O'Haras Stout

Toronto Festival of Beer rejoices in the coming of Irish Craft Beer to Canada

“You can’t choose your family but you can choose your beer,” joked Padraig Fox, Export Manager for Rye River Brewing Company, in conveying the tagline for McGargles Irish Family Brewing. The beers, deftly personified by caricatures of a dysfunctional family, range from the elder matron Granny Mary (Red Ale) to hipster Cousin Rosie (Pale Ale). A very modern advertising approach that stands out in a beer field traditionally branded with stereotypical harps and shamrocks.
Continue Reading →

Absinthe Fire cocktail in Banff Alberta

Come on Baby Light My (Banff Cocktail) on Fire!

At the Balkan Restaurant in Banff, Alberta, drinks are conceptualized by mad scientist, Matthew Hendricks, the restaurant’s head Mixologist. Hendricks uses creativity (and fire!) to bring unique cocktails to even the most discerning drinkers.

Their menu has at least 25 drinks cocktails available at all times and a team of (good looking) bartenders at the ready to make them. At The Balkan, juices and syrups are made from scratch onsite along with massive deoxygenated ice cubes—I’ll get to those in a minute. Continue Reading →

Tea and Sandwiches at Wickwoods Country Club, Hotel and Spa

Guilt-Free Cream Tea (& Other Luxuries) in Southern England

On my lifelong search for the quintessential holiday fitness facility, I came across Wickwoods Country Club, Hotel and Spa, tucked away in England’s verdant Sussex Downs. It’s not just a private hangout for local ladies who lunch; it’s a boutique hotel with spa and gym with exercise classes, tennis and a ritzy restaurant. Oh, and an English cream tea destination to boot! Continue Reading →

Brugges Bruges Belgium

Where Can You Snort Chocolate and Drink 650 Types of Beer? Only in Bruges, Belgium

Squeezed between racy Amsterdam and cheese-mongering Paris, Belgium’s Bruges may seem small potatoes at first glance. But this fairy tale-like town has more to offer than Medieval architecture and canals. Foodies and ale-lovers flock to Bruges to indulge in calorific cuisine, craft beer, and some bizarre ways of ingesting chocolate (think: cocaine-style). Here are five things to love about Bruges’ food scene: Continue Reading →

Okanagan Valley Wineries, British Columbia

British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley: Second Best Wine Region in the World?

As I wind my way through the grape-heavy vines of the sun-dappled Naramata Bench in mid-September, I can’t shake the feeling that I must be in the viticultural heart of France or Italy. Surely not British Columbia in Canada.

But believe it. Travelling through Naramata, one of the richest wine-growing regions in the world, the only thing more arresting than seeing the Okanagan Valley is tasting it. USA Today readers seemed to agree when they named the Okanagan Valley the second best wine region in the world.

My mission for the day: taste as many different wines at as many different wineries as possible. Continue Reading →

Braai Day BBQ

How to Host a Kickass South African-Style Braai Party

To host a successful Braai Day, the first thing to do is to figure out what it is. In case you haven’t heard, Braai Day is a South African national holiday inspired by the spirit of barbeque and celebrates multiculturalism. Braai is also the Afrikaan term for barbeque – a popular pastime in South Africa (note to self: add South Africa to travel bucket list).

South Africa celebrates Heritage Day on September 24 — and to celebrate, some African wineries are hoping that you take up the tradition and host a Canada Braai Day party. Here’s how to throw a kickass Braai Day party. Continue Reading →

Fleur du Cap wine

Summer Wine Series: Fleur Du Cap 2012 Chardonnay

Oh my gosh, you guys! Summer is winding down. It’s late August and it won’t be long before it’s all “I love your sweater”, and “those boots are amazing”. But before we bid adieu to the dog days of summer, we have to wrap up the EDT summer wine series. And what better way to do it than with a tropical tasting chardonnay from Fleur Du Cap? So let’s have just one more before you turn over that summer wardrobe. Continue Reading →