FOOD COMA | Lunch at the Glade Sketch London

FOOD COMA | Lunch at the Glade Sketch London

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Lunch at the Glade Sketch London

Any visit to London should have a meal at Sketch included on the itinerary. Since the main attraction, The Gallery is in high demand, book a high tea well in advance for choice times! If not, a lunch at The Glade Sketch London is also a wonderful alternative. It’s what I opted for. But don’t worry, a trip to the bathroom includes walking through the infamous millennial pink Gallery room. Capture a perfect Instagram of the way to the loo! Keep scrolling for interiors worthy of a Wes Anderson movie. It’s truly an artist-conceived restaurant and is void of a bad angle.

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Cocktails Please!

One cannot deny the allure of a fantastically made cocktail! After wandering down the bustling Regent Street post Lush Cosmetics Spa London sailor inspired massage experience, I was ready for a refreshing drink. A nice way to continue my relaxing day! Their selection of tea also looked appealing, the Brits know their tea after all.

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Feed Me!

If the cocktails weren’t enough to convince you, then perhaps the brunch & breakfast menu might. It appears The Glade has gone through a mini redecoration and now offers breakfast. Their menu still looks phenomenal, as was my fish dish that I savored every bite of! Feel free to peep the latest Glade Breakfast menu offerings.

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Interior Goals

As I mentioned before, Sketch London is a gem of a restaurant in Mayfair. Their standards of decor meet the quality of food in perfect matrimony of visuals and flavours. I haven’t had the pleasure of visiting since The Glade’s mini facelift back in January, but the woodsy wallpaper is still a main feature. The rattan furniture has been replaced with some dreamy Victorian-esque loveseats and chairs. I’m excited to see it in person next time I’m in town! Fear not, the pod washrooms and the Gallery are still their wonderful charming selves.

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You can have lunch at The Glade Sketch London here:

9 conduit street
London, England

Sketch London – Instagram / Twitter / Facebook / Website

photographs – Sandy Joe Karpetz

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TIKI TOUR | The Sip ‘N Dip Lounge

TIKI TOUR | The Sip ‘N Dip Lounge

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TIKI TOUR | The Sip ‘N Dip Lounge

It was only a matter of time before I was at it again. First it was the Kon Tiki in Tucson, Arizona. Then it was the Shameful Tiki Room in Vancouver, BC. Now it’s time to take the tiki to the next level: The Sip ‘N Dip Lounge. Located in the O’Haire Motor Inn in downtown Great Falls, Montana, The Sip ‘N Dip Lounge has stayed true to its original kitsch beginnings when it opened in 1962. Piano Pat, a musical institution at the ol S&D gives nightly performances on her keyboards. The music is a great accompaniment to the mermaids swimming around in a pool behind the bar. Need I say more? Yes I do. They were even named the #1 bar on earth worth flying to by GQ Magazine in 2003! Keep scrolling for your tour of the Sip ‘N Dip Lounge:

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THE DRINKS

Expect the classics from any standard American bar but an added list of their signature tiki cocktails. What the drinks lack in inspiration, the ambience of the room more than makes up for. At the very least, it’s affordable and comes in a cute plastic cup (sponsored by Bacardi). I say this with love. All of these things only added to the charm of the place for me.

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The Entertainment

As I had mentioned before, Piano Pat if a musical fixture at the Sip ‘N Dip Lounge. She is perched in a central part of the tiki bar. She’s the first thing you see when you walk in and the only thing you’ll want to listen to while drinking some blue cocktail. Her cover of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” moved me in ways I still cannot explain. Her music paired with the flirty mermaids was perfection. I have never seen an underwater kiss blown with such zeal. I kept trying to enjoy their swimming prowess but was simultaneously hyper aware of what an exhausting job that must be. They were spectacular! Head on over to The Pretty Secrets Tiki Tour Instagram story highlights for some video action of Piano Pat and the mermaids.

