Kitten and The Bear
Kitten and The Bear is a charming spot for delicious preserves, buttermilk scones, and picturesque afternoon tea on weekends.
Grown-up tea parties don't get prettier than at this quaint cafe, where owners Sophie Kaftal and Bobby Zielinski have designed the space like a cottage on the English countryside.
What started as a business selling seasonal jams online in 2011 has evolved into one of the city's favourite places for clotted cream-covered baked goods served with tea.
Sophie and Bobby are big on collecting vintage fine china tea sets, so you'll find them daintily arranged around the shop, and you can even drink out of some as well.
Preserves are still a cornerstone of the business, and you'll find a retail corner stocked full of jars of classic Niagara Peach jams ($12) or more seasonal flavours like wild black raspberry and plum, or peach bourbon with vanilla; $12 to $16 each.
They also have a glass case of cheese, and a variety of premium teas from historic brands like Parisian tea seller Nina, or Ireland's crown jewel: Barry's Tea.
As for blends you can drink in the cafe, Kitten and The Bear is one of the few places where you'll find teas from a variety of purveyors (most cafes only stick to one).
On weekdays, you can choose from their menu of 33 blends, like Kusmi's red AquaRosa, an hibiscus and red berry tea. It's $3.50 per cup, and if you drink it in the cafe, you'll get your own vintage silver plated teapot full of hot water.
Delicious buttermilk scones ($5) are made in-house, while the rest of the baked goods like a Morning Bun ($4.50) and loaves of sourdough bread come via the Drake Commissary, and rotating flavours of tea cakes come from The Bake Shoppe.
Weekends, however, the cafe switches over to a more formal affair for its Jam and Tea Service, which costs $24.50 a head, complete with little linens and silverware.
Beware, this is a coveted seat (and there's only room for 10 in the place), so expect it to be booked months in advance.
If you do score a spot, you'll be treated to a flight of Kitten and The Bear's seasonal preserves, a buttermilk scone, double devon cream, and your choice of tea or coffee, served from the squatter variety of teapot.
It's a perfect chance to try four to five of their delicious jams, like their ever-popular strawberry, raspberry, and vanilla cream jam. Another favourite is the Sunshine Peach, made with Niagara gold peaches and a hint of yuzu.
Additional scones are an extra $5, but jams are unlimited, which is a good thing, because you'll want to spend as much time in here as possible.