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British Columbia

Superb Sips: A Taste of BC’s Thriving Wine Scene

By TIM PAWSEY
May 2019

Photo ©Klarka0608/shutterstock.com

Fancy a glass of BC pinot gris, pinot noir or bacchus? No problem! But it wasn’t always that way.

The local wine scene is blossoming, in part thanks to a changing climate, but also due to significant advances in viticulture. As well, winemaking expertise from regions around the world has contributed much to BC’s relatively new wine scene. Just 45 minutes from downtown, the Fraser Valley is home to some 15 grape wineries (as well as fruit wineries, cideries and meaderies). They include Chaberton Estate (the valley’s first winery, established in 1991), Township 7, Backyard Vineyards and Vista d’Oro, all in Langley, as well as Abbottsford’s Singletree Winery. Chaberton is also home to a delightful French bistro and ideal lunch stop, adjacent to the vineyard and rolling hills. (more…)

Swordplay 101: Academie Duello

By CHLOË LAI
May 2019

Unleash the warrior within with beginner-friendly courses at Academie Duello

Anyone who’s ever seen an episode of Game of Thrones has wondered what it might be like to prepare for battle. Gastown’s Academie Duello, the largest school of European swordplay in the world, has the answer. (Spoiler alert: it’s awesome.) Sign up for an Adventure program to get a 90-minute crash course in combat, wielding the weapon of your choice—anything from a mighty pole-axe to a two-handed longsword. To finish off, channel your inner Jaime Lannister or Brienne of Tarth in a daring duel against a fellow recruit. Fancy yourself a true knight? Head to Langley, just an hour’s drive away, for a longer session to hone your sword-fighting skills on horseback. For glory!

Gastown Con Gusto: Italian Fare at Di Beppe

By TIM PAWSEY
May 2019

Margherita pizza with mozzarella di bufala, and spaghetti amatriciana with guanciale, tomato and pecorino, at Di Beppe (Photo by KK Law)

Just a block from Gassy Jack’s statue, Di Beppe celebrates all things Italian. The lively corner cafe, with its bentwood chairs and intricately tiled floor, is busy all day. Locals drop by for good coffee and a bite of delicious sfogliatelle, or perhaps a bowl of gelato. Come evenings, the buzz spreads to the slightly-more-formal adjacent dining room, with its wide selection of classics: bruschetta with artichoke tapenade and pecorino, plates of steaming carbonara or amatriciana, and tempting pizzas. Flavours are rustic and robust, cocktails authentic (including an easy-sipping Aperol Spritz) and the service genuinely friendly. Inside scoop? Ask about their occasional family-style polenta nights.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

More for Locavores

By SHERI RADFORD
May 2019

Dig into noodle bowls at Harvest Community Foods

In an eco-friendly city known as the birthplace of the 100-mile diet, chef/restaurateur Andrea Carlson is the undisputed queen of local, sustainable fare. Burdock & Co., her destination restaurant on the East Side, is renowned for its dishes made from organic and regional ingredients. Fewer people know about Harvest Community Foods, her tucked-away spot in Chinatown. It combines a gourmet grocery store selling seasonal produce and local artisan foods with a cozy restaurant dishing up hearty rice and noodle bowls (pictured). The bowls change regularly, depending on which local ingredients are available, but they’re always memorable, thanks to Carlson at the helm. Who knew eating sustainably could taste so good?

Hoppy Hangouts: Vancouver’s Craft Beer Scene

By TIM PAWSEY
May 2019

Granville Island Brewing photo by KK Law

Thanks to the craft-beer revolution, a bevy of casual tasting rooms has emerged as neighbourhood anchors. Brewery Creek, near Main and Broadway, was the site of the city’s early industry. Close by, a cluster of modern-day haunts offers plenty of options. (more…)

Deep Dives at Bill Reid Gallery

By CHLOË LAI

“Becoming Worthy” by Marika Echachis Swan

Multiple dates, 2019 Pick up almost any postcard of the West Coast, and you’ll find glamour shots of beaches, glaciers, salmon, orcas and, of course, the Pacific Ocean. Our identity is deeply shaped by British Columbia’s connection to water. Go beneath the surface at the Bill Reid Gallery’s qa y xw – water honours us: womxn and waterways (“Becoming Worthy” by Marika Echachis Swan, pictured; to Oct. 2). Nine Indigenous female artists explore historical practices and tackle modern-day threats to our coastal ecosystems through women-centred works in video, printmaking, carving, performance and more. And don’t miss Counternarratives (to Jun. 2), which makes waves by contrasting idyllic 20th-century paintings by Archibald Fairbairn with contemporary Indigenous critique. We’re hooked.