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The Decor

If I am not mistaken, I would be bold and say that the decor has not changed at all since 1962. This brings me great pleasure that even the bar tables are still the seahorse patterned formica. The only thing I would bet has been replaced is the carpet. Like all good tiki bars, it has the straw thatched ceiling coverings, sassy velvet paintings, and lots of sealife lighting. That’s a recipe for success.

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You can find The Sip ‘N Dip Lounge at:

17 7th Street South
Great Falls, Montana

HOURS
Sunday
11:30am – Midnight
Monday – 11:30am – Midnight
Tuesday – Saturday 11:30am – 2:00am
(Check their Calendar for Mermaid Times & Mermaid Brunches!)

The Sip ‘N Dip Lounge – Instagram / Twitter / Facebook / Website

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FOOD COMA | Dinner at Pompey’s Grill

FOOD COMA | Dinner at Pompey’s Grill

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Dinner at Pompey’s Grill

Last week I wrote about my unreal stay at the Sacajawea Hotel. This week, allow me to let you experience the phenomenal dinner at Pompey’s Grill that I enjoyed immensely. The restaurant is an extension of the immaculately restored hotel. The interior feels rich with all the dark wood and plush booths. The dreamy decor set the tone for the whole meal experience. Keep scrolling to start drooling.

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The Ambience

A warm fire was steps away from our booth but I was too busy enjoying the most perfect lighting beaming from our menus. Yes, you heard me right. BEAMING LIGHT FROM THE MENUS! The menu’s were back lit. I have no idea what kind of sorcery is involved to make that happen, but I can confirm that the illumination was that of ring light / beauty mirror quality. Every restaurant with low lighting should take a lesson and do this to their menus because it was a great addition.

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Appetizers & Drinks

Our meal began with warm bread and three different spreads – a tapenades, garlic in oil, and an artichoke dip. That was followed by a surprise wine pairing and scallop with miso and mushrooms. It was easily one of the best scallops I have ever had in my life! Then came our order of flash fried calamari with cuttlefish ink. Delightful. Those were washed down easily with a flight of beers from local micro breweries. Montana: home of gorgeous scenery and good beer!

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The Main Event

The first sea scallop was not nearly enough. It only served as a sampler, an excuse for me to order them as a main for dinner. I regret nothing. This time they came crusted with mustard seed and every bite was heaven. They were the biggest and best sea scallops. Writing about them has me mentally considering if it’s feasible to drive 10 hours for a sea scallop. My brain is saying not, my heart is urging me otherwise. In addition to the mind blowing sea scallops, we had unbelievably juicy Anaheim peppers stuffed with oyster mushrooms, kale, tomatoes, and caramelized onions. Yum. Then came the seared Ahi Tuna and I could have cried. It was done perfectly and was complimented by the lentils, almonds, and winter greens. Double yum.

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You can have dinner at Pompey’s Grill at:

5 North Main Street
Three Forks, Montana
59752

Pompey’s Grill at The Sacajawea Hotel – Instagram / Twitter / Facebook / Website

GIFT GUIDE | Holiday Gift Ideas for a Man Friend

GIFT GUIDE | Holiday Gift Ideas for a Man Friend

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Holiday Gift Ideas for a Man Friend

As much as I love the process of coming up with a highly thought out gift, there isn’t always time for that.  Often the days leading up to Christmas do not lend to extensive planning when it comes to gifts. With that said, here are some holiday gift ideas for a man friend that are on both sides of the spectrum. Some are highly thoughtful and some are highly useful. It is a great move to strike a balance between the two.

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UNDIES

When talking about holiday gift ideas for a man friend, underwear should be in this conversation. This gift is guaranteed to be completely utilized and won’t be returned. SAXX is the way to go when you want both style and comfort in men’s underwear. I have it on good authority, aka a few men who are picky about their undergarments who swear by this brand. I can see why, the SAXX Vibe Boxer Brief is the softest pair of underwear I’ve ever felt. It’s a CLOUD. They’re also known for their ballpark pouch and anti-roll waistband, both of which are the definition of comfort. The SAXX Thermoflyte Tights are a great option too. The lining is incredibly soft and cozy! They’re perfect for a base layer for snowboarding or even as the main layer if when running in the winter. I was tempted to keep them!

