Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Gallery Upstairs and Harrop Restaurant, reviewed by C'Mor

The Gallery Upstairs and Harrop Restaurant in Milton are housed in a century-old stone mansion.  Entering, I felt like I’d been transported to the early 1900s. The regency style of this elegant colonial home invites you to live your fantasy of being surrounded by art and artists across all genres.

A rich dark wooden staircase, two-foot deep wooden window wells, thick doorframes and baseboards, reminiscent of the Jazz Age, invites you to come inside.

Harrop Restaurant on the entrance level has four dining rooms available for group or private functions. Each has its own fireplace, while one of them - the former living room - features a piano. The different size rooms seat between two and fourty people.  The smallest can be booked for an intimate dinner for two.

The restaurant specializes in Latin American inspired food. Their uniqueness lies in the quality of their food and the fusions that make up the dishes. My favourite is the scrumptious Sunday brunch menu which includes a to-die-for buffet dessert table in the tapas and bar room.

Events, including wedding receptions, tea parties and seasonal lunches or dinners can be booked through the gallery or restaurant.

Birches & Sumacs by J Ian Ridpath
The Gallery Upstairs is located on the second level where farmhouse bedrooms have been transformed into cozy galleries, each with a distinct individuality. The displays and type of art bring their own life to each room. 

The gallery’s variety of original artwork (traditional and modern, fine art and abstract), prints, sculptures, home decor items, jewelry and furniture (crafted from salvaged wood by Greg Hill), offer a treasure chest of valuable finds in a wide price range.

The Barn (separate from the mansion) lends its own unique feel to work by The Group of Seven and artists like Robert Bateman, John Harrington, Ford Smith, Andrea Seibt and Elizabeth Hebert. It also houses a custom framing studio. Other services offered are commissioned art by most of the artists, interior design and decorating services.

My fantasy of being surrounded by artists became a reality when I met six of the exhibiting artists at the opening of fine art photographer Jason DiMichele’s  Abstract and Landscape exhibition.

Finished cherry wood by Maple Hill Tree Services
During one of their regular Jazz 'n Art Nights with local jazz artist Kelly MacIntyre, my dream came true again as I rubbed shoulders with a few more local comedians and performance artists.  

Art exhibitions, live art performances, shows (like The Travelling Hat Museum), workshops (writing, jewellery making etc) and other events to meet the artists are organized on a continuous basis. Upcoming events include a Martini & Massage night and a Healing Art Show in September.

The Tina Newlove Exhibition is currently showing and will be followed by Gabriella St George’s show in October.

I have to paraphrase Ernest Hemingway: once you have visited The Gallery Upstairs at Harrop Restaurant, wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you forever; it’s a moveable feast.

See information on future exhibitions, workshops and events at The Gallery Upstairs here.
For restaurant information and bookings, see here.

Brian Henry will lead a “How to Make Yourself Write” workshop at the Harrop restaurant on Saturday, July 21 (see here).

C'Mor has lived a thousand lives, not all of them her own. She hopes to live a thousand more, in places she calls home. She loves to peel onions, color pictures and learn from the dead, she likes new see-through underwear, old papers but fresh bread. Her eyes reflect in leaves, her hair hangs straight, the wrinkles round her knees, repeat in her waist. She dreams of sex and rock and roll, but mostly of world piece...

You can follow the lives of her 3 characters: An (aka Griet), Jo and Lee, in 3 countries: Canada, South Africa, Botswana on her Radio OFM 94-97 blog. Enjoy reading their 3 different points of view - some days straightforward, some days skew - here
You can also join her on facebook to read her poetry and other thoughts here.

See Brian Henry's full schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Kingston, Peterborough, Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Georgetown, Milton, Oakville, Burlington, St. Catharines, Hamilton, Dundas, Kitchener, Guelph, London, Woodstock, Orangeville, Newmarket, Barrie, Gravenhurst, Sudbury, Muskoka, Peel, Halton, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

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