Cocktails, Canapes & Croquet make for a ‘wicket’ day at Fairmont Empress

Where better than the iconic Fairmont Empress in Victoria to host a leisurely garden party and croquet tournament.

On August 26, 2018, don your best summer garden party, cricket-friendly attire and join MC Joe Perkins of CTV Vancouver Island as the Fairmont Empress brings the beloved pastime to the front lawns of the restored grand hotel.  Just as the hotel has gone under a $60+million rebirth to bring new life to the hotel’s rooms and interior spaces, the social scene is returning to the hub of Victoria’s Inner Harbour.  Like the social affairs of the colonial era, the verdant front lawns of Fairmont Empress, have been transformed to roll out a civilized Croquet tournament. The lush flower gardens Victoria is famous for, bloom around comfortable lounge seating, as the participants and guests enjoy culinary treats and craft cocktails from the Fairmont Empress team of chefs and bartenders, creating an ‘only in Victoria’ afternoon.

No experience is required to participate in the tournament, croquet attire consists of grass friendly footwear (flats, sandals, or wedges, no heels on the lawn), a sun hat to shield your eyes, and your smartest summer outfit to  impress and intimidate the competition. Prizes are awarded for best dressed croquet team.  If you don’t want to play, spectator tickets are available also.

Register, on Eventbrite, as a team (two people), or as a single to be paired with a teammate at the event:
$89 per person plus tax & gratuity after August 1, 2018 at 5pm (must be 19+ to attend)

Included in ticket price:

  • Pimm’s Welcome cocktail
  • Passed canapes, finger tea sandwiches, sweet bites.
  • Access to social lawns including lounging, games, food and cash bar
  • Minimum of two rounds of croquet play on the front lawns of The Empress


Get Outside To The JFL NorthWest Block Party

JFL NorthWest – Vancouver’s Comedy Festival is well underway bringing laughs to our long winter.  Now with spring around the corner JFL NorthWest challenges us to take the comedy outside,  The JFL NorthWest Block Party takes us to the street at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza on Wednesday, March 7 to Friday, March 9 from 5:00pm to 10:00pm each day. 

JFL NorthWest Block Party patrons will be entertained by various Just For Laughs stand-up specials plus Just For Laughs GAGS, presented by Tim Hortons, on the big outdoor screen and will be treated to performances by Coldwater Road’s Patrick Spencer and music by Adrienne featuring Drix. Audiences can expect a few surprise special guests as well as meet and greets with Victor, the Just For Laughs mascot!

In addition to the outdoor entertainment, JFL NorthWest Block Party-goers can look forward to tasty food truck treats from The Reef Runner and Cheese Street Grill along with complimentary beverages from Tim Hortons, and libations from Sleeman Breweries and Hopping Mad Cider in the beer garden. The JFL NorthWest Block Party will also feature an LED Games Tent for anyone wanting to satisfy their ping pong and foosball needs.

JFL NorthWest runs until March 10th, bringing 100+ performances to the stages and venues, as well as the Vancouver Just For Laughs Film Festival running in conjunction with the comedy festival.

For tickets, schedules and more information visit

EAT.DRINK.PLAY at Firehall Arts Centre June 22, 2017

On June 22, 2017, the Downtown Eastside’s Firehall Arts Centre celebrates its neighbourhood with EAT.DRINK.PLAY.  Toasting the incredible food and drink happening in the Firehall’s backyard, the annual event brings together the area’s finest restaurateurs, craft brewers, small-batch distillers, and performers for an eclectic summer evening of sampling and sharing.

“For 35 years, the Firehall has been producing performing arts in this wonderful heritage building at the corner of Cordova and Gore. Our neighbourhood is so full of great places to eat and we wanted to let our audiences know about them,” explains Donna Spencer, Firehall Artistic Producer, “so we decided three years ago to create an event that would celebrate their contributions to the neighbourhood and invite these businesses to introduce themselves to our audiences by sharing their culinary expressions. The event has quickly become an annual favourite with everyone who attends providing a perfect capstone to the end of our programming season and a refreshing way to start the summer.”

Circle Game photo: Tyler Branston

Attendees will discover the diversity of delectable treats and libations while enjoying performances from the cast of the Firehall’s recent hit Circle Game: Reimagining of the Music of Joni Mitchell, as they roam through the heritage building bidding on some amazing silent auction items. 

Some of the local restaurants contributing tastes of signature dishes include neighbourhood hot spots The Diamond, Deacon’s Corner, Clough Club, Tuc Craft Kitchen, Kofta Meatball Kitchen, Save On Meats, The Pint, and Cadeaux Bakery, among others.  

Local brewers Powell Brewery, Big Rock Brewery, Andina Brewing Company, Strange Fellows Brewing, Strathcona Beer Company, and Steamworks will be here while Odd Society Spirits returns to serve up samples of their signature vodka and gin.  

EAT.DRINK.PLAY takes place June 22, 2017 at 7pm at Firehall Arts Centre tickets are available online now.


Dine Out Vancouver Festival – West End Brunch Crawl 2017

The 2017 Dine Out Vancouver Festival wrapped up this weekend and before it concluded, another pair of neighbourhood Brunch Crawls, presented by Vancouver Foodster.  This week saw a tour of Robson Street / West End Brunch Crawl on Saturday and Commercial Drive Brunch Crawl on Sunday.

We stepped out on a snowy Saturday morning to take in the Robson Street / West End Brunch Crawl.  Beginning with a visit to Papparoti to pick up our Brunch Crawl registration cards and then to get the day started with Papparoti’s Brunch Crawl offering.

