Five ways to treat yourself at Vancouver’s YVR Airport

Photo credit: Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel

Photo credit: Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…and also the busiest at Vancouver International Airport. Over the holiday period, about 60,000 travellers will be arriving and departing YVR each day—about 30 percent more than on average.

It goes without saying that you should arrive at the airport with plenty of time to catch your flight. But there’s another benefit to getting to there early: more time to indulge. It is the holidays, after all!

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Five ways to treat yourself at Vancouver’s YVR Airport

New East Vancouver craft brewery Strange Fellows opens

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On Wednesday, Dec. 18, Vancouver’s latest craft brewery opened its doors. The new brewery is called Strange Fellows and is located at 1345 Clark Drive in East Vancouver.

The new brewery currently has six different beers on tap, including an imperial stout (the Boris, which comes in at a night-ending – or night-beginning, depending on your outlook – 10% alcohol), an IPA, a brown ale (the Familiar Brown, our favourite), a lager, a pale ale and a wheat beer. The brewery hopes to have eight beers available, four perennials and four on rotation.

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New East Vancouver craft brewery Strange Fellows opens

Give a taste of Vancouver with these 5 cookbooks

Rob Feenie with his wife, Michelle, at home. Photo courtesy of Douglas & McIntyre.

Rob Feenie with his wife, Michelle, at home. Photo courtesy of Douglas & McIntyre.

If you’re still hungry for gift ideas going into the final holiday stretch, we’ve got you covered. Vancouver has some of the best restaurants in the world, and luckily, local chefs are willing to share their recipes.

Here are five cookbooks that let you give a taste of the city to loved ones near and far. They’re all available online and at bookstores around town; try Barbara-Jo’s Books To Cooks (1740 West 2nd Avenue) for a good selection.

First, what does Rob Feenie, who rose to fame through Lumiere restaurant and is now executive chef at the Cactus Club Cafe, cook at home?

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Give a taste of Vancouver with these 5 cookbooks

Christmas Cocktail Crawl IV: Smoke and Mirrors – Part II

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By Sonu Purhar
Photos by Nicole Havers and Jorden Hutchison

Missed Part I? Catch up here, then read on.

Stop 1: UVA Wine Bar

uvaNot even UVA’s pulsing music, purple lights and funky décor can compete with the story behind your first smoked cocktail of the night. Ask bartender Lauren Mote why it holds special significance – you’re guaranteed a crash course in history, a geographical orientation to the Scottish highlands and one hell of a science experiment.

Cocktail The Rhapsody

Bartender Lauren Mote

Tastes like… History soaked in a sharp, smart drink. Orange and juniper bitters, courtesy of Bittered Sling, round out the smoldering scotch, though it’ll take a few moments after that first silky sip for the underlying smoke to hit you. Don’t be fooled by The Rhapsody’s innocuous golden hue – there is rich, deep history here. The base, Ardbeg Ten Years Old, is the peatiest whisky of them all and distilled on the island of Islay, Scotland – but that’s not as far as Ardbeg travelled. Back in 2011, vials of the spirit were launched into space for the world’s coolest science experiment: testing the micro-gravity of whisky production. Just like its star ingredient, this cocktail doesn’t mess around.

What makes this cocktail magical? “There’s something so mysterious about this beautifully smoky Ardbeg whisky made in Islay. It’s pretty powerful to drink a spirit that you know has been there, a spirit that was first distilled in such an ancient place. It moves me to tears, thinking that what we do every day – people have been doing it for thousands of years before us. Whiskies instantly transport you back to a time and place.” – Lauren

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Christmas Cocktail Crawl IV: Smoke and Mirrors – Part II

Hyatt’s Gingerbread Lane opens for holiday strolls

Janet Boyhan of Everson, Washington, made this gingerbread creation. Carolyn Ali photo.

Janet Boyhan of Everson, Washington, made this gingerbread creation. Carolyn Ali photo.

The 24th annual Gingerbread Lane opened this week at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver, and there are more than just houses to feast your eyes on. Over 30 gingerbread creations are on display this year in the hotel’s lobby–and many show some very out-of-the-cookie box thinking.

The event, which is a fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish British Columbia & Yukon Canada, draws entries from local secondary schools, talented amateurs, and culinary professionals every year. Winners are declared in each category, and as one of the official judges, I know how difficult it is to single out the best.

You’ll have to go down to see which creations won, but part of the fun is that you can be a judge, too. With a donation on-site, anyone can cast of vote for their favourite house. Here’s a sample of what you’ll see.

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Hyatt’s Gingerbread Lane opens for holiday strolls