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Halifax

Hot Dining in July!

By Janice Hudson

 

THE BIG SCOOP

DeeDees-Dennis-Evans-003

In the North End on Cornwallis Street, Dee Dee’s Ice Cream has been leading the Halifax charge for artisanal ice cream made with locally sourced ingredients like rhubarb, blueberries and Haskap berries. With its large historic windows, colourful décor and cozy booths, the place has an old-fashioned ice cream-parlour vibe. At Bishop’s Landing on the Halifax Waterfront, handmade gelato is the star of the Italian desserts at Ristorante a Mano and the Bicycle Thief. Both spots offer daily handmade gelato and sorbetto flavours, as well as gelato desserts based on Old World classics. You can also order gelato by the scoop at the counter.

 

 

SOUL FOOD

Bearlys-photo-11For over 25 years, Bearly’s House of Blues on Barrington Street has hosted great live blues and jazz. There are shows almost every night at this busy venue: on Sundays, join local music buffs for Bearly’s Blues Jam; on Tuesdays, a different guest band takes the stage. With Ace Burger at the helm in the kitchen, gourmet burgers and hand-cut fries are the specialty.

Editor’s Choice

Tucked behind The Halliburton Hotel on MorrisGarden-2006_b
Street on one of Halifax’s most historic blocks
is an oasis of flowers and ornamental trees. Tall
elms provide shade and there’s even a bubbling
fountain. The Stories courtyard is open Tuesday
through Saturday from 4pm to 7pm. Enjoy flavourful
menu items from Chef Scott Vail featuring
fresh local ingredients.

 

Local Favourite

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A North End landmark since 1932, Smith’s Bakery & Café on Agricola Street is Halifax’s oldest independent bakery, offering all manner of breads, cookies, cakes, biscuits and squares, freshly baked on-site. Smith’s uses the same Hobart mixer (a large commercial mixer) from that era for its white cake. Pop in for breakfast or lunch and choose from hearty sandwiches, chowders and potpies, and enjoy your meal among the scent of freshly baked bread.

 

SOUTHERN COMFORT

Boneheads1

– At Boneheads BBQ on Barrington Street, authentic Southern flavours abound in barbecue classics like brisket, pulled pork and baby-back ribs, all hand-rubbed with spices and slow-roasted

– Woody’s Bar-B-Q in Hector Gate, Dartmouth Crossing has a menu of authentic Southern classics, from baby-back ribs to pulled pork, among much more. On Mondays, kids eat for free from 3pm to close. Recently renovated, the restaurant now has a children’s play area.

SERIOUS ABOUT SEAFOOD

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For a waterfront view and fresh seafood galore, Salty’s on Upper Water Street is hard to top. The seafood offerings cover all of the bases: crab cakes, lobster, bacon-wrapped scallops and more.

Perched on the end of Cable Wharf, Murphy’s The Cable Wharf is another must-visit spot for seafood connoisseurs. The big patio with ocean on three sides is an ideal spot to while away a sunny afternoon while noshing on fresh mussels and seafood chowder.

Concierge Q&A for July

2-(2)

Trevor MacRae is an executive host and concierge at Casino Nova Scotia. A Cape Breton native, he came to Halifax to study at Dalhousie University and made the city his home. He recently become a professional affiliate with Les Clefs d’Or Atlantic and has been part of the organization for two years.

What’s your pick for July’s can’t-miss event for visitors?
I always look forward to the Halifax International Jazz Festival. It’s a music lover’s paradise: jazz, blues, R&B and much more! It’s the oldest jazz festival in Atlantic Canada, celebrating 29 years of worldclass music from July 8 to 12 at 14 stages around Halifax.

What’s your favourite patio for relaxing on a summer afternoon?
One of my favourite patios in the city is at The Old Triangle Irish Alehouse on Prince Street. A block away from the waterfront, it’s a great spot to soak up the sun, sample some delicious Irish-inspired food and take in the Celtic atmosphere.

What’s Halifax’s best venue for live music?
I’m a music enthusiast and my favourite spot for live music in Halifax is The Carleton bar and grill on Argyle Street. It won three East Coast Music Awards for venue of the year, which is a huge feat with so many great music venues on the East Coast.

