Vancouver - TRAVEL & LEISURE
June 17th, 2010
A night at the club isn’t the only way to have a wild time.
Trade the dance floor for Friday Night Live at the Hastings Racecourse. The summer event lets you sip ciders while watching the sun set and place bets on thoroughbreds (the filly and fella varieties). Between races, there’s a disc jockey on the tarmac who spins to keep the giddy-up on track.
Reserve you and your entourage a box ($20, seats six) so you can properly kick up your heels and horse around.
Friday Night Live at Hastings Racecourse runs until September 17 (races start at 7 p.m.), 3475 Hastings St. E., Vancouver, 604-254-1631, www.hastingsracecourse.com
June 3rd, 2010
“Sea, Sex and Sun” sings Brigitte Bardot, but if you’re willing to trade sea for Seabreeze cocktails, you’ll be right at home at The Parker, Palm Springs.
South of France meets Alice in Wonderland best describes the sprawling grounds, where dwarf rabbits hop along the winding paths amid massive bougainvilleas and outsize rosemary bushes.
A tiny door in the hedge leads into the lawn of the marble ballroom, and an authentic French pétanque court with French bistro furniture lures near the adult Lemonade Stand.
Twelve beautiful private villas are celeb-friendly (Will Ferrell was checking out when we arrived) and even the regular rooms come with Jonathan Adler décor, chic amenities, and cult novels like Jacqueline Susann’s Once is not Enough.
We couldn’t agree more.
To see behind-the-scenes photos in Palm Springs, please visit our Editors' Diary.
May 27th, 2010
Ever since the Olympics, requests have poured in from far-flung friends who want to crash at your pad and be shown around the city.
If you don’t have the time to play tour guide, consider sending them on their merry way with a Travellers Deck. Available in Chinese, Japanese, Spanish and English, the deck of 58 double-sided (and waterproof) cards highlights hot shopping and eating spots mapped out by neighbourhoods.
With special discounts like a free appie or gift with purchase on each card, there’s no shame in keeping a few for yourself.
$11.95 at www.travellersdeck.com
May 20th, 2010
You say pampering, he says camping. Don’t call the whole thing off.
Take your trip to Salt Spring Island and while he pitches the tent, you slough off stress at the Solace Organic Spa. Housed within a quaint cottage not far from Fulford Bay, it’s fitted with an outdoor hot tub, infrared sauna and massage room with space for two. Owner and practitioner Julie mixes her own natural spa products and serves up homemade organic teas too. For a small additional fee, she’ll even bring the treatment to your humble outdoor abode.
Who said you had to campromise for love?
Services start at $35, Solace Organic Spa, 111 Saltair Lane, Salt Spring Island, 250-653-4688, www.solaceorganicspa.com
May 13th, 2010
For you, not any pork will do. On Sloping Hills tenderloin you prefer to spend your coin.
But you don’t need to dine out to have it. New grocer Greens brings those Qualicum Beach Berkshires, among other choice meats, to your home kitchen. Started by two UBC grads, the market focuses on organic and natural foods and products, and making as much of that good stuff affordable and locally sourced.
While shopping we had a lengthy chat with their meat and seafood manager and learned that in-store workshops on beginner’s butchery are in the works (so you can also save bills by buying a whole bird instead of just a couple breasts).
Greens Organic and Natural Market, 1978 W. Broadway, Vancouver, 604-568-3079, www.greensmarket.ca
May 7th, 2010
Los Angeles may not have the exotic elegance of, say, Istanbul or Barcelona, but with a little digging we unearthed bits of other cities hidden beneath her blonde, Botoxed exterior.
The revamped Petit Ermitage Hotel in West Hollywood has the boho elegance of a pied-à-terre you’d find on the France-Italy border. Inspired by his world travels, the owner sourced the décor from far-flung places like Ecuador and Jerusalem. We spent our time monopolizing the rooftop, where there’s a romantic garden and saltwater pool. Make sure to book your stay for a Sunday when they screen old movies outside (faux fur blankets and popcorn provided). From $198, www.petitermitage.com
Joan’s On Third reminds us of New York City’s Dean & Deluca with its laidback gourmet way. Sit yourself at a street-side café table and keep your eyes open for celebs doing the same. www.joansonthird.com
The equivalent to that cool old bar you stumbled upon in Chicago or London is Silver Lake’s new Thirsty Crow. Specializing in whiskey and bourbon-based drinks and dimly lit, you can kill two birds with one stone here—those being, drowning the sorrows of your last relationship then rendezvous-ing with a new manly man. www.thirstycrowbar.com
The revelation that Ryan Gosling co-owns a Moroccan restaurant called Tagine is, shamefully, what led us to eat there, but it was the fabulous food that redeemed us. From the first forkful of cucumber, tomato and lemon sorbet salad to the last spoonful of sea bass bathed in butternut squash soup, we were smitten. www.taginerestaurant.com
See photos from our trip to L.A. on today's Editors' Diary.
