Not everyone loves summer as much as we do. So how do you summer when, well, it’s not your favorite time of year? This pondering took us to our favorite Nordic Canadian girl, Mosha Lundström Halbert. “Find yourself a lake," she said.
Raised in Toronto by Icelandic parents, Mosha Lundström Halbert is to winter what we are to summer. While we crave sun-kissed skin and salty hair, Mosha chases the northern lights. So much so, that the serial multi-tasker co-founded Nordic outerwear brand, Therma Kota, alongside her mother and sister. Picture volcanic glaciers and arctic black beaches, milky blue mineral hot springs and geothermal steam: that is Southern Iceland, Mosha's roots. So it makes perfect sense she would challenge herself to re-invent outerwear, bridging the gap between high performance and high fashion.
We first met Mosha while working as fashion publicists in New York. At the time, she was the Fashion Director of WWD’s Footwear News and we instantly fell in love with her wit, chic signature bangs and warm personality.
Nowadays, Mosha spends her time working on her own business while being a contributing writer for Vogue and Business of Fashion, as well as appearing as a fashion expert on Canadian TV and radio.
We caught up with her to find out her favorite place to summer in Ontario, Canada...
AS A CANADIAN, WHAT'S YOUR IDEAL WAY TO SUMMER?
You must find yourself a lake. You must canoe, and swim, and skinny dip. A sauna is a total game changer, especially on rainy days. You must consider a bathing suit and sweatpants an outfit. There must be fried fresh pickerel fish, corn on the cobb, incredible Ontario tomatoes and blueberry pie. Lastly, there must be a camp fire with well-equipped smore supplies. And Drake. Lots of Drake.
WHAT'S ALWAYS IN YOUR SUITCASE, NO MATTER WHERE YOU'RE GOING?
Rubber EVA Birkenstocks - they weigh next to nothing, are perfect for the pool, a last minute pedi or foot therapy after a night of dancing in heels. Sunscreen, face oil and lip balm - I like Algenist SPF, Tata Harper brightening serum and African Botanics neroli marula oil, and By Terry balm de rose. And a one piece bathing suit, because you just never know when the opportunity to swim might arise.
YOUR FAVORITE PICKS ON GOLDEN EDIT RIGHT NOW:
Bahia Basket Bag, the chic minimalism of this bag suits both the city and the beach; Wildland dress, I can never have enough waist-defining midi dresses; Collision one piece, I'm currently only interested in one-piece suits, the more cut outs and saucy bows the better; Cuzco hat, You don't get much more sun-sensitive than a Nordic Canadian girl. I consider hats a skincare essential - a wide brim is key
a caledon summer
Home is where the heart is
My family has a special summer house on a spring [in Caledon]. Growing up, it was a traditional log cabin. A few years ago, my parents tore it down and built my mom's dream open-concept Scandinavian home, which is faced in charred cedar to blend into the forest. They live there year-round now, but I still think of it as "the cottage". We do everything outside, from meal-prep in the outdoor kitchen, to barre exercises and yoga on the deck and outdoor showers. I love to visit at least a couple of times in the summer to push reset.
If it's your first time there, stay at the Millcroft Inn. It's a lovely country spa nestled in Caledon's rolling hills. Treat yourself to a massage, Valmont facial, and swim in the thermal waters. Dress code: white terry robes and sunglasses.
If you can pull yourself away from the thermal waters
The Alton Mill. Pop into this converted old mill for great coffee and pastries at the cafe, plus shop a selection of local arts, homewares, and jewelry (make sure you check out Gallery Gemma) while you're at it.
The grounds are quintessentially Canadian, with a babbling brook, and lots of green space.
All of the outdoor things
This is horse country and I grew up riding in the area. I would recommend OnIce Horse Farm, a very special spot that has Icelandic horses, which are an incredibly spirited breed. They have super unique fiery personalities so it won't be your average conveyor-belt trail ride.
Visit the nearby hamlet Belfountain, which is up a winding hillside road. Spend the afternoon exploring the ornamental gardens and walking trails in this conservation area alongside the West Credit River. End with something sweet from the Belfountain Ice Cream Parlour, an old school creamery.
Carbs are allowed
For breakfast, you must try Holtom's Bakery for the crescent roll. I love that it's a family business since 1946. For lunch and dinner, Ray's 3rd Generation Bistro and Bakery is legendary and just the right amount of lively. The menu changes all the time, but definitely try a charcuterie board and their house-pickled beets.
Spirit Tree Estate Cidery is a must when in Caledon. Go for the award-winning homemade hard cider and idyllic heritage farmhouse orchard setting, stay for the bistro's top-notch pizza (I like the funghi and arugula) and poutine (an indulgent French-Canadian classic). The on-site farm shop is a great little spot to stock up on local jams, condiments and preserves to take home.