If you only had one day in Halifax, how would you spend it?
I would start the day off by going to the Halifax Seaport Farmer’s Market. There you will find everything from fresh local meat, fruits and vegetables to handmade local crafts and jewellery.

While in the South End of Halifax, I would take a stroll through Point Pleasant Park, one of the most picturesque parks in the city with magnificent views of the harbour. The afternoon would entail a tour on the Harbour Hopper, which is an amphibious vehicle that will provide a historical tour of much of downtown Halifax.

Afterwards, I would go to dinner on the waterfront at The Bicycle Thief, capping the night off by sampling some of the exceptional craft beers that the Maritimes have to offer at the Stubborn Goat on Grafton Street.

What’s one meal every visitor to Halifax should try?
If you are visiting the East Coast you should partake in some of our fabulous seafood. I would suggest the Seafood Tower at the Agricola Street Brasserie. The dish has an assortment of seafood and is definitely one of the best meals in the city.

Hot shopping in July!

By Suzanne Rent

BEAUTY BRANDS

Aritzia-2Brand new to Halifax, Aritzia in the Halifax Shopping Centre is the go-to place for fashionistas who love excellent design, top quality and great prices. Featured brands include Talula, Community, Le Fou, La Notte, The Castings and Auxiliary.

Aritzia-4

 

CATCH OF THE DAY

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For a fresh feed of lobster (live, packed for travel, or boiled and ready for a picnic), visit Fisherman’s Market International Inc. on the Bedford Highway. The bountiful Atlantic seafood also includes snow crab, halibut, oysters, scallops, shrimp or other delicacies from the Atlantic. There’s also smoked salmon or mackerel, and novelty items such as hats, mugs and hoodies. If you’re headed home, drop into Clearwater at Halifax Stanfield International Airport to pick up some freshly packed lobster for the trip. Grab all the condiments and accessories you need for a delicious souvenir to enjoy when you arrive home. (Also an ideal gift for house-sitters.)

 

FOR WHAT ALES YOU

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The Garrison Beer Store located at Garrison Brewing on
Marginal Road is the place to pick up one of the acclaimed brews from a
granddaddy of the Halifax craft-beer scene. Find bottled beer, growlers
and party kegs. Or get a “Mixed 6” of your favourite flavours. You can
even try a sample before you purchase.

At the Prop Shop inside Propeller Brewing Company on
Gottingen Street or Windmill Road, find all the beer gear you need, such
as hats, t-shirts, hoodies, and glasses. And of course, there’s beer too, in
single-serve bottles, six packs, bombers and growlers.

 

 

OFF TO MARKET

Seaport

With more than 250 vendors, the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market on Marginal Road has the best offerings of the season and the city in one stop. There is fresh produce from local farms, fish caught from local waters, Nova Scotian wine and craft beer, and wares produced by artisans from around the province. Just a short Halifax Transit ferry ride away from downtown Halifax is the Alderney Landing Farmers’ Market on Ochterloney Street in Dartmouth. Open Saturday and Sundays, this indoor market offers everything from baked goods and produce, arts and crafts and homemade fudge.

 

FLOWER POWER

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Bring the best blossoms of summer inside with an arrangement from Props Floral Design in The Hydrostone neighbourhood on Young Street. Or sign up for a class to learn to make your own custom creations. For flowery summer gift ideas, visit My Mother’s Bloomers (page 70) in Spring Garden Place (page 73) on Spring Garden Road. Owner Neville MacKay brings to his store a lively, colourful and fresh array of blossoms that can be made into custom arrangements for any occasion. Choose from roses, orchids, lilies, or any flower of the season.

