tacos

2 Lb (900g) sweet potato, cut into 3/4 inch (2cm) wide sticks (about 32 sticks)
1 Tbsp (15ml) grape seed oil or vegetable oil
1/4 tsp (1ml) sea salt
8 small (6 inch/15cm) corn tortillas
1/4 Cup (60 ml) sour cream (optional)
4 lime wedges, to garnish (optional) 

Preheat your BBQ to a medium temperature and place the pineapple on the grill. Turn the pineapple when lightly grilled, about 5 minutes each side. Let the pineapple cool slightly and than dice. In a medium bowl toss the pineapple with the tomatoes, onion, cilantro, garlic, lime juice and salt. Set aside at room temperature to allow the flavours to mix.

Gently toss the sweet potato pieces with the oil, chipotle pepper and salt. Brush the grill with oil if necessary. Place the sweet potato strips on the grill, flipping after 7 minutes or so. The sweet potato may become slightly blackened, this is ok and will add flavour. Cook for another 7 minutes or until tender. Set aside.

Heat a dry skillet. Warm each tortilla and place in a covered dish. Place 4 sweet potato sticks in each tortilla and top with approx. 2 Tbsp (30 ml) of salsa and 1 Tbsp of sour cream (if using). Garnish with lime wedges (if using). Enjoy immediately.

 

 



Turkey To Go

Thanksgiving is fast approaching and if you’re trying to plan a big family feast but don’t want to do the cooking yourself, leave the cooking to us this year, and enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving Feast in the comfort of your home.

Enjoy a traditional home-made “Turkey Dinner To Go” family meal. All ready to re-heat and serve and you get to take the credit!

Complete Meal Includes:

15 lb Whole Fresh Turkey
Cranberry Chutney
Mount Scion Savory Bread Stuffing
Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
Maple Nutmeg Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Turkey Gravy
Roasted Root Vegetables
Green Beans with Almonds & Shallots
Kale Salad with Sun Dried Cranberries and Mandarin Oranges
Assorted Dinner Rolls
Pumpkin Pie 

Price $355 + hst Serves 8 – 10 people     $530 + hst Serves 12 – 14 people

Enjoy your Thanksgiving at home this year with out all the fuss. Pre-order your Thanksgiving feast today 416-207-2020.

*  Pick up times between 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
*  Available from Saturday October 7th – Monday October 9th.
*  Cancellation notice required 72 hours in advance 
*  Orders must be placed by Wednesday October 4th 



September Entertainment At Its Best!

As the popularity of the Old Mill grew, Robert Home Smith began the first of many additions to the Old Mill building. The print room was built in 1919 and was one of the few places of the time that offered the enjoyment of dinner and dancing in an elegant atmosphere. Thus began the live music tradition at the Old Mill.  Today, over 103 years later, the tradition has been kept alive. The Old Mill Toronto restaurant transports you back in time to the age of glamour and decadence with its intimate, historically sophisticated ambiance, accentuated with live musical entertainment.  The menu often reflects the changing of the seasons and we are always happy to accommodate your special requests in advance.

Event Date: Saturday September 9, 2017

Experience the Groove Night Dance Party Celebration, the only Dance Party Celebration in Toronto where Dining and Dancing is available in a hip vintage social setting.  Master DJ, spins the greatest hits, spanning decades of music, covering a mix of your favourite Disco, Motown, and Top 40 dance party music.

 
Event Date: Wednesday September 13, 2017
Event Location: Home Smith Bar

Discover the smouldering afro-cuban beats, live from The Home Smith Bar at the Old Mill Toronto. The Latin Train Trio with Greg Noguera on percussion, Carla Gonzales Cassanova on vocals and Nelson Maragoto on guitar will raise your temperature with some hot latin fever. 

Event Date: Saturday September 16th, 2017

Dance, dance, dance… all night long. Who can resist the greatest hits and dance floor anthems of the 70s! Dust off your dancing shoes and join us for an evening of dining and dancing in the historical charm of the Old Mill Toronto with DISCO FEVER. Whether you are revisiting your era or enjoying it for the first time, you won’t be immune to Disco Fever, the Disco party that keeps you dancing!

