[Translate] I recently went to Martha’s Vineyard (MVY) for a weekend getaway with a friend — and what a getaway that was. The journey to the island was admittedly much more arduous than what we have anticipated. Originally we have booked flights directly from JFK to the island but for both ways, it’s been either extensively delayed (for the first leg) and canceled on the way home. Like I’ve overheard from one of the locals say on my van taxi ride to the ferry terminal at Oaks Bluff from MVY airport, it’s a lovely island because it’s relatively remote and..
[Translate] One of my other favorite stop/meals in Ottawa was at Art-Is-In Bakery. This bakery was buzzing with energy and excitement over the food and baked goods served the Saturday morning we were there. The scent is pure toast and crispy pig fat. A growing lineup stretches right out the door from the pastry counter, winding past a display of fine French tarts, beyond metal cooling racks filled with pizzas, signature rustic breads, and baguettes that have become recognizable fixtures at farmers’ markets and sandwich shops all over town. It’s a downtown detour into the parking lot of an industrial..
[Translate] We had dinner at Le Baccara. It might seem a little unusual to have dinner in a casino that is about 10 minutes away from downtown Ottawa but I couldn’t help but be curious how is it like to dine there. It is a five-star French restaurant where service is first class, from the choice of complimentary spring or sparkling water to the fresh linen napkin waiting every time you return to your table. We had a table by the window with a lovely view and see kayakers paddling around. (more…)
Wonderful Stay at Fairmont Le Château Montebello & A Visit to Manoir-Papineau National Historic Site (Montebello, Canada)
[Translate] If all of you are wondering why did I go to Montebello? It’s because it’s close to Ottawa (about an hour away by car) and I wanted to be away from the city (any, not just New York). Fairmont Le Château Montebello Montebello is located on a bank of the Ottawa River with its own marina. This grand log-built hotel provides rustic luxury, local flavor, beautiful grounds, great views, and heaps of activities to do for both summer and winter. It’s an annual family destination for many well-heeled Canadians (or tourist within the northeastern part of the U.S., it..
[Translate] Andaz Ottawa Byward Market was our home base when we were staying in Ottawa. This hotel juts up as the most prominent new high-rise in the ByWard Market, a 19th-century commercial district that now hums with both artisan goods shops and venerable Canadian department stores like Simon’s and Hudson’s Bay. Trendy bars and a few of the city’s best restaurants round out the mix. Art also meets power in this area between the National Gallery of Canada and Parliament Hill. All of these locations are within a fifteen to twenty minutes of walking so a car isn’t needed to..
[Translate] If there’s a hotel that is famous in Ottawa, it is the Fairmont Château Laurier. Not only for the stunning architecture but there’s so much history involved in this hotel. It was built as one of the classic railroad hotels by the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada a century ago, it is a massive turreted structure, a venerable castle that is remarkably spacious and very lovely inside. A friend and I decided to have afternoon tea here despite the fact it was still in the middle of a heat wave. (more…)
[Translate] During the week we were in Ottawa, it almost made me feel like I was in Hong Kong during late August-early September where the heat was oppressive and searching for a place to cool off during the afternoon is key. (more…)
[Translate] A surprising find from my drive from Montebello to Ottawa was Black Walnut Bakery. This bakery is very charming as it’s a large house painted in a sunny yellow and outfitted with a porch. It makes me think I will be entering my Southern grandmother’s home when I walked up the porch and through the white wooden door. As you walk down the hallway, there’s a door opened to a kitchen that was wrapping up the day’s work but not too far is the room where the display counter and small seating area lined up with locals waiting for..
[Translate] Little Victories Coffee is an independently owned coffee shop between two coffee professionals (and friends) Andrew Bassett and Jeremie Thompson, who became disenchanted with Canada’s coffee industry. After experiencing the incredible divide in coffee quality between Canada and other parts of the world they felt obligated to help Ottawa compete on the global stage. Several global sourcing trips later, Little Victories Coffee Roasters began retail and wholesale operations across Ottawa. Within a year the fledgling company had contracts with over a dozen small and independent coffee shops supplying top shelf coffee beans and training across the Ottawa Valley. Since..