Archive for January, 2014

Belgium: Farm to Table

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Michelin listed Ghent restaurant t’Pakhuis ( takes the concept of farm right to table so seriously that they bought the farm – in Bresse, France. So now they breed and serve famous and flavourful Bresse chickens, guinea fowl, Hampshire down lambs, and Bayeux pigs. From home in Belgium, they get special tomatoes, their herbs, and even “lost and forgotten” vegetables

Located in a former ironworks factory with painted cast-iron pillars and a soaring wrought-iron balcony now filled with light from the huge roof skylight, the noisy chattering happy diners, both inside and out might be enjoying the beers and fancy cocktails at the bar or on the large terrace. In keeping with it’s slick metallic theme, it has the coolest bathroom lock I’ve ever encountered and I challenge you to try to turn on the tap without having to ask!

And the food – my liver screamed for mercy but my mouth was bathed in smiles. Though you could start with  a lighter lobster soup or beef carpaccio, if you dare, the foie gras plate had the most generous hunk of silky foie we have ever encountered accompanied by sage apple cream and dates. Had I stopped there, it would have been a perfect dinner.

But yet we ventured on to the grilled duck breast in pea cream with baby veggies and mashies that were so smoothly whipped that they could have been served for a dessert sorbet. The asparagus risotto with lemon butter was so yummy, it alone could turn me into a vegetarian.

We could have ended the meal with a locally favorite flavor, gingerbread, in cheesecake with vanilla sauce or gone lightly with some sorbets, but we took it to the max with a silky creme brûlée. Sigh.

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Canada: Vancouver Airport Butler

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

The Meet and Greet Service are airport experts at Vancouver International Airport. They make the airport experience efficient for both corporate and leisure travelers – whether it’s navigating through the airport formalities, security lines, check-in, handling of baggage, shopping, or restaurant dining – eating in or to go, they offer impeccable attention. This is  the first  official meet and greet service in North America.

Some of their services: check-in including boarding card help, getting through security, departure and connections, assistance including gate to gate escort, chauffeured mobile cart, baggage handling, baggage claim, assistance during flight delays or cancellations, delayed arrival, delayed baggage, claims. You can all access to the Plaza Premium Lounge (applicable fees may apply). Prices start at $95.



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Canada Ottawa: Museum of History

Sunday, January 12th, 2014

The swooping architecture of the building and jaw-dropping 17 metre-high domed ceiling of Canada Hall are visions you will not easily forget after you have visited the newly named Canadian Museum of History (was Canadian Museum of Civilization), which covers Canadian life from AD 1000 to 2000.

From now until Sept 28, 2014,  you can enjoy the informative exhibit about Snow and the ingenious ways in which  Canadians have adapted to difficult winter conditions, from sleighs to snow removal. You can participate in a fun quiz at the end.

The museum is a playground for all, as the Children’s Museum takes the kids on travels around the world – including a passport to stamp in each country. All kinds of imaginative play from driving a bus, motorcycle, ship or camel to running a shop, putting on a puppet show, living in a pyramid, moving heavy boxes using a winch, or booking a trip can all be tried out.

In the main galleries, visitors see a Viking family arriving in Newfoundland around AD 1000,  discover New France through a farmhouse, inn, hospital, shoemaker’s shop and visit a voyageur camp, a lumber camp, a Métis campsite, British military living quarters and a Maritime shipyard. There’s a stroll past shops  along the main street of a small town in late 19th-century Ontario.

Learn about life in a turn-of-the-century prairie railway station and yard, a Saskatchewan grain elevator, an authentic Ukrainian church, a Chinese hand laundry and a 1920s Alberta oil derrick. You can even sit in Yellowknife’s Wildcat Cafe, the town’s first restaurant and a popular gathering spot for prospectors, bush pilots, miners and trappers.

If you love animals, leave time for the up close and personal movie, Kenya 3-D about a safari through Africa.

Location: 100 Laurier St., Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0M8
Phone: 819-776-7000 or 800-555-5621

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