Jet Set: London

For those who love seeing the world, travelling is the ultimate joyride. Whether you take a short haul flight to the Big Apple, or book a
safari in the Sahara, there are an endless amount of places to see that are sure to ignite
your senses. These holidays, one of the gang from the fourth floor ventured across the pond to the Mother Land
to ring in 2013 and impressed is one hell of an understatement. London has been one of the most exciting, vibrant and
historical cities for decades – heck, centuries. Rich with culture, the dichotomous melange of old Victorian structures in the
midst of new, modern architecture and boroughs so cool that you can’t
actually pick your favourite because each one is filled with an abundance of unique attributes. London is in a category of its own. 


After spending two nights in the beautiful English village of Crowthorn, the Covent Garden
Hotel
 became home for the week. If you’re looking for a beautiful, boutique hotel to call
a ‘London cottage’ for a bit, this is your gem. Located in the heart of the theatre
district, steps away from the Royal Ballet and home to the colourful, Neal’s Yard; Covent Garden has everything you need right at your curious fingertips. And if you
need a little assistance finding your way back, the lights draping the streets of the seven
dials
 can guide you home. They saved us a few times.

Here are list of highlights – and yes, their winter weather
may be one of them – it was 10 degrees all week. Unfortunately, you’ll notice ‘befriending Kate Middleton’ didn’t make the cut. Sad. 

Curry!
The Brits love their curries and there is no shortage of places to find them. Traditional English curry houses welcome people all hours of the day, including late, and very late-night dinners. We were introduced to this divine new cuisine on a whole new level and it left us craving poppadoms, tasty onion bhaji and king prawn peri peri. London is known for their Indian chefs and one spot we can’t stop raving about is the Delhi
Brasserie
. With a great LGBT bar across the street and (surprise!) a pub next door, this spicy jewel located in the heart of Soho greeted us with open arms and sent us packing with full bellies. 



Pubs
This goes without saying, but the pub culture in
London is incredible. There are easily three pubs at nearly every ‘junction’ and
they’re all full at any given time. Packed with friends, coworkers, groups, couples,
families (with children) – London pubs are a place where people of all ages congregate and celebrate the day’s end. It’s not just the accessibility and convenience of the pubs that is fun, but the environment inside. Often outfitted in dark oak finishes, olde English taps and a no-nonsense atmosphere, they’re small, intimate, and have great service. We hopped on the ‘tube’ to
Notting Hill Gate to enjoy a few pints at the Windsor Castle, a
quaint looking English house from the outside, a proper British pub on the
inside, and home to a lovely, seasonal beer garden out back. Sold. 

Speaking
of Notting Hill…it really does look like this. And we’re in luck because the
house we fell in love with is only £5,250,000. Brilliant.





Walking
Londoners walk rain or shine. From the 7 Dials to the Tower
of London, the coolest way to get around town is your two feet. Walking is not
only amazing exercise for all the curry and pints you’ll be downing, but the
best way to actually see all the city’s offerings. You can cut across Trafalgar Square through
Buckingham Palace – wave to the Queen – over to Westminster Abbey and the gorgeous Houses of Parliament within an hour. Walking extends beyond the London city
limits and well into the English country side. England has more than 15,000 footpaths that are all maintained by their associated counties. We think Welly’s are
fashionable here but they come in awfully handy when you’re trenching through the muddy walks of Great Britain. 



If
you really don’t feel like walking, the London Underground is without a doubt,
one of the easiest and most efficient public transit services in the world. They’re certainly worth a ride, even just to come back and heckle the TTC a little
more. 



Shopping.
You didn’t think we were going to forget shopping, did you? Lucky for us (and our Visas), we took the window-shopping tour down Bond St. on a Sunday when all the stores were closed. Fashion houses like Chanel, Dior, YSL, and yes, McQueen, adorn Old Bond Street and New Bond Street for a stylish mile. Easily one of the most posh areas in London, Bond Street is situated in the heart of Mayfair. In spite of the beauty and elegance that the area exudes, we must admit another grand display of shopping that unleashed an unexpected inner-child: Hamleys. One of the largest, most popular toy stores on Earth! Six impressive floors on Regent St, Hamleys is one of London’s main tourist attractions, welcoming around five million visits a year. It’s worth it, no matter how old you are. You’re welcome, for that one.


