Calgary - TRAVEL & LEISURE
March 3rd, 2011
We asked four Calgarians-turned-New Yorkers (in the case of Lauren Bagliore, it’s the other way around) to share some of their favourite NY noshing haunts. Herewith their picks:
Lauren Bagliore, fashion designer
“Café Cluny has the best tuna burgers. This restaurant is very French bistro-esque but modern with New York flair. Last time I was there, I saw Harry Potter!” Café Cluny, 284 W. Fourth St. at W. 12th St., New York, 212-255-6900, www.cafecluny.com
Melanie Jones, writer, producer and VP of Collision Productions
“Go to Bluebird Coffee Shop first and get an Americano and then make sure to be at Prune by 9 a.m. Order a Bloody Mary and the Spicy Stewed Chickpeas ($14) or the Spaghetti alla Carbonara ($12). Yes, spaghetti for brunch.” Bluebird Coffee Shop, 72 E. First St., New York, 212-26-1879, www.bluebirdcoffeeshop.com and Prune, 54 E. First St., New York, 212-677-6221, www.prunerestaurant.com
Dustin Olson, artistic producer, The Bridge Theatre Company
“For refined Mexican, go to Mayahuel and make sure to try one of their cocktails with Mezkal. And no one should leave the city without stopping for a beer at McSorley’s. Mayahuel, 304 E. Sixth St., New York, 212-253-5888, www.mayahuelny.com and McSorley’s Old Ale House, 15 E. Seventh St., New York, 212-474-9148, www.mcsorleysnewyork.com
Beau M. Nelson, creative director, Beauté Cosmetics Inc.
“I love this French bistro called Lucien, it’s been around forever and Andy Warhol used to eat there. Café Condesa is another favourite. It’s very small and intimate with only eight tables and no stoves or ovens. They cook everything on induction burners and the food is always excellent, a great place for a date.” Lucien, 14 First Ave., New York, 212-260-6481, luciennyc.com and Café Condesa, 183 W. 10th St., New York, 212-352-0050, www.cafecondesa.com
February 24th, 2011
Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the Calgary Home + Garden Show rolls into town today for another weekend. We asked home décor expert and home show regular, Alykhan Velji, for a preview on what’s coming up this season. Herewith, his five tips on how to spruce up your home for spring:
1. Wallpaper is a fabulous way of changing up your space. A feature wall done in a bright paper will pack some punch and perk up your space.
2. For a quick fix, change up the pillows on your sofa, opting for bold patterns, and don’t be afraid to mix and match.
3. Buying new bedding transforms a bedroom and makes it go from drab to fab in minutes.
4. Lighting is always an afterthought for most, but changing up the lamps in a space can make all the difference and can also be as simple as changing the shades.
5. Switch up your artwork: A piece that looked great in one room could look spectacular in another and nail holes can always be patched up.
For more ideas and to see Velji in action, head down to the BMO Centre and Corral, Stampede Park this weekend. Find tickets (from $11) here.
February 17th, 2011
When the icy winds of February threaten to put a chill on your love life, it's time to shed some layers and fly to warmer climes.
Our recent jaunt to the all-inclusive Grand Velas All Suites & Spa Resort, Riviera Maya in Mexico has us thinking, "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways..."
1. Our massive open-concept suite made entirely of cool white marble that felt grand, modern, and princess-like.
2. The complimentary bottle of high-end sipping tequila, ice and citrus welcoming us in our room, perfect for sampling on the ocean-view deck.
3. Spacious pool areas and beach cabanas, quiet customers, and porters equipped with mini-Evian facial spritzers.
4. A huge array of healthy juices at breakfast, including our favourite, "vampire juice" with beet and apple.
5. No need to miss your Americano—rooms are equipped with high-end Nespresso machines and a fully-stocked hosted minibar with snacks, should you wish a quiet retreat on your deck, watching the sunset.
6. Fresh mixed seafood ceviche, served poolside, with handmade chips.
7. Ultra-fine white sandy beach that feels like walking in baby powder, and warm, calm water, perfect for swimming or kayaking.
8. Four high-end restaurants serving French, pan-Asian, Italian, Spanish, and traditional Mexican cuisine, plus numerous bars and bistros. Don't miss the huevos rancheros for breakfast at Azul.
9. A hydrotherapy spa like no other. Block off an entire afternoon for the Water Journey with hot and cool water experiences, a reflexology pool, massaging "water beds," a mud masque to refresh your skin, herbal steam, and sauna. Completely transformative.
10. And did we mention the weather?
Grand Velas All Suites & Spa Resort, 1-866-230-7221, http://rivieramaya.grandvelas.com
February 10th, 2011
First comes Valentine’s Day, then comes Family Day.
Whether it’s a getaway for two, or for the entire gang, hit the highway and check-in to Canmore’s Mystic Springs Chalets and Hot Pools for the weekend.
Wrapped around a snowy courtyard and steaming hot pools and nestled under the Three Sisters Peaks, each two-storey, two-bedroom chalet sleeps up to six adults and includes a dining area, kitchen and living room.
After a day of hiking or skiing, when the going gets tough with your own sisters, or, love-forbid, your Valentine, you can always escape from the escape with an on-site spa treatment.
Chalets from $199 (two bed chalet, sleeps 4), Mystic Springs Chalets and Hot Pools, 140 Kananaskis Way Canmore, 1-866-446-9784, www.mysticsprings.ca
February 8th, 2011
Just in time for Valentine's Day, we have a gift to get you hot under the collar.
