Date Night in Philly: Cake Life Pastry Pairings

Philadelphia is affectionately known as the City of Brotherly Love. And, though we do have a history littered with a few not-so-brotherly moments (cough Santa cough), at the end of the day, if you love Philly, it’ll love you right back.

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Promise, we can be nice, too.

There’s nowhere this is more evident than in the numerous collaborations our chefs, restaurateurs, and purveyors of adult beverages put together on a regular basis. I’ve noshed on lamb Barbacoa dumplings from Han Chiang of Han Dynasty & the gang from South Philly Barbacoa, nibbled Sweetgreen’s salad designed by Zahav’s Mike Solomonov, and, most recently, got to enjoy a pastry and drink pairing courtesy of two of Fishtown’s sweethearts (and neighbors!) – Cake Life and Kensington Quarters.

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Last week, the team from Cake Life and Tim Kweeder of Kensington Quarters, along with Jason Malumed of MFW Wine, banded together for an epic guided pastry & beverage pairing. While the wines were sourced from the region of Southwest France, the pastries were the brain-children of the brilliant minds of Lily & Nima, Cake Life’s co-owners.

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This was the fifth in a Summer Series the shop hosted highlighting either wines or spirits, and was one of the most fun nights I’ve had all summer. From 7:30-10(ish… five courses and wines in, and time was a loose concept), Jason and Tim led us through South by Southwest France – using tunes from the notorious music festival as a soundtrack.

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This tray is what dreams are made of…

We enjoyed savory and sweet treats highlighting seasonal ingredients like melon, tomato, and peaches. We salivated over syrupy sausage rolls and SOME of us may have even licked our plates after a particularly mouthwatering almond-plum cake, our final course of the night.

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Oh, that’s just a prosciutto crisp topping that Melon Tartlet

The time and consideration that went into the wine pairing was evident with each sip, and Jason and Tim brought us on a whirlwind tour through Southwest France that had me checking Google flights and vineyard tours.

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Sauvignon Blanc & goat cheese / tomato jam Croisstini – think the most elevated take on pizza & wine 

While the Summer Pairing Series is done for the season, Cake Life has a lot more up their sleeves… Keep your eyes peeled for similar, seasonally appropriate pastry-pairings to go down monthly. PLUS if you wanna get an amazing taste-tour through Cake Life’s goodies, try one of their Second Saturday Tastings, where duos can eat their way through the shop’s pie, tart, or cake flavors and fillings (BYOB at night – making this the ULTIMATE date night activity!)

Thanks Cake Life for making Philly (and Fishtown) a little sweeter and to Tim and Jason for livening the mood and making us look at Sauvignon Blanc in a way we never had before.

Flotation in Philly: Don’t Fear the Unknown

I’ll start with a confession: I’m rubbish when it comes to recovery. Well, active recovery, or even conscious recovery. I love to destroy my body with a great workout, and there’s no pain sweeter than the deep muscle soreness the following day. It’s after the sweat has dried, that’s when I get lazy. I may half-heartedly stretch a bit, or cool down with a walk, but a gal needs some help now and then.

Enter: flotation Philly

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After somewhat secretly starting Kayla Itsine’s Bikini Body Guide a few weeks ago (more on that, soon), I was feeling the burn in all the best ways. When I got the opportunity to finally try one of these sensory deprivation tanks, I went running (in the rain, to Fishtown).

The question that everyone’s been asking: what was it like?! Here goes nothing:

You’ve got three options

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The Tank is SERIOUS business (at least outwardly. It’s the more classic sensory deprivation option, but I was warned it can be a bit much for first timers.

The POD is the most fun word to say, and apparently, also one that most folks choose for their first time. It’s got lighting and music you can control from the inside, so if you’re prone to claustrophobia, this could be the one for you!

The Cabin, well, that was mine. As a 6’2″ Amazon lady, I was placed in their largest option. So that’s the experience I’ll speak to.

You’re led into a room containing the sensory deprivation tank of your choice. Scrub off in their WONDERFUL shower, jam some earplugs in, strip down, and dive in (well, step in, it’s only 10 inches deep).

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(OK here’s what it was really like)

There’s a little optional head rest float to put your noggin in, but other than that, your body just floats in water saturated with HUNDREDS of pounds of epsom salt. I closed the door, laid back, and closed my eyes. For once, I hadn’t done a ton of research on the experience, checking all the reviews. I was going in blind. And as the darkness set in, I was left alone with my thoughts.

Initially, those thoughts raced. Everything from my week’s workout schedule to cookie recipes to bridesmaid dresses. Sometimes I forgot to breathe for a second and had to take big gulps. Gradually, and then all of the sudden, it just stopped. I realized I had my eyes open at one point and didn’t remember opening them, because it was pitch black. My mind was blank. I didn’t fall asleep, I just… floated. I couldn’t tell which parts of my body were under water, because everything was the same temperature. But my breathing slowed, and I kept floating, completely weightless. It felt very natural.

Not asleep, not fully awake, my mind floated along with my body. I can’t remember thinking anything specific, just a peaceful dreamlike existence for my hyperactive mind. Fun bonus for the sore body: All that epsom salt can boost your magnesium levels, which can improve your circulation, improve your body’s ability to use insulin, ease muscle pain, regulate electrolytes, and relieve stress. So flotation has science backing it, too.

Unfortunately, my reveries were interrupted towards the tail end of my float (I opted for the 60 minute experience, but you can do 60 or 90). The jets that regulate the temperature kicked in, and shook me a bit. I’m assured this does not normally happen, as they can assure they’re off, and a total mistake. I will say, though, I wasn’t able to get back into that same state after settling back into my cabin of quiet. It was definitely calm and soothing, but I had trouble disconnecting like I did for the first 40 minutes.

That said, I was still surprised when the quiet music began and the glowing lights came back on.

REALLY?! That was already 60 minutes?!?!
(plus a few he added to make up for the jet mistake)

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Typical.

I, of course, immediately documented my post-soak spooky cabin on Snapchat (@jpreezy22 in case you’re interested), and showered again.

For the rest of the night, I realized that despite leg day the previous day, my legs were no longer sore. Nothing was sore. Full disclosure: a day later, I’m sore again, but that’s probably because I worked out about 3 hours before my float.

flotation’s pricing ranges from $75 for a 90 minute float, to $60 for 60 minutes, and this price drops if you sign up for a monthly membership.  If you have trouble shutting your brain off, floating could be great. If you want to soak up some of that beneficial magnesium, head on over. If you’re looking for the gift for that fit freak that has everything, or your workaholic pal that could use an hour of relaxation, BAM consider a giftcard.

flotation’s up in Fishtown, at 534 E. Girard Avenue.