Vancouver - TRAVEL & LEISURE
October 14th, 2011
Our secret undiscovered spots (until now!)
Union Wood & Supply Co.
When we inherited a 12-foot long harvest table with only one bench, Craig Pearce was the man to make us a matching one. He still does custom commissions (often using reclaimed materials from demolition sites) in his new Railtown workshop, but just opened is the retail store attached. Now you too can purchase the canvas shop aprons worn by the staff of Meat & Bread, plus industrial antiques, vintage wire baskets and lighting. Union Wood & Supply Co., 503 Railway St., Vancouver, 604-675-9033, www.unionwoodco.com—Sarah Bancroft
I Found Gallery
It's easy to get lost in I Found. This creative treasure trove on the edge of Main Street’s shopping district is filled with beading material, woven carpets and beautiful vintage clothing. I Found Gallery, 578 Main St., Vancouver, 604-876-2218, www.ifoundgallery.com —Kelsey Dundon
Sure, it’s been around for a while, but I’m always surprised how many people in the city have never heard of Gorilla Food. And when I tell them it’s vegan, wheat-free, gluten-free, sugar-free and raw, I get funny looks. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it: Gorilla Food features some of the most innovative raw cooking in town, offering items beyond just salads, such as zucchini noodles (or “new-dles”), sunflower seed pizzas, and even sugar-free cookies. Before starting Gorilla, chef Aaron Ash concocted his vegan delicacies for Beastie Boy Mike D, serving as his personal chef for several years. Time to ch-check it out. Gorilla Food, 101-436 Richards St., Vancouver, 604-684-3663, www.gorillafood.com —Anya Georgijevic
Kafka's Coffee and Tea
In a city jam-packed with coffee shops, Kafka's Coffee and Tea has become my go-to for consistently great coffee. A good book, a vanilla latte and one (or two) of their so-good-it-hurts caramel salt cookies and you'll be one happily caffeinated camper. Kafka's Coffee and Tea, 2525 Main St., Vancouver, 604-569-2967, www.kafkascoffee.ca —Kelsey Mulyk
While most of us spend our cash on accessories like bags and shoes, it is in fact your glasses that will make the biggest statement. They sit on your face! We love Envision Optical on Fourth, not only do they have one of the best selections of fashion eyeglass frames in the country, but they carry unique, hard-to-find European brands. There’s no chance you’ll run into someone wearing the same frames as you, which is a risk you take when you buy Prada or Gucci. The owner, Monny, is fantastic at helping you pick out the right frames for your face, and he’s always got something amazing tucked in the back. I guess you could say he has a discerning eye. Envision Optical, 2675 W. Fourth Ave., Vancouver, 604-733-2020, www.envisionoptical.ca —Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
September 29th, 2011
If your girlfriend getaways are like mine, conversations range from stock tips to sex tips and activities include both trail runs and booze runs.
You'll appeal to to all the whims in your diverse group (Bridesmaids, anyone?) with the Pan Pacific Whistler's new Sporty & Spa Girlfriend Getaway. Propose a toast in your luxurious suite right in the middle of the Village, then fill up on comfort food at the Irish pub while the night is young (there's plenty of time to burn it off on the dance floor). Moving on to day two, we highly recommend biking the Valley Trail to the Scandinave Spa near Lost Lake where hot and cold Nordic bath experiences and steams will shake off any vestiges of the night before.
But your high school mishaps, dating disasters and brutal student jobs—those stories are still sticking, apparently. —Sarah Bancroft
The Sporty & Spa Girlfriend Getaway at the Pan Pacific Whistler package for two ($699) includes two nights accommodation in a two bedroom suite, daily breakfast, one day's bike rental, a Scandinave Spa Bath experience, dinner at the Dubh Linn Gate Irish Pub and complimentary valet parking. Until October 10, 2011, www.panpacificwhistler.com
September 28th, 2011
Summer may be over, but BC’s gentle climate allows for exciting road trips in the early fall.
Our road trip of choice? The Fall Okanagan Wine Tour, where we can be immersed in gorgeous surroundings with dreamy views and taste some of the best wines on the continent. So much to see, so much to taste…Here are top five Okanagan stops:
Tantalus is situated in the eastern slopes, overlooking Kelowna. Known for its remarkable whites, the winery is also part gallery, with a tasting room filled with works of art.
