The maple life The maple life

Category Foodie Fun

Vancouver International Wine Festival Tasting Room Quest: Find Five Alternative to Pinot Grigio

In the darkness and gloom of February in Vancouver there is one bright spot to look forward to: the Vancouver International Wine Festival. One of North America’s biggest wine fests, VIWF brings a head-spinning variety of wines from around the world –and from right here in B.C.– to sample along with seminars, winery dinners and plenty of fun events. I was inspired this year to try something new after talking

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Cape Breton’s Beggars Banquet

My heart sank when I saw it on the tour itinerary; a themed costume dinner, where you have to dress up too. My basic nightmare, in fact. But what I hadn’t counted on was the sheer joie de vivre of the Beggars Banquet experience which had me whooping for more by the end of the night, completely won over. I’ll admit it: I kind of hate costume parties but I

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Vancouver International Wine Festival 2016 Tickets Released

It’s one of my favourite events in Vancouver’s culinary calendar, the Vancouver International Wine festival; a blizzard of fun wine-based events, tastings, and special winery dinners which takes place each February, just in time to give us all a boozy lift in those grey winter days. Each year the festival’s focus shifts to a different country –last year celebrated Australia – this year it’s all about Italy with 60 wineries from nine

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Marc Lepine’s Atelier: Canada’s Most Extraordinary Restaurant

Ever since I discovered that hummingbirds can exist on sugar-water it confirmed all my suspicions that these tiny vivid flying miracles were Disney-ish creatures, who, in all likelihood exist in cartoonish technicolour and probably help Cinderella get dressed each morning. I was pondering their adorable feeding habits as I sat in Atelier, chef Marc Lepine’s restaurant, after my own gloriously improbable meal. I’d been introduced to Marc by Frankie Solarik,

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Dine on the frozen river in Winnipeg at RAW: Almond

If you learn one thing about the people of Canada it’s that they embrace the lot that life has given them when it comes to the elements. Whereas in England we shiver and curse the weather, in Winnipeg, when it buckets down with snow and the wind chill factor takes it down to a horrifying minus 40-something degrees, instead of getting on a plane to someplace warm, they go outside

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Chinese New Year in Richmond

The last time I can remember this scent in the air was in Sri Lanka; the smoky perfume of incense mixed with the sweet smell of flowers left as offerings to Buddha. But this time I’m not in Kandy’s Temple of the Tooth, there is no elephant tethered outside, no mischievous monkeys clambering the temple walls, nor gaudily-painted tuk tuks or King Coconut sellers ready to take your money. No,

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High Above the Clouds, Fondue Dinner at the Sea to Sky Gondola

I was wrong about the weather.  As we set off from Vancouver along the twisting turns of the Sea to Sky highway, the rain lashed down, blocking our view of one of the most beautiful drives in the world. The tail end of the Pineapple Express, a west coast storm system that had dropped what felt like a river of rain over the city in a few short days, was

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Get Your Skates on to Victoria

It’s winter in Canada so what are you going to do but enjoy the great outdoors? This year, Victoria’s Fairmont Empress hotel is hosting an outdoor skating rink on its front lawn, which faces out towards the harbour all strung with festive lights. There is something rather magical about skating outdoors and it’s hard to imagine a more beautiful background than the Empress. Special events include a Christmas Eve skating

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Challenge #6: Eat at a Top Chef Canada Winner’s Restaurant

Eat at a Top Chef Canada Restaurant? Er, challenge accepted. Tucking into an award-winning chef’s delicious menu is definitely more my speed than hurtling down a mountain – or even skating down a canal. For non-Canadians, Chef Dale MacKay won the first season of Top Chef Canada in 2011, when he was based here in Vancouver but last year he decided to up sticks and move back to his hometown

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Saskatoon and the King of Kovbasa

Picture leaving your home and your village; everything you ever knew and loved and travelling unimaginably far away, knowing that you’d probably never come back. Then imagine arriving in this new and foreign land; cold, sick and hungry after a gruelling sea journey of several weeks, then you have to spend days spent passing through immigration. Next, weak with exhaustion,  you’re loaded on a train for a journey of even

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