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FANCY BOOZE

One cannot go wrong with fancy booze. Rather than getting the commercial brand liquors, why not dig a little deeper and find something craft? Canada is ripe with exceptional small batch distilleries and Dillon’s is a recent favourite I have come across. They have a selection of flavoured gins, interesting bitters, and other highly delicious spirits. Try their ginger or cranberry bitters for holiday inspired cocktails. Their unfiltered gin and absinthe are also a great addition to any growing liquor cabinet.

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BAR TOOLS

Naturally with fancy booze must come exceptional bar tools. When I want a cocktail set that is both attractive and includes every piece you could ever imagine, I turn to Crate & Barrel. There are so many options from the bar tool set in four different metal finishes or creating a personalized set piece by piece. In addition to the bar tool set, a stainless steel cocktail shaker and cocktail picks will round out the collection.

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WOODSY GROOMING

Pro tip: find holiday gift ideas for a man friend that you might actually want to use at their place as well. This could be a controversial notion but as long as it’s something they love too, then this is perfectly fine. All three of these products smell like a woodsy dream. Schmidt’s Cedarwood + Juniper soap smells like showering outside in the Pacific Northwest. Lush’s Smuggler’s Soul gorilla perfume has sandalwood base notes and is also very woody smelling. Lastly, Kevin.Murphy Free.Hold is a styling paste that smells of bergamot, so dreamy.

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CUSTOM EMBROIDERY FROM LEVI’S

Fact: a customized denim jacket is the most thoughtful gift. At least that rings true in this list of holiday gift ideas for a man friend. Across Canada (and the usa) Levi’s have opened Tailor Shops. This is the second trip I have made to the Levi’s Tailor Shop West Edmonton Mall location for embroidery. This time, it wasn’t for myself. Inspired by my favourite man friend’s Sun tarot card, Kaye was able to recreate the particular card on the back of a black Levi’s denim jacket. The result: a one of a kind gift! For more information on that, check out this post about my experience getting Customized Denim at the Levi’s Tailor Shop Edmonton.

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FLOWER SUBSCRIPTION

Lastly, gender roles are meant to be flipped around whenever the opportunity presents itself. Send your man friend flowers! Better yet, send him a flower subscription from Them Blooms! They’re an Albertan florist who delivery almost everywhere in the province. This month’s bouquets include: cedar, pine, fir, cones, skimmia, ilex berry, BC roses, and white stock. It smells like forest heaven; the box is so fragrant when first opened.

photographs – Sandy Joe Karpetz

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FOOD COMA | Dinner at the Drake Devonshire

FOOD COMA | Dinner at the Drake Devonshire

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Dinner at the Drake Devonshire

Out east, there’s a thing called “the Drake effect.” The boutique hotel has the power to transform communities around it. When I lived in Toronto, The Drake Hotel was so far down Queen West, I considered it to be the end of the line. We went anyway to see the parade of musicians playing there. I saw Makeout Videotape, Mac Demarco’s band before he became his name, the first time I went. It was worth the trek. That basement venue was intimate and dark – both things you want as a university student. I digress. Walk by now and the seediness of the area has disappeared. They even have an adorable general store! That magic is not just in Toronto alone. Enter Drake on the lake, their property in Prince Edward County. While we didn’t spend the night, we did have dinner at the Drake Devonshire. Here’s what you can expect:

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THE AMBIENCE

To begin with, the stunning 13 room boutique hotel in Wellington, one of the many adorable towns that make up Prince Edward County, opened its doors in 2015. Originally, it was the estate of W.P. Niles, owner of the the W.P. Niles Seed Company and Wellington Electric Light and Power Company. The property is steps away from Lake Ontario and the whole restaurant overlooks it. There is not one bad seat in the house! There is a piece of art in every corner, you will never run out of intriguing things to look at. In addition to the lovely surrourndings in the mansion turned hotel/restaurant, the servers are extremely friendly.

