Breakfast at TIFF

I was going to put a little monologue here about yellow shoes after labour day. But then I realized, I don’t care, these little lemon slice slingbacks are gorgeous. Also, it was TIFF.


So let’s just move on, shall we?

The Toronto International Film Festival takes over the city once a year and everyone goes a bit mad. People spend their days trying to spot celebrities and their nights watching poignant films that put it all into perspective. Restaurant chalkboards go from “FREE wifi, cold BEER” to “Bill Murray Day Tacos, $3.50” (because of the obvious correlation between Bill Murray and cheap tacos).

You see a lot of orange dresses. This year, for a TIFF reception my work was sponsoring, I went to the complementary end of the spectrum and wore blue.


I attend receptions for work regularly and this sort of look is my standard uniform. I have a lot of frocks that follow this formula – very tailored, conservative length, modern neckline, flattering colour. My cocktail hour mantra is WWCUW – What Would Claire Underwood Wear? (Or Rachel Zane. Or Kate Middl- OK, I’ll stop).

Both my dress and shoes are Zara. Other places I love to shop for work-appropriate frocks are:

Femme de Carriere

L.K. Bennett


Club Monaco

Lemon Poppyseed Blueberry-Raspberry Scones

I’m a sucker for scones and love to make them on Saturday mornings. Usually I like to bake fussy, dainty pasties but when it comes to scones I think the best ones are knobbly, crumbly and rustic with poppyseed pockmarks and raspberry veins.


For about ten large scones:

  • 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream or buttermilk plus more for brushing
  • 3 cups pastry flour
  • 1 cup sugar plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/4 sticks cold unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 375°F. Soak the poppyseeds in the cream or buttermilk in a small bowl while you’re preparing the other ingredients. Using an electric mixer, combine  the pastry flour, sugar, baking powder, lemon zest and salt. Cut butter into small pieces and blend into flour mixture until mixture is coarse. Add lemon juice and egg, mixing until just combined. Mix in cream/poppyseed mixture until the dough clumps together – don’t overmix! Press dough into something vaguely resembling a rectangle per the image below. Add frozen raspberries to one half and fold over.


Roll out again as best you can and do the same thing with the frozen blueberries. This time when you fold over, try to shape it into a more respectable rectangle, but don’t worry about it looking pretty. I mean, seriously, look at mine below – the picture isn’t even in focus.


Using diagonal slices, cut into triangles. Position them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, brush with cream and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until scones turn golden and a knife inserted comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes.


Serve warm with butter and jam, or clotted cream if you’re lucky enough to live somewhere it’s available.


If you have a lovely vintage scone set you inherited from your grandmother, use that. Or you know, whatever you have handy.




x Dana