Editor’s pick: Riesling 2010
This little gem of a winery is located at the tail end of Naramata Bench, overlooking Summerland. Nichol creates a wonderful array of wines cultivated on their unique soils made of glacial till, granite shards, bedrock and silt.
Editor’s pick: Cabernet Franc Syrah 2007
Also in Naramata Bench this charming little winery has swept up lots of awards in the last couple of years. Using biodynamic practices, its wines are sustainable and as tasty as it gets.
Editor’s pick: Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Blue Mountain overlooks the spectacular Vaseaux Lake, near the Okanagan Falls. As one of the oldest family-operated wineries in the valley, it has championed many new grape varieties in the region, making delicious…well, everything.
Editor’s pick: Gamay Noir 2010
Located near Cawston in the Similkameen Valley, Orofino is Canada’s only strawbale constructed winery, keeping the wines naturally cool in the hot desert summer and maintaining constant barrel room temperature in winter. Known for exceptional reds, Orofino is a must visit.
Editor’s pick: Pinot Noir 2009 —Anya Georgijevic
The Fall Okanagan Wine Festival runs from September 29 to October 9, 2011, www.thewinefestivals.com
September 23rd, 2011
We love out-of-town guests.
Just not when they’re crashing on our couch. From now on, we’re sending our family and friends straight from YVR Arrivals to check in at the Burrard Hotel. The Vancouver staple has been a landmark since it first turned on its neon sign decades ago, but its brand new look earns it a spot in the hearts of the economically minded jetset. With an inner courtyard filled with palm trees and pastels, it hardly feels like Vancouver.
Huh. Maybe we’ll book a night there and leave our friends at our place instead. —Kelsey Dundon
The Burrard, 1100 Burrard St., Vancouver, 604-681-2331, www.theburrard.com
September 22nd, 2011
Our latest visit to BC's capital city uncovered the best new places to, eat, drink….and shop.
The neighbourhood of Oak Bay is home to a brand new women’s store Public, stocked with eye catching jewellery by Giles Brother (modeled after the designers’ grandmother’s estate collection), fine cashmere sweaters from England’s John Smedley, and Tibi New York. After, head next door to the new Vis-à-Vis winebar for a charcuterie plate. Public, 201-2250 Oak Bay Ave., Victoria, 250-590-6405, www.publicboutique.ca
(Let’s Hear it) For the Boys
Public’s sister store, Citizen, carries-carefully curated menswear and accessories like Filson bags, handmade shoes, reams of silk ties, Denham jeans and retro bicycles for the dapper man about town. Citizen Clothing, 2541 Estevan Ave., Victoria, 250-590-6716, www.citizenclothing.ca
Renting bikes from Cycle BC will get you to Oak Bay along the oceanfront in no time. Start at Beacon Hill Park, do the seaside route, and return via the Empress Hotel Veranda for a glass of rosé. Cycle BC, 685 Humboldt St. , Victoria, 250-380-2453, www.cyclebc.ca
What’s a getaway without a spa stop? The boutique-size Spa at the Grand does a top-notch pedicure (while you recline on a bed) and the RMT massages were both therapeutic and relaxing. Hotel Grand Pacific, 463 Belleville St., Victoria, 250-386-0450, www.hotelgrandpacific.com
A surprising discovery was the Ocean-Wise Dim Sum at The Pacific with locally-sourced ingredients. Order off the Asian tea menu (we loved The Philosopher Brew) and start with the BC Seafood Congee ($12) which is light and delicious. Cowichan Valley Springrolls ($8) and Qualicum Scallop Dumplings ($8) are a modern spin on locavore fusion—and a great idea, we might add. Hotel Grand Pacific, 463 Belleville St., Victoria, 250-386-0450, www.hotelgrandpacific.com
Open daily with no reservations, the new 200-seat Zambri’s is truly an international-level restaurant in the shiny-new downtown Atrium building. Would saying it was the best meal of our year be too much? I think not. Dish after sublime dish—vegetable-forward and ultra-progressively Italian—was a delightful surprise. House-cured meats pushed appies up (bread dumplings with ground salumi wrapped in spec, do you hear me?) and silky, egg-y pastas roll off the tongue like the romance languages. Zambris, 820 Yates St., Victoria, 250-360-1171, www.zambris.ca
Ulla’s proprietors are a young couple who honed their skills at Vancouver’s Cibo among other fine dining establishments. On the edge of Chinatown, it’s a loft-y space with a formidable cookbook collection (try the Momofuku chicken wings, an ode to New York’s David Chang). A $7 glass of Cava sets the tone for a fun evening and pairs perfectly with the octopus salad ($12). Ulla, 509 Fisgard St., Victoria, 250-590-8795, www.ulla.ca —Sarah Bancroft
Read more about our Victoria trip in our Editors' Diary.