If Papparoti was on my way to work, I’d be starting my day this way a lot more often. They served a pair of their flavoured fresh from the oven Rollies; Coconut and Choco Banana filled. Accompanying my pastries was a Signature Karak Tea, like a light, milky chai tea. The Tea, Papparoti Pastries and a paper would be a perfect leisurely weekend morning but we had many more places to visit so off we went.

Down the street, one of our favourites, De Dutch Pannekoek House had the griddle on serving a sweet or savoury pannekoeken.  Edam and de Bakon made a meaty, melty combination for me, if sweet was in mind, a strawberry topped pannekoeken was the other option. Sweet or Savoury is always a hard decision, even harder when facing the full De Dutch menu!

On the corner of Robson and Denman, PuntoPasta introduces Brunch Crawlers to the newest addition to their menu, pizza. A natural fit for an Italian cafe, PuntoPasta offered a trio of pizza toppings; Margherita, Veggie or Carbonara. Equally at home on pasta as on oven baked dough. Served alongside was a cup of fresh brewed Lavazza Italian Coffee.

Further down Denman a collaborative effort at Ritual Vancouver, the comfort food cafe where Commodity Juicery serves their fresh cold-pressed juices and smoothies.  Ritual served a rich, and flavourful dish; Yam Of Your Dreams; a roasted, sweet caramelized yam topped with hearty pulled pork.  On the side, an Upbeet Smoothie from Commodity was a blend of pineapple, cantaloupe, mango, beets, banana, coconut, ginger, dates and apple juice.

Finally, we visited Styo Dessert the waffle and smoothie cafe offered a Ham & Cheese pair with a Blueberry croissant style waffle for sweet and savoury plate.  To keep our morning energy up, an Antioxidant Berry dairy-free smoothie completed our tastes and wrapped up the Brunch Crawls for 2017.

We can’t wait until next year to see what the neighbourhoods have to offer.  If you can’t wait until then, check out some of the other Vancouver Foodster events coming up like; Pizza Palooza – February 22nd, or the 5th Anniversary Downtown Tasting Plates on March 8th.

NYE Vancouver 2016

Fireworks_IMG_0183It’s been years since Vancouver has had public event to ring in the New Year. After an attempt last year was postponed due to budget constraints, 2016 marks the debut of NYE Vancouver, a free public event centred at Jack Poole Plaza.

Inspired by the annual Canada Day celebrations, Jack Poole Plaza, Canada Place Way and Canada Place concourses will be filled with revellers.

NYEVAN_2015-12-28 21.33.27Starting at 6pm, the Main Stage hosted by 102.9 The Peak will be featuring free family entertainment and concert performances all evening. The schedule for the Main Stage is:

6pm: DJ with MC Welcome
6:30: First Nations Welcome
6:35: DJ
7:30: Kin Fung Athletic Group
8pm: Peak Performance Winners: Bed of Stars
8:40: Vancouver Okinawa Taiko
9pm: Early Evening Fireworks
9:15: The Matinee
9:55: We Are The City
10:40: Dear Rouge
11:25: Current Swell
12am: Midnight Countdown Fireworks.

The short 9pm early evening fireworks, coinciding with the Eastern Time Zone’s midnight countdown, allows those with youngsters or anyone needing to get on their way to bed or another event.
The main event Midnight Countdown Fireworks last 11 minutes and closed up NYE Vancouver with a bang.  While the ticketed all-ages CF Pacific Centre Viewing Lounge is sold out, there’s great places around the Canada Place / Convention Centre waterfront for the public to view.

With a dry forecast, it’s looking like a perfect night to head out and enjoy some of the free family at NYE Vancouver. Hopefully we’ll see the start of a new Vancouver tradition.

Follow #NYEVan on social media to see what’s happening during the night! TwitterInstagram: @NYEVancouver and

Van Foodster Noodle Mania 2016 – January 6th

noodlemania_1_aAfter Christmas, food might not be on your mind but there’s still a few days left to get advance tickets for Vancouver Foodster’s 3rd Noodle Mania food event on January 6, 2016

A roaming food tour exploring flavours of the world through noodles. From Thai, French-Vietnamese, Italian, Western and more, most cultures have a noodle dish and Noodle Mania 2016 will help you discover them.

Starting off at Platform 7 on Broadway, Noodle Maniacs will collect their Noodle Mania tasting card and set off to discover the noodle dishes created by the participating chefs.

Restaurants committed so far are;

Platform 7:  2300 West Broadway

U & I Thai: 3364 Cambie Street

Linh Cafe: 2836 West 4th Avenue

Grotto Italian: 1785 Davie Street

Bubble Waffle Noodle House: 2279 West 41st Avenue

Advance Tickets are available, until January 3, 2016, for $40+fees from Eventbrite. Last minute tickets are $55+fees



Opening acts for Evening with Jon Bon Jovi

EveningwithJBJYou’ve probably heard by now that Stanley Park is playing host to a memorable outdoor concert this summer.  August 22nd,  a rare performance by Jon Bon Jovi and the Kings of Convenience will fill Brockton Field for the performers’ only show together anywhere this year.
If that isn’t enough music,  promotor has announced the addition of Canadian singer Andrew Cole to open the show and entertain the early audience.  Cole, who is also producing an anti-bullying documentary, has already announced that he will be joined onstage by guitarist Robbie Krieger, the last surviving member of The Doors.  He has also hinted that there could be other ‘surprise guests’ during the concert, so concert-goers will have to arrive early to find out who may show up.

An Urban Forest Concert the Evening with Jon Bon Jovi and the Kings Of Suburbia, plus special guests Andrew Cole and Robbie Krieger, concert takes place at Brockton Field in Stanley Park on August 22, 2015.
Tickets are on sale now via Tickets Tonight