May 6th, 2010
If your mountain biking regimen includes a pre-ride prayer asking whoever’s up there to help you make it down in one piece, the Trek Dirt Series is your saviour.
Learn an entire season’s worth of skills (from basic climbing to riding down drops) and bond with fellow mountain bikers at the all-women two-day weekend camps ($315). Participants are split into groups according to experience so no need to fret if you’re still working on the basics. The camps also include bike maintenance clinics, fit workshops and social time to talk shop and show off your new skills.
The first Canadian camp runs May 15 and 16 in North Vancouver followed by May 29 and 30 in Whistler, July 10 and 11 in Calgary and August 21 and 22 in Canmore. For a complete schedule go to www.dirtseries.com
April 8th, 2010
Having your BFF from Calgary crash at your small studio apartment when she was single was one thing, but now that she totes a kid, husband and pooch, you’re threatening to make them sleep in their SVU.
In the Ecoloft, they get a place of their own and quash their carbon footprint in one fell swoop. As cool as it is eco-friendly, the modern loft in the residential Cedar Cottage neighbourhood is solar-heated and built with non-toxic and sustainable materials like bamboo. All the conveniences of home are included too—full kitchen, in-suite laundry and HDTV.
Now you can crash on their couch after stopping by for dinner.
From $99/night, Ecoloft, 1155 E. 23rd Ave, Vancouver, 604-736-5797, www.ecoloft.ca
March 26th, 2010
We love to hear from our readers, whether it be letters or forum postings.
Here's a chance for you to tell us all about what you love, what you loathe—and your favourite shopping spots.
So instead of pretending to work while you wait for the weekend to begin, take our subscriber survey. As always, we promise to keep all your secrets. Everything you tell us stays private—just like the Parisian fling you had in 3rd year uni.
The questions are short and snappy–you'll be done in 10 minutes flat. Spill it: Do you prefer Clooney or Pitt? Haute couture or H&M? Facebook or face-to-face? Inquiring minds want to know!
And as an added incentive, we're giving away one amazing KitchenAid Architect Series Countertop appliances prize pack (value approximately $1,100, pictured). On every bride's wish list, you don't need a ring to score this sleek stainless steel KitchenAid set. It's the ultimate wedding gift (we'll assume the invite is in the mail, wink wink). Be sure to enter your email address at the end to be automatically entered to win (see terms and conditions here).
Take our survey here.
March 4th, 2010
The Vancouver room boom just moved up another notch. Herewith, the cool things that have us considering long-term hotel living at the Fairmont Pacific Rim:
1. Stunning installation by UK artist Liam Gillick that spans 17 floors of the building’s exterior with the phrase “The clouds looked no nearer than when I was lying on the street.”
2. Marble-clad lobby lounge that serves up afternoon tea, cocktails and raw seafood.
3. Live entertainment on a $225,000 hand-crafted white Fazioli piano with 18 carat hinges.
4. Astonishing 180-foot origami light sculpture by Vancouver’s Joseph Wu that extends the length of Oru, the hotel’s Pan-Asian bistro.
5. Granville Island Florist outpost located within that means never going without fresh roses.
6. Discovery Theatre, a private movie theatre with 18 plush leather seats you can book for slumber parties. Just don’t watch The Shining.
7. Expansive Willow Stream spa with women’s steam room and lounge, and an ocean-view terrace with and forthcoming Jacuzzis and meditation pods.
8. State-of-the-art 4,000 square foot gym with a studio for yoga and Pilates.
9. Serene, spacious rooms—many with balconies—that feature espresso makers and 100 square foot spa bathrooms with embedded mirror televisions.
10. A sixth floor rooftop pool, inspired by the Bel Air in Los Angeles, ready in time for spring.
For more information visit www.fairmont.com/pacificrim