The French Connection: Interview with Chef Michel Jacob

By TIM PAWSEY
May 2019

At Le Crocodile, Michel Jacob serves specialties such as filet de boeuf tartare (Photos by KK Law)

In an industry not short of egos, there are few “name” chefs more under-the-radar than Michel Jacob. The unassuming owner of Le Crocodile, arguably the éminence grise of the culinary scene, stays very much in the background—as in, the kitchen. For it’s from here he can ensure that every plate meets or exceeds expectations. (more…)

2019 Where to Dine Awards: Whistler

By SHERI RADFORD
May 2019

Il Caminetto highlights farm-fresh ingredients such as burrata with heirloom tomatoes (Photo by Leila Kwok)

Critics’ Choice

BEST NEW RESTAURANT

Il Caminetto

If you’re dreaming of la dolce vita, look no further than Il Caminetto. The Whistler stalwart closed for a few months to undergo a complete makeover, complete with new owners and a new fireplace. The end result is a room as fresh and contemporary as the modern Italian cuisine. Under the careful eye of executive chef James Walt, who also oversees the award-winning kitchens at Araxi and Bar Oso, the reimagined menu is sure to satisfy even the pickiest of palates. (more…)

2019 Where to Dine Awards: Vancouver

At Provence Marinaside, the whole Dungeness crab provençale with seasonal vegetables and seven-grain rice is as attractive as it is delicious (Photo by KK Law)

We salute the restaurants and people who make Vancouver such a foodie paradise

By TIM PAWSEY, SHERI RADFORD & CHLOË LAI
MAY 2019

Critics’ Choice

LES CLEFS D’OR CANADA SILVER SERVICE 
Provence Marinaside

No one makes more reservations in a year than a hotel concierge. And few have their fingers on the city’s dining pulse as firmly as Vancouver’s Les Clefs d’Or. Always in the loop, they can recommend the ultimate experience—and often secure that hard-to-find last-minute table. This year, their nod goes to Provence Marinaside, a waterside delight on False Creek’s Yaletown shore. Marine-inclined fare marries South of France classics with West Coast flair, such as bouillabaisse, Dungeness crab provençale and olive-dusted seared tuna, using the freshest of local ingredients. Savour smaller bites at the adjacent TWB — The Wine Bar.—TP (more…)

The Sauce Pasta Cafe: Gourmet on the Go

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
Apr. 2019

Tasty pasta at The Sauce

The answer to every pastavore’s prayers can be found at The Sauce Pasta Cafe. This tempting gourmet spot serves up dishes just like Nonna used to make—if your Nonna let you mix-and-match your noodles and sauce, that is. Choose from marinara, meat sauce, creamy wild mushroom and more, all made fresh in-house daily, and then pair with your preferred pasta. The best part? It’s meant to be taken out, for enjoying at nearby English Bay, Stanley Park or Coal Harbour. A scrumptious meal in a spectacular setting—no wicker basket required.

Heavenly Holiday: the Sunny Citrus Vacation Package at Absolute Spa

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
Apr. 2019

The Hawaiian Coconut Lomi Lomi massage soothes muscles

Vancouver’s soggy reputation holds water—even in springtime, the sunshine here is often of the liquid variety. But at Absolute Spa, the forecast is downright beachy thanks to the Sunny Citrus Vacation Package. The four-step pampering experience includes a body buff and wrap to keep skin radiant and glowy, topped off with a sandal-worthy pedicure. The cherry on top is the Hawaiian Coconut Lomi Lomi massage, which soothes muscles with pressure that mimics rolling waves. The best part? No sand in your suit.

Making Magic: Nurse Jamie UpLift Massaging Beauty Roller

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

The Nurse Jamie UpLift Massaging Beauty Roller

Fairy tales can come true. For proof, look no further than the Nurse Jamie UpLift Massaging Beauty Roller. This—dare we say it—magic wand has a hexagonal shape and 24 massaging stones designed to mimic a facial, for improved skin tone and a radiance boost. Plus, it doesn’t require any batteries, cords or outlets, making it perfectly portable. No wonder it’s loved by beauty editors and celebrities alike. This is one fairy tale with a happy ending. Start your own beauty-roller story at Sephora