May 24th, 2013
No time for a trip to Bangkok? Modelled after the Thai night markets and serving fresh and delicious street-food inspired dishes, the new Longtail Kitchen restaurant is a culinary and cultural trip in itself.
A 20-minute SkyTrain ride away in the new River Market in New Westminster, it's the latest outpost from chef Angus An of Maenam renown. Named after Thai water taxis, Longtail Kitchen has all the style and panache of An's original restaurant, but with every dish under $12. The fried oysters were light and crispy, and the signature chicken wings instantly addictive, while mains like prawn pad thai, Northern style grilled hen and turmeric curry of lingcod and mussels were light yet deeply flavoured, all served in gorgeous Thai ceramics with vintage Thai utensils. The eclectic room features a black ceiling to evoke night markets, plus a mini-market of Thai wares such as books, cooking pots and even pad thai kits with fresh noodles and spices ($10) to cook at home. Beverages include roasted coconut juice and super-refreshing Thai iced tea with lemongrass, and before long, iced cold beer. With a glass wall that open to a river-front view, plus 25 seats inside, its bound to be this summer's best staycation spot. —Sarah Bancroft
Longtail Kitchen, #116 810 Quayside Dr., River Market, New Westminster, 604-553-3855, www.longtailkitchen.com
For an insider's look at the media preview (complete with the amazing stunt the PR team pulled off on the SkyTrain) please see our Editors' Diary.
May 24th, 2013
Thanks to Chris Hadfield, the cachet of astronauts is through the roof.
And thanks to this awesome comforter set by Snurk Amsterdam ($95 at Simons), bedtime is synonymous with launch o’clock for lucky little ones. (Of course, astronauts may come and go but princesses are forever.)
We only have one criticism about these too-cute comforters: They only come in twin sizes. – Christine Laroche
In Simons stores Montrea/Edmonton and online at www.simons.ca
May 23rd, 2013
Smack dab in the middle of Venice and Malibu, two of our favourite LA haunts, lays the Santa Monica oasis The Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows. We felt like a Hollywood starlet of old ensconced in one of its signature bungalow suites complete with a private entrance and a lush, bougainvillea-filled patio. Here’s how we managed to get the best of SoCal without ever leaving the hotel:
A-list favourite Exhale Spa is conveniently situated right next to the bungalows, which means you can roll over in your robe and slippers, Hollywood style. Do try the spa’s signature Flow massage where expert therapists roll and kneed (think detoxifying but pain free) with a mix of carrot and avocado oil that will leave you feeling rested and ready for dinner at Fig. www.exhalespa.com
Being big fans of small plates, local ingredients and relaxed rooms, we were thrilled to walk into Fig, Chef Ray Garcia’s farm-to-table restaurant located poolside. The wait staff is incredibly knowledgeable about the locally sourced wines and menu items and we couldn’t get enough of our mains – the Ocean Trout and the Short-rib Meatloaf. You know it’s a winner when more than half the clientele are stylish locals who are on a first-name basis with their waiters. www.figsantamonica.com
We fell in love with the chic décor of the incredibly popular Bungalow Bar (think your ideal beach house complete with requisite ikat pillows, softly glowing lanterns and lounge seating). We were lured in by the smell of Le Labo’s Santal candle exuding the perfect sexy, beachy scent that about sums up the vibe of the bar. Do try the house specialty— fruity sangria that packs a punch. Tip: get there early and camp-out, as it’s shoulder-to-shoulder come 8 p.m. nightly. www.thebungalowsm.com
See our Santa Monica photo album today on our Editors' Diary.
May 22nd, 2013
We're lusting after a hot pink wedge sandal for spring. Wait, make that orange, no, seafoam blue.
At freshly launched shoe website, Joker's Closet we can have the shoes we want in the colour, material and style we want (from $295).
Pick from six seasonal styles (I like these little peep-toe lace-ups) and then customize from a range of colours and leathers.
It's as simple as that. No joke. —Athena Tsavliris
May 21st, 2013
You can trust the bags from a company that’s been making them for over 100 years, but risk a certain stuffiness.
Not so for Brooks England — they make beautiful leather goods that work with our lives, right now.
And since right now is Bike to Work Week, we thought we’d tell you about the Eton bike bag ($530). Made from saddle leather, the design is a century old, but its shape looks quite modern. Featuring backpack straps and a handle to carry like a briefcase, you can stuff this bag with your laptop and change of clothes, and still cycle to the office in style.
We're hardly too posh to pedal. —Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
May 20th, 2013
When booking an appointment with our esthetician is tougher than securing a spot with our doctor, we know that summer is here.