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THE DRINKS

Prince Edward County is wine country. Naturally, the wine list at the Drake Devonshire was impressive. It even included a selection from local wineries in the area. It doesn’t end there, however, their cocktail list is just as great. We had two standout favourites. The first one is the Strawberry Sake Spritz, a delightful blend of strawberry infused sake, combined with lemon, ginger, and sparkling wine (pictured above). Our second choice, and a great non-alcoholic option is the Wanderlust which included grapefruit, mint, cucumber, cranberry, lemon, and seltzer. Can confirm is was very refreshing.

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THE FOOD

To begin with, the food can be perfectly described in one word: yum. The dinner started with a charcuterie spread of cheese, fruit, and bread. Then the oysters arrived. At which point I swear I blacked out from seafood bliss. Just kidding! We proceeded to order a bunch of sides because we could not resist roasted vegetables. Our favourite dish was unanimously the Miso Cauliflower topped with black garlic pest, creme fraiche, cashews, pecorino, and cilantro. The brussel sprouts were grilled to perfection and topped with house kimchi and pumpkin seeds. Without a doubt, definitely order the truffle fries should you stop by for a cocktail, you will not regret it. But maybe just have Dinner at the Drake Devonshire while you’re at it! Here is the Devonshire’s Dinner Menu so you can start drooling and planning now.

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THE DETAILS

The devil may be in the details, but dinner at the Drake Devonshire has the details on lockdown. I got lost looking at the art that was in every corner. Waiting for a table? No problem. Play table tennis in their games room to pass the time or take some goofy shots in the photobooth. Or forget dinner and buy a s’mores package to enjoy on the lake around their fire pit. Without a doubt, every corner of this property is Instagram worthy. They even have a neon vacancy sign that I immediately fell in love with.

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You can have dinner at The Drake Devonshire at:


The Drake Devonshire – Instagram / Twitter / Facebook / Website

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FOOD COMA | The Welcome Diner

FOOD COMA | The Welcome Diner

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My love of the past run deeps. So deep in fact, I made my sister walk in the desert heat to check out a restaurant that I had seen a cute photo of on Instagram. I steered us down the wrong road by walking on a bike path along a freeway (I swear I usually have a great sense of direction) and finally got us on the right road just as we were both becoming very hangry. I often am swayed by a great photo on the ‘gram, that’s how I discovered Sketch in London. Happily, I am able to report that the majority of my quests that spawned from an attractive photograph have turned out pleasant and have been well worth it. The Welcome Diner is another one of those success stories.

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The building, a classic example of Googie architecture, was fully restored by The Welcome Diner in 2016 and if you happen to walk in the right direction, it’s very close to the Hotel Congress. If you’re into classic cars with futuristic design, the space age, and anything midcentury modern, you will definitely be able to appreciate the restoration and design of this diner! It was originally built for the Sambo’s Restaurant chain by Ronald Bergquist in 1964. It is everything I want out of a sixties diner – chrome for days, spacious booths, and the friendliest staff around.

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Let’s talk about the food. THE FOOD! It was all so delicious! I suppose that’s what happens when a diner has a farm-to-table ethos and scratch cooks everything. Of course I had to try the biscuit eggs benedict – can confirm it was yum. Katie had the roasted vegetables which looked like the perfect southwestern breakfast fare. She confirmed it was also yum. Will we return? Short answer: EMPHATICALLY YES.

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No classic diner decor would be complete without a few black & white photographs from the original restaurant. Bonus points if those photos happen to be of a streaker who looks like a 70s dad.

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You can find The Welcome Diner Broadway at:

902 E Broadway Blvd
Tucson, AZ
85719

HOURS
Sunday – Thursday
8:00 am — 10:00 pm
Friday – Saturday – 8:00 am — 12:00am

The Welcome Diner – Instagram / Twitter / Facebook / Website