All in all, we had a smashing time and hope our tips give you a little taste of this amazing city. Cheers, mate.



Advertisements

Jet Set: 10 Tokyo Must-Do’s that Don’t Cost a Penny

It’s that time of year again, you’re starting to think about planning vacations to hot and sunny destinations. Wait, before you book yet another all-inclusive resort, consider a week in one of the world’s premiere cities. Known for being a leader in cultural trends, Tokyo has amazing shopping, nightlife and is the perfect balance between modern metropolis and quaint old world beauty. Contrary to popular belief, Tokyo can be accomplished on the cheap, it just takes a little creativity. The metro system is top notch and will take you straight to any destination that you can imagine. We’ve compiled our top 10 totally free activities below. We hope this inspires you to book your ticket.  

If you haven’t hit karaoke too hard the night before, plan
to get over to the famous market for five a.m. There, you’ll witness the world’s largest fish
market and live auction.
How to get there: Take the metro to Tsukiji-Shijo or Tsukiji
stations and follow your nose!
Worthy spend: Locals will stop by on their way to work for  breakfast and we suggest you take their lead. Be warned, there are no rolls here people, just melt in your mouth pieces of fresh tuna
and salmon. Yummy.

Going once, going twice…

      Breakfast of champions.
2. Look around for Harijuku Girls
Prime Harijuku Girl sightings will generally happen on the weekend. If you’re only planning to stop in Tokyo for a
few days, try to accommodate, you won’t be disappointed. 
These girls put so much effort and detail into their looks – we should have to pay just to look at them – but here’s just another reason why Tokyo is so awesome. Harijuku and
surrounding streets are also filled with boutiques offering new and vintage clothing and accessories. 
How to get there: Take the metro to Harajuku station. Observe.

We’re impressed.
Image source

Good idea, Gwen.

3. Cross the street! Shibuya Crossing
Trust us, this is an activity. This four way intersection is an
experience (you have to be there). At night it’s especially beautiful when the
city lights turn on. We hung out at the coolest Starbucks with glass windows that offer a lookout point for gawking and people watching.
How to get there: Take the metro to Shibuya station.

4. Loiter in a park – Yoyogi Park
Stunning parks offer a sweet escape from the sensory
overload of the city. You may bump into local musicians practising by a tree, a jiu-jitsu class in training – you never know who or what
you might see. Relax and read a book near the pond, which is also a great place for
bird watching.
Worthy spend: Ueno Park.
Ueno has a lot to offer including sprawling gardens, museums,
temples, a zoo and a little amusement park for kids. Visit during cherry blossom
season (which begins in late April) and you’ll be in heaven. 
Admission for adults is around 400 Yen = $4 Canadian. There
is additional admission to visit one of the many museums and art galleries on the park grounds.
How to get there: Take the metro to Ueno station.

Napping in Yoyogi Park, why not?
 Cherry blossom season in Ueno Park. 
The most famous shrine in Tokyo, this is a
gorgeous and understated temple that is open seven
days a week. Take a nice stroll around the temple grounds to take in the charming gardens. Located across from Yoyogi Park, these two landmarks make for one
very zen afternoon.
Meji Shrine temple, located in Asakusa.

6. Spectacular Skyline Views – The Tokyo Metropolitan Building
This government
building has two observation decks that offer breathtaking skyline views. On a
clear day you can see all the way to Mount Fuji and you can locate other Tokyo
landmarks including the Meiji Shrine and the Tokyo Tower. 
There is also a tourist information desk in the building which
is always helpful.


7. Lost in Translation?
Attention movie buffs: Located right around the corner from the Tokyo Metropolitan
Building, The Park Hyatt Tokyo is the infamous hotel where Lost in Translation was filmed. 
Worthy spend: Experience high tea or hang out for a few cocktails in the hotel bar.    

We’d like to be lost in Tokyo anytime, Scarlett.

