48 hours in British-Columbia

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September 25th 2014

I just returned from a quick couple of days in Toronto, where I worked on another fun #Whatsyourstyle/Quelestvotrestyle campaign for Home Sense in partnership with House & Home Magazine. I CANNOT wait to share the final shots with you in early November when the Holiday campaign is live (here’s the Fall campaign). In the meantime, here is a quick recap of our 48 hours in British-Columbia.

Last Friday, Mike and I landed in Vancouver at 9pm. We drove to our friends’ place and immediately passed out (it was midnight in Montreal). We woke up to this view:

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I know, gross. I can’t believe that our friends have to put up with this view every day. Thank goodness for curtains.

After a quick bite to eat at Café Medina, we drove the 2.5 hours to Pemberton to attend our friends’ wedding. This was the view for the ceremony:

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Just, ew.

The weather could have not been more perfect. I actually got a sunburn during the ceremony! My friend Hilary was a breathtaking bride – so relaxed and happy.

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Both the bride and groom are chefs so the food was pretty epic. It was warm enough for all of us to eat outdoors, surrounded my mountains. And bears. There was a black bear. He was just hanging out by the parking lot. My initial thought was “let’s just slowly evacuate and re-schedule the wedding” but the locals acted like it was a squirrel and I eventually calmed down. (Until we had to go to our car late at night and I was convinced the bear was just waiting to pounce on us.)

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The next morning, we drove back into Vancouver to kill some time before catching our red-eye flight back to Montreal. We parked our car in Stanley Park, took a nap on the beach by English Bay and then had the BEST Chinese food I’ve ever had in my life at Peaceful Restaurant in Kitsilano (as seen on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives). All the chefs at the wedding told us what to order and we listened carefully. Peaceful is known for its Beef Roll, which is essentially a crispy rice flour crêpe filled with hoisin and braised beef. It’s magic in the mouth. The homemade noodles and fresh dumplings also blew my mind and I don’t know if anything else will ever compare.

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With our bellies full of Chinese food, we headed for the airport to catch a long flight back to reality.

Goodbye beautiful British-Columbia. I wish you were closer.

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Three nights in NYC

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August 6th 2014

New York City has always been special to Mike and I. The first time we went there together – my first time in NYC ever – was about 11 years ago. We were so young and so broke. We took an overnight bus and stayed in a hostel on The Bowery for $25 a night. It was possibly one of the grossest places I’ve ever slept but we were so excited to be in NYC together that we didn’t care. Not even when some Frenchman was being ill in the shared bathroom all night long.

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The magic of NYC has never faded for us. We still get giddy when we plan a trip there together, regardless of budget. This trip was about spending some quality time together, hitting up our favorite spots and trying out some new ones. As is usually the case with us, our days were scheduled around meals and most meals were researched and reserved ahead of time. If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s a bad meal on vacation. So I do my research and hope for the best.

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We stayed at a beautiful hotel within walking distance of Soho, Nolita, Greenwich, Chelsea and the Meatpacking District. The Marlton is exquisitely designed but the accommodations are, um, cozy. We don’t need a lot of space when we travel so we didn’t mind the tight quarters. The price was very reasonable for a nice boutique hotel in a great location so I can’t complain. Also, the bathroom was all brass err’thing and I just about died from the beauty of it all.

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We drove to NYC so we were pretty excited to stretch our legs and walk around after checking in. We had no dinner plans that night but I knew that we would have a TON of options in our neighbourhood. We ended up at the famous Fatty Crab, where Mike was thrilled to see classic Singapore dishes on the menu. Our waiter was so great. We let him order everything for us and his choices were excellent – Watermelon and crispy pork belly salad, deep fried soft shell crab with seriously hot chilli rice and some seriously delicious pork buns.

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We needed a long walk after that meal so we wandered through the West Village, stopping into Magnolia Bakery for a takeaway tub of their banana pudding. I wish you could buy a barrel of it. Eventually we landed on a charming bar a few doors from our hotel, Analogue. They had a live jazz band playing and an impressive selection of spirits. We had a few stiff drinks and stumbled back to our hotel to eat banana pudding in bed, wearing plush bathrobes. Vacation: On.

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Day 2 was all about Soho, Nolita and the Lower East Side. After getting our caffeine fix at Stumptown, we walked, shopped, ate and shopped some more. Soho is actually quite lovely before 10am. The streets are empty and I love seeing the chic shop owners making their way to work. Isn’t New York the best for people-watching? We shopped our way through Soho until the crowds grew too busy and then made our way through Nolita, where some of my favorite independent boutiques have set up camp including Top Hat. We had lunch at the gorgeous Fat Radish, where we had the Scotch Egg to end all Scotch Eggs. The food there is so fresh and the décor is incredibly sweet. I loved it.

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After more shopping, a ton more walking and a nice encounter with this friendly guy, we made our way back to the hotel to get ready for another epic meal at Gato. I was hesitant to eat there because of its celebrity chef but the reviews were so positive that I was very curious to see if it merited all the hype. I have to say, the entire dining experience was perfect from start to finish. The décor wasn’t my thing but the food was dee-lish and the service was superb. If you go, you MUST order the mushroom and kale paella with artichokes. Doesn’t sound that exciting but it’s a revelation!! Think Bibimbap meets risotto. Props, Mr. Flay.

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Day 3 was my fave – sour cream pancakes from Bubby’s, a slow walk along the High Line (gawd I love the High Line),  an embarrassing encounter between Mike and some Liverpool FC players (my husband turns into an 8 year old girl around pro soccer players), ring shopping at Barney’s, Shake Shack burgers at Madison Square Park (the line-ups though…), olive oil shopping at Eataly, Mint Juleps at The Derby, and some phenomenal fried chicken from Root & Bone in Alphabet City. How do you cap off a day of eating and drinking? Drinks at the top of The Standard Hotel followed by a glass of Sancerre and oysters at Jeffrey’s Grocery in the West Village. And then you curse your lack of self-control. Actually, that’s a lie. I have NO regrets.

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The best part of the trip though? This guy.

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// Do you have any travel traditions with your husband/wife/partner? Any NYC faves?

Birks are back

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August 4th 2014

We had a fantastic albeit brief getaway to NYC (full recap coming up later this week)! I tell ya, that city is chock-full of inspiration. I always leave with my head bursting with ideas and beautiful images – and things I want to buy. I didn’t do all that much shopping this trip, as I wanted to splurge on restaurants more so than on clothing. I did treat myself to a pair of Birkenstock sandals though, which are making a serious comeback this summer. Women all over New York were sporting them. Some wore them with cut-off denim shorts while others wore them with chic chiffon maxi dresses. I am a big fan of any footwear trend that is good for my arches so I am more than happy to jump on this bandwagon. I wore mine the entire time, walking nearly 45 NYC blocks on one occasion, totally blister-free. I paired them with old jeans during the day and with skirts in the evening. There’s something so nostalgic about wearing Birks. Maybe it’s time to dust off the old Dave Matthews CD’s…

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{Birkenstock sandals / Skirt: vintage scarf / T-shirt: Target / Purse: old, from Gap / Gold chain: Layered & Long / Lipstick: MAC Lady Danger }

NYC – here we come

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July 28th 2014

Mike and I  will be celebrating our 5 year wedding anniversary in NYC this week and we leave at the crack of dawn tomorrow morning! Generous (and courageous) grand-parents are watching Theo so this will be a baby-free vacation; the kind where you make dinner reservations for 9pm and sleep in past 6am. I won’t be blogging this week but I will be over-sharing via Instagram haha!

See you next week!

Meve xo

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{Photo by Davina + Daniel}

 

 

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