Eat/Shop: Holts Café

The perfect pairing!   It’s all about convenience at…holts3

I mean really; what could be better than shopping and eating? And gone are the days of grabbing some french fries with gravy at a department store counter when you felt a bit faint or overwhelmed by too many buying decisions. Has anyone else ever done this before?


But when the shopping gets to be too much Vancouverites can tough it out at the new Holts Café located conveniently inside our elegant Holt Renfrew department store.  Vancouver now joins the Toronto Bloor Street location and Yorkdale Mall, Edmonton and Montreal stores in offering an ideal setting for everything from a business lunch to a mid-afternoon shopping break.

We have a shopping concierge too – to point you in the right direction (as if you need to be told where to go).

The café offers friendly service and menus filled with culinary delights.  They also have a fine brunch and High Tea (always a favourite).  Catering services are also available at all locations.  I think pretty much they have it all.  One-stop shopping…and eating.holts1holts2

737 Dunsmuir Street (downtown at Pacific Centre Mall)



By the glass or bottle: champagne, wine and other beverages.



SEARED HOKKAIDO SCALLOPS asparagus, XO sauce, scallion purée, radish, black truffle – $22,   HAIDACORE TUNA TATAKI sesame seeds, pickled roots, cucumber dashi, yuzu ice – $18, BURRATA toasted sourdough, roasted pears, torn basil – $20, WEST COAST OYSTERS raspberry mignonette, fresh horseradish, lemon – 3.50/each.


MAINS SEARED SOCKEYE SALMON Brussels sprouts, salsa verde, warm potato salad – $26

SALT SPRING ISLAND MUSSELS bacon, tomato, white wine, saffron, dill, grilled bread – $22

HAIDA GWAII HALIBUT brown butter pears, wild mushrooms, butternut squash, corn, chive beurre blanc – $32


WAGYU BURGER cheddar, watercress, smoked bacon, heritage – $19

LOBSTER & PACIFIC SHRIMP ROLL Japanese mayo, butter lettuce, avocado, cucumber, coriander – $23

Well you know where to find me



style – a shoe in

Just an assortment of practical shoes that caught my eye

These shoes brought the spark back to me
These shoes brought a twinkle to my eyes
Feathers & Fringe are in
Feathers & Fringe are in and we’re going steady with some Studs 
Love these Valentino Rock Star Stud heels and flats
Love these Valentino Rock Star Stud heels and flats
These would be perfect warm comfortable walking shoes
These would be warm comfortable walking shoes furever.  They put the fun back in FENDI.
Suddenly I feel like dining and dancing
I’m gettin my spark back – suddenly I feel like disco dancing
I would not be running very far, only fashionably on foot wearing these
I would not be running very far, only fashionably on foot wearing these
While you make up your mind relax, sit back and have a cocktail or two...then let your credit card do the rest
While you make up your mind relax, sit back and have a cocktail or two…then let your credit card do the rest
Where there's shoes, there's bags. The Fringe Festival is on.
Where there’s shoes, there’s bags. The Fringe Festival is on.

Glamour & Glitz – take me to the Ritz!

What’s your foot fetish this season?

Photos: d. king

Where: Nordstrom Vancouver

My shoe board on Pinterest:


Art & Fashion – the ART of Shopping

 Who says that art should be only relegated to museums and galleries?

20 ELEMENTS, Joel Shapiro

Many coffee shops and restaurants (even some hair salons) like to display art from unknown artists, and if we’re lucky we can sometimes find work from celebrated artists we know of, in select high end design/furniture shops. There’s Art and then there’s Art!

I enjoyed looking at Picasso’s while dining in a restaurant in Las Vegas.  Mind you, it was the Picasso restaurant at the Bellagio and yes, his original paintings are displayed throughout the restaurant.  An art gallery within a restaurant.  But renowned art in a shopping mall? When have you seen that?

We already know that art and fashion have  something in common.  But do we dare draw the line between art and shopping in a mall?

NorthPark Centre in Dallas, Texas is no ordinary mall.  I’ve been there and as far as shopping in a mall goes (a mall is not my favourite place to shop or hang out), it’s a cut above. This year the centre is celebrating their 50th anniversary, and in conjunction is hosting an exhibition this fall called “Art Meets Fashion.”

Lee Ann Torrans 
Lee Ann Torrans

Raymond Nasher, who built NorthPark, and his wife, Patsy, were big collectors and proudly displayed the works they acquired throughout the shopping concourse because they believed that art should be seen, and not just in museums and galleries. Their daughter, Nancy Nasher and her husband, David Haemisegger, have given their promise to ensure that this mission lives on. They’ve expanded the NorthPark collection and helped to transform the shopping centre into one of the most visited public gallery spaces in America. 

Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol

So… (apparently it’s not proper to start a sentence with so….but I say “so what?”) now you can buy your Louis Vuitton or Gucci with a side of Roy Lichtenstein or Frank Stella.   How nice is that?

    Anish Kapoor North Park
Anish Kapoor North Park

Now, if only every mall was like this…what a wonderful art world it would be!

What do you think about this?

Contemplating the shopping habits of dogs

It’s obvious that shopping is not high up on the list of what dogs love to do.  

First Stop. We hope she finds a card quickly.
First Stop. We hope she finds a card quickly so we can get outta here

These two were so well behaved but got bored when I went into almost every shop on 4th Ave. looking for a little something for myself a friend.  

Nope. Not so fast.
Hurry up….just grab any woofin card!

At this point they were not interested even when I modelled some outfits and asked for their opinion. 

If you don't make up your mind I may have to pee on this grass.
If you don’t make up your mind we may have to pee on this grass


If shopping was considered a major sport (isn’t it?) and entered into the Olympics I’d be a contender….and bring home the GOLD.

My husband says he will leave me if I don't stop shopping. God, I'm going to miss that man.
My husband says he will leave me if I don’t stop shopping. God, I’m going to miss that man.
MAX the blue healer says
MAX the blue healer says “hey mates, I think we deserve a beer for being such good sports”

FYI: here is a partial list of major dog-friendly businesses:

Clothing (unfortunately not the places I usually frequent)

Department Stores (This is why I prefer shopping in the States.  Not even H&M will allow dogs into their stores in Canada)

Hardware Stores

Pet Shops (it’s a good idea that pet shops allow pets)

Speciality Shops

Some of these stores even keep dog treats on hand for visiting pets.  So why don’t pet stores have treats on hand for visiting pet owners?

Where FOOD meets FASHION it’s always a Perfect Pairing: Burberry’s First Café

Burberry has launched its first ever café.burb1

The all-day eatery—named Thomas’s, after the brands founder Thomas Burberry—can be found within the newly expanded London flagship at 121 Regent Street.

The café will offer a menu of quintessentially British classics from afternoon tea to lobster with chips, and will be open seven days a week. Of course, it won’t just serve any produce: Thomas’s will offer the finest seasonal ingredients from small farmers and artisan suppliers across the UK.burb2

The flagship store expansion also sees the addition of a dedicated gifting area, featuring a seasonally updated collection of present-worthy products (everything from blankets, cushion covers and candles to stationery, board games and travel goods), which can all be personalised or monogrammed in a number of different ways. Purchases can be gift-wrapped at stations within the space, whereby customers will be able to choose everything from the ribbon to the greeting card.burb3

So when in London…indulge your appetite for both F&F

What’s next?  Will Dior & Chanel follow suit?

Jourdan Dunn and Naomi Campbell for Burberry’s for Spring/Summer 2015 campaign. burb4Representing both the old guard and the vanguard of English modeling, it doesn’t get much better than this.burb5Their seasonal video was shot by none other than Mario Testino.

Pictures courtesy of Burberry

Source (for café):

Forever PLAID

bon vivant:

More recipes to come.  I’ve been testing out some fresh originals (I like to try different things to make cooking an enjoyable experience – not just necessary but fun so it never becomes boring). Look for: the ultimate all-around dry rub (use it on everything from fish to tex-mex), a very pretty looking & great tasting Meyer Lemon Tart (from a restaurant in Paris), crazy delicious Danish-style cookies (with some unusual ingredients) and MORE.

Having said that, I want food day Tuesday to not be only recipes as you’ve seen from time to time.  I’m interested in food in general so I want to talk about the latest trends, productivity, farmers markets, what’s new on the food front, etc. and throw in a sprinkling of restaurant reviews.  It’s the whole experience. Also, flavoursome new ways to cook otherwise humdrum vegetables…like cauliflower and brussels sprouts (well to me they’re ordinary and bland but even these can be spruced up to become surprisingly edible).  You’ll see!

With this in mind:

It is the food which you furnish to your mind that determines the whole character of your life – Emmet Fox

December 26th – Boxing Day


Boxing Day always falls on the day after Christmas here in Canada.  The same goes for the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Kenya, South Africa, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago & Jamaica.  Now it’s almost the equivalent of “Black Friday” in the U.S.


