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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
My last day in New York wasn’t supposed to be my last day in New York. In fact, I should have been sitting in Evidence class, but was stuck in NYC after my plane had anti-freeze drip through the cabin door and a freak ice storm came right as we were about to take off. My boyfriend made his flight (note to self, stick with Canadian airlines!) while I had the chance to roam the streets for an extra day. I had the chance to take in the gorgeous Hiromi Asai show, and meet my friend Dasha, a Torontonian turned NYC expat to explore the Flatiron District.