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Hot Dining: Pretty Patisserie

Photo by Ian McCausland

Photo by Ian McCausland

Sweet delicacies are having a moment in the sun, but for Nathalie Gautier and her husband Gilles, Instagram-worthy desserts are not a fleeting trend but a representation of years of hard work spent mastering time honoured techniques. At bustling Main Street bakery, A L’Epi de Ble, these French ex-pats bring a slice of Provence to the prairies. Loaves are made with the traditional process—no preservatives, dairy, or gelatin, and never shortening—and the pastry case holds treasures like colourful macarons and eclairs stuffed with rich pastry cream. With her broad smile and lilting French accent, Nathalie herself is part of this cozy nook’s charm. 1757 Main St, 204‑334‑2526

Jasper Shops: 4 Favourites

March 21, 2016
By Afton Aikens, Ashley Materi & Jack Wennot


1. Mountain Galleries at the Fairmont: Three Canadian jewellers are featured here, including Dorothée Rosen. Gallery associate Sarah Budd says Rosen’s rings are “graceful and comfortable to wear.”


Master The Perfect Cup of Coffee

When Calgary’s coffee-lovers look for a sophisticated cup of joe, they head to Phil and Sebastian Coffee Roasters. The local company is known for their coffee’s complex aromas, exotic tasting notes and creamy cappuccinos. (more…)

Hot Dining: Baked Goods and Brunch

How does a buttery croissant sound right about now? If your mouth is watering at the thought, then a trip to The French Baker is in order. Along with flaky croissants, this bakery is also popular for its French macarons and pains au chocolate. As if that weren’t enough, nestled in the back of the downtown location is Benny’s Bistro, with an original brunch menu of both sweet and savoury dishes (think French toast with roasted apple compote and salmon gravlax). The bistro is also open for breakfast and lunch throughout the week, and the bakeries are open daily.

ByWard Market, 119 Murrary St., 613-789-7941, and the Glebe, 801 Bank St., 613-236-7579.

Quirky and Cute: Coombs, British Columbia

Tucked away on Vancouver Island, north of Nanaimo off the Island Highway is Coombs, a place that’s become known for its signature rooftop of grazing goats. Under that roof is The Old Country Market, a quirky grocery store that offers a huge selection of breads and sweets made in their bakery, a cheese shop and imported foods that run the gamut from English licorice to bacon-flavoured mayonnaise a.k.a. Baconnaise.

Before you head to the Market to shop, have lunch at Cuckoo in Coombs Trattoria & Pizzeria. The Italian restaurant offers pasta and wood-stove pizza in a large space with wooden tables and rustic tablecloths (which you can buy next door in Zolena). If the weather is nice, sit out back on the patio under the plum trees. Just outside the restaurant is the greenery area with large pots and Chinese statues, shrubbery and small cacti. Nestled in amongst the plants is Zolena, a shop with wool blankets from New Zealand, Chinese silk bags and bangles from India. (more…)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner: Pemberton, British Columbia

Photo by splityarn

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner is our series highlighting the best local restaurants across Canada. Today we are featuring top restaurant picks in Pemberton, British Columbia, which is a half hour drive north of Whistler.

Have a tip for your city? Let us know on Twitter or on Facebook. (more…)

Hot Dining: Java Break

Julien's is a landmark in the Hydrostone neighbourhood.

Tucked away in Halifax’s historic Hydrostone neighbourhood on Young Street, Julien’s is the perfect place to relax and recharge for a few minutes. The friendly café/bakery is legendary for its fresh bread, almond croissants and other treats.

Hot Shops: Baked Goods by Bobbette & Belle

Homey Leslieville is even more appealing with the opening of Bobbette & Belle, a 3,000-square-foot space devoted to artisan pastries. The first sweet shop from cake designer Allyson Meredith Bobbitt and former Canoe executive pastry chef Sarah Bell includes a production facility and a retail café. The duo is known for their award-winning wedding cakes, but here, their whoopie pies and brightly coloured French macarons have become signature confections. Exclusively for the holidays, packaged gift sets containing these two treats, plus hand-painted letterpress cookies, are available in three colour themes: traditional red, green and white; romantic pink and green; or ice-cool blue, white and silver. Open Tuesday to Sunday.
1121 Queen St. E., 416-466-8800.

The Berry Best


White chocolate raspberry scones

Bears are known to have a weakness for berries, so it’s only fitting the most popular item at Bear’s Paw Bakery is their raspberry white chocolate scone. Bite into the flaky, homemade scone and savour the made-for-each-other combo of sweet chocolate chunks and tart raspberry. —RM