Editor’s Choice

The Pier 21 Gift Shop inside the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 on Marginal Road carries a lot more than travel souvenirs of the city. Choose one of the many books or DVDs that share the stories of immigrant life and Canada’s “gateway of hope.” Exclusive gifts include a sculpted and hand-painted authentic re-creation of Pier 21 by Catherine Karnes, plus “Pier into your past” commemorative plate.Pier-21-3

Celebrate Summer

Halifax’s festival season heats up with music, art, culture, food and more

By Trevor J. Adams

Images-From-Tattoo_3265-06

A busy month of festivals and cultural celebrations begins with the Scotia Festival of Music. Continuing through June 7 at venues around the city, this event is a must for serious music fans, showcasing the best in Chamber music. This year, the lineup includes coductor Kenneth Woods, cellist Denise Djokic, violinist Giora Schmidt and pianist Simon Docking. A gala matinee concert at the Dalhousie Arts Centre on June 7 concludes the festival, featuring works by Elgar, Beethoven and Benjamin. Concurrently, Halifax’s vibrant Lebanese community celebrates its roots with Cedar Festival from June 4 to 7 at Our Lady of Lebanon Parish on Joseph Howe Drive. Festivities include a special mass, musical performances, art exhibitions, food tastings, games, dancing and more. June also sees the return of one of Halifax’s biggest and most popular festivals. Running this year from June 11 to 14, Halifax Greek Fest always attracts thousands to Saint George’s Greek Orthodox Church on Purcell’s Cove Road.June---Antique-Car-Show_admirers Lively music and dancing abound, along with cultural exhibitions and Greek cuisine aplenty. This year’s schedule features the Poseidon live band, a screening of FIFA Women’s World Cup soccer (Greece vs. Colombia), Greek language classes, a sommelier-hosted Greek wine and food tasting, and more. That same weekend, Memory Lane Heritage Village in Lake Charlotte hosts the Father’s Day Antique Car Show. Scheduled for June 21, (rain date June 29), the show is a rite of Father’s Day. There are dozens of lovingly restored classic cars, plus live entertainment and Kub Kar races. This month also features one of Halifax’s longest-running summer events: the Nova Scotia Multicultural Festival. Running from June 26 to 28 at the Halifax Seaport Harbourwalk at the corner of Terminal and Marginal roads, the festival showcases Nova Scotia’s many traditional-dancers2cultural communities with music, food, art, cultural exhibitions and more. The Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo closes out the month. Running from June 30 to July 7 at Scotiabank Centre on Duke Street, it’s the world’s largest annual indoor show of its type. The lineup includes an exciting mix of military and civilian drill teams, bands and performers from around the globe. This year’s highlights include the Halifax debut for Sweden’s Home Guards Band of Eslöv, His Majesty the King’s Guard Band and Drill Team of Norway, the Gym Wheel Team Taunusstein of Germany and the Paris Police Gymnastics Team.

 

 

June Hot Dining

By Janice Hudson

PATIO PERFECTION

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• Catch some rays on the rooftop patio at Your Father’s Moustache on Spring Garden Road. The fun and lively space has beer aplenty on tap, including three signature brews from the RockBottom Brewpub downstairs.
• Downtown, head to The Maxwell’s Plum on Grafton Street for a cold pint on the sunny patio. The landmark bar has the city’s largest selection of draft beer, including top selections from Maritime craft breweries like Halifax’s Garrison Brewing and Cape Breton’s Big Spruce.
• For fabulous views of Halifax harbour, check out Gahan House in the Historic Properties. This popular Prince Edward Island brewpub recently opened its first Nova Scotia location, serving its own line of handcrafted beers. Try the Beach Chair lager for a refreshing summer sip.

Editor’s Choice

Steak9246Two downtown restaurants have once again earned the prestigious CAA/AAA Four Diamond Award.
Recognized for the eighth year in a row, Onyx on Argyle Street is a sleek resto bar showcasing local ingredients in delicious globally inspired recipes. Cut Steakhouse on Lower Water Street has received the award every
year since opening in 2008. The menu boasts premium beef (dry-aged and butchered on-site) with
an artful wine list and inventive sides.

 

 

VEGGIES FIRST

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• A leader in Halifax’s emerging vegan scene, Envie touts a menu of hearty meals like vegan ribs, grilled cheese and indulgent raw desserts. Catering to dietary restrictions, the menu is 90 per cent gluten free. Find the stylish restaurant on the corner of Agricola and Charles streets in the North End.
• In the West End on Windsor Street, Wild Leek has made-from-scratch vegan comfort food. Chef Kirsten Haggart whips up recipes like mac’n cheese, seitan sandwich, and the popular coconutbacon “CBLT.” Wash it down with a fresh-squeezed juice and save room for gourmet cupcake.

