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 11th, 2007
Does your romance need some heat? Warm things up with a shoulder season getaway to Whistler where room rates are slashed but the fires burn just as bright.
The sprawling one-bedroom suites at the Sundial Boutique hotel come with mountain views, full-sized kitchens (with proper pots and Henkel knives) and massive soaker tubs. There’s no room service, but there’s nothing better than sex for breakfast. Suites from $159. 1-800-661-2321, www.sundialhotel.com
Should you manage to leave your room, Araxi’s new hundred-mile menu will have you eating from the local larder in style. If you’re lucky enough to score a bottle of the 2004 Foxtrot pinot noir you’ll be dancing home. www.araxi.com
Take the 20-minute daytrip to Pemberton’s North Arm Farm for their famous carriage rides to the pumpkin patch, pumpkin-pear soup, and boxes of buttertarts from the bakery. Grab a bag of Yukon Golds (the best for mashed potatoes) before you go. www.northarmfarm.com
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 27th, 2007
Now that our dollar is stronger than ever, time to head stateside to Frisco for both culture and couture.
Enjoy a romantic dinner of seasonally inspired Cal-Med fare while foreign and indie movies show on the courtyard wall. An old standby (for serious foodies) in the trendy Mission District that never disappoints. 2534 Mission St., San Francisco, 415-648-7600, www.foreigncinema.com
Grab yourself the hot Pan Am airline bag or a new pair of rain boots in muted blue or gray for just $28! Don’t miss the other cute boutiques along Fillmore afterwards. 2142 Fillmore St., San Francisco, 415-447 9322, www.marcjacobs.com
Be one of the first in Canada to own the hottest tech gadget going: an Apple iphone. Even if you can't get service in Canada for at least another six months, you'll look super hot playing with all the other sweet features. Can you hear me now? One Stockton St., San Francisco, 415-392-0202, www.apple.com/retail/
It may be within walking distance of top shopping and landmarks, but with ocean views, on-site spa with outdoor rooftop deep soaking tubs, penthouse yoga studio and Thursday night hotspot bar/restaurant Americano, you may not want to leave your hotel after all. www.hotelvitale.com
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 13th, 2007
Head into B.C.’s desert country this fall for a fresh new take on the wine-tasting weekend.
Less than a year old, Spirit Ridge Vineyard Resort & Spa in Osoyoos boasts big views of the hills with a pool overlooking the adjoining Nk’Mip vineyard. A marina, golf course, spa, and horseback riding through the desert is just some of non-liquid fun. 1200 Rancher Creek Rd., Osoyoos, 1-877-313- WINE, www.spiritridge.ca
In nearby Okanagan Falls, climb up to Blasted Church vineyard for their excellent whites like the unique Chardonay Musqué ($18, blended with a touch of French Muscat) with illustrated labels depicting local legends. Get in on the famous “Midnight Service.” 378 Parsons Rd., Okanagan Falls, BC, 1-8-SPELLBOUND, www.blastedchurch.com
Whistler’s acclaimed Chef Bernard Cassavant has recently taken over the Sonora Room at Burrowing Owl Estate Winery where the vineyard views are unparalleled. Taste library wines paired with easy-going yet perfectly executed lunches like heirloom tomato salad and shrimp croissant. 100 Burrowing Owl Place, Oliver BC, 1-877-498-0620, www.bovwine.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 30th, 2007
If the only luggage you're toting these days is bags under your eyes, it's time for a mini break.
But when you're headed to the islands or hopping a seaplane, your black roller–suitcase just looks, um, square.
The sleek and stylish duffle bags from Vancouver's Red Flag Design are made from reclaimed sails, and couldn't be more at home on the coast.
We love the AUM mini–duffle ($200) made from white Dacron racing sails with sea–blue identification numbers.
And when you're invited to sail to Panama on his yacht? Start packing now, sister.
View styles and shop at www.redflagdesign.ca
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