March 16, 2016

In celebration of a cousin’s birthday, my family and I were invited to the Shangri-La Hotel for dinner at the very modern and chic restaurant Bosk.

This is a very swanky restaurant located near Queen and University Streets, in the heart of downtown Toronto and on the outskirts of our beautiful city’s Financial District.

Toronto is a city full of magical surprises and amazing restaurants and pubs, such as Sneaky Dee’s which holds exciting events and has cheap drinks that taste great too.

How This Night Turned Into A Learning Curve

Dining in Absolute Luxury: A Night at the Shangri-La Hotel

In truth, I don’t particularly know how to talk about this experience without referencing money and how that very topic seemed to be very present in such an establishment.

As a 21-year-old university student, I aim to come to a point in my life where not only do I play off an event like this as, ‘Oh no, it’s totally cool, $30 for an appetizer is not even a disturbing thought to me’ – that I’m not screaming on the inside at having had to work three hours for something that’ll take me all of five minutes to nibble at – but where I truly am not thinking at all about the price of anything.

Unfortunately, this is sort of difficult when the meals and drinks ordered by everyone attending could have easily paid for over a year of my tuition.

However, my dad and I actually ended up discussing this on the way home and agreed that it seemed like a perfect place to be, financially (not being ostentatious and tackily gallivanting about, like you’re all-deserving; these two situations of wealth are not to be confused).

On a much brighter note, I started off with my usual go-to drink – a gin and tonic. It was made with the Beefeater brand, which was a bit disappointing because I always drink better quality gin at home; preferring Bombay Sapphire or Hendrick’s.

Dining in Absolute Luxury: A Night at the Shangri-La Hotel

In this case, I am very passionate about my gin and tonics and I regret having not remembered to ask the waiter to use my favourite brand of spirit in my drink. However, the presentation of the drink was lovely.

My second drink later in the night was a higher quality gin (upon my request) and I could definitely taste the difference; this was a French Connection cocktail, made with Hendrick’s gin and Amaretto, and served on the rocks with bits of red grape. To die for!

My dinner was off the appetizer menu. I ordered lobster gnocchi with forest mushrooms and tomato lobster emulsions. Quite a nice arrangement on the plate, and (I suppose) quite filling, for the amount.

Wow did it taste amazing! I would eat lobster every single day if I had my way – in gnocchi, or even on its own just slathered in butter. I’m not picky. This dish did not fail to exceed my expectations.

Exploring The Shangri-La Hotel

Dining in Absolute Luxury: A Night at the Shangri-La Hotel

Afterward, the guest of honour took his few cousins who attended the dinner (including me) up to show us his 12th floor room at the Shangri-La Hotel.

The hotel was beautiful, in a non-overbearingly modern way. Along the hallways were display cases of various historical-looking artifacts – much like they would appear in a museum.

The room itself had a breathtaking view of the Toronto skyline, our magnificent CN Tower included. The lights at night over the city, from up that high, is something I can never get enough of. What I would do to have a condo with that skyline right outside my window!

Moreover, the room had this exotic array of fruits on a platter. I tried figs and star fruit for the first time, both of which weren’t particularly to my liking, but I felt like an Egyptian queen (I’m a tad delusional, I realise, ha ha).

To complete the night, I crept away to the expansive and rather bourgeoisie washrooms on the main floor, which was completely empty, and proceeded to take too many selfies (featuring an ancient Asian vase of some sort).

All in all, the night was a lot of fun and a whole new experience for me, unlike anything I’ve ever done before. It opened my eyes to a whole other world of – a ‘type’ of – people. In a good way.

There are a lot of different ways to celebrate a birthday and I think this way was very classy and well-planned.

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