 

CREATIVE CORNERSTONEGio-Tea--024---Version-2

Downtown at Gio on
Market Street, Chef Bee Choo
Char gives traditional recipes
an inventive new twist. Her
delicious version of poutine
includes fried polenta fingers
topped with duck confit, red
wine jus and blue “Cheez
Whiz.” Open for lunch and
dinner, Gio has a sommelierchosen
wine list plus creative cocktails and martinis.

 

SLICE OF SUCCESS

_MG_4104Specializing in wood-fired pizza, Morris East won bronze in the non-traditional category at the recent International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas. Its Nova Scotia-inspired winning pie featured pears poached in Blomidon Estate Baco Noir and prosciutto from Halifax’s Ratinaud Charcuterie. Visit in downtown Halifax on Morris Street and in Bedford on Larry Uteck Boulevard.

June Hot Shopping

By Suzanne Rent

HOMESPUN STYLE

Lost cod 1

The Lost Cod in the Historic Properties on Lower Water Street will help you create clothes with Nova Scotia-inspired designs. Pick from a stock of logo designs that represent a vast swath of Nova Scotia’s commercial and cultural past (including beloved throwback sports logos like the Nova Scotia Voyageurs, Sydney Millionaires and Halifax Windjammers). Then, choose a garment, size and colour and you have your own summer style inspired by the province’s rich history. Great for gifts, too.

MADE FOR MEN

Duggers

 

• Men looking to update their summer wardrobe can stop into Duggers on Spring Garden Road. Find exclusive brands such as Hugo Boss, Canali, Coppley, Sand and Van Gils. Or visit D2 on the main level for the latest summer trends in men’s style.
• At Colwell’s in the Historic Properties on Lower Water Street, find all the basics such as dress shirts, pants, sports jackets, jeans and t-shirts.

 

 

 

 

FRESH FASHIONj&r-grimsmo-1-copy

• J&R Grimsmo Boutique on Barrington Street carries gorgeous styles for women, all ethically manufactured, made with sustainable materials and processes, but some of the best designers in North America. Find dresses, tops and bottoms and lots of accessories for any summer outing.
• For casual styles for those active shoppers on the go, try Olsen Europe in Park Lane and Mic Mac Mall. Produced in Hamburg, Germany, these styles are modern, fresh and available in a variety of colours for the season.
• At Wildflower Clothing Inc. on Clyde Street, owner Jill Strong finds styles that are like the comfort food of clothing that work for women looking for no-fuss styles. Accessorize with hats, belts, scarves or handbags.

ONE-STOP SHOP

SunnysideSunnyside Mall on Bedford Highway
is home to various retailers from around the
region. Shop for summer fashions at Turbine
or Moe’s Menswear, accessories at Peoples
Jewellers and something for the kids at Bib ’N Tucker.

 

 

BRILLIANT BLING

Frida Dress up your best outfit with custom jewellery from Frida in Bishop’s Landing on Lower Water
Street. There are styles from Canadian and European designers, and various collections highlighting gemstones and diamonds. Book a consultation to help create your own piece of wearable art.
• At Fireworks Gallery on Barrington Street, in-house goldsmiths and gem masters create unique Old World designs in gold, silver and platinum using New World techniques.

Work with one of these masters on
creating a design that tells your
personal story.

 

 

Editor’s Choice

sweet-pea_trends11Summer is the season for dresses and Sweet Pea Boutique on Queen Street has a huge selection of summer frocks for every occasion. Find dresses, rompers or jumpers with flowers, stripes, lace, all perfect for tea parties, weddings or a summer night on the town.

Ultimate Halifax

History, entertainment, fun on the water and more—discover everything we love about Halifax

By Trevor J. Adams

THE GREAT OUTDOORS

Photo: NS Tourism Agency

Photo: NS Tourism Agency

At the tip of Halifax’s historic South End, Point Pleasant Park is a popular year-round destination with native Haligonians and visitors alike. The park’s coastal and woodland trails are a hit in any season, but Point Pleasant really comes to life in summer when it hosts theatre al fresco withbarrington-cemetary-web Shakespeare by the Sea throughout the summer.

