Toronto - TRAVEL & LEISURE
March 17th, 2011
You love your quirky Georgian, but that doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate the open spaces, hard, clean lines and bold geometry of modern minimalism.
Spearheaded by Alan de Botton, Living Architecture invites you to experience what it’s like to live in an uber modern home while on vacation. There are three houses available (all in the U.K.), with more on the way.
The Balancing Barn, perched on the edge of a nature reserve a few miles inland from the Suffolk coast, is sensational, with designer furnishings, Miele appliances, Peter Reed bed linens and products from REN Skincare.
Dorothy obviously hadn’t stayed here when she said, “There’s no place like home.”
Visit Living Architecture for more info and pricing at www.living-architecture.co.uk
March 10th, 2011
Traipsing between your digs and his is tedious, not just for you, but for your gorgeous duds too.
Give your clothes the treatment they deserve by toting them about in a stylish garment bag from Jendarling. Made from a breathable, organic cotton fabric, your clothes will arrive looking chic, sleek and wrinkle-free. We love the cheetah print shoe bag and paint splattered tote as well.
Consider it your sleepover saviour—just don't forget your toothbrush.
Shop Jendarling here.
March 3rd, 2011
There are women that say they’d rather not eat than lose their cleaner. And, when said cleaner is a domestic diva who will buff, plump and sweep a life into fabulous order, we’ll happily live on lentils.
A fashion insider turned cleaning lady, Andrea Beechey has left the land of brogues and baubles (she worked at Zola, Pink Tartan and Chasse Gardée, to name a few) to start her own cleaning company, Citizen Frances.
She uses all natural products (Mrs. Meyers and Method, among others) and doesn’t stop at an immaculate home. Concierge services include house sitting, personal errands, personal shopping, small event styling and laundry services, to mention a few. “I will assist anyone, in any task, to make their lives easier and fabulous,” she says.
Let’s start with fresh blooms and a colour coded closet. —AT
Cleaning service from $25 per/hr., http://citizenfrances.com/
February 24th, 2011
Coco Chanel worked in a chic Parisian flat but slept each night in a private suite at the Hôtel Ritz.
With glass-blown chandeliers, heated floors and California Closets, we’ll happily lay our head at Toronto’s stunning new Ritz-Carlton. The décor is crisply Canadiana with bronze maple leafs embedded in the lobby floors and bouquets of maple syrup candies perched by the beds.
For good eats, throw on some pearls and visit the decadent cheese cave at chef Tom Brodi’s (of Canoe fame) TOCA restaurant or park yourself at the solid pewter bar for sustainable caviar served with candied ginger cocktails.
Add a spritz of No. 5 and it’s just like home.
Rooms from $500. The Ritz-Carlton, 181 Wellington Street W., Toronto, 416-585-2500, www.ritzcarlton.com/toronto
See photos from our tour of the Ritz-Carlton opening on our Editors' Diary.
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 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 email@example.com (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
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
At online flee market The Arthur, you’ll find a nifty vintage juicer ($45), plus plenty of other original pieces to add colour and whimsy to your world. How about an antique tin spice set ($75) or a cookie jar ($20) covered in poppies?
The Arthur founder Liz Ikiriki has a knack for unearthing dusty gems from hidden piles at granny thrift shops. She is constantly scouring thrift shops, estate sales and auctions around Ontario, so check in regularly for new items.
Maybe she’ll find us a large vintage pitcher for our punch?
January 13th, 2011
Tenpin bowling, once the pastime of lardy middle-aged men and spotty tweens, is making a comeback, with trendsetters like Sienna Miller and Kylie Minogue leading the way.
Toronto’s swanky new boutique bowling alley, The Ballroom joins the movement with ten tenpin bowling lanes, live music, ping-pong tables and a dining area serving gourmet grub like poutine and grilled cheese.
Ladies will love the chance to show off their new Hogan bowling bag and the gents will totally dig the high def televisions wired with sports.
Kylie and Andres found love at the lanes, and with our arm swing, we might too.
$25 per half hour before 5 p.m., $37.50 after 5 p.m. Bowling shoes $5. The Ballroom, 145 John St., Toronto, 416-597-2695, www.theballroom.ca
December 23rd, 2010
This is the time of year that we start dreaming of travels to come – will we be summering in Scotland or scouring Moroccan souks in the fall?
Get inspired in the pages of Rough Guides’ Make the Most of Your Time on Earth: 1,000 Ultimate Travel Experiences. This mammoth second edition adds 200 suggestions to the original from laughter yoga in Mumbai to lassoing reindeer in Lapland.
Of course, we draw the line at staying in an old prison in Latvia. It’s doubtful we’ll find Frette sheets there.
$21.94 at Amazon.ca
December 22nd, 2010
Antique shops can conjure up images of dusty knick-knacks from bygone days.
Fit for fastidious fashionistas, Cynthia Findlay’s spotless emporium is a treasure trove of high-class collectables like Louis Vuitton suitcases ($245), monogrammed dressing table jars and deco cocktail shakers (from $125). Brian Gluckstein stops in for silver teapots with straw handles and L’Wren Scott comes for the marvelous vintage jewellery.
We went wild for a yellow 1930s Bakelite cuff with diamond and pink tourmaline ($9,800) and a popping 11-carat sapphire ring ($18,000) à la Kate Middleton.
Cue the prince and we’ll have the jewel in our crown.
Cynthia Findlay Collection at Toronto Antiques on King, 284 King Street W., Toronto, 416-260-9057, www.cynthiafindlay.com