This tower only opened in March 2012. Although it’s not free to go
up to the observatories, and you must book in advance, it is free to wander around
the shopping floors. The modern architecture and design is what makes this new landmark a must see. 
Worthy spend: Sumida
Aquarium. Located on the 5th floor of the Tokyo Sky Tree, this
aquarium is impressive and features a massive tank filled with penguins and a
few seals that you can watch swim under water. Admission is 2000 Yen = $25 Canadian.

9. Old Town Tokyo – Asakusa and Zenkoji Temple
This is a popular neighbourhood for backpackers as it boasts
many inexpensive yet surprisingly clean hostels, or try a night in a capsule hotel. Spend some time strolling around
the market in Asakusa where you can taste some Japanese treats filled with red bean paste and find other traditional souvenirs.
You will also come across the Zenkoji temple and surrounding
gardens, a truly romantic place to be at night.


 Zenkoji Temple.
10. Festivals 
There are tons of festivals that take place around the city at every time of year. It’s definitely worth looking into what’s happening while you’re there, so that you don’t miss the opportunity to be a part of a true Japanese cultural celebration.

The peace sign! Everyone’s doing it.

Tokyo is a must do for these reasons and many more. Since you’ll be saving some cash with these tips, you can spend a few extra dollars on karaoke bars, a sumo wrestling show or a few nights in one of Tokyo’s many luxury hotels. The city is really yours to interpret and enjoy.
                

Media Darling: Domini Clark

Domini Clark is the Travel Editor of
The Globe and Mail. She’s worked for the newspaper for 11 years, where she’s
worn many hats in news, arts and life, plus had a stint running the Style
section. Besides travelling the world (17 countries, all 10 provinces and 25 U.S. states and counting), her passions include
baking and boxing. She’s also more than a little obsessed with
J. Crew.

Twitter: @saradomini
Website: www.theglobeandmail.com/life/travel/

Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other
careers were on the horizon? 

I
always wanted to be a journalist – no dreams of being a teacher or vet like
many little girls. In grade three, my teacher had us write picture books and then
attend an event called the Young Author’s Conference, where we could choose
different speakers to listen to. I obviously attended the reporter’s lecture
and spoke to her afterward, because she signed my book, “Hope to see your
byline some day.” That pretty much sealed it. Then in Grade 11, as I struggled
through math class, I remember thinking, “Why am I here? I don’t need this
credit for journalism school.” I put down my pencil, grabbed my books and walked
out. (Of course, now whenever there are numbers in a story I’m so paranoid I do
the math about five times to make sure I have it right.)

Where
would you like to be five years from now?

I
just want to be happy and healthy. Life has thrown me too many curveballs to
pin my hopes on anything else.

Any
advice for people getting started in your industry?

Learn
how to tell a compelling story on myriad platforms: newspaper, video, social
media, radio, etc. The best journalists today are well rounded and comfortable
in several mediums. And when you get your first job, please, please don’t act
like you know everything. Confidence is great, and new ideas are always
welcome, but you are still going to have a lot to learn. I’m still learning.

What
are your favourite media outlets, not including your own? 

I’m
a magazine junkie – it’s an addiction I just can’t quit. Obviously Conde Nast Traveler would be at the top of that list. Other than that, I don’t have
outlets I check religiously. I’m always worried I’ll miss something, so I rely
mainly on my Google news feed and people posting interesting stories to Twitter
and Facebook. And I always tune into Friendly Fire on CFRB 1010. (My man is one
of the co-hosts, but it’s still good radio regardless.)

Best
interview you’ve ever had?

When
I had my first interview with The Globe and Mail, I assumed there was no way I
was getting the job. I was still in university and didn’t have a large
portfolio. So I went in figuring I had nothing to lose, and was my usual brash,
opinionated self. When the two interviewers (it was a total good cop/bad cop
setup) asked me to critique the paper, I dove right in. Whatever I said obviously
did the trick. I was offered the job the next day. Just goes to show you should
always be yourself.

Worst?
I
was a little too honest about my prospective co-workers once. (Okay, so maybe
being yourself doesn’t always pay off.) I was asked to interview again,
but this time to play nice. I ended up getting the job, but to this day I resent
having to go through that.

Best
advice you’ve ever been given?

Never
turn down a great opportunity. (Thanks, Dad.)

What
rule(s) do you live your life by?

