If you’re visiting the capital region or looking for a date idea, check out my favourite date spots in Ottawa, from chic restaurants to rejuvenating spas.

el camino tacos best restaurant ottawa

1. El Camino

This Mexican restaurant often has hour-long lineups, but the tacos and cocktails are so worth it! My favourite item on their menu is the ox tongue taco. I usually go right when it opens on a weekday to get in and avoid the queue.

2. Soif

You need to cross the bridge to Gatineau, but it is so worth it. The wine bar is operated by the world’s top female sommelier, Véronique Rivest, and most of their bottles are natural wines can’t be found on the shelves of liquor stores. Oysters and prosecco make for the perfect, sensual date night.View Full Post

A couple weeks ago, my boyfriend played hooky for an afternoon and we escaped to Niagara Wine Country. A mere hour and a half on the highway (I loved the lack of traffic), we arrived in Niagara-on-the-Lake, with hunger pangs and a big thirst.

Niagara-on-the-Lake Restaurants

niagara-on-the-lake restaurants moules frites niagara-on-the-lake restaurants ravine winery

Our first stop was Ravine Winery Restaurant, a small vineyard in the heart of Niagara-on-the-Lake. The winery used to be a family farm, and it still is. They make most of their charcuterie on site, and I was excited to have a farm-to-table experience. We started with a cheese board which was absolutely fantastic. Featuring Quebec cheeses and fresh bread cooked on site (including gluten free bread for me!) it was an indulgent way to kick off our afternoon. Daniel had the Moules Frites which was massive and a great value (under $20), while I had the trout, which was underwhelming in comparison to the cheese plate. I sampled the Ravine Winery Sauvignon Blanc, which was so refreshing and unique.

niagara-on-the-lake restaurants ravine winery vineyard

I’m wearing a dress from Zara (similar here), shoes from Zara (similar gladiator sandals here), a fringe bag by Rebecca Minkoff, and sunglasses from Forever 21.
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wellington west ottawa (8 of 10)

I’ve lived in the Capital for a couple years for law school, and only recently visited the trendy Wellington West Ottawa neighbourhood for an afternoon of exploring… and dessert-hopping! The cute strip in Hintonburg is dotted with amazing bakeries, tea shops, coffee joints and designer furniture stores.

I shot these photos behind an art gallery just off Wellington street. I’m wearing a silk blouse c/o Joe Fresh, flare jeans from Abercrombie (similar flare jeans here), MAB tote by Rebecca Minkoff from Nordstrom, lavender mirrored Ray-Ban aviators and Sam Edelman booties.

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It’s remarkable how a few years ago, this neighbourhood was synonymous with crime and being pretty run down -maybe my neighbour, Vanier is next! It’s also remarkable how the area is not exactly gentrified either… all the storefronts are independents, giving you a truly authentic experience. Here are some highlights from my date in Wellington West, Ottawa.

Wellington West bakeries & sweets

Of course, a trip to Hintonburg wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Suzy Q donuts! Daniel indulged in the infamous bacon donut, while his favourite were the salted caramels. I cheated my gluten-free diet on a tiny piece of tea-infused London Fog donut, which was super moist.

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spa nordik (1 of 3)

Nordik Spa-Nature Review

A couple weekends ago, my boyfriend came up to Ottawa from Toronto to celebrate our six year anniversary. We wanted to remember the occasion with something special, and visited Le Nordik for a day of pampering and relaxation. I’m excited to share a Nordik Spa-Nature review if you’re thinking of visiting soon too. North America’s largest spa is located only 10 minutes from downtown Ottawa, in Chelsea, Quebec, nearby the gorgeous Gatineau Park.

Upon checkin, guests are given an electronic wristband to a coordinating locker. I loved this because it made it simple to leave everything and I didn’t have to worry about losing a card, key or combination. I changed into my bikini and fluffy robe and took a tour of the massive spa.

There were three main areas, the closest to the entrance, Borëa, featured the warmest hot tub (which was heavenly), a cold waterfall and Vaporo, which were aromatic steam Finnish saunas that diffused essential oils. I’m usually not a big fan of dry saunas, but the wet saunas with Eucalyptus or Orange essential oils were so heavenly and I could feel me skin getting softer, as my sinuses got relief too. After leaving the sauna, I dipped into the cold pool, while my boyfriend was braver and went under the freezing cold waterfall.

This is all part of the process of detoxifying the body. You start off hot (with a sauna), cool off in the cold water, and then spend about 15-20 minutes relaxing. I definitely spent more time than that  in the hot tub though!… View Full Post