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Indulge: Five Luxury Items that are Worth the Splurge


Treat yourself to a day of indulgence in the nation's capital.

You work hard, it’s time to enjoy yourself! From small splurges to big-ticket items, we’ve highlighted five luxury items that — bonus — also make great souvenirs from your trip to Ottawa.

Nothing says luxury like taking time for yourself (why is that?). In this day and age of smartphones, laptops, and nonstop digital communication, there is no greater feeling than turning off and tuning out to curl up with a magazine. The glossy pages, beautiful photographs, and scintillating stories offer an escape — if only for a little while. Whether you’re reading fodder for the mind or guilty pleasure rags, this act (and its inexpensive price) is one of life’s simplest pleasures. While in Ottawa, a trip to Mags & Fags on Elgin Street is a must. In business for 30 years, this shop carries 4,000 magazine titles that range from obscure and special interest to mainstream favourites. 254 Elgin St., 613-233-9651.

koko chocolates: delicious, rich, and local, too!

Local chocolatier Jen Winter has created quite a reputation for her gourmet sweets, koko chocolates. A perfectly grown-up treat that won’t break the bank, her tasty truffles have creamy ganache centres and are dipped or molded in premium Belgian chocolate. Find fine flavours such as Thai Chili, Triple Chocolate, Margarita, Passion Fruit, and more, as well as seasonal offerings. Retails for about $5.25-$6.50 per 3-piece sleeve. Available at The Candy Store, 350 Richmond Rd. in Westboro, and several other locations in Ottawa.

Have you ever heard that sales of lipstick go up in tough economic times? The thinking behind this “Leading Lipstick Indicator” (a term coined by Leonard Lauder, the chairman of Estée Lauder) is that consumers turn to less expensive indulgences. Instead of purchasing an expensive outfit, we suggest checking out a luxe lip product (like the dramatic Rouge d’Armani No. 502, $38) because a great lipstick can make you feel like a million bucks without having to spend a ton of dough. Available at the chic downtown department store Holt Renfrew. 240 Sparks St., 613-238-2200.

Made with diamonds and white gold, the Brocade Bangle by Hearts on Fire is worth every penny..

If you’re someone who loves to sport something sparkly, then a statement piece is for you. We adore the gorgeous geometric lines of the Brocade Bangle by Hearts on Fire (seen here with 1.00 carat total weight of diamonds in 18 karat white gold), and talk about special: this brand has legally won the right call their diamonds the “world’s most perfectly cut diamond.” It will set you back a pretty penny (as in $8,990), but it’s certainly a piece that whispers “luxury” (it looks great stacked with other bangles, too). The full collection of Hearts on Fire starts at $750 and is carried at Howard Fine Jewellers & Custom Designers, the official jeweler for the brand in Ottawa. 220 Sparks St., 613-238-3300.

Creative types will love putting pen to paper and poring out their thoughts into Da Vinci Journals by the Old World Book Company. Made right here in Ottawa, these beautiful tomes use centuries-old craftsmanship and traditional Italian techniques. Each cover is individually cut from leather hide, the paper is hand torn, and with no lines to hold you back, these blank books can be used as a diary, a travel log, a place for illustrations, or anything else your heart desires. $99, available in black and brown. Pick yours up at Paper Papier in the ByWard Market, 18 Clarence St., 613-241-1212.

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