History buffs will be pleased to find the Prince of Wales Tower National Historic Site in the centre of the park. Back downtown on Barrington Street, the Old Burying Ground is a secluded historic cemetery and the burial site British Major General Robert Ross, who burned Washington, D.C. in the War of 1812.

Uptown on Spring Garden Road, the Halifax Public Gardens are one of the finest Victorian gardens in North America. In the summer, its bandstand hosts Sunday afternoon concerts. Across the harbour, the Dartmouth Common features lovely flower gardens and panoramic views of the Halifax skyline.

FAMILY FUN

Nautical adventures abound at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic on Lower Water Street. With lots of hands-on exhibits and a laid-back, welcoming atmosphere, it’s a great spot for kids to explore and learn about the Titanic, fearless explorers, swashbuckling pirates and the world wars. See shipbuilders at work and explore a scientific vessel moored dockside.

Just up the hill on Barrington Street, the Discovery Centre is a hands-on science centre where kids can explore trippy optical illusions, stand inside a giant bubble and even freeze a banana in liquid nitrogen.

The Museum of Natural History on Summer Street offers hours of entertainment for inquiring young minds. Explore Nova Scotia’s forest and ocean environments with interactive exhibits. Visit legendary Sable Island and experience Science on a Sphere. Live amphibians, reptiles, bees, a new Tide Tank and Gus, a 92-year-old tortoise.

BACK IN TIME

The Hydrostone. Photo: Lisa Enman

The Hydrostone. Photo: Lisa Enman

This province is the birthplace of hockey and boasts a long line of sports heroes—most recently, Sidney Crosby. Learn all about them in Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame at Scotiabank Centre on Duke Street.

Looming over the downtown, the Halifax Citadel Canada’s most popular National Historic Site and home to the Army Museum. Visit at 12 pm to see historical animators fire the fort’s signature Noon Gun.

Perched on the side of Citadel Hill, you’ll spot Halifax’s iconic Old Town Clock on Sackville Street.

Shop and dine where privateers once stashed their plunder—the stone warehouses of the Historic Properties on the Halifax waterfront.

Devastated in the Halifax Explosion during the First World War, Young Street east of Robie is now a stylish neighbourhood called The Hydrostone noted for unique architecture, quaint shops and fine dining.

NEW & IMPROVED

The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 reopens this month after extensive renovations. From 1928 to 1971, almost 1.5 million immigrants and military personnel passed through Pier 21. Today, the museum (Canada’s only national museum outside Ottawa) tells the story of Canadian immigration from first contact to present day.

SPIRITED ADVENTURES

With centuries of history, Halifax teems with mysteries, folklore and reputed hauntings. Explore the city’s darker side with the Halifax Ghost Walk. Meet the group at 8:30pm at the Old Town Clock on Citadel Hill (just up from Sackville Street). Narrators lead you through historic Halifax’s nooks and crannies, sharing tales of pirates, ghosts and murder most foul.

ROAMING AROUND

Peggy's Cove

Peggy’s Cove

Centrally located, Halifax is an ideal day-trip base. Take a 45-minute drive east, and you’ll find the Memory Lane Heritage Village, a living-history museum re-creating life in rural Nova Scotia as it was 70 years ago.

Take a 45-minute drive west, and you’ll find the historic fishing village of Peggy’s Cove. Its iconic lighthouse, perched on the rocks just above the wild Atlantic waves, is Nova Scotia’s most photographed site.

ART IN ACTION

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At the foot of George Street on the Halifax waterfront, NovaScotian Crystal is one of the province’s most unique tourism attractions. In the workshop, you can watch craftsmen use Old World techniques to create functional art: mouth-blown, hand-cut crystal creations.

May Hot Dining

By Janice Hudson

BEST IN BEAN

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•A favourite place for downtown coffee aficionados, The Trident on Hollis Street roasts its beans on-site, offering an array of hot drinks, loose tea and pastries. After you recharge, browse the eclectic mix of used books.