This tribute show features the greatest hits from the Bee Gees, Donna Summer, Abba, Diana Ross, KC and The Sunshine, Kool and The Gang, Gloria Gaynor and more. Non-stop disco beats and the sensual vocal performances unlike any other in the history of music; all dressed up with vintage costumes and retro dance moves.

 

Event Date: September 23, 2017 

Join us as we experience An Evening in Vegas. Distinguished guests will experience the glitz and glam of the historic Old Mill Toronto. This performance will take you back to the golden days of entertainment, featuring a fantastic tribute to Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra, an evening like no other and a night not to be missed.

The memory of these fabulous performers lives on through this Las Vegas style show and their interpretation is so lifelike, that one has to really look twice to make sure one is not dreaming.  

Event Date: September 30, 2017

Dine and dance with the best tribute to Sir Elton John that you will ever experience, in the historical charm of the Old Mill Toronto. 

Dance the evening away and share a special night with the ever popular Elton Rohn Band as they take you down the Yellow Brick Road performing as Elton John.

 



How to Have a “Green” Wedding

After you say “I Do” make eco-friendly decisions an integral part of your planning that support environmental sustainability, such as using recycled wedding or reception items to booking an eco-friendly venue.

WEDDING VENUE

Choosing the right wedding venue to celebrate with family and friends can be a big decision. One of the best ways to save on energy is to get married outside, where the sun provides the best natural lighting. The Old Mill Toronto features a beautiful picturesque Wedding Garden against a backdrop of lush tall trees.

If you prefer an indoor location there are ways to make it green. Hosting your ceremony & reception in the same place, will save time on planning and will result in spending less on gas and other transportation costs, which results in less fuel emissions.  Book a wedding venue with lots of windows and schedule an afternoon wedding, you can leave the lights off. You should also consider the venues recycle policies and energy consumption. 

DECOR & MATERIALS

Being green is really about reducing, reusing and recycling. Decorating with items you can re-use from the ceremony to the reception, will save money and waste less.  

Branches: Used in their natural form, branches make the perfect Ceremony or Reception table decor. Hanging colored ornaments from the branches is a elegant decor touch and your guests can take them home afterwards as keepsakes.  

Leaves, Rocks & Acorns:  Scatter them on the middle of your tables to add a splash of color and texture and save on overlays and runners and the soap and water that would go into washing them afterwards.

Candles: Soy and Beeswax are definitely the eco-friendly way to go. Avoid candles made with petroleum by-products along with lead based wicks. Candlelight isn’t only romantic, it’s energy efficient too.

Many of these ideas, can not only be found in your own backyard but they aid in preserving our earth, and save you money . If your looking for ideas and inspiration that will bring your eco-friendly wedding decor to life, check out the 105 best eco-friendly wedding images on Pinterest

STATIONARY

Use Plantable Paper Products from invitations to favour tags, this paper will add a rustic look to your special day and afterwards, this paper can be planted to eventually turn into compost. Paper can even be embedded with seeds, so the paper turns into flowers, plants or herbs when planted. Millions of trees are chopped down annually to make paper products, this process is polluting our environment. Emailing invitations and creating a web-site with your wedding details including the details of the venue will reduce your carbon footprint. You can also purchase recycled paper products and vegetable-based inks.  Or choose sustainable resources, like cotton and bamboo options.

FAVOURS

Instead of another decorative dust collector, opt to donate that money to charities that support the environment; greatergood.org, WWF and the David Suzuki organization are a good place to start. Create a decorative sign letting your guests know you’ve made a donation to a meaningful cause in lieu of favours. If you like the idea of giving your guests a gift, bamboo coasters and frames are a nice idea and gentle to the earth. Plantable favours like potted saplings, herbs or succulents are a great eco-friendly gift. Potted plants/flowers (annuals) make great centre-pieces and can later be planted in your guest’s gardens to enjoy year after year.

ATTIRE  

Consider sustainable fabrics like Hemp, Wool, Organic Cotton, Soy Silk and Bamboo all materials that can be used in your attire. Check out vintage clothing shops or consignment boutiques and re-use a wedding gown or rent brides maids dresses.

The Old Mill Toronto has shown national industry leadership and commitment to protecting the environment through wide ranging policies & practices. We participate with the Green Key Eco-Rating program which is a rating system designed to recognize hotels for improving their environmental performance.

