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Vancouver

All Hail the Checkmate Caesar

By SHERI RADFORD

The Checkmate Caesar, at the Score

The Checkmate Caesar, at the Score on Davie

“I came; I saw; I conquered.” Some strategizing is required before attempting to conquer a Checkmate Caesar. First, make sure you’re not a vegetarian. Second, bring a friend. And most important of all, arrive hungry. In a true feat of culinary engineering, this daring drink is garnished with a roasted chicken, a burger, a pulled-pork slider, onion rings, chicken wings, and a hot dog topped with both pulled pork and mac ’n’ cheese. Of course it wouldn’t be complete without dessert, so there’s even a precariously perched brownie. Find it at Score on Davie. Let the eating and drinking begin!

Pound the Pavement: Vancouver Sun Run

By SHERI RADFORD

More than 45,000 participants will participate in Canada's largest 10K road race. (Photo: ©RyanFaas/istockphoto.com)

More than 45,000 participants will participate in Canada’s largest 10K road race. (Photo: ©RyanFaas/istockphoto.com)

Losing weight isn’t easy. Each year, thousands of Vancouverites make a New Year’s resolution to get in shape, and many set their sights on the Vancouver Sun Run (Apr. 19). In 2014, more than 45,000 participants signed up for Canada’s largest 10K road race. Along its picturesque route, live entertainment and the gorgeous backdrop of ocean and mountains—not to mention throngs of cheering spectators—help to take competitors’ minds off the hard work of completing 10 km (6.2 mi). And running through this city’s gorgeous scenery is always better than a day at the office.

Ariana Grande at Rogers Arena

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Pop superstar Ariana Grande. (Photo: ©2014 Getty Images/MTV 2014)

Pop superstar Ariana Grande. (Photo: ©2014 Getty Images/MTV 2014)

Make no mistake about it: diminutive pop diva Ariana Grande has a voice that is larger than life. Her smash single “Problem” topped the charts in 65 countries and catapulted Grande to superstardom. The singer-songwriter is taking hits like “Bang Bang” and “Love Me Harder” on the road to promote her latest album, My Everything. Catch the pint-sized powerhouse at Rogers Arena, Apr. 16.

5 Garden Delights

By TIM PAWSEY

Shaughnessy Restaurant is nestled in VanDusen Botanical Garden. (Photo: KK Law)

Shaughnessy Restaurant is nestled in VanDusen Botanical Garden. (Photo: KK Law)

Welcome, springtime! Grab a garden-side table at these destinations both leafy and tasty.

1. Shaughnessy Restaurant (pictured) Enjoy locally inspired lunch, brunch, dinner or afternoon snacks, right in the heart of VanDusen Botanical Garden.

2. Horizons Restaurant Marvel at the panorama of Burrard Inlet and glimpses of downtown over albacore tuna tataki or hazelnut-crusted rack of lamb at this window-wrapped room atop Burnaby Mountain.

3. Seasons in the Park Combine Fraser Valley chicken or bone-in rib-eye from the wood-fired grill amidst the tranquil surroundings of Queen Elizabeth Park, with downtown and mountain views.

4. The Teahouse Walk the seawall after a lunch of smoked salmon flatbread or Brome Lake duck confit at this landmark in Stanley Park, overlooking Ferguson Point.

5. Hart House Restaurant Savour West Coast specialties such as pan-seared scallops, sous-vide steelhead or beef tenderloin with smoked-marrow pomme purée at this mock-Tudor mansion in the midst of verdant Deer Lake Park.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Keep it Moving: Fitness Classes in Vancouver

Even the most dedicated fitness enthusiast can be thrown off their game when travelling. Luckily, creative and convenient classes offer special drop-in rates tailor-made for visitors.

By LAURA DENNIS

Keep it moving while on vacation in Vancouver

There are plenty of ways to keep fit while on vacation in Vancouver

BARRE
Imagine the delicate and graceful movements of ballet combined with high-intensity strength training and conditioning. Barre Fitness takes elements from ballet, pilates and interval training to create a workout focused on total-body conditioning and the development of lean muscle mass. The hour-long classes make use of the barre (a stationary handrail about belly-button height), free weights, balls, straps and body weight to target specific muscle groups, followed by deep stretching. Enjoy upbeat music and encouraging instructors in the light and airy Yaletown studio. A perfect pirouette may never be in your future, but toned buns certainly are. Drop-in classes are $22 and can be reserved online. (more…)

Eco-Friendly Art at Reclaimed Print Co.

By SHERI RADFORD

Canvases and coasters sporting one of our favourite themes: Raincouver

Canvases and coasters sporting one of our favourite themes: Raincouver

Who says sustainability has to be boring and serious? The Reclaimed Print Co. uses locally milled sustainable wood in all of its quirky creations. Kat Walker, along with her brother-in-law, husband and father, handcrafts charming wood canvasses and coasters. Our fave designs have a Canadian theme: Raincouver (pictured), the East Van Cross, an inukshuk and ice hockey. Trendier folks prefer the hipster coaster collection, with its beard, bicycle, bow tie, glasses, moustache and pipe designs. And no one can resist the tall, skinny Grouse Lumberjack canvas.

