Cottage Country

After reading Meghan’s selection of road trip jams and not long after an account of Kaylee’s 50 days in the great outdoors, I’ve been feeling the itch to get away. Cottage season has been upon us for a few weeks now and I have yet to elope to one of those sacred destinations that makes summertime come alive. Cottaging is one of my favourite things about the summer, and although I do not own a cottage myself I will always jump at the opportunity to make that 3 hour drive out of the city toward the serene lake awaiting.

Aside from the obvious reason of getting a mini-break from the city, the cottage means so many other things. Whether you are cottaging as a couple, with your girlfriends or a group of pals, the whole experience opens the floodgates for some things that get overlooked in city life. Below are some of those things that I love to do when at a cottage and that sometimes are forgotten in everyday life – whether it is lack of time or patience- the cottage gives you back the time to do some of things you love most.

Whenever I’m going to a cottage, I always grab a good book to take along for the ride. #1 The Paris Wife is the kind of book that transcends your imagination and allows you to share exchanges with literary types such as Hemingway and his wife, Hadley Richardson. Nestled deep in the woods, with little to distract you, this book will quickly enthrall you and make for an easy read while you are living easy.  And, while you’re lying on a dock, nothing beats a good book and cold beer in your hand. Which brings me to my next point….

Anyone who knows me and knows me well, would be quick to say that, given the choice, I will always opt for a glass of wine over a pint of beer. But all grapes and caloric caution are thrown to the wind when it comes to cottage country. Beer is most people’s (including my own) drink of choice. Here are 3 of my favourite summertime beers. #1 Millstreet Organic is fresh, flavourful and not too heavy which makes for an easy sipping kind of beer. #2 Blanche de Chambly is an all-time favourite with hints of orange citrus, this beer has summertime written all over it. #3 Mad Tom IPA is an interesting fellow that will easily accompany a BBQ.

When the sun goes down and the lake gets too cold to dip your toes in, it is time to let the games begin. I am a game fanatic, with a slightly competitive streak so each of the games above are tailored to my preference. These games, or any others that you might love, are a surefire way to keep the evening rolling well into the wee small hours.

And, though I hate to admit it, during the year a manicured set of extremities is often pushed to the sidelines (especially during the winter months). So when summertime hits I try, try , try to keep a pretty coat of polish on my toes. Cottage country allows you all the time in the world to pamper yourself, and time to layer on a second coat!!! So why not use that time to try a touch of shimmery gold, a summertime coral or a soft neutral colour on your tootsies.

So next time (or the first time) you take the weekend to visit a cabin nestled in the woods, remember to bring a few of these items, take care of yourself and allow yourself to enjoy and relax in the great outdoors.

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About Kate Lalumiere

After studying wine and spending years in the food service industry, Kate is nutshell's designated food and wine aficionado. Her posts take on the foodie-sphere one restaurant at a time, exposing some of the hottest spots to satiate the ol' buds ! Her favourite restaurants usually include: innovative menus, sustainable & local produce and unparalleled hospitality. Although Kate has a keen ear for food buzz in the National Capital, you'll also find her weighing in on fashion, music and anything that peaks her interest! ** Favourite Restaurant (Ottawa) : Supply & Demand • Wine of Choice: Every wine • Favourite Band: The National • Bad Habit: Being a backseat driver• Favourite Song: Wild Horses • Fashion Icon: Olivia Palermo • Favourite Movie: The Sandlot • Favourite TV Series: Gossip Girl (sue me!) • Sport: Football (to watch and play) • Team: Arizona Cardinals • Blackberry or Iphone: Iphone • Favourite Book: The Sun Also Rises, The Cat's Table, The Bell Jar, On the Road... • ** To ask Kate a question about food, wine or anything else contact her at :

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