We've partnered with luxury hotel booking resource Kiwi Collection for a muy caliente getaway: a three-night stay at the uber-chic The Standard Hotel and Spa Miami! To make your vacation even steamier, elegant UK lingerie line Agent Provocateur will give you a $100 gift card and a flirty tulle and French Chantilly lace Fifi Slip (value $450).
To win, tell us about your biggest Valentine's Day debacle in 140 characters or less (yes, we'll be counting). Enter over Twitter (use hashtag #VDAYSOS), on our Facebook wall or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org (subject line: VDAYSOS).
We'll be posting responses on our Editors' Diary (don't worry, we won't publish your full name) so visit us here all week for updates.
So if your hair caught fire during a romantic candlelight dinner or your girls night out ended with a regrettable hook-up, turn your V-Day disaster into three hot nights in Miami.
Sign up for Kiwi Collection’s monthly newsletter to get the latest in travel insight and new luxury hotels here.
The fine print: must be 19 years or older to enter, open only to VitaminDaily.com subscribers (but do forward this along to your friends so they can get in on the fun!), contest closes on Friday, February 11 at 12 p.m. PST and a winner will be announced via Twitter (@vanvitamindaily), Facebook and on our daily dose Monday, February 14. Blackout dates apply to The Standard Hotel and Spa. One (1) entry per person. Airfare not included.
February 3rd, 2011
Ever since watching Amélie, we’ve had a soft spot for garden gnomes, especially the travelling kind.
Part kitsch and part cool, the Philippe Starck Gnome Stools manufactured by Kartell bring the garden creatures indoors. The collection of three table-stools (Attila, Napoleon and Saint-Esprit, $444 each) are functional (the gnome hats are flat and circular) and more importantly, fun.
Whether it’s a designer addition to a child’s room or something fun for an all-adult abode, these gnomes have found a home.
At Kit Interior Objects, 725 11th Ave. SW, Calgary, 403-508-2533, www.kitinteriorobjects.com
January 27th, 2011
After a VitaminDaily.com subscriber and serious hiker (she’s a Machu Picchu and the West Coast Trail veteran) couldn’t stop raving about Smartwool socks (from $23.99) we had to try out the snazzy styles.
A combination of merino wool, nylon and elastic, the company’s everyday socks are comfortable, come in a variety of fun patterns, and most important, keep your feet dry and warm whether you're hiking in the mountains or running around the city in the snow. And for more advanced activities, the PhD socks are the crème de la crème of footwear.
At Atmosphere, 817 10th Ave. SW, Calgary, 403-264-2444, www.atmosphere.ca
January 13th, 2011
New York’s most populated borough has been buzzing for years with hip new hot spots and of-the-moment hoods. The massive area can be daunting for out-of-towners so here are a few picks to get you started if you’re Brooklyn-bound.
A Prospect Heights institution, Tom’s Restaurant has been around since 1936. Every weekend, the line snakes around the restaurant from early morning to its 4 p.m. closing time. The uber-friendly staff continuously brings out coffee, cookies, oranges, fries and bacon to those waiting, but make sure to save some room for when you finally get a seat; the pancakes are divine. Tom’s Restaurant, 782 Washington Ave., Brooklyn, 718-636-9738.
The bowling-dining-music venue, Brooklyn Bowl boasts 16 lanes, a restaurant, cocktail bar, bowlers’ lounge and music stage that’s seen acts such as The Roots and Tricky. Between games, or sets, make time for a quick bite: the hummus is delectable. Brooklyn Bowl, 61 Wythe Ave., Brooklyn, 718-963-3369, www.brooklynbowl.com
Bird, the popular Brooklyn boutique opened its third location last year in Williamsburg (Cobble Hill and Park Slope are home to the other two shops). You’ll find the entire fashion It gang including Wang, Marant, Margiela and Thakoon, and the Williamsburg location also doubles as an art gallery. 203 Grand St., Brooklyn, 718-388-1615, www.shopbird.com
A dry cleaners shop turned 1950’s-inspired lounge, Hanson Dry is a cosy Clinton Hill hot spot. They make a mean cocktail (try The Hanson Dry), and when it warms up, the enclosed backyard will surely become a summer destination. Hanson Dry, 925 Fulton, Brooklyn.
January 7th, 2011
Burning a candle at both ends is hazardous to your health, but burning an Aromatherapy Interventions Candle ($25) can only do you good.
Humorous names (Chill In, Chill Out and Lighten Up) aside, the collection draws on aromachology; each candle includes natural ingredients that target specific ailments like anxiety and stress. For the career-focused, the Workaholic candle contains Sage of Bethlehem, which stimulates alertness. For the 2011 cleansers, geranium lessens the stress in the Withdrawal candle and peppermint and ginger are the top scents in the Quick Fix candle.
Therapy session not included.
At Land and Sea, 317 Seventh Ave. SW, Calgary, 403-264-9866, www.landandseagifts.com
December 9th, 2010
Some things, scrunchies and first edition cell phones for example, are better left locked up in the time capsule. Other ghosts of the past, like hand-written letters, will forever be missed. Although an e-mail rebellion in favour of the letter-post is highly unlikely, at least we can bring back the postcard from the edge.
The Canadian Culture Thing postcard collection does double duty by paying homage to an almost lost art, and our country’s past.
Our favourites include the vintage CBC ad from the 1950s, black-and-white hockey photographs and 1930s tourism magazine Mountie images.
Instead of Season’s Greetings this year, send your far-away friends some Canadian love.
$1.50 each from a selection at Roots, 399 17th Ave. SW, Calgary, 403-209-4037, www.canada.roots.com