Show of hands…..does anyone else have cabin fever??? We do this year and it’s pretty hardcore! Now I know a beach vacation with cold drinks and palm trees and waves crashing would be the ultimate cure right about now….but we already have a vacation planned for April and can’t just go off jet setting whenever we feel like it. April just seems SO. Far. Away!!! So we did the next best thing and played tourists in our hometown of Buffalo, NY.
We started our day at Swan Street Diner. This place is filled with so much history, yet it’s fairly new to the Buffalo area. It just opened in October 2017 in fact! It got it’s start as one of the early Sterling Company diner cars and originally opened in Newark, NY in 1937. Just steps away from Larkin Square, this place is sure to hopping on Food Truck Tuesdays this summer!
This guy LOVES himself a good diner!!! This place has been beautifully restored over the years and all the interior enamel panels, bar stools and wood trim are original. The retro vibes are everywhere!!
Not to be missed are the Mini-Donuts!!! We took a cue from Gateway Lodge and ordered them to share as an appetizer to our breakfast. Served hot and fresh they really were out of this world!!! I think the glazed were my favorite! Oh and another fun fact, ALL of the plates and mugs were locally made here in Buffalo at Larkin Soap Company China before it’s closing in 2013. How cool is that?
Everything was cooked to perfection. Swan Street offers the classic diner experience that you would expect! The coffee was super delicious too!! I went for the two eggs, bacon, home fries and sourdough toast and the hubby went with a Western Omelette….cause we’re predictable like that. Why mess with a good thing?
And….we loved the mini-donuts so much that we got a 3 pack to go! That’s how we roll. But seriously…..just order some already!!! I’ve gotta come back here for lunch and try one of the milkshakes. MUST!!!
After breakfast we took a short drive to the Buffalo Botanical Gardens. The green houses are absolutely stunning both inside and out. The glass house design was inspired by the famous Crystal Palace in England.
The gardens are jam packed with amazing flower exhibits and exotic horticulture from around the world. Opened in 1900, it’s earned it’s spot as a national historic site!
This garden sanctuary is seen by many visitors as a place for spiritual healing, meditation and reflection. It’s easy to see why! As soon as you walk through the doors you’ll immediately feel more relaxed and at peace.
The Asian Rainforest house was my favorite spot! It showcases a moon gate, a decorative teahouse, lots of bamboo, beautiful orchids, and bonsai trees, but the main attraction is the spectacular waterfall. We loved sitting near the koi pond and watching all the fish swim to the surface!
It was an especially frigid day in Buffalo, like 6 degrees and chilling winds that shot right through ya! So you can bet I took my time in this desert inspired room where the temps were in the 70s and 80s. I wanna be where the cactus are!
The Ivy Room is the largest public ivy collection in the world housing over 400 varieties, but don’t worry….none of it’s poison!
The Tropical Plants House holds amazing flowering tropical plants, and also includes a soothing water feature, a vine-covered gazebo, a gorgeous pergola and a relaxing place to play checkers.
We spent our first anniversary exploring the fabulous Denver Botanic Gardens. This cute little day date had me reminiscing about that vacation! Plus there were plenty of spots to take photos at every turn. Don’t forget to tag your photos #buffalogardens for the insta!
I definitely recommend sneaking off to the hidden bench. There’s room for two and the view is the best! It feels like you’re in your own little secret garden! It really was so romantic and magical.
After the gardens, we headed to Oh Pour L’Amour Du Chocolat, the cutest little candy shop meets ice cream parlor that we didn’t even realize was right in our back yard! It’s a one stop candy shop for all of your sweet tooth cravings!!
Oh Pour L’Amour Du Chocolat which translates to Oh For the Love of Chocolate in French, really is a labor of love for husband and wife team Howard and Tara Cadmus. This full service sweet shop serves up everything from turtles, to artisans truffles, to homemade ice cream and everything in between. We were lucky enough to meet Howard during our visit! His love of all things vintage and nostalgic helps to serve up some of the most unique molded chocolates that Buffalo has to offer. Where else can you purchase a chocolate Han Solo trapped in carbonite, all four teenage mutant ninja turtles in chocolate form, or an exact replica of the human heart modeled in chocolate?!?
His wife Tara, who spent time in Belgium and Paris honing her chocolatier skills, brought back some of that European flair to Oh Pour L’Amour. This vintage cash register was one of my absolute favorite things!! But also take notice of the Italian marble ice cream counter as well as the custom shelving and woodwork found throughout the shop. But if you really want to get to know Tara, don’t miss out on the portrait she inspired, created by Art Noveau-inspired illustrator Echo Chernik which is displayed prominently on the front wall. The artist also created the Willy Wonka-esque masterpiece that hangs behind the candy counter. Just more stunning details that make this candy shop so one of a kind and unique!
The hubby and I took it upon ourselves to create our own DIY chocolate tasting and sampled as many of their creations as we possibly could! We let local artist and full time chocolate lover Isabella Constantino choose some of Oh Pours finest selections for us to try. I mean she IS the pro behind the counter! And boy did she pick us some winners!! These milk chocolate turtles topped with sea salt were absolutely to die for!!! I was so impressed by everything that I couldn’t resist taking a box of artisan truffles home with us. Really I ‘m pretty sure every time I pass this place I’m going to have to stop in for truffles. And you can bet we’ll be checking out Oh Pour’s sister shop Sweet Jenny’s to fuel our ice cream addiction REALLY SOON!! We sampled the Caramel Chocolate Truffle artisan ice cream and it was truly love at first bite!
Ok so maybe this winter weather isn’t so bad after all! What are your favorite spots to get you through those winter blues?
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