October 18th, 2007
Herewith our guide to a naughty fall getaway with your beau du jour in Seattle:eat
Nothing says holiday more than a leisurely mid-afternoon wine-laden lunch. So we were thrilled to find that the Seattle Art Museum has a brand spanking new restaurant `å la MOMA. We loved the Alsatian flatbread pizza with carmelized onions, local fromage blanc and bacon ($19) paired with a glass (or half litre!) of Chinook Semillon from the Yakima Valley. It's the perfect precursor to your "afternoon delight." TASTE Restaurant, 1300 First Ave., Seattle, 206-903-5291, www.tastesam.com
If you can let go of your guy, grab on to an evening bag or carry-all tote at handbag hot spot Clutch located at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel. We coveted the Kim White 70s-inspired envelope clutches in metallic hues ($270) and barely left the shop without an Foley + Corinna tote in this season's must-have grey. Clutch, 1212 Fourth Ave., Seattle, 206-624-2362, www.clutchseattle.com
Tempt your tastebuds and save a few bucks by snapping up some delish Washington pinot noir at The Pike and Western Wine Shop located at Pike Place Market. The staff are incredibly helpful and knowledgeable so stock up!
Fairmont Olympic Hotel
Celebrate good times with the Fairmont Olympic Hotel's Celebration package (from US$359) complete with chocolate-covered strawberries and champagne upon your arrival, free valet parking, one night's accommodation in a deluxe room and breakfast in bed! We loved the in-room movie selection of romantic foreign films like Once.
October 14th, 2007
You’ve traded your pink manicure for red, you’ve shelved the ballet flats for brown boots, and now all that’s left is to abandon the salad bar for the rich tastes of fall.
Romantic West End jewel Parkside has just the entré into autumn with its Game and Wild Mushroom Festival launching October 19.
Think quail ravioli with sage butter, elk bresaola with truffled pecorino and grilled bison striploin….hearty, healthy, and he’ll like it too.
Just tell your gal pals you’re out catching the game.
Game and Wild Mushroom Festival runs October 19th to November 9th. Three courses, $49. For menu and reservations visit www.parksiderestaurant.ca
October 4th, 2007
Whether you’re snapping up spices at the souk or sipping mint tea in the medina, Marrakech is a sensory delight.
Perched on the edge of a Berber village, Caravan Serai is the perfect place to escape medina madness. Rooms are Moorish in decor and most have their own terrace. Watch the sunrise in the magical gardens followed by a hammam and hearty breakfast by the pool. www.hotel-caravanserai.com
In a city where you can easily spend an hour bartering over a bag of baubles, we suggest hiring a personal shopper to do it for you. A fashion insider with plenty of contacts and savoir fair, Laetitia Trouillet will beeline you to the best babouche, caftans, and tea glasses Marrakech has to offer. Apprx. $330 for the day (includes transportation and lunch). www.lalla.fr
Rise early for petite dejeuner at the Marjorelle Gardens. Named after its creator artist Jacques Majorelle and later bought by Yves Saint Laurent, this bourgainvillia-scented Eden features more than 350 varieties of exotic plants. www.jardinmajorelle.com
drink, dine, boogie
Sip sunset cocktails on the roof terrace of Yacout before sampling the Franco-Arabic menu at Le Foundouk. Carry on with more cocktails and bellydancing at hip nightspot Le Comptoir.
September 20th, 2007
Whether whale watching, storm watching or just providing the perfect setting for him to pop the question, Tofino’s as romantic as the proverbial long walk on the beach.
The new, luxury beachfront tri-level villas at Pacific Sands offer space for six, three bathrooms, huge views, big kitchens, flat screen TVs and big soaker tubs—where you can soak up this view for hours. From $299. www.pacificsands.com
Warm up at beach-side Shelter restaurant with blazing tiki torches, a great wine list, and the most delicious little side-stripe prawn “wacos” (wonton tacos) we’ve ever sampled. Check out the surf cam: www.shelterrestaurant.com
September 7th, 2007
And when that flow is The Cascade Room, get ready for a ride.
The modern gastropub is the newest venture from the starchitects who own next door's Habit—and while the hipster crowd looks like a casting session for a 1980s mockumentary, it's clearly about to go off with its smart décor and fun, London vibe.
We suggest the wild prawn linguine with preserved lemon ($16) but mind your table manners: the lampshades feature a portrait of Queen Victoria, who appears to preside over the table.
The big room is warmed up with art deco wallpaper and The Jam and The Lemonheads rock the playlist.
But the pièce de resistance is the entrance with its modern etching of a British government slogan from World War II: "Keep Calm and Carry On."
That, we can do just fine.
The Cascade Room, 2616 Main St. (at 10th Ave.), Vancouver, 604-709-8650 www.thecascade.ca
September 6th, 2007
You may never want to leave this resort town just west of Kelowna, where wine country is thyne country.
New on the lakefront, The Cove Resort offers huge suites, a private beach and pool, beautiful landscaping (think paths lined with lavender), tennis, Bikram’s yoga, a media room….are you getting the picture? www.covelakeside.com
Just up the hill is the legendary Mission Hill Estate Winery where you can dine amongst international dignitaries and business scions in its alfresco The Terrace restaurant overlooking the vines. Go for lunch or to catch sunset, and do order dishes from the terroir. www.missionhillwinery.com
Stroll through Canada’s oldest nut farm, now a regional park, and stock up on big brown bags of organic hazelnuts, heartnuts, and the coveted black walnut ($4/lb) harvested in September. Gellatly Nut Farm, 2375 Whitworth Rd., Westbank, B.C., 250-707-1042, www.gellatlynutfarm.ca
For more information on this fall’s Okanagan Wine Festival visit www.owfs.com
August 31st, 2007
Cheap and cheerful Mexican joints are popping up faster than you can say Gael Garcia Bernal.