Be
honest. Be yourself. Be informed. Treat others the way you want to be treated.
Oh, and don’t waste calories on grocery-store sheet cake at work parties.

What’s
the most important tip you can give PR pros?

Know
who/what you’re pitching to. Read the section and get a feel for the kinds of
stories we run. If you want to grab a coffee some time to chat and get a better
understanding, I’m happy to do that. That’s a better use of my time that
sifting through irrelevant e-mails. When I worked in the Style section I often
got cat food samples, which puzzled me to no end. Where was I supposed to run
cat food stories? Next to the runway shots?

Best
experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins.

When
I worked in the Style section, I’m sure PR folk saved my butt on more than one
occasion. Recently I was on a trip organized by Jared Rodriguez of Victoria King PR in New York. He put so much work into it and was such a dear, dealing
with all my requests and concerns. And then he had to hang out with a disparate
bunch of journos for a week. Some might say that’s one of the circles of hell.

I
hate?

People
who have loud cellphone conversations on the streetcar.

I
love?

Travelling.
Too obvious? How about, standing barefoot on the sheepskin rug I bought in New
Zealand. It’s simply the best feeling.

Reading?
The
Marriage Plot
 by Jeffrey Eugenides. I just want it to be over. I’m about
two-thirds of the way through and I can’t bring myself to finish it but I won’t
let myself start another book until I do. Why I am punishing myself I don’t
fully understand.

Best
place on earth?

That
is an unfair question to ask a travel editor! I am torn between Grenada and
Hawaii. I adore both. And they are both full of plumeria, which I love.
Whenever I smell that scent I’m transported to paradise.

Dinner
guest?

Victoria
Beckham. I suspect she is hilarious. And you know she has some crazy stories.
Plus, if we became friends maybe she’d give me clothing from her fashion line
for free.

Hero?
No
one person in particular. But I have the utmost respect and admiration for
people who have overcome adversity to make life better for themselves and/or
others.

Favourite
app (or whatever you are downloading these days)?

I
just downloaded a cool one called Pocketbooth (for iPhone) that lets you take
photobooth-strip-style pictures. It’s perfect for party season.

Pool
or ocean?

Ocean.
No contest.

Voicemail
or email?

Usually
email. But if it’s urgent, call me. I can’t promise I’ll pick up though, but
I’ll get the message.





JetSet: Puerto Rico

With winter weather setting in, we decided to head somewhere with sun, sand and surf. While all-inclusives are always fun, relaxing and easy, we wanted to try something different, so we booked a flight, hotel and car and jetted off to Puerto Rico.


If you’re like us, you don’t actually know much about this tiny Caribbean island other than that it’s where you flew into for your family cruise, so here’s a quick lesson: Puerto Rico is an “unincorporated territory of the United States“, meaning you can use American money and almost everyone speaks fluent English. It’s located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic, and the best part? You can drive from one end of the island to the other in only a few hours. 


Here are some of our favourite island hotels, restaurants and activities:


Old San Juan.



Where to stay:


We suggest starting your trip in the capital, San Juan. Old San Juan is absolutely breathtaking with colourful houses and store fronts lining the cobblestone streets. While there is no shortage of huge hotel chains, we’d suggest trying something a little different. Villa Herencia is a small, eclectic boutique hotel located half a block from the ocean in Old San Juan. If you’re looking to splurge, we suggest checking out El Convento next door, which is a converted convent complete with a rooftop pool and a beautiful courtyard. 


El Convento.



After spending a night in Old San Juan head over to La Concha Resort in Condado (also a sister hotel of El Convento). Condado is like the Miami of Puerto Rico, with luxurious hotels and restaurants lining the beach. If you’re looking for fun nightlife and a beachfront hotel, this is your place. 

Last but definitely not least, we suggest driving a couple hours west, where you’ll hit Isabela. There you’ll find Villa Montana, an idyllic little beach resort on the ocean. With old plantation-style villas and a restaurant that rivals any five-star here, Villa Montana is definitely worth checking out – we could have eaten their caramelized banana pancakes for days!


Eclipse Restaurant at Villa Montana.

