By Keith Tomasek, July 6, 2018
If you’re on your way to see the Rocky Horror Show at the Stratford Festival you’ll be pleased to learn that Stratford has a sexy side.
Who knew, right?
Many of the merchants are offering unique experiences and products inspired by the hit show. I spent two days strutting around Stratford having a look at all the offerings.
I was hungry when I arrived, so I headed straight for Bards on Market Square.
Let’s be honest, if the thought of eating Eddie makes you cry, and I did, consider the Ahi Tuna Salad with an orange vinaigrette.
Ian Middleton, formerly the senior instructor with the Stratford Chefs School, is the new chef at Bard’s and, to quote Emeril Lagasse: he’s really “kicked it up a notch!”
Bard’s on Market Square
27 Market Place
From there I went to check out Stratford’s world–famous Sinvention Boutique.
Co-owner Julie Bell is a leathersmith who learned the trade from her father, who created custom leather horse tack.
It’s worth a visit; your heart’ll pump and your blood will sing.
The boutique is the best place to get the bustier you forgot to pack for your Rocky Horror Show outfit. You’ll also find some toys for that post-show “thrill me, chill me, fulfill me” action.
390 Douro Street
Their website is tasteful, but not safe for the workplace, so your boss might not enjoy seeing it. On the other hand, it might be that she doth protest too much ;-).
Tattly Tattoos was founded by Tina Roth-Eisenberg, a mother and artist, after her daughter came home from a birthday party with incredibly hideous temporary tattoos.
The Brooklyn-based graphic artist launched the company in 2011 with $15,000 of her own money. Sales are now well over $10 million and Roth-Eisenberg sources as much product as possible in the U.S., and pays artists a royalty.
Who knew a shoe eraser would be such a hit?
Small-Mart General Mercantile
119 Ontario Street
Just a short walk around the corner is Rocky MTN Chocolate.
Pick up some pure & premium milk chocolate body paint for after the show.
Their “sweet” candy apples are perfect for licking, or maybe a BITE!
Rocky MTN Chocolate
10 Downie Street
Along with items like Nihilist Soap, which has no scent, no color and no hope, you’ll find these these hand-knit mice from Nancy Hastings-Trew.
Hastings-Trew worked at the Stratford Festival as a milliner, costume decorator and jeweler.
Meet Your Maker Gallery
Also on Wellington Street is a fabulous, new restaurant The Common.
The Charcuterie Board with house made sausage, Ontario cheese, preserves and seed crackers is a great choice for sharing.
80 Wellington St.
It’s a 5 minute walk from The Common to the Avon theatre for The Rocky Horror Show. The show is fabulous and I’m not the only one who thinks so.
I’ve collected all the reviews for you, just hit the button below.
After the show drop in to Okazu located a few steps from the theatre at 85 Downie. It’s the best place for late-night food and drinks. Try the roasted eggplant with tahini, toasted walnuts and dukkah (an Egyptian blend of spices).
I highly reccommend the Mermaid Margarita made with tequila, and a custom blend of blue majik algae, pineapple juice, lime and ginger.
Okazu 85 Downie
85 Downie St.
I stayed overnight at the Queen’s Inn which is a short walk from the theatres and market square. The Boar’s Head pub, on the main floor, is popular with locals, which is always a good sign. Their fabulous Friday afternoon lunch buffet is not to be missed!
My second day began with a walk and breakfast at The Parlour Inn at 101 Wellington St.
I’m a fruit first kinda guy, so the staff kindly replaced the hash browns and toast that comes with an omelette with a refreshing selection of fruit.
The Parlour Inn
101 Wellington St.
One of Canada’s best new distilleries is located nearby, so I headed to Junction 56 to sample some of their Time Warp Lemon Gin.
This delectable concoction is created by steeping lemon peel in their signature gin, enhancing the citrus flavours, and adding just the right amount of sweetness.
Their gin is triple distilled in a custom made distiller with a unique mix of botanicals, including fennel seeds and coriander.
Tours run Tuesday-Saturday at 11:00AM until the end of September. For a tour at a different time, contact them in advance and they’ll try to accommodate your request.
Junction 56 Distillery
45 Cambria Street, Stratford
I met up with some friends at The Annex Room Restaurant.
They make a wicked Rocky Horror Show Virgin Cocktail (get it? virgin – like Brad & Janet) with orange juice, lime, grenadine and Sprite – add some rum to maximize the fun. Here’s an insider’s tip: I replaced the Sprite with soda water. It, and the Mermaid Margarita at Okazu, were the best cocktails of the trip!
Our meals were fabulous. I opted for the Pork belly with Brussel sprouts and Caesar salad. We also sampled the generous Thai crunch salad with shrimp, a chicken Ceasar pizza and the unique Jamaican jerk chicken pizza.
Chef Cameron Jariott studied culinary arts at Niagara College and was the sous chef at Rene’s Bistro prior to taking on his role at The Annex Room.
The Annex Room Restaurant
38 Albert St.
The owner has put together a “Safe Travel Adventuring Kit,” inspired by Brad and Janet’s road trip that begins the Rocky Horror Show.
I turned up a tarot card and discovered the “Blessed” card that indicates that I’m “in a phase where any difficulties or obstacles that have stymied your success seem to disappear on their own. Be ready to receive. The windows of opportunity will open wide.”
I read it and realized that unlike Brand and Janet, I’m going home fully revitalized!
13 York Street
Pick up your “Rocky Horror Show guide to Stratford” with many more things to do at Stratford Tourism, 47 Downie Street, 1 800-561-7926.
As well as visiting the shops above, you’ll find official Rocky Horror Show merchandise at either of the two Stratford Festival shops. One is in the Avon Theatre, the other is across from the Festival Theatre.
Click on an icon on the map below for details about each merchant’s Rocky Horror Show items.