•Veteran coffeehouse Java Blend on North Street has been in the bean business since 1938 and roasts all of its coffee on-site. Unique coffee memorabilia and an old (but still working) coffee roaster add to the cozy, laid-back feel of the café.

•In Dartmouth, Two if by Sea Café is the go-to spot for coffee fiends, offering not just fabulous coffee but also indulgent fresh-baked croissants that can stand in for a meal. The café has a second location on the Halifax side in the Historic Properties near the Halifax Transit ferry terminal.

EDITOR’S CHOICE

Bistro-le-Coq-web

Offering French-inspired cuisine, Bistro le Coq on Argyle Street has the atmosphere of a Parisian bistro, with an ornate tin ceiling, elegant artwork and plush booths. Service en français is always available. Choose from tasty French classics like steak frites and glazed duck. There’s an extensive list of wines, with many served by the glass (including champagne). For dessert, try the layered Nutella crêpe cake.

SAVOUR SPRING

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The brainchild of award-winning Chef Renée Lavallée, The Canteen on Ochterloney Street in Dartmouth serves up flavourful sandwiches, salads and take-out dinners. Lavallée changes the menu daily to highlight fresh local ingredients. Breadmaster Jessica Best bakes all the bread on-site, including tasty gluten-free options.

SPLASH OF LIFE

Photo: Janice Hudson

Photo: Janice Hudson

A newcomer on Halifax’s vibrant diner scene, Robie Street Station has become the it-spot in Central Halifax for all-day breakfast and comfort food with a global twist. Colourful murals and local artwork decorate the charming eatery, located near the Halifax Common on Robie Street. Hit up Robie Street Express next door for a coffee and fresh baked-goods to go.

IN VINO VERITAS

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A stylish yet intimate space, Obladee on Barrington Street offers a range of stellar, hand-chosen wines, including special local vintages. Try the monthly cellar wine special: staff uncork top red and white vintages for customers to enjoy by the glass. Pair your choice with charcuterie from the local artisanal producers.

May Hot Shopping

By Suzanne Rent

LOCALLY MADE

Made in the Maritimes

Made in the Maritimes

•For an eclectic mix of local, Canadian and international jewellery and accessories, visit Bedazzled in its new location in Sunnyside Mall in Bedford. Find unique and exquisite designers by artisans such as Earth Goddess, Arcane Angel, Myka and Tori XO.

Bedazzled

Bedazzled

Made in the Maritimes Artisan Boutique brings to its new location in Sunnyside Mall contemporary, high-quality products for its clientele. All of the products, which include woodwork, jewellery, glass art, toys and more, are made in the region.

 

SPRING SHOPPING

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Find the latest in spring styles at Halifax Shopping Centre, the largest shopping complex in Halifax. Retailers include Coach, Banana Republic, Victoria’s Secret, Sephora and Roots. Anchored by Sears, and the annex across the street is home to Winners and Wal-Mart.

FINE DESIGN

Art-Zone-2-web

•Art lovers will appreciate Art Zone Fine Arts Gallery on Barrington Street, which showcases some of the best of local talent by providing them a space to display their work. The gallery also hosts monthly shows, workshops and artist talks and more.

•For hand-crafted local treasures, visit The Bogside Gallery in the Hydrostone Market on Young Street. The elegant and whimsical art, made by artisans from Nova Scotia and around Atlantic Canada, make for great gifts or décor for your own home.

BEST OF THE EAST

Drala-web

Drala on Grafton Street is the city’s home to supplies for a contemplative lifestyle. Find Asian-inspired décor items and gifts, as well as meditation cushions and supplies, beeswax candles, Japanese teas and buckwheat hull pillows.

MEMENTO

Cool-Moose-3-web

•For fun and casual custom clothing, visit Cool as a Moose in the Historic Properties on Upper Water Street. Outfit the whole family with hoodies, sweats, pajamas and t-shirts, all of which are emblazoned with the store’s logo.

•Located on the rocks of Peggy’s Cove next to Nova Scotia’s most famous lighthouse, the Sou’wester carries a large mix of souvenirs for anyone visiting the province. Finds include kilts, postcards, sweatshirts, and giftware made my local artisans. You can also find books that explore local history and folklore. Visit the restaurant for a treat like lobster or gingerbread.