 



Intraceutical Oxygen Facial

It’s called an oxygen facial – a non-surgical, no-botox method that plumps up and firms the skin, reduces or removes wrinkles and makes your skin glow.

What do Madonna, Kim Kardashian, Justin Timberlake, Victoria Beckham and a ton of other stars have in common?, they are all followers of Intraceuticals oxygen facial treatments.

Intraceuticals is the only brand to offer a treatment with a serum specially formulated to be infused deep into the skin with oxygen under pressure. Intraceuticals treatments are immediate, and you can see the effects within 24 hours of the treatment. The effects are also cumulative so their is lasting long-term benefits.

The intraceutical oxygen-infusion process begins with a thorough cleansing. Then a combination of hyaluronic acid is applied along with a vitamin combination of A, E, C, green tea and Aloe Vera – nothing abrasive or harsh.

There is an oxygen massage that follows – tiny puffs of pure oxygen help the creams get deep into several layers of the skin so the results are longer-lasting.

View this video for evidence

Three treatments are available:

Rejuvenate: To hydrate, lift and tighten. The pressurized oxygen stimulates the absorption of Rejuvenate serum and naturally improves moisture levels of the skin while vitamins and antioxidants protect and defend. The combination of lightweight Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamins A, C and E and green tea instantly smooth the skin, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, restoring volume and firming. The treatment promotes the production of natural collagen and elastin. 

Opulence:To brighten, balance and smooth. The Opulence treatment helps reduce hyper-pigmentation and lightens blemishes, scars and blemishes. Katy Perry, who has long battled with acne, swears by this treatment.  

Atoxelene: To clear, refine and calm. Atoxelene is a replacement to injections. Say farewell to fine lines around the eyes and lips. 

It takes about an hour and is available at the Old Mill Spa in Toronto. In addition, there is a skincare collection of Intraceuticals Rejuvenate + Boosters that come complementary and prolong the effects of the oxygen treatment.

Posted in Spa


Fresh Ricotta Gnocchi with Tomato & Corn Salad

When markets brim with the red, yellow and pink hues of cherry, beefsteak and heirloom tomatoes, here’s how to welcome them back into your kitchen.

Ingredients

2 cups mixed heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup fresh corn kernels, (1 large cob)
1/2 cup fresh basil, torn

 

GNOCCHI

1 egg
1 cup smooth ricotta
3/4 cup finely grated parmesan, plus more for garnish
2 garlic cloves, grated
3 tbsp chopped chives
3 tbsp chopped basil
1 tsp lemon zest
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
 

Instructions

  • STIR tomatoes, oil, lemon juice and ¼ tsp salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
  • GNOCCHI: Beat egg in another large bowl, then stir in ricotta, parmesan, garlic, herbs, lemon zest, 3/4 tsp salt and pepper until combined. Stir in flour until just combined. Divide dough into 4 portions. Roll each portion into 9-in.-long logs, then cut each into 10 pieces.
  • BRING a large pot of salted water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium for a gentle boil. Line a baking sheet with a kitchen towel. Cook gnocchi in 2 batches until floating and cooked through, about 3 min. Remove with a slotted spoon, onto prepared sheet.
  • HEAT oil in an extra-large frying pan over medium-high. Cook gnocchi in 2 batches, flipping once, until golden, about 1 min per side. Transfer to a platter and keep warm.
  • REDUCE heat to medium. Add corn and cook for 1 min. Add tomato mixture and cook until warm, about 2 min. Stir in fresh basil and add to gnocchi. Serve with more parmesan.

 

Kitchen Tip: We like a smooth, dry ricotta for velvety, light gnocchi. If needed, drain ricotta on a paper towel to absorb any excess water. If smooth ricotta is unavailable, press traditional ricotta through a fine-mesh sieve with the back of a spoon.

Kitchen Tip: For tender, pillowy texture, go light on the flour. Add gradually, using only as much as needed until the dough just comes together. This will prevent gluten formation.

This menu was found on Chatelaine.com and was so delicious we had to share!



Spa Tips For Brides

Planning your wedding can be a little stressful and have you feeling a little exhausted. Of course when it comes to your wedding day, you wan’t to look radiant, and there is no better place to relax and pamper yourself than spending some quality time at the spa. A little time spent at the spa will have you looking your best when you walk down the aisle; so here are a few tips to bring out the gorgeous in you!