Sadly what was once a day of relaxation and family time has turned into a crazy shopping day.  Sales used to start in January post-New Year but the desire to grab a bargain and for shops to off-load stock means many now start on Boxing Day.  Actually there are sales all year long now as many have turned to shopping online.  Boxing Day is also a day of Christmas present returns/exchanges and some purchases for the following year.boxingday3boxingday2

Traditionally it was when servants and tradespeople would receive gifts, known as a “Christmas box” from their bosses or employers the following day right after Christmas.

However you choose to spend this day, make it worthwhile.

Style: Hooray for HOLLYWOOD

Who can blame us for getting sidetracked in Hollywood, the SHOP?!hollywood1

On the way to the Vancouver Home & Design show my sister took me to one of her favourite little boutiques that is sure to become one of mine.  It is chock full with a wide variety of stuff we love. Here are some photos:

289 Davie Street FACEBOOK: hollywood boutique
289 Davie Street
FACEBOOK: hollywood boutique
like beauty products
like beauty products
Lingerie (on sale)
Lingerie (on sale)



cute perfumy evening bags
cute perfumy evening bags – Milan





Which of the perfume bottle evening bags do you like best?  

Re-Fresh Friday

Ready for the Weekend?  Happy 4th of July to my American friends and relatives.

Changes are good.  I decided to change Friday to a fuss free day (kind of like dress down Fridays) for something fresh & different.  It will still be personal but it might be a photo (or photos), a story or a suggestion from a reader or fellow blogger.  I won’t know until it’s Friday.


Today I want to begin with
something all us women/girls of all ages love…..BLING!

These photos I took from a little gem of a shop called “House of Jewels” where my last four pairs of earrings, a gold-fill bracelet and a really cute striped t-shirt came from.


Double click on photos to enlarge.house6house420140627_114115house5

my purchases
my purchases

Find out more about House of Jewels on the new web based series http://TheGab.TV please visit this link to view new collection by Irit Sorokan

Objects of Desire Board on Pinterest:

ART/Out There: a guide to choosing ART for your home  

Design, Art, Travel, Shopping – these are some of my favourite things!outthere3

Maria Gabriela Brito is an art collector and interior designer living in New York City and the author of Out There: Design, Art, Travel, Shopping ($60USD – Pointed Leaf Press).  outthere1The book is an insider’s guide to designing interiors and developing an art collection.  OUT THERE is a fresh and exclusive look behind the scenes of a passionate and exciting new design authority on mixing contemporary art with home decoration. It features highlights of Brito’s favorite contemporary artists, photographs of eight New York City apartments that she designed, and an extensive look at favorite galleries, shops, and hotels worldwide.

The following is taken from her interview by Danielle Pergament for Allure Magazine.

Rather than trying to match art to your furniture or throw pillows, look for work that you love but that is on the edge of your comfort zone in terms of brightness.  Color is the fastest way to bring life to a room.   

Go BIG.  The bigger the piece, the more it will transform a room.  Don’t shy away from a large piece. People tend to choose art that is too small for the space.  Take your cue from the furniture your art will hang near.  If your sofa is 70 inches long, go for a piece that’s 50 inches:  if the couch is 96 inches long, try something that measures 80 inches.  If you can’t find one really big image you like, you can cheat by placing two side by side.  The bottom of the frame should sit six to ten inches above the top of the furniture, and the closer the top edge is to the ceiling, the higher your ceilings will look.

Present it Properly.  If you’re buying art from a gallery, follow their framing or mounting suggestions, which usually reflects the artist’s wishes.  As a general rule, stretched canvases don’t need a frame, and large photographs look best mounted in acrylic or Plexiglas.  If the colors of the artwork are muted, consider a colorful frame to liven it up.

Advance your Placement.  Before you automatically hang a new piece in the living room, think about your entire home.  Instead of the predictable console and mirror in a foyer, imagine a huge, vibrant print/painting there.  I especially love to incorporate smaller pieces of art in unexpected places, like a bathroom or kitchen.  In the bedroom, go a bit more subdued – black-and-white photography, for example – to keep the room peaceful.outthere2

How to hang a gallery wall.  Hallways make great mini galleries, but it can be tricky to hang lots of pieces of varying sizes.  Here’s how to do it: take a piece of butcher paper the size of the wall (or tape paper panels together) and put it on the floor.  Arrange all the artwork you want to hang on the paper.  You can play around until it really looks right, then use a pencil to mark exactly where each should go.  Tape the paper to the wall and hang each piece on its designated mark.  Finally, rip the paper carefully.  Voilà  – your own gallery.