EDITOR’S CHOICE

RumRunners-web

For one-of-a-kind shopping, visit The Piazza at Bishop’s Landing on Lower Water Street. Find a dinner wine at Bishop’s Cellar and dessert at Sugah or Rum Runners Rum Cake Factory. Pick up a new outfit at Unicorn and accessories at Frida Custom Jewellery Design or Pearl City.

Comic Invasion

By Trevor J. Adams

Harland Williams

Harland Williams

Back for its 20th year, the annual Halifax Comedy Fest features more than 30 comedians performing at 14 shows at venues around the city from April 22 and April 25.

Mark Critch

Mark Critch

Comedy legend Harland Williams, host of the Food Network’s Eat St., James Cunningham, and Last Comic Standing runner-up Lachlan Patterson headline this year’s line-up.

Harland Williams, best known for his movie roles in Dumb and Dumber and There’s Something About Mary, has appeared on Late Night with David Letterman, The Tonight Show, HBO and Comedy Central. Williams headlines the Opening Gala on Wednesday, April 22 at Casino Nova Scotia. This show also features Nikki Payne, Mike Delamont, Rob Pue, Caroline Rhea and Graham Chittenden, plus several other award-winning comedians.

Sterling Scott

Sterling Scott

James Cunningham is the host and associate producer of the award-winning show Eat St. on Canada’s Food Network and the U.S.’s Cooking Channel. Having travelled the world with his stand up comedy and appeared on Last Comic Standing, Comedy Now and Comedy Inc., he’ll make his premiere Halifax appearance at the April 23 All Star Show. He also performs on April 24 at Gala of Laughs at the Spatz Theatre, along with Sterling Scott, Peter Anthony and John Crist.

Caroline Rhea

Caroline Rhea

Lachlan Patterson is a Canadian comedian who won the hearts of fans and judges during NBC’s Last Comic Standing in 2014. After finishing as the runner-up among hundreds of comedians, Lachlan has appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham and Tosh.O. He’s making his third appearance at the Halifax Comedy Fest at the April 25 Gala of Laughs Finale at Spatz Theatre, performing along with Mark Critch, Ted Morris, Paul Myrehaug and Jay Black.

The new Seahorse Tavern on Gottingen Street hosts LMAO@The Seahorse on Thursday, April 23, and The Lower Deck is once again home to two Pub Comedy shows, on Saturday, April 25.

James Cunningham

James Cunningham

New for 2015 is Laugh@Lunch, a free show at Halifax Central Library on Spring Garden Road at noon on Friday, April 24, featuring Dylan Mandlshon, Mike Delamont and Matt Wright.

The Festival’s Not Made For TV shows at Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club at the Westin Nova

Scotia Hotel run from Thursday, April 23, through to Saturday April 25 with two shows a night.

April Hot Dining

By Janice Hudson

Photo: Bruce Murray/VisionFire

Photo: Bruce Murray/VisionFire

PASTA PERFECTION
Pasta reaches new palate-pleasing heights at da Maurizio Fine Dining, located downtown in the Historic Properties. Using time-honoured techniques, Chef/owner Andrew King makes a range of pasta from scratch with recipes that feature flavourful local ingredients. Try the fettuccine with lobster for a truly decadent entrée.

Photo: Janice Hudson

Morris East. Photo: Janice Hudson

EXPANDING HORIZONS
Specializing in wood-fired pizza, Morris East has revamped and expanded the bar at its downtown location on Morris Street in Halifax’s South End. With ample space for wine storage, the new bar now offers more wines by the glass, plus two local craft beers on tap: its exclusive Morris East Fire Tap beer by Garrison Brewing and a rotating local seasonal beer.

IMG_0802-resized

Athens Restaurant

 

EDITOR’S CHOICE
Athens Restaurant on Quinpool Road in Halifax’s West End has been the go-to breakfast spot for more than 30 years. Be sure to get there early on weekends as the booths fill up fast. Come back for lunch and try flavourful Greek specialties like lamb souvlaki, calamari and moussaka.