 

Facials

If you’ve never had a facial before, you should have a trial facial about 4 months in advance to see how your skin will react. If you’re happy with your results, then schedule another facial with the same therapist, a week or two before you walk down the aisle.

All the stress from your wedding planning will, unfortunately, show up on your skin. You can undo the damage by having a traditional spa facial, which is also great for making your skin a better makeup canvas. This indulgent service is great for all skin types. With exfoliation, toning and moisturizing – facials can be personalized for every skin type to give you that bridal glow.

And then there’s the Intraceutical Oxygen Facial, that the Spa at the Old Mill Toronto offers, which leaves skin looking positively radiant. It hydrates the skin, immediately firms and plumps it up to smooth out fine lines, and gives the complexion a nice glow.

Waxing

As well as exfoliating the areas you’re having waxed, it’s important to buff away dead skin cells to avoid clogged pores and ingrown hairs. Your last exfoliation should be at least two days before the wax treatment. Moisturize your skin properly until the day before the waxing to keep the area hydrated (and after to keep your skin looking fabulous, of course). Don’t forget to wear SPF to protect the newly waxed areas. Most importantly do not wax the day of your wedding – the best time is about one week before your big day. The Spa at the Old Mill usues Nufree Finipil, which is not a wax, so you won’t experience the pain of typical waxing. Extensive scientific testing, proves Nufree to be a self preserving antibacterial, antimicrobial hair removal system.

Massage

You may be sore after the massage, so it’s probably best to enjoy this ultimate form of relaxation the week leading up to your Wedding Day and not the day before.  This is normal with Deep Tissue massage, but it can also happen with the more gentle type of Swedish massage as well, and sometimes you may not feel the soreness until the next day. Your therapist can tailor the massage to your personal needs and desires, and make adjustments in intensity or technique as the session proceeds.A therapeutic massage is perfect for bridesmaid bonding, alone time or with your fiance, take the time out of your busy planning schedule to enjoy a massage, you will feel much better afterwards. 

Hair and Makeup

It’s important to secure your stylist ahead of time and do a trip about 1 -2 months before your Wedding Day. When it comes to your hair and makeup, you want to look like yourself as much as possible. Stick to the styles that make you feel most comfortable and match your bridal style. The Spa at the Old Mill is proud to use proud to use Jane Iredale Skincare Makeup. It provides flawless coverage with skincare benefits that conventional makeup can only envy! This mineral composition was designed to give you SPF, concealer, foundation and powder all in one.  Jane Iredale is not just makeup, it’s an extension of your skincare!

Nails

It’s always best to get your nails done the day before or day of so they look fresh and fabulous. Even Gel manicures can loose their lustre after a few days. You will want to show off your new wedding ring so compliment it with perfectly polished nails. Choosing a nail colour is right up there with the other tough wedding planning decisions. If your not into nail art, than your Wedding Day isn’t the day to start. Since You try on more than one dress (most of the time!), why shouldn’t you try on more than one polish?

 Body Wraps and Scrubs

Wraps are an excellent way to detox and are designed to reduce the appearance of cellulite or create a sliming effect while a body scrub will slough away dry, dead skin cells and leave you with luminous skin.  Remember if you are getting a spray tan, book it after your body scrub so your gorgeous glow won’t rub off!



Health Benefits of Tea & Shortbread Takes the Cake!

The Old Mill Toronto Pastry Chef knows what it takes to make a delicious shortbread cookie and they want to share this buttery Shortbread Recipe with you.  With a soft, crumbly texture that just melts in your mouth, you wont eat just one!

Traditional Shortbread

275g Unsalted Butter (softened)
140g Sugar
1tsp Vanilla Extract
410g All Purpose Flour
5g Salt
Zest of 1 lemon, 1 lime (optional)

Method:

1. Using a wooden spoon or the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.

2. Add vanilla and citrus zest (if desired).

3. Add flour and salt, mixing well until a soft dough forms.

4. Refrigerate at least one hour before rolling out and cutting, as the dough will be very soft and difficult to work with immediately after mixing.

5. Roll out approximately 1/3 of an inch in height on a well-floured work surface and cut into desired shapes. Alternately, roll into smooth cylindrical logs or rectangles, chill, and slice. 

