It’s not all beef in Calgary

Pop quiz: You’re headed to Calgary for a culinary weekend. What are you going to eat? Beef, you say. Of course. Well, not exactly. Sure, the west is known as the beef headquarters of Canada, and the first time I visited Calgary, I ate so much of Alberta’s acclaimed AAA beef that I’m pretty sure…

Sunshine and gooseberry wine

It’s the little things in life that are the most wonderful. A small exchange with a kind stranger, a moment of laughter with a good friend, a taste of something homemade and pure. And when you can experience all that together under the warm sun on an August afternoon—like I did this past weekend at…

5 perfect moments in Turkey

Just over a week ago, I was fortunate to spend five days in Istanbul, Turkey, courtesy of Turkish Airlines Canada, Conrad Hilton Istanbul and InS Luxury Tours. And at the risk of sounding obnoxiously gushy, it was pretty damn incredible. As I’ve previously written, I didn’t know what to expect from Istanbul, but it didn’t…

Days of Wine and Chocolate, Niagara

It’s Valentine’s Day, so I’m getting drunk on wine

Okay, let me explain. I am not guzzling wine in some sort of pity party, lamenting my singleness and crying while watching Nicholas Sparks movies. No, far from mourning the romance of Valentine’s Day, I’m celebrating it. Or, more specifically, I’m celebrating the month of February. Because February means it’s time for the Niagara region’s…

Plaza in Old Havana

Dos hermanas at Dos Hermanos

I met her after a long day in Havana. I was alone in a bar called Dos Hermanos, in a quiet part of La Habana Vieja. It’s the other Hemingway bar. Everyone goes to La Bodeguita del Medio, where the mojito is rumoured to have originated, but I wanted something more authentic, more removed from…

Two glasses of mojitos

Searching for mint in Cuba

“Dos mojitos, por favor.” The bartender shook his head sadly. “No mint,” he said. I turned to my friend Erika in horror. Here we were in Cuba, home of the famed cocktail of rum, sugar, lime, soda and mint, and I was being denied. We had just arrived at our hotel in Veradero, and I…