Category: Gimli


I know. I was supposed to be heading to Montreal for the next post. But it’s just so darned beautiful right now in Manitoba, and there are so many amazing things going on that I thought I’d treat you to one more round of local bragging. I hope you’ll indulge me, and join in with a comment celebrating your own favourite Manitoba place, memory or summer event. After all, as Travel Manitoba would say … “It’s Manitoba Time!”

the re-enactors of Vikings Vinland demonstrate battle techniques

We visited the Icelandic Festival in Gimli on the weekend and were fortunate to have timed our visit to see the battle re-enactment performed by members of Vikings Vinland, a troop of  re-enactors from all over North America. It was awesome! We also enjoyed a Goldeyes baseball game in Winnipeg.

But what really inspired me to write this post was the amazing culinary talent we have right here in the Interlake. Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending High Tea at the Fat Cat Bistro (located just north of Camp Morton on Hwy 222.) It’s held every Tuesday from 2-4 pm and is a delight for just $13. We started with a plate of giant pinwheel sandwiches, followed by a course of hot appetizers. I loved the giant Japanese mussels made in a sauce of tomatoes and peppers. The mushroom puffs were also terrific and light. And a crostini featuring local Goldeye fish finished off the middle course with a lovely fresh flavour.

The dessert course consisted of a plate of cheeses and fresh fruits alongside a plate of dainties. And yes, there was chocolate! The chocolate coconut brownies were soft, chewy and really quite decadent.

My friend couldn’t eat nuts, so was made a special pavlova (which was dressed right at our table by John, partner of Karen Nielsen, our talented chef.)

John preparing a lovely pavlova at our table

Although the High Tea was not traditional in the sense that there were no scones with clotted cream, it was delightful in every way. I’m told by Chef Karen that she does make scones on occasion and changes the menu every week to keep her scores of regular customers happy and coming back each week or every second week to see what she has in store.

Today, we visited Fat Cat for breakfast. I’d been there once previously for dinner, but had not (until today) had the pleasure of enjoying one of their tasty breakfasts. As I’m watching my calorie count these days (the two years of intense chocolate tasting has finally caught up with me!) I ordered a simple breakfast of two poached eggs and sausages with multi-grain toast and sliced tomatoes. Include your coffee or tea and you’ve got an amazing breakfast for $5!

My male companions were not as concerned with their waistlines and ordered much more elaborately. Roy had the omelette, asking Chef Karen to create something unique for him. And that she did! His fluffy omelette was stuffed with goat’s cheese and local Saskatoon berries. A bit heavy for me, but Roy loved it!

My husband, Reg, ordered the authentic Icelandic pancakes (Karen is a local girl of Icelandic heritage) stuffed with seasonal berries and topped with fresh whipping cream. Wow! That was truly amazing, and something that I would order on a return visit.

Fat Cat's Icelandic pancakes

Fat Cat Bistro is becoming a local favourite with discerning diners of the Interlake. That, along with Mask Mediterranean Restaurant of Gimli are boasting internationally trained chefs who love the Interlake region and are hoping to tantalize diners’ taste buds beyond the (pickerel) fish and chips (french fries) that have become the flagship meal of many area restaurants.

Let’s talk. Tell me about your favourite hangout, event or memory from YOUR most coveted Manitoba time.

Please note there will be a special “Blog Jog Day” post on this blog on Sunday, August 7th, as I once again participate in an event that helps fellow bloggers expand their audiences. And we’ll be back the week of August 15th, when we will finally explore the virtues — and chocolate — of Montreal.

Thanks to all for sharing the journey to London with us and our discovery of the Chocolate Revolution in the UK. I could go on about it, but will save that for the print version of Chocolatour, where your chocolate experience will be greatly enhanced.

It’s time to head back across the pond and I invite you to join me on a diversion in my own backyard. You won’t find fine chocolate at the Gimli Film Festival (GFF), but you will find an amazing array of more than 120 films to nurture your spirit, entertain, educate and challenge you.

Last year I was privileged to attend the Opening Reception in celebration of the festival’s 10th year of operation, and stayed for the beach screening of the Weakerthans documentary. I can’t believe it took me 10 years to get to this amazing event!