At Yaletown's new Salsa & Agave Mexican Grill, mama cooks in the back while her hottie son waits on tables.
Grab a seat on the sidewalk and order the refreshing, house–made fruit water ($2) extracted from an indigenous Mexican tree.
Next, tuck into authentic sopes ($3), puffy hand–made corn tortillas with crimped edges that hold beans, lettuce, cheese, sour cream, avocado and a choice of meats–like Carnitas soft pork.
The waiter is so cute you may want to take him home–in which case you can try out the one Spanish phrase you know: "Y Tu Mama Tambien" (and your mother, too).
Salsa & Agave Mexican Grill, 1223 Pacific Blvd., Vancouver, 604-408-4228.
August 23rd, 2007
London Bridge is falling down? We think not! Here's a guide to the real Times of London.
You'll love the Babylonian palace–inspired Gilgamesh with carved walls and bar, retractable glass roof and model–perfect male servers. Sharing plates are de rigueur–must–haves include the Duck Spring Roll (£7.50) and Prawn Har Gau (£5.50). Stables Market, Chalk Farm Rd., Camden, London, 020 7482 5757, www.gilgameshbar.com
Despite a name that's fit for la plage, Beach Blanket Babylon is just the place to live out your romantic Notting Hill fantasies. Sidle up to the action–packed bar and try the Boo Manchoo (£9.50), a tasty blend of organic strawberries, crème de fraise and vanilla vodka that will help you forget your drink cost more than your dinner. 45 Ledbury Rd., London, 020 7229 2907, www.beachblanket.co.uk
From affordable to pure luxury, scale the fashion ranks at Selfridges & Co., owned by Canada's Holt Renfrew clan, stocking everything from TopShop (including the much–hyped Kate Moss line) to Temperley. Don't miss the homegrown Ted Baker range, featuring sleek silk dresses, proper peacoats and textured fabrics for fall. 400 Oxford St., London, 44 113 369 8040, www.selfridges.com
August 16th, 2007
Get your New York City fix with our whirlwind–weekend guide to the Big Apple.
Catch Cathay Pacific's Flight 888 (flights from $535) direct to JFK and you'll travel in comfort with cushy seats, Asian–inspired meals and a personal tv.
The Philippe Starck–designed Hudson Hotel has all the New York nightlife you'll need with a private Sky Terrace with sweeping views of the Hudson River. The rooms are economical in both size and price (for New York!) and you'll love the exposed brick and ivy–covered lobby, the private park area and the guest canteens on each floor. The Hudson Hotel, 356 W. 58th St., New York, 800-697-1791, www.hudsonhotel.com
Croc–sporting super chef Mario Batali is part owner of Lupa, a warm and inviting Grenwhich Village trattoria that serves up rustic Italian fare like Spaghetti Algio E Olio ($13). Lupa, 170 Thompson St. (between Houston and Bleeker), New York, 212-982-5089, www.luparestaurant.com
Jean-Georges Vongerichten rules the New York culinary scene and his latest Meatpacking District venture, Spice Market, is no exception. Small plates are served up by orange–uniformed staff (the women wear backless dresses) and the menu is gently priced and perfect for sharing (think Black Pepper Shrimp with Sundried Pineapple for $14). Reservations are a must, as is the Ovaltine Kulfi dessert! Spice Market, 403 W. 13 St. (at Ninth Ave.), New York, www.jean-georges.com
It may not be glamorous, but Century 21 (located beside ground zero) is the place to bag amazing designer deals. We found racks of Marc Jacobs and DVF dresses, denim (True Religion, Paige, Joe's), Pucci scarves and Balenciaga bags for around $300. Century 21, 22 Cortlandt St., New York, 212-227-9092, www.c21stores.com
August 2nd, 2007
Blow off steam in the Big Smoke with these hot destinations.
The stunning Le Germain is fantastic for business with its free breakfast café, huge modern rooms and brand new rooftop putting green. Fore! 30 Mercer St., Toronto, 416-345-9500, www.germaintoronto.com/en/accueil.asp
After shopping Bloor, decompress over lunch at the airy Jamie Kennedy at the Gardiner atop the newly renovated Gardiner ceramics museum. We recommend the striploin with fingerlings and haricots verts, and the deconstructed ribeye sandwich–with wine pairings, of course. Lunch daily; dinner Friday. 111 Queens Park (off Bloor), Toronto, 416-362-1957, www.jkkitchens.com
In the financial district at happy hour? Slip into the pretty side patio at Ki, where excellent and inventive sushi (the soft–shell crab roll is a must), sake cocktails with Japanese mint and Bay Street brokers make for a potent mix. 181 Bay St., Toronto, 416-308-5888, www.kijapanese.com
The world's first Umbra Concept Store is a vision in hot pink, with its massive façade and designers working right amongst the wares on the second level. Great little design–y gifts like the ever–popular bungee collection and Slumbra sheet sets. 165 John St. (off Queen), Toronto, 416-599-0088, www.umbra.com