It might be a snowy wonderland outside, but if the chilly temperatures are getting you down, WHERE’s got just the ticket to chase away the winter blues.
1. Get tropical at Savana Café. With the brightly coloured walls, old-school chandeliers, and mismatched tablecloths, you’ll instantly feel better walking in the door of this lively brownstone-turned-eatery, and that’s before you’ve even tried the food. Inspired by flavours from the Caribbean and South-East Asia, the cuisine is comforting and delicious, with just the right amount of kick. 431 Gilmour St., 613-233-9159.
2. Seek refuge in the stacks at Kaleidoscope Kids’ Books, a cheery little bookstore that is sure to brighten up a cloudy day. From the cozy reading chair to the whimsical birds dangling from the ceiling, this is a happy place. Your little bookworms will love picking out a title to take home, and if they can’t make up their minds, there’s always an eager ear around willing to recommend a good read. 1018 Bank St., 613-232-7406.
3. Picture this: It’s the middle of the afternoon and you’re listening to the sweet sound of live classical music. Retreat to the National Arts Centre for the Debut Series, which features young, highly talented emerging artists, some of whom are still students. At $3, these one-hour concerts are a bargain. Upcoming shows Jan. 6 (Timothy Chooi) and Jan. 27 (Bella Hristova). National Arts Centre, 53 Elgin St., 613-755-1111.
4. Catch a flick at the independent Mayfair Theatre. This heritage space is one of the few surviving “atmospheric cinemas,” which were built to ensconce the audience in the movie-going experience. Today, it showcases a range of films, from classics to indies, and everything in between. Tip: Arrive early to grab one of the comfy couches on the upper level. See website for schedule. 1074 Bank St., 613-730-6552.
5. A cup of hot tea on a winter day can be a Zen-like experience. Indulge in this simple, elegant ritual with traditional afternoon tea at Zoe’s Lounge in the Fairmont Château Laurier. Choose from their finely cultivated selection of teas and enjoy dainty sandwiches and other tasty bites ($30, reservations required). Ask for a table in the atrium, overlooking historic Rideau Street. 1 Rideau St., 613-241-1414.
6. On chilly days, there’s no better place to be than scoping out the local museum scene. Take advantage of Canada’s Capital Museums Passport. For $35, you will be admitted to nine uniquely Canadian sites. Valid for seven days from the date of the first visit, you can check out the Canadian War Museum, the Canadian Museum of Nature, the National Gallery of Canada, and many more. Family passports also available for $85. Purchase passports at participating museums or the Infocentre at 90 Wellington St.