This year, I plan on attending the afternoon screening of a documentary on El Bulli, said by many to be the world’s best restaurant. I missed the opportunity to visit this landmark eating establishment last year when I was in Barcelona. It’s located 177 kilometres from Barcelona airport, but we just didn’t have the time to make the journey.

Now I hear that El Bulli is closing, and will reopen as a new entity. We’ll see what master 3-star chef, Ferran Adria will come up with! Either way, it will be fascinating to watch the documentary of how this culinary mastermind works. I’m sure all mouths in the room will be watering as we watch a film documenting his sources of inspiration.

the setting for beach screenings at the Gimli Film Fest includes an 11-metre movie screen suspended above the waters of Lake Winnipeg

I’m also looking forward to the beach screening of Barney’s Version on Friday, July 22nd. As I recently returned from Montreal, it will be lovely to watch this movie based on Mordecai Richler’s prize-winning comic novel of the same name. The film won 7 Genie Awards and is said to show off Montreal most beautifully.

Something new that has been added this year is live music on the red dock by the beach screen at 8:30 pm before the 10 pm movie screenings. Looking forward to that!

And the GFF also offers free transportation from Winnipeg for festival goers with an “All Access Pass.” The GFF shuttle service is available to all others for a fee of $10 return trip. You can’t beat that!

So please join us in Gimli from July 20-24th for the 11th Gimli Film Fest. You’ll be glad you did! There are 3 indoor venues in addition to the beach venue. And something to please the palate of absolutely any film buff.

We’d love to hear your best GFF memories, or any experiences you may have had at other film festivals around the world. Please share your thoughts, and join us back here the week of August 2nd, when we’ll talk Montreal.

This blog usually takes us to exotic locales in search of chocolate and other delectables. But this post, I’d like to salute my own home turf in honour of  Manitoba Day. I was born and raised here. It is my home, and I’m proud of its many attributes.

Last summer my husband and I toured our area, taking in many exciting festivals and events. I wrote about them on my lifestyle blog but will recap the highlights here for those of you who may be curious about what there is to do in Manitoba’s Interlake region.

the beautiful beach at Camp Morton

In the Aug 23/10 post, I took you to Camp Morton, a stunning beach on Lake Winnipeg just north of Gimli. This beautiful picture of the beach inspires me on days (like today) when my energy level is on the low side and the air pressure is correspondingly low because of the dreadful weather we’ve been having this month. I know it will soon pass and we’ll once again be strolling along the shores of Lake Winnipeg talking to the shore birds and feeling the misted breeze on our faces.

In the Aug 9/10 post, I introduced you to the re-enactors who live like Vikings for the first week of August each year as part of Gimli’s Icelandic Festival. Who wouldn’t be smitten by a smile from this face?

the blacksmith in the Viking Village

In the July 22/10 post, we visited Hecla Island and the Gimli Film Festival. Hecla is a terrific place to explore nature, and although the Hecla Oasis Resort has come into financial difficulties and suspended operations, the campground and golf course are open for your pleasure. And be sure to mark your calendars and take in the Gimli Film Fest which runs July 20-24 this year.

In the March 29/10 post, we visited Chatfield, Manitoba, a rather out-of-the-way community in Manitoba’s Interlake region that surprisingly came up in conversation at a function I attended this week. Out of 4 people in the discussion, 2 had a connection with Chatfield! They certainly have a terrific museum for anyone interested in country memorabilia.

And with Winnipeg being my hometown, we can’t talk about Manitoba without tipping our hats to the province’s capital city. Check out my Feb 27/09 post to see some of my favourite things about Winnipeg.

A shocking survey by Peak of the Market suggested that most Manitobans don’t even know that May 12th is Manitoba Day. I hope this post will help change that, and that many of us will plan to discover or revisit some special places in this province over the summer to remind us just how lucky we are to live here – despite the challenges of the crazy spring weather.

My heart goes out to our fellow Manitobans in the Westman region who are facing a breach of the dike today. A crisis which do doubt has literally put a damper on any celebrations in the western part of the province.

But we look forward with hope. Please share your thoughts on a Manitoba gem you enjoy, or what you like best about Manitoba.

Look for the next post here during the week of May 23rd, when I’ll be preparing for a trip to Toronto. And yes, there will be chocolate.

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