November 2nd, 2012
Finally, collaboration by the Kaiser that’s as adorable as his beloved kitty cat, Choupette.
Meet the Mon Shu Girl, mischievous little face of Karl Lagerfeld’s Shu Uemura holiday collection. Curious why Shu and not Chanel? Well, Karl has been using Shu Uemura pigments for years to do all his illustrations. Straight from Kaiser’s brush and onto our eyes and lips, we love the deep hues of the Prestigious Bordeaux ($85) eye and cheek palette, the Karl Black ($20) golden speckle nail polish, and the vivid Mon Shu Red ($31) lipstick that the Mon Shu Girl wears.
Although, what we really want to know is: Which colour is Choupette’s favourite? —Anya Georgijevic
Launches today at Holt Renfrew, www.holtrenfrew.com
November 2nd, 2012
We'vecreated a series of useful and unique family travel itineraries. Each one is tried, tested and true by a VitaminDaily.com editor (and mom). This week, we're exploring Portland. For our Tots in TriBeCa itinerary, click here.
Portland is my family’s city-away-from-the-city, and we make the five hour drive from Vancouver often. It’s extremely kid-friendly (even at the brewpub!).
We always bunk at the Paramount: Clean, spacious rooms, helpful staff and a stone’s throw to all of our favourite spots in the city (including Nordstroms, just around the corner). Request a room with a balcony on the second floor. 808 SW Taylor St., Portland, www.portlandparamount.com
Director Park is the big-city answer to public space; a spacious, clean piazza with a café (the outdoor bistro tables are lovely), a giant chess set, an unofficial waterpark and tons of spacious, shaded seating. If the weather has forced you indoors, head to old-time toy shop Finnegan’s for some playtime and classic toys (try explaining a slinky to your kid). Finnegan’s, 820 SW Washington St., Portland, www.finneganstoys.com
You could eat six meals a day in Portland and never be disappointed. The food truck scene is famous for a reason: the options are cheap, delicious and fresh, with an abundance of trucks parked in one area for easy access. (For food cart maps, click here.) For a sit-down meal, I love casual and contemporary Southpark: the oysters are fresh and the corn risotto is a tasty take on contemporary food. Southpark, 901 SW Salmon St., http://southparkseafood.com
Portland has one of the most prominent craft brew scenes in the world, and the bustling brewpubs to match. Deschutes is a favourite, expect a fair line for a table on the weekend, but waiting is much easier with a Black Butte in hand (hey, that stroller cup holder comes in handy!). Yes, kids are welcome (last time we were there half the tables had kids, from breastfeeding newborn to an 8-year-old’s birthday party). 210 NW 11th Ave, Portland, www.deschutesbrewery.com
This no-tax haven is the place to splurge on big purchases – this year, I bought almost my entire fall wardrobe in Portland, including a Vince sweater coat with leather trim (pictured) at Nordstroms, LNA tops and 7 for all Mankind Gwenevere jeans from Nordstroms Rack, plus Rachel Comey boots from lovely boutique Frances May, which stocks upscale casual wear lines like ALC, Vena Cava and Suno. Frances May, 1013 SW Washington St., Portland, www.francesmay.com
One of the few cities where independent bookshops thrive, Powell’s is the granddaddy of hardcovers, packed to the risers with books both new and used. You could easily spend an afternoon exploring the different floors and deep collections; we buy my son a classic book on each visit. 1005 W. Burnside St., Portland and 4 other locations, www.powells.com
November 1st, 2012
Just an easy 90-minute train ride from London, the charming, compact and walkable city of Bath – former home to Jane Austen, among others – offers a perfect day trip or weekend getaway.
We adored boutique B&B Villa Magdala, across from lovely Henrietta Park (opened to celebrate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee) and just steps from Bath's downtown. You'll want to stay more than one night – or bring a big appetite – to sample the delightful breakfast menu, with fruit, yogurt and pastries plus to-order picks like the full English and our favourite, the lemon-ricotta-pistachio pancakes. www.villamagdala.co.uk
Book ahead and bring a group to sample Tilleys Bistro's tasty tapas menu, complete with clearly labelled veg and gluten-free selections. Our French Farmers Salad, Baked Avocado Tower and Butterbean and Root Ginger Firepot went down so well (accompanied by a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc) that we tragically left no room for dessert. http://www.tilleysbistro.co.uk
Bath is home to the UK's only natural hot springs, put on the map by the Romans, who erected a full bathing complex complete with temple. A visit to the Roman Baths Museum is a must while in town. Wander the site with the audio guide and turn up your imagination to visualize the lives of the people who millennia ago bathed in these same waters. If you have time, pick up a combo ticket to save on a trip to the Fashion Museum, too.
You can't enter the original Roman baths, unfortunately, but there is a consolation prize across the street: Thermae Bath Spa, which taps into those same natural springs. Sample the selection of scented steam rooms, then soak in the rooftop pool and enjoy the views of Bath Abbey and the rest of the city. www.thermaebathspa.com
Photo: visitbath.co.uk Copyright: Bath Tourism Plus / Colin Hawkins
Bath has no shortage of boutiques and other shopping pleasures. Make sure to visit historic Pulteney Bridge, a late-18th-century stone bridge complete with built-in shops. One highlight for us was the Antique Map Shop, with its very giftable collection of printed maps from all over the world.
October 31st, 2012
Whether it's the snow-capped mountains or the falling leaves, we're feeling positvely patriotic about our little corner of the world lately. (Rain? What rain?)
