Hello lovelies! Welcome to ‘Take Me Out’, a new blog series collaboration between Random Acts of Pastel and Bicyclette, where I take my favourite Bicyclette pieces on adventures, and bring you along!
It seems that real Spring weather has finally hit Toronto! Well, by Spring weather I suppose I really mean Spring showers. We’ve been getting a lot of rain lately, which means I’ve been hiding inside writing and moping about the lack of nice weather most days. I’m a California sunshine girl at heart, what can I say? There are a few places in the city though that are just cozy enough to warrant a trek through the never-ending downpour, and one of those spots is La Merceria.
I probably walked by La Merceria 15 times before actually going in. This little cafe looks so warm and welcoming, it honestly seems like a very stylish person’s living room from the outside windows, and it was daunting to actually step inside. Antique wooden chairs and soft couch-like benches fill the small space, and hidden rooms filled with hand-crafted goods stretch back as far as the eye can see. Once I finally convinced myself that it was indeed a shop that anyone could visit however, and not someone’s private space, I found myself completely enchanted.
La Merceria is one of those magical spots in Toronto that is truly unlike any other. Described by its owners as an “Argentinian Cafe and Home Accessories Shop”, this spot is truly a hidden gem. Located just below Queen street near Bathurst, La Merceria is the perfect place to escape the bustle of the city and relax with a book and a hot cup of coffee laced with Dulce de Leche. In the summer there are bistro sets outside the shop, and delicious specials like Yerba Mate lemonade, and in the winter they serve up a daily soup and rich pumpkin spice lattes.
I stopped into La Merceria this week on a rainy, miserable day for a much needed warm drink and some sweet treats. I went a little overboard, ordering a spinach empanada, cafe caramelo (dulce de leche coffee!), a tea latte, and and my personal favourite, a giant Alfajore (think dulce de leche shortbread cookie sandwich.) With my order on its way and my little empanada warming in the oven, I found a bright spot near window where I could hear the rain falling, and got settled in.
I kept my outfit simple for this rainy day outing, determined to stay as cozy as possible while still feeling cute. I went with a For Love & Lemons Bonita Dress, one of my absolute favourite simple-yet-pretty pieces, and belted it to add a bit more structure. I added a Lily B & Co. amethyst necklace to compliment the floral lace panel on the dress, and finished the look off with heeled ankle booties and tan thigh-high socks. Elegant and whimsical, this outfit made me feel like I was lounging on a patio somewhere warm and sunny, even if it was raining cats and dogs outside.
After I had quietly nibbled away at most of my snacks, I wandered around the shop in search of new treasures. I love the way La Merceria marries their quiet coffee shop with a boutique full of cards, specialty cleaning products, candles, and gold flatware. Every corner of this space has something charming to be discovered, and the best part is you can bring those little bits of charm home! I credit La Merceria for all of my golden Canvas kitchen accents, my delicious smelling Caldrea cleaning products, and my unhealthy addiction to Rifle Paper co. I always joke that every time I stop in for a coffee, it’s impossible for me to walk out without something else! I dare you to visit and leave without a shopping bag in tow!
[Photos by Brianne Burnell]