Edna

Edna

NORTH END FLAVOURS
•One of Halifax’s hottest eateries, Edna offers a unique dining experience in a revitalized part of Gottingen Street. Sit at the communal dining table made of salvaged barn board for a fun group-dining atmosphere. The menu showcases what’s fresh: sample local oysters, free-range chicken, and charcuterie from nearby Ratinaud French Cuisine.
•Heading north on Agricola Street, Agricola Street Brasserie boasts home-style French cuisine with ingredients from local suppliers and farms. Watch Chef Ludovic Eveno and his team at work in the open-concept kitchen. They make the charcuterie, sausages, breads, desserts and more on-site from scratch.

Woody’s Bar-B-Q

Woody’s Bar-B-Q

FAMILY FUN
Woody’s Bar-B-Q in Hector Gate, Dartmouth Crossing has a menu of authentic Southern classics that will please even the fussiest eater. Choose from baby-back ribs, beef brisket and pulled pork, among much more. On Mondays, kids eat for free from 3 p.m. to close. Recently renovated, the restaurant now has a children’s play area.

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COZY VIBE
Fireplaces dot the interior of The Fireside on Sackville Street, the perfect spot for whiling away a chilly spring evening over a Spanish coffee or an inventive martini. Drop in on a Monday and the martinis are half price. Nosh on a gourmet sandwich, French onion soup or warm spinach salad.

April Hot Shopping

By Suzanne Rent

Plaid Place

Plaid Place

GIFTS GALORE
Plaid Place in the Barrington Place Shops celebrates the province’s rich Celtic culture with its line of plaid products. Find children’s wear, gifts, Irish knits, jewellery, hats and caps, sleepwear and, of course, kilts. Rentals of kilts and accessories are also available.
•A staple on Spring Garden Road’s shopping district since the 1970s, Jennifer’s of Nova Scotia sells the wares of more than 200 artists from around Atlantic Canada. Find unique gifts, décor items and accessories made from local wood, glass and pewter. It’s a great place to find a locally made souvenir or a special gift.

Value Village

Value Village

THRIFTY THRILLS
Bargain hunters will love to dig for deals at Value Village in Bayers Lake or Dartmouth. Find clothes for the entire family, housewares, holiday items, costumes, books and jewellery. Purchases help support community organizations and nonprofits.

Long & McQuade

Long & McQuade

EDITOR’S CHOICE
Music lovers can tune into either of Long & McQuade’s locations in Halifax or Bedford. Both stores carry the best brands of guitars, keyboards, drums, as well as music software and recording equipment. Music lessons and clinics are available, too.

Liquid Gold. Photo: Jeremy Tsang

Liquid Gold. Photo: Jeremy Tsang

OLIVE YOU
Foodies and home cooks will love Liquid Gold in Sunnyside Mall in Bedford or on Young Street in Halifax for its selection of olive oils and other products. Stock up on gourmet oils, balsamic vinegars and olives for your pantry. Check out the tasting bar for the selection. Bath and beauty products are on offer, too.

Bedford Place Mall

Bedford Place Mall

SHOPPING STROLLS
Mic Mac Mall in Dartmouth is one of the largest shopping centres in the region, and home to a variety of high-end retailers and anchor stores such as The Bay and Homesense. Easily accessible by bus or car and close to major highways.
•At Spring Garden Place on Spring Garden Road, the city’s busy shopping district, find specialty boutiques such as All Dressed Up and Better Than Her Boutique, as well as salons, flower shops, furniture stores and more. It’s also home to the city’s landmark Mills store.
•Located in the heart of Bedford, Bedford Place Mall is home to Rona, Swiss Chalet, Charm Diamond and many independent local businesses, including salons, clothing boutiques and a bakery.

Halikids

Halikids

KID AT HEART
•Having fun while learning is the name of the game at Brain Candy Toys in Bedford. Kids will love the selection of educational board games, science kids, role-play costumes and plush dolls.
Halikids on South Park Street is a locally owned boutique specializing in high-end kids’ toys and clothing. Find creative gifts that will challenge and entertain your kids. Top names include Lego, Boon, Mountain Buggy, and Aden and Anais. Gifts are wrapped free of charge.