6. Bake at 325 degrees for approximately 10-15 minutes, until the edges just begin to colour. May be dipped in chocolate or decorated with royal icing.

Health Benefits of Tea

A spot of tea in the afternoon with friends has more benefits than just good company. Drinking tea is beneficial to our health and goes great with a fresh shortbread cookie! 

Boost your immune system and help reduce the risk of cancers Camellia sinensis (Tea) contain catechins, an antioxidant that boosts the immune system. Vitamin H, also known as biotin, is present in teas which also contributes to a healthy immune system . In addition, tea contains flavonoids, a type of antioxidant that assists in the prevention of cellular damage, cardiovascular disease, skin disease and UV-induced DNA damage.

Protect your heart  with the antioxidant found in green tea, EGCg, speeds up the recovery of heart cells and minimizes cell death after a heart attack or stroke. Green tea is also associated with a reduced risk of coronary artery disease because its high quantity of antioxidants, namely flavonoids, may reduce the amount of cholesterol in the artery wall. Tea acts as an anti-inflammatory and improves blood vessel function.

Reduce your risk of ovarian cancer - A Swedish study published in December 2005 claims that drinking two or more cups of tea a day can reduce your risk of developing ovarian cancer by 46 per cent. The 15-year study involved just over 60,000 Swedish women.

Tea protects your bones - It’s not just the milk added to tea that builds strong bones. One study that compared tea drinkers with non tea-drinkers, found that people who drank tea for 10 or more years had the strongest bones, even after adjusting for age, body weight, exercise, smoking and other risk factors. The authors suggest that this may be the work of tea’s many beneficial phytochemicals.

Tea is calorie-free - Tea doesn’t have any calories, unless you add sweetener or milk. Consuming even 250 fewer calories per day can result in losing one pound per week. If you’re looking for a satisfying, calorie-free beverage, tea is a top choice.

Join us for our Afternoon Tea in recognition of a 103-year tradition. Since 1914, pedestrians, cyclists, canoeists and motorists have enjoyed afternoon tea at the Old Mill Toronto. Our Tea Menu includes a take home decorative gift box of our exclusive Centennial Tea Blend and a portion of the proceeds from the Afternoon Tea will be donated to Women’s Habitat.



Benefits of Massage Therapy

There are many reasons why massage therapy is good for your health, in addition to the relaxation aspect, massage therapy continues to be one of the most effective, safe and natural ways to treat mental and physical ailments, such as stress, pain, anxiety and depression.

Massage increases and improves circulation to help ease muscle pain.  Increased circulation improves blood flow, removes waste away from muscles and internal organs, lowers blood pressure and improves overall body function. 

Massage encourages a better quality of sleep and also helps those who can’t otherwise comfortably rest. Massages provide pain relief through applied pressure, muscle relaxation and increased circulation. With regular massage therapy sessions, muscle cramps and spasms, stiffness and body aches are either reduced or prevented. 

Often, headaches are triggered or exacerbated by stress and poor sleep. Massage decreases frequency and severity of tension headaches, even relieving headaches after one massage session.  Massage therapy also raises the body’s production and release of endorphins. These are stress and pain preventing hormones that enhance mood and boost immunity.

Massage therapy has been found to boost white blood cell count, which plays a large role in defending the body from disease.  Massage therapy can increase your body’s natural ability to protect itself by improving the flow of lymph, a bodily fluid that fights infection and disease.

A single massage can do great things for your body, but regular frequent massages can be even more profound. Massage can help you maintain flexibility and range of motion by working the muscles, connective tissue, tendons and ligaments, and by stimulating the production and retention of the natural lubricants between the connective tissue fibers.

Massage also appears to increase the feel-good hormones serotonin and dopamine, which. improves your mood and makes you feel good mentally.

There are many different types of massage recommended for area specific treatments. Deep tissue massage focuses on the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue, while Sports massage focuses on preparing the muscle tissue, relieving muscle strain, decreasing muscle fatigue and tension, maintaining flexibility, increasing circulation and flushing of toxins that build in the muscle after strenuous use. Swedish massage techniques relax muscles, rehabilitate injuries, increase range of motion, breakdown scar tissue, decrease muscle pain and increase body awareness.

Relax and rejuvenate in a sanctuary created to heal both mind and body, an escape where our massage therapists provide a personalized spa experience in a peaceful and unwinding environment.