Another surefire sign that bikini season has begun is when one itty-bitty Brazilian leaves our skin red and irritated (the exact opposite of the smooth skin we were hoping for).
Thankfully, there’s a quick fix: A generous layer of Bubs & Bits ($29.95) by Aussie brand Dr Roebuck’s. The soothing cream creates a protective barrier that soothes, hydrates and helps prevent ingrowns.
Skimpy bottoms, here we come. —Christine Laroche
$29.95 at Murale, www.murale.com
May 20th, 2013
As we breeze into summer temps, it's time to trade in cold weather creams and salves for a beauty regime that reflects the season.
Trust Bumble and bumble's surf foam wash shampoo and rinse for beachy hair all the time. From $24 each at www.bumbleandbumble.com
May 18th, 2013
Planning a family holiday with lots of day trips? Here are three packable items that allow you to be prepared, without the bulk.
Hershel’s new Packables range allows you to travel with a variety of bag options. Featuring a duffle, daypack, or tote that all fit into a small pouch, you can whip them out before a day of sightseeing, or at the airport when you’ve stocked up on wine from the duty free. From $9.99 at Herschel.
If you prefer packing your own meals on holiday, Lunchskins are the perfect companion. The reusable snack bags mean you can travel light, but with the equivalent of 20 tupperwares. They can hold fruit, sandwiches, or treats, and are easy to rinse out in a hotel room. From $8.49 at Rasberry Kids.
The nostalgic Claude Klassic K-Way is a reminder of when we were kids and proudly wore our parka tucked into a little bag around our waist. Featuring a variety of prints and a size range from 12 months to teens, this is an absolute must-have when you are out and about anywhere that might greet you with a downpour (Vancouver, ahem!) $54 at K-Way. http://k-way.ca
—Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
May 17th, 2013
The spectacle of summer, (with a killer Jay-Z produced soundtrack to match), The Great Gatsby is Baz Luhrman’s technicolor take on the classic American novel. Herewith, our favourite Roaring Twenties-inspired pieces.
Summer weddings will be awash in head pieces, we predict. Make sure to pair with loose pin curled hair and a convertible roadster. $281 on Etsy.
The Twenties also marked the rise of the painted face: smokey eyes, rosy cheeks and bold brows and upper lips were all the rage. MAC's Veluxe Brow Liner ($23), the sophisticated Dame blush ($25) and palette of bright shadows like Contrast (purplish blue) and Humid (dark green with shimmer) will have you looking very Daisy Buchanan.
He may not have Leo’s matinee idol face, but even the dude-iest of boys would look dapper in this Pink Strip Linen Jacket ($698) from Brooks Brothers’ The Great Gatsby Collection.
For brooding by a big picture window overlooking your estate, slip into this silk, bias-cut gown Long Luxe Gown ($310) from Vancouver's own Christine Lingerie. At Holt Renfrew in the fall.
Prohibition is history, but long live forbidden cocktails! We’ll be serving up Southsides (gin, lime, mint and simple syrup) in this sophisticated Lady Diamond Pitcher ($49). For total authenticity, consult this Vintage Cocktails book ($50). Both at The Cross Décor and Design.
May 16th, 2013
Room service, fresh sheets and a lobby bar - what's not to love about hotels?
And while we use them for travel and the occasional watering hole, hotels are about much more than thread count. Grand Hotel: Redesigning Modern Life, the expansive new exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery, explores the value and impact of hotels in culture, tourism, architecture and art.
The show is a mix of mediums and full of fascinating pop-culture stories (Katherine Hepburn being tossed out of the Claridge's lobby for wearing pants) and curious historical facts (like Pan-Am Airlines founding InterContinental Hotels to expand influence in South America). The hotel as a creative hub is explored in depth, with photos and works of writers, poets, musicians and filmmakers who've made spots like the Chelsea in New York City and the Chateau Marmont in LA infamous to this day.
Also inside the exhibit is a stellar Ace Hotel pop-up shop. Part exhibit, part boutique, many of the custom items with Grand Hotel/Ace branding are for sale, including post cards (People Come and Go / Nothing Ever Happens, a line from the exhibit's inspiration, 1932 film Grand Hotel, $1.50), Tees and leather hold-alls.
Time to check in.
Grand Hotel: Redesigning Modern Life on now at the Vancouver Art Gallery, www.vanartgallery.bc.ca
See more photos from the exhibit on our Editors' Diary.
(Photo by Rachel Topham for Vancouver Art Gallery)