Tag Archives: cool things

Poolside dining and the art of summer by Calgary’s Hotel Arts

showing off the new pool at Hotel Arts in Calgary

Cool thing No. 59 on this blog

Summer is short in Calgary. That’s perhaps why, the Hotel Arts’ pool, in the city’s Beltline district south of downtown, has become a mecca for those craving sun and a dip in the water when we do get a hot summer’s day. While the pool has always been fun, it’s now received a chic makeover which includes a cover designed to make it useable fall to spring as well as summer.

While guests get first priority, locals can pay a fee to also enjoy the recently renovated space and everyone is invited to enjoy dining at the new Poolside by Hotel Arts.

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#loveyyc – #community is such a cool thing – #calgary – #ilovewhereilive

From now until November 5, 2016 you have an opportunity to show Calgary some love. In particular you can show Calgary’s businesses some love.

Tourism Calgary and Calgary Economic Development have partnered to, “celebrate our city, people and all the countless things that make Calgary one of the greatest cities in the world”.

It’s a call for citizens to advocate for our community and to engage and to support local businesses. Boom, bust or flood, Calgary is strong and here’s another chance to prove it. Get involved by:

1 – being inspired by the video above
2 – using and following the hashtag #loveyyc from now until November 5
3 – choosing activities to attend and businesses to support on #loveyyc day November 5 from the list at Visit Calgary

It’s just that easy. Local businesses have all been called to action to offer special promotions to locals. My company Calgary Food Tours is offering 20% off all tours between now and November 5th and we added a special Savour 17 SW tour for Saturday, November 5 so we can be part of the celebration of our city. Just use LOVEYYC as the promo code to save and come and join the fun.

Cool thing #47 on this blog

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Cool Thing #46 – when your friend Janice Beaton gets an article written about what she loves!

Now this is definitely cool.

I’ve known Janice Beaton a long time and always admired her taste and style. She’s a straight-forward Maritimer like me but she’s also filled with dichotomies. She’s at once sophisticated and granola, worldly and ultra-local, spiritual and poetic. She’s a contributor to life and a cheese grande dame. It’s so nice to see someone I love so much given the spotlight.

Here’s the Avenue Magazine piece from the Source: 10 Things Janice Beaton Loves

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@CityPalate #GetThis – great ingredients and cool things for spring

I was born to grocery shop

I was born to grocery shop

Some people are born to shop but I was born to grocery shop. I love it.

I am delighted that I get to write about the great ingredients and cool things I find in local grocery stores, markets and kitchen shops. I do this for my Get This (must have kitchen stuff) column in Calgary’s City Palate magazine.

I’ve been writing Get This since the fall of 2010 and I am inspired by the fun things I find for each and every issue. I respect that my publisher and editor never tell me what to write about. They trust that I will write about things City Palate readers will be interested in. That is what City Palate is about first, last and always…for over 20 years…what readers will find interesting.

Thinking about our readers motivates me every time. Along with the products I love to squeeze in a few recipes and news about local farms and businesses, and great chefs and designers.
In this issue I wrote about the following products which will qualify for this blog’s cool things category:
Cool thing #17 – Ruckles – groovy goat cheese from Salt Spring Island
Cool thing #18 – Spiegelau’s balloon decanter and tumbler set – a darling with great hand feel
Cool thing #19 – Tartufo nero – black truffle oil that I think is asparagus’s taste soul mate
Cool thing #20 – DaVinci orange syrup – agent orange as an asset
Cool thing #21 – Lemonaise – lemon lending flavour potential
Cool thing #22 – Village Brewery Growlers – the most chillin’ beer for summer.

You’ll find the full story in this May/June issue.

I have a fridge, freezer and pantry stuffed to the gills with great ingredients and cool things. I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s truly a part of what helps me savour it all.


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Savour Life – Cool thing #1 – VR Wine’s Private Wine Locker Program

I am always out and about. It’s part of my job to explore Calgary, Alberta, Canada and the world’s food scene. I constantly meet exciting people and see the fun things they are doing and the delicious ingredients they are working with. I realized this week that I am constantly saying, “That’s so cool”. The accompanying thought for me is always, wow, everyone should get to know about this, not just me. I love to pause and savour these moments with the proud person who is showing me their idea or their product. I think they are proud because they are sharing something truly creative. I’ve just had the epiphany that I could use part of this blog to help them share their cool things with more people. They deserve it. So here goes, when I catch myself saying “That’s so cool”, you will know about it here.

One really important thing you should know is that you’ll only be seeing and hearing about things I like for their own merit. I will never accept money for this. I’m not running ads or doing commercials. You have to be able to trust that this is just me, communicating my tastes to you. You are free to ignore these things or enjoy them. But no one will ever dictate what cool things get chosen for this website. Thank you very much; I’ll stay a free agent in that regard. I promise to be a curator and editor of cool things that you can count on to come without any paid bias (well, I might accept a sip of wine or morsel of food but that’s it). So here we go.

Cool thing #1 – VR Wine’s Private Wine Locker Program

Phoebe Fun, owner of Vin Room Wine with the wall of private wine lockers available at her store

Phoebe Fun, owner of Vin Room Wine with the wall of private wine lockers available at her store

My friend Phoebe Fung is a business dynamo with so many great ideas its flabbergastingly fun. She owns two restaurants, Vin Room and Vin Room West, and just opened a private wine boutique, VR Wine, that sells all the wines featured at her beautiful restaurants.

Now here’s the cool part. At VR Wine, you can join their private wine locker club (for a minimum purchase of $300/month) and they will stock your locker with new wines each month according to your tasting profile. For people who are gradually building their own cellar collection but that don’t have time to do the research and shopping themselves this could be a very helpful time saver and aid. I know we don’t all have $3600 a year to spend in this way, but that does not take away from how cool an idea it is. If this is your dream go for it. There’s only 12 of these lockers but here’s all the things this service includes as follows:

•Hand crafted, cedar and teak lockers with private combination locks for secure and safe storage
•Temperature and humidity controlled
•Access to lockers during regular business hours
•Access to exclusive offers and special purchases not available to the general public
•10% off all regularly priced wine and accessories purchases (discount not transferable)
•Exclusive invitations to private locker members’ events
•Consultation with one of VR Wine’s sommeliers to design your monthly wine program
•Updates to your personal profile as your needs change and develop

VR Wine
3106, 8561 8A Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2H 0V5

Savour Food Savour Life and now Savour Cool Things while you are at it. Cheers, Karen

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