August 25th, 2011
It’s not every day we ride in a private chopper.
Unless we’re hiking with the pioneers of the heli-adventure, that is. Canadian Mountain Holidays runs guided heli-hiking treks through the stunningly beautiful Bugaboo Mountains just outside Banff. There, we walked in the hoofsteps of mountain goats, summited thousand-foot peaks, and dipped our toes in alpine lakes before returning to the lodge for massages, whirlpools and the most gourmet fare we’ve ever been served in the backcountry.
Now that’s what we call roughing it. —Kelsey Dundon
From $2,490, www.canadianmountainholidays.com
August 18th, 2011
Every corner of this mountain town boasts breathtaking vistas, but there’s much more to see in Canmore than just mountain peaks.
Swine and dine. We think the TroUgh’s subtle pig theme gives us a green light to pig out on their award-winning fare.
Don’t worry about packing light—the massive suites at the Grande Rockies Resort will fit you, your friends and all your oversized luggage too.
Pick up some mountain-chic housewares at Stonewaters then grab some luxe Lollia bath products at Stella’s right next door.
It’s not just the fresh mountain air that’ll do you good. The Gaia Clinic offers everything from yoga to acupuncture to Shirodhara head massages.
Verde Day Spa just opened a new location at Grande Rockies Resort and an organic facial there is like a raw food diet for your pores.
August 4th, 2011
We trekked to a tiny mountain town in the middle of a national park and found no shortage of cosmopolitan experiences.
Check into Brewster’s Mountain Lodge for its just-off-Banff Ave. location and its very of-the-moment Navajo decor.
Try on a couple pairs at Bison Courtyard’s Avanti, a shoe shop that carries nary a hiking boot and instead offers stylish footwear fit for city slickers.
The Banff Springs Hotel is a stunning fortress in the forest so ditch the dudes on the golf course and head indoors for high tea with your girlfriends.
Feeling really creative? Apply for a residency at the Banff Centre. Or just revel in others’ creative genius and take in a performance there instead.
Nothing, really. Let your masseuse take on the hard work while you relax on the massage table at the soothing Red Earth Spa. —Kelsey Dundon
July 27th, 2011
The word “retreat” usually triggers a picturesque image of a beach somewhere, cocktail in hand. But with the word “fitness” attached, it caused a bit of fear.
Although the name may be inspired by Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestseller, there is no gorging on pizza Napolitana to “find” ourselves. Instead, while staying in Whistler’s luxury First Tracks Lodge, self-awareness is achieved through playful six hour adventures like hiking, yoga and an excruciating boot camp that made us learn the true meaning of camaraderie: When in pain together, stick together. There might not be pizza, but a personal chef and nutritionist are on site creating the most delectable, yet healthy, meals.
We get it: A fitness retreat is a luxury retreat.
Rates from $1069, Eat Play Love, 604-721-7464, www.eatplaylovefitness.com
Read more about out Eat Play Love adventures in our Editors’ Diary.
July 26th, 2011
Editor-in-Chief Sarah Bancroft’s France Packing List
This slightly rumpled chambray blazer from Anthropologie works with white jeans or shorts, and is perfect for the plane. $118.
My Italian linen deck towels will serve as tablecloths in Paris for impromptu picnics in the Parc Monceau with fare from Alain Ducasse’s Boulangepicierie.
This dress from See by Chloe’s Fall 2011 collection will be my go-to for evenings out with my husband.
But my K Jacques sandals from Misch (they look even better now that they are worn in) will come in handy for chasing my children through the Jardin du Luxembourg. I look forward to buying a new pair like these at the Atelier where they are handmade in St. Tropez.
The house we are renting in the south has a pool, so what better to read by it than The House in France, the witty new memoir by Gully Wells about the fabulous life of her parents, a celebrated American journalist and an Oxford philosopher set in New York, London and Provence.
And for reading attire, I just ordered a Vitamin A strapless black bikini (something about the name must have caught my eye) from their Gold collection which is super-luxe and soft.
I like a no-make-up look for the summer, so this tinted lipbalm in Nobody’s Baby from new Vancouver company Ilia beauty will fit in my carryon.
Bon Voyage! —Sarah Bancroft