Baja North: Tacofino’s Taco Bar

By TIM PAWSEY

Tacofino's new Taco Bar. (Photo: KK Law)

Tacofino’s new Taco Bar. (Photo: KK Law)

Latino meets Tofino at Tacofino, an immensely popular spot that had its genesis in a food truck on the surfers’ paradise of Vancouver Island. Head to Gastown for their newest endeavour, Taco Bar. The delicious Mexican-inspired treats include kabocha squash and cauliflower tostada, lamb birria with preserved lemon zest, glazed beef rib with chilaquiles, super salsas, marvellous margaritas and more. Enter this capacious, century-old space, which sports plenty of booths and images of old Tofino scenes, off Blood Alley, near Gaoler’s Mews.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Proud at the Firehall Arts Centre

By SHERI RADFORD

(Photo: Emily Cooper)

(Photo: Emily Cooper)

Not all politicians are skilled (or lucky) enough to win a second term in office. Proud (Apr. 7 to 25), however, has earned its second run at the Firehall Arts Centre after being a runaway hit there last year. Focussing on Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the play reimagines the outcome of the last federal election—with hilarious results. O Canada indeed!

Pop-Up Exhibition at the Capture Photography Festival

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

"Tokyu Plaza, Tokyo" by Matthew Pillsbury

“Tokyu Plaza, Tokyo” by Matthew Pillsbury

Matthew Pillsbury knows what it’s like to be on the outside looking in. The celebrated New York–based photographer travelled to Tokyo and explored the bustling metropolis through his camera lens. His long-exposure snaps capture the blur of a city in constant motion and highlight a surreal contrast between technology and traditional culture. See works such as “Tokyu Plaza, Tokyo” (pictured) in Matthew Pillsbury: Tokyo at the Douglas Udell Gallery Pop-Up, Apr. 4 to 25.

Fan Expo Vancouver

By SHERI RADFORD

(Photo: Billy Lazarou)

(Photo: Billy Lazarou)

Calling all fanboys and fangirls: want to meet Captain Kirk and Princess Leia? You’re in luck, because William Shatner and Carrie Fisher are on the roster of the fourth annual Fan Expo Vancouver, along with Brent Spiner (Star Trek: The Next Generation), Shannen Doherty (Beverly Hills, 90210), Lance Henriksen (Aliens; Millennium) and a trio of Walking Dead cast members: Chad Coleman, Scott Wilson and Sarah Wayne Callies. See them all—and a host of other pop-culture legends—Apr. 3 to 5 at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Spa Days

Three luxurious local spots offer the max in relax

By SHERI RADFORD + JILL VON SPRECKEN

Relaxation goes beyond the treatment rooms at Willow Stream Spa. (Photo: KK Law)

Relaxation goes beyond the treatment rooms at Willow Stream Spa. (Photo: KK Law)

Willow Stream Spa
Serenity can be found at Willow Stream Spa’s lofty locale, five floors above the hustle and bustle of the city’s downtown core. Decked out in plenty of marble and warm wood—a nod to the coastal rainforest setting—this spa offers a dose of Zen with postcard-worthy water views. The airy and bright space offers three lounges (men, women and couples) for sipping pineapple-infused water, snacking on fruit and nuts, and relaxing fireside in fluffy robes before, between or after treatments. Choosing from the array of massages, facials, body scrubs and wraps is simplified through treatment categories: relieve, restore or results. Simply select the type based on the desired result. A signature “restorative” pick, the Energy Deep Cleanse facial combines K-Lift light therapy technology with the know-how of the therapist to combat aging and to plump up skin. Sightseers with tired gams opt for the Van Active Feet, which targets lower legs and feet with a soak, warm exfoliation and cooling massage. Ingredients such as maple butter and Bio-Maple compound give treatments such as the Coastal Mountain Body Wrap and Pacific Rim Body Buffer a Canadian twist. Afterwards, bask in the post-treatment glow on the terrace, where jacuzzis, an infrared sauna and meditation pods complete the experience. Back inside the change room, don’t pass up the luxurious Hydrotherapy Experience Shower and its 20 showerheads. Trust us: the real world is still out there. But there’s no better way to ignore it for awhile.—JVS (more…)

Destination: Deep Cove

By LAURA DENNIS

The spectacular view from Quarry Rock, part of the Baden  Powell Trail

The spectacular view from Quarry Rock, part of the Baden Powell Trail

Just a short drive outside the city lies a peaceful oasis, perfect for spring visitors. The quiet waterfront community of Deep Cove, nestled in the shadow of Mount Seymour