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It was the final week of the Claude Monet Secret Garden exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery. I had no idea why it took me so long to finally check it out, but I made it! CC and I planned a fancy girls’ day out.

Claude Monet Secret Garden at Vancouver Art Gallery

Claude Monet at Vancouver Art Gallery

I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibit, witnessing the evolution of Monet’s work. In addition to the Water Lilies, my favourite pieces were Taking a Walk Near Argenteuill, Wisteria, and Weeping Willow.

Claude Monet Secret Garden at Vancouver Art Gallery

Claude Monet Secret Garden at Vancouver Art Gallery

Claude Monet Secret Garden at Vancouver Art GalleryClaude Monet Secret Garden at Vancouver Art Gallery

A pleasant surprise was Stephen Shore‘s photo exhibit in conversation with the Monet’s exhibit. Continue Reading »

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On Monday, September 25, 11 professional barchefs and four apprentice bartenders competed at the 2017 MADE WITH LOVE Vancouver Regional Competition. The professionals were competing for a spot to represent the region at the Nationals next year.

2017 MADE WITH LOVE Vancouver Regionals2017 MADE WITH LOVE Vancouver Regionals

At the event, not only were the barchefs trying to win the judges’ heart, but they were also trying to impress every event guest. We were given two “dogtag” necklaces, to vote for our favourite barchef and apprentice bartender.

2017 MADE WITH LOVE Vancouver Regionals2017 MADE WITH LOVE Vancouver Regionals

We got to sample each cocktail, along with some canape pairings.

Continue Reading »

While we were staying in Courtenay, we learned that there were two breweries in town plus another one in Cumberland. It was a very hot summer day and we needed some refreshing beer to cool us down, so we paid Gladstone Brewing a visit!

Gladstone focuses on Belgian ales, European lagers, and Pacific Northwest style India pale ales. The interior is quite interesting. It reminded me of an auto repair shop. In fact, its flight paddles are license plates mounted on a piece of wood plank.

2017-08-02-16-50-54

Continue Reading »

Brice Peressini

Brice Peressini (Photo by Sebastian Chuffer)

Born in BC, Brice Peressini spent most of his life in Alberta. He came back a year ago to establish himself in beautiful Vancouver to pursue new challenges and seek new experiences. Bartending entered his life as a temporary situation, but he fell in love with the combination of social interaction and creative license. Brice is the ambassador for this year’s MADE WITH LOVE Competition and will work very soon for the new Parq Vancouver Casino. I had the opportunity to ask him about the bar scene in Vancouver.

What is the bar scene like in Vancouver?

We have some of the best and most innovative bartenders plying their trade right here in Vancouver and getting recognition internationally. We have fresh ingredients, innovative minds, sexy spaces, and fun environments. There is everything from craft beer brewpubs, to dark and sexy cocktail speakeasies. Truly something for everyone here.

What are some bars/lounges in Vancouver that you would suggest our readers to visit?

Depends on what they’re feeling in the mood for.

Continue Reading »

If you are asking for suggestions around Mid Vancouver Island, almost everyone would tell you about this little town named Coombs. According to Wikipedia, the town of Coombs has a population of 1,300+ but they welcome thousands and thousands of visitors every year. So what’s there?

The biggest draw is definitely the Old Country Market, better known as the Goats on the Roof Market. Namely, there are living goats on the roof! We were lucky to see a few of them grazing and chilling on the roof.

Old Country Market in Coombs - Goats on the Roof

Inside, it’s a giant grocery store/market. A lot of local and imported food products, as well as a deli/food counter. I have picked up some candied smoked salmon jerky there and they were very good. And best find at the market? Mr. found a Panama Hat that fits his gigantic head, and I scored a $5 Sun Hat!

Mr. and I with our new hats

Mr. and I with our new hats

While we were there, we had lunch at the Cuckoo Trattoria Italian Restaurant next door. It has a good selection of pasta and pizza dishes. Continue Reading »

For those of you who follow me on social media, you would know that we took a trip to Vancouver Island. It was a pretty epic trip — travelled from Nanaimo to Port Hardy and San Josef Bay in the northwest corner, and everywhere in between — 2,300km in 9 days.

First stop, Nanaimo. It was brunch time when we arrived in Nanaimo. Downtown Nanaimo has no shortage of brunch options, and Gabriel’s Cafe caught my eyes. Gabriel’s is about eat local, farm to table.

Gabriel's Cafe, Nanaimo

Food

Ordering wasn’t an easy task for me, because I was just recovering from a bad stomach flu. I had to pick something light so I avoided pulled pork, braised beef, or anything rich and heavy. I opted for the Breakfast #11 — Coconut Milk Pancakes with Roasted Apples, Seasonal Fruit and Yogurt. I thought coconut milk pancakes wouldn’t be too heavy and there would be a good dose of fruit on the plate. Haha the portion size was not for the faint of heart. Continue Reading »

As you all can figure from my posts, I love meat. Even my coworkers are fully aware of it (and sometimes make fun of me for that). So when our beloved, vegetarian friends JG and BD visited Vancouver from Toronto, it pained me a little that DV and DH chose a vegetarian restaurant — The Acorn — for our brunch together, instead of a regular restaurant with good vegetarian options. But hey, how else would I get to try The Acorn?! I’m game!

Food

The brunch menu at The Acorn isn’t big, but there are some interesting items that even a carnivore like me was intrigued. For beverage, I ordered a non-alcoholic Citrus + Spiced Iced Tea. It has grapefruit, Vermouth reduction sherbet, and mandarin spiced tea. It’s refreshing, herbaceous yet borderline medicinal. It’s quite light in the spiced flavours, but it would make a good summer drink.

Citrus + Spice Iced Tea

As for my main, I opted for the Fried Egg. What caught my eye? The fried poached egg. Yes, a poached egg battered with cornmeal then fried. You would think that the egg would be over-cooked. Impressively, my egg was cooked perfectly — I cut it open and the yolk just oozed out. The smoked chanterelles were in the place of meat; they were earthy, hearty, and they tasted so good. I wished there were more! Overall the plate was well composed. The soft polenta and parsnip puree were creamy, and the fried poached egg and roasted parsnip added some texture. Everything tasted very good, but it wasn’t very filling for me.

Fried Egg

Mr., DV and BD all ordered the Skillet, and this was a hearty dish! Continue Reading »

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