The British Columbia Necklace from LA-based jeweller Maya Brenner features a delicate outline of our fair province. Oft-photographed celebs like Cameron Diaz, Anne Hathaway, Reese Witherspoon and "Jessica Timberlake" have all been seen sporting her classic-with-a-twist designs.
The playful and pretty pendant is available in sterling silver or 14k gold. Really want to show some love for your hometown? You can choose to add a diamond anywhere along the border.
Beautiful BC, indeed. —Laura Cropper
From US$140-$350 at www.MayaBrenner.com
October 30th, 2012
The days of traveling in style ended when we replaced glamorous train trips and handmade trunks with low-cost airlines and polyester suitcases on wheels.
That’s why we are looking to Vancouver designer Alex Folzi to inject some elegance back into traveling, with his collection of handmade leather luggage. We love the brightly coloured suitcases ($369) for travel or as a briefcase, and if you aren’t on going far, his Osaka camera bag ($144) beats any nylon carrying case we’ve seen.
The only problem is that his collection really doesn’t suit economy, so we figure this is an opportunity to upgrade luggage and seats. —Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
October 29th, 2012
The only thing more decadent than eating caviar is dabbing it on your face.
And if you're due an afternoon of luxury, look no further than the serene and gentle Golden Caviar facial at CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La. Unwind in your private suite complete with bathtub, separate shower, change room, fireplace and lounge area (yes, the treatment rooms are bigger than most Vancouver apartments).
But why fish eggs? Caviar extract is complemented by soy protein, shea butter and lactic acid, which combine to moisturize, protect from sun damage and assist in the natural regeneration
process, meaning noticeably brighter and
Unintended side effects of this chichi facial include a faux posh accent and forgetting where you docked your yacht. —Maria Tallarico
Golden Caviar Facial, 90 minutes, $185 at CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La,
October 26th, 2012
The next few months call for copious amounts of comfort food and we know just the place to go.
Lily Mae’s Comfort Café is a charming little bistro that just opened in Gastown, described as a “French café meets prairie kitchen.” We escaped the heavy rain and popped into its sweet Parisian interior for a light lunch of a fresh Crab & Roasted Sweet Potato Salad ($13), but then we upped the calorie ante with a southern comfort side dish known as Spoon Bread ($4.50), a delicious hybrid of grits and soufflé.
Fully licensed and hearty, we have a feeling we’ll become rainy day regulars. —Anya Georgijevic
Lily Mae’s Comfort Café, 12 Powell St., Vancouver, 604-558-2599, www.lilymaes.ca
October 26th, 2012
What happens when you get a French woman selling Peruvian knits to Canadians? Stylish, well-made clothing meant for real winters.
That’s why we got ridiculously excited about Miou Kids. This B.C-based company sells baby alpaca wool clothing for infants and toddlers, which is handmade by artisans in rural Peru. Come winter, this editor will be dressing her newborn in the bunting bag ($99), and her toddler will be wearing the pants ($59) under his snowsuit.
Bring on the cold. —Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
October 25th, 2012
Houses are painted sherbert yellow, green and blue and the pinkish sand on every beach is as soft as flour. If you’re planning a winter getaway, consider Bermuda, where the sweet floral scents and sounds of the sea will whisk you a million miles away.
With three restaurants, pools, tennis courts and spacious rooms all steps away from one of the island’s best beaches, Elbow Beach is the place to stay. Order a Dark and Stormy and bask on the beach to a soundtrack of crashing waves. Sushi fans will love the fresh-from-the-ocean wahoo rolls at Seabreez. www.mandarinoriental.com/bermuda
Rent a moped and cruise the island at 25 miles-per-hour. Visit the flamingos at the local aquarium, stop and smell the hibiscus at the Botanical Gardens and leap off the cliffs into crystal waters at Horseshoe Bay. If you’re as nosy as we are, you’ll want to ride over to Tucker’s Town where Ross Perot, Michael Bloomberg and Silvio Berlusconi have holiday homes.
The Lobster Pot in town is a Bermudian institution where bibs are a must. Don’t miss out on the Guinea Chicks (Sept-March) and if you’ve never tried Wahoo, this is the place to do it. www.lobsterpot.bm
October 24th, 2012
Packaged Halloween costumes tend to give us a fright, so this year we're going for more glam, less ghoul.
Elegance in Disguise
Unless you are going to a big Halloween party that requires elaborate costumes, it seems a bit of a hassle putting in a huge effort to answer the door to kids. But of course we never want to be seen as the spoilsport, so we are dressing up the chicest way possible with these Dolci Follie eyemasks. Handcrafted in Italy, these elegant intricate filigree metal masks are decorated in Swarovski crystals and tie with black satin ribbons at the back. From $90 at Secret Location, 1 Water St., Vancouver, 604-685-0090, www.secretlocation.ca
Haunting our Closet
The new Topshop at the Bay downtown is a shopping wonderland, and we were drawn to the Halloween-inspired pieces, like this boo-riffic (sorry, we can't resist) J.W. Anderson ghost sweater ($130, pictured) or skeleton leggings ($46). At Topshop at the Bay, www.thebay.com
This is the one night of year creepy crawlies are not just expected, but welcome. For a last-minute dress-up, go with the Paperself Spider Eyelashes ($25.95); expect intense eye contact all night long as people try to glimpse at the spiders in their web. $25.95 at Spa Boutique, www.spaboutique.ca