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Dishing With a Real Housewife of Vancouver

Reiko Mackenzie, of The Real Housewives of Vancouver

Where The Real Housewives of Vancouver’s Reiko Mackenzie Shops, Eats and Plays

By Caitlin Dawson

If variety is the spice of life, then Reiko Mackenzie is hot as habañero. Not only is The Real Housewives of Vancouver star an über-glamorous housewife and mom of two with a minivan, she’s also a martial artist with a collection of luxury cars.

Following in the Prada-clad footsteps of Orange County, New York, Atlanta, Beverly Hills, New Jersey and Miami, The Real Housewives is a no-holds-barred peek into the lives of five of Vancouver’s most affluent women. In true Housewives style, Mackenzie has a personal chef, but she lists Vancouver stalwart Don Francesco as her top spot for eats. Why? “They treat us like family,” she explains.

And there is nothing more important to Mackenzie than family. Mom of two young daughters aged eight and two, she loves fun family days out on Granville Island; the Kids Market is a big hit with the little ones.

But every busy mom needs a break. On a girls’ night, Mackenzie hits up Coast Restaurant for cocktails and Ensemble Tap for bites. On a recent visit, she and a friend ordered absolutely everything on the downtown spot’s tapas-style menu. “We were pretty full by the end of it,” she laughs, “but I was really impressed. I’ll take my husband there on our next date.”

When hunting down a head-turning outfit, Mackenzie pounces on designer fashions at Leone, The Room in The Bay and Holt Renfrew. As for local designers, she lists Jason Matlo as her go-to for chic apparel. Skinny jeans are one of her favourite looks. “I wear them every day. You can dress them up and dress them down, they’re comfy and they look sexy.” The style maven laments Vancouver’s placement on MSN’s list of top-ten worst dressed cities in the world. “I must not have been outside the day they surveyed,” she says. The culprit of the city’s sartorial sins? “Yoga, yoga, yoga wear!”

Even the most stylish fashionistas commit the occasional blunder, and when Mackenzie was in fourth grade, her favourite get-up was a yellow and red Esprit sweatshirt, complete with purple collar. Young Mackenzie’s accessory of choice? Mismatched earrings: one in the shape of a bucket, and the other in the shape of a spade. “Everybody thought it was really wild. My mom thought I was fashionable, and maybe I was at the time!”

Mackenzie insists that, despite the image, she is not a “spa girl.” But once every few months, she gets pampered at Vida Spa in the Sheraton Wall Centre, or at Willow Stream Spa in the Fairmont Pacific Rim. Mackenzie also has four hairstylists to tend to her follicular needs: one for blow drying, one for colour, one for cuts and one for emergencies. “It’s a bit complicated!” she says.

The glitzy housewife includes jaunts to Whistler among her favourite activities, as well as cycling along the Stanley Park seawall and, erm, visiting Wreck Beach, Vancouver’s only nude sand. “I’m kidding!” she adds with a laugh after dropping that bombshell.

Maybe you will catch a glimpse of Mackenzie, cruising to the sandy beaches of Spanish Banks in one of her covetable sports cars. Driving an exotic car worth half a million dollars is not for the shy type. “If I don’t want to be noticed, I won’t take the Ferrari. It’s always a showstopper,” she explains. “I take it when I want to show off!”

Mackenzie is taking her newfound fame in stride. “People in Vancouver don’t like to bother celebrities; I think we can carry on with our normal lives.” Time will tell, but one thing’s for sure: the city holds a special place in Reiko’s heart: “Vancouver will always be considered home for us.” The Real Housewives of Vancouver debuts April 4 on Slice.

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