Where to eat:

One of our favourite little roadside restaurants (just up the street from Villa Montana) was Ola Lola’s Garden Bar. Owned by a lovely American couple, the delicious food (insane burgers) is cooked right in the couple’s home next door. A popular “gringo” (foreigner) hang-out, the lights and open-air concept make for a pretty dreamy setting. 

Ola Lola’s Garden Bar. 
Just west of Isabela is Rincon, a haven for surfers and tourists. If you’re looking for a meal with a view, head no further. We tried Tamboo Tavern, one of many beachfront restaurants in this great little town and loved their “tostones” – essentially, plantain fries (very popular in Puerto Rico). 
Tamboo Tavern.
Back in San Juan, head to La Mallorca for delicious cafe con leche and the famous “mallorca con jamon y queso”, a pressed sandwich dusted with powdered sugar. For dinner, check out one of San Juan’s famous “OOF!” restaurants including Aguaviva,The Parrot Club, Dragon Fly, Toro Salao or Pina Colada, all great options for dinner and drinks. 
What to do:

Whether you’re into surfing, snorkeling or suntanning, Puerto Rico has something for everyone; they even have a world-famous rainforest called El Yunque, right outside of San Juan. 

El Yunque.
For great beaches and snorkeling outside of San Juan, we suggest heading to Aguadilla, Isabela or Rincon on the west coast, or heading east for a day trip to the little island of Culebra (Spanish Virgin Islands), just off of Puerto Rico, where you will find white sand and turquoise water. 

Culebra.
While you can definitely catch some waves in San Juan, most people head west to Aguadilla and Rincon for great surf. Adventurers will love some of the off-the-beaten-track surf beaches found there, especially because they never seem to be too crowded.
Rincon.

If you’ve never considered Puerto Rico for a trip, we hope we’ve highlighted some reasons you should check it out. It’s the perfect, easy way to vacation in the Caribbean.



Media, Darling: Doug O’Neill

Doug O’Neill is the executive editor of Canadian Living magazine,
where he also produces the weekly Travel Talk blog.  Doug’s career in
magazines has taken him to a slew of Canadian titles including Toronto Life, TV
GUIDE
, Homemakers, and he’s also freelanced for a variety of Canadian and
American magazines. He most recently taught “Service Journalism” in
the Magazine Publishing Program at Ryerson University.




Did
you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the
horizon?
I‘ve
always been smitten with words. Storytelling was part of my Gaelic heritage.
But for some reason, I took a detour and studied environmental science at
university. Two semesters spent mucking about swamps was all I needed and I
transferred to the English department. After graduation I made a bee-line for
the magazine world.
Where would you like to be five years from now?
I’d like to be in a position that
enables me to work overseas for chunks of the year. I spent seven months in
Paris in the mid-1990s and it was a daily brain-twister – and a lot of fun. A
project (long-term or short-term) that would take me to Asia would turn my
crank.
Any advice for people getting started in
your industry?
Follow your gut. If you have a
quirky interest, make time for it. Those signature passions are what define you. No job is 100% perfect – but make sure one part of your job is a
perfect fit for you. And play with technology, even if you’re technophobic.
New gadgetry will unleash more creativity.
What are your favourite media outlets, not including
your own? 
Podcasts: Ted Talks, CBC’s “Definitely Not the Opera” and “The Amateur Traveler.” Print magazines (in no
particular order):  Afar (travel), Vanity Fair, Geez (new age, alternative
spirituality), GourmetNational Geographic, Globe
and Mail
Focus section (and anything penned by Elizabeth Renzetti), Food &
Drink
(for the pretty pictures), Enroute and the Springwater News (the
tiny community weekly that covers my home town – my aunt buys me a subscription
each year). Digital – where do I begin? Too many to mention but a
few off the top include Tyee, Spacing,  Macleans.ca (I still can’t read
the print version but love what they’re doing digitally), Toque & Canoe,
and the social media/community sections of CBC.ca (their news packaging has
been dull of late, but some great bloggers right now!).
Best interview you’ve ever had?
Irish
singer Sinead O’Connor.  She swore, then I swore, we both swore. I swear
it was the best interview ever. We talked about religion and dysfunctional
families.
Worst?
Margaret
Atwood. I was a junior researcher at Toronto Life in the mid-1980s. Ms. Atwood
answered the phone by saying,  “So, what’s your problem?”. I was quaking in my Birkenstocks.
Best
advice you’ve ever been given?
From a former boss/mentor:
“Keep asking yourself questions. Invite your inner editor to perch behind
your ear and  then listen to him/her. You discover your best answers when
the questions come from within.”
What rule(s) do you live your life by?
I’d like to say I live by this
rule, but sometimes I falter. In short:  Do what you want – not what
you should. If you do as you ‘should,’ sure you could probably have a really
good job. Do as you ‘really want’ – and you’ve got an amazing career you
absolutely love.
What’s the most important tip you can give
PR pros?

Don’t
be dismayed if we don’t return your call or reply to your email right away. If
we like your pitch, we’ll definitely get in touch. It just may not be the right
moment. 
Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We
love to hear about #wins.

I
worked on an intensive editorial partnership at the London Olympics sponsored
by P&G. Their on-the-ground team, Toronto-based MSL Canada, frequently used
a phrase that is pure magic to media: “Okay, Doug, we’re going to leave
you alone now so you can do what you’ve gotta do.”  H-E-A-V-E-N. They
knew when to pull back. Some PR folks tend to shadow media a little too much at
 media events and when working on projects. The MSL team were there when I
needed them, and then gave me the autonomy I required to get my story. It
worked for everyone. (Oh, and if you’re going to sit in on interviews — be sure
to ask the interviewer in advance if that is okay.)
I
hate?
#1. Mid-day PR luncheons.
 They wreak havoc on the schedule – and my tummy. Immediately after work
is so much better.
#2. Shopping – unless it’s for
kitchen gadgets and travel accessories.
#3. Small talk.
I love?
#1.When PR folks make a specific
reference to a recent editorial item in the print mag or online. It shows they
really know us.
#2. Patsy Cline. And not just
because we share the same birthday.
#2. My Bose iPod dock.
Reading?
I tend to read a few books at
once, but not all of the same genre. Currently: Linden MacIntyre’s Why Men Lie (fiction, not a self-help book!),  Rita Golden Gelman’s Tales of a Female Nomad (a travel memoir), and Naomi Duguid’s Burma: Rivers of Flavours (food meets history.)
Best place on earth?
A toss-up: Haida Gwaii off
Northern British Columbia or Southern India.
Dinner
guest?
Annie Lennox.
Hero?
Jane Goodall because she is
forever breaking the mould. And my late Dad, who single-handedly raised eight kids
on his own. He, too, broke the mould.
Favourite
app (or whatever you are downloading these days)?
Packing Pro. Seriously, I can pack
for a 10-day trip with no stress, no fuss. I simply do what my Packing app
tells me.
Pool or ocean?
Ocean, preferably at dawn.
Voicemail
or email?
Email. 





Jet Setter: New Brunswick

While we obviously love jetting to exotic locales in other countries, sometimes the best trips are found in our own beautiful, huge country. Case in point? New Brunswick. We don’t think too many people consider this a vacation spot, but trust us – it’s gorgeous and interesting, and just far enough away from Ontario to make it feel like you really are gone. One of
our rock-it’eers recently ventured to Canada’s only bilingual province to
enjoy some small-town love in the village of Hartland. Now, when you need a break from the
city’s hustle, headaches and traffic, this is, without a doubt, a perfect
getaway.


The small, modest town of Hartland (population: 902) is
actually a lot more popular than many would assume. Among its greenery, natural
beauty and east coast hospitality, the community celebrates itself as the proud
home of the World’s
Longest Covered Bridge
. Opening in 1901, the bridge extends across the St.
John River to connect Hartland and Somerville, and has since become a tourist
attraction for many guests. The bridge has been iconic in New Brunswick since
its inception but was officially declared a National Historic site in 1980 and
a Provincial Historic site in 1999.

In Gen-Y terms, the bridge has garnered the attention beyond
those 
passers-by that are travelling Canada’s East Coast, but somehow landed
the on the radar of none other than search-engine powerhouse, Google, and their
ever popular
Google
Doodle
. On July 4, 2012, Google featured the bridge to commemorate its 111th
birthday. 



While the bridge is super cool to see, what keeps people coming back to the East Coast is the infectiously friendly demeanour that you can’t help but take in, relish and potentially take back to the big smoke. Plus, the wondrous surroundings of the endless green landscape and stunning sunsets make for some serious eye candy. In fields (or backyards as we know them) or over the rivers, the province’s sunsets never fail. Sure beats a patio anywhere in Toronto.


From the minute you see New Brunswick from the plane, there is green. Trees, green, and a lot more trees; the sight lowers your stress and deadlines seem to just disappear…just for a second. Waking up to water and nature has its therapeutic perks. 


After building up an appetite on your nature walks and scenic drives, it’s time for a snack! Head on back to someone’s house– anyone’s really– if people are outside, you’re likely welcome to stop by for a little brook trout! While its by no means a delicacy in New Brunswick, this tasty treat comes with laboured preparation: fish, gut, freeze (in river water) and then fry up in one on the biggest frying pans you can find (with what seems like an insurmountable heap of butter) on an outdoor, human-made BBQ. Because in NB, these are kinda legal!

Next stop…PEI!

JetSet: NYC

A few of us have been travelling quite a bit lately, so thought it would be fun to introduce a new blog category called JetSet. We’ll share our tips, ideas and insider info about restaurants, hotels, bars, attractions and anything else awesome we stumble across in our journeys!


When a Porter seat sale comes through our inboxes, we like to take advantage. One of our favourite weekend jaunts is to the Big Apple. New York City is just a short flight away, and there’s always something to do, plenty to eat and endless sales to check out. It was genuinely hard to narrow it down to a few, but here are some of our fave places to stop by while in the city that never sleeps. 

Where to eat
If you’re in Brooklyn and have a sweet tooth, we highly recommend you swing by DOUGH –
a doughnut shop with delicious, fresh creations including nutella, lemon meringue and hibiscus.


Café Cluny  in the West Village is a great place to stop in when you need a break between Maje and BookMarc. The cute French café/bistro is great for a light lunch or a glass of wine. Bonus: on occasion you can spot some celebs grabbing a bite. 


If you’re like us, food always tastes more delicious when it’s a little bit hidden, and totally unexpected. You know, like Mexican food from a basement restaurant marked only with Vietnamese signs in a Chinatown alley. Sounds random, but Pulqueria is all that and more. Be sure to call ahead for a reservation. Their taco selection and margarita pitchers, not to mention their tower of salsas, make this an awesome spot to have dinner with friends. 

Expect the unexpected in NYC.

Rosemary’s, also in the West Village, has a slightly higher price point, but delicious Italian food (with ingredients from their rooftop garden!) and a good vibe. Be sure to start your meal off with prosecco, for the true Italian touch.


Where to party
Le Baron is the NY incarnation of the Parisan hotspot, located in Chinatown. It boasts three floors and has banned photography (sorry, no instagramming) – but you can tweet at them here: @LeBaronNYC.

To get into the ever-popular Jane Hotel, be sure to make a reso or get on the
guest list. Otherwise you risk being among the masses huddled outside – consider yourself warned.


Swanky hot spot, The Jane.

Honourable mentions go to the Boom Boom Room at the Standard Hoteland if you’re a member, Soho House for poolside drinks and dinner. 
Where to shop
While Soho
is always a fun place for wandering, we recommend going on a weekday if possible, as weekends are a bit crazy. A few good starting points are Barney’s Co-Op, Neiman Marcus and the TopShop on Broadway to check out the sales. 

When in Brooklyn, stopping by Catbird is a must. Their adorable housewares, including an in-house line of candles, and beautifully curated jewellery makes this tiny shop a must-visit every time we’re in NY. 


For clothing, Bird in Brooklyn (no relation to Catbird) carries some great lines and does a great job editing which pieces are carried in-store. 


We highly recommend spending some quality time at Stella
Dallas
 a wonderful vintage store in Williamsburg. Bonus – there’s a houseware
store right beside it which is pretty neat, especially if you’re in the market for unique linens or blankets. 

There’s a reason we can go back to New York again and again and again, it’s because the city has endless things to offer. These suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg, so don’t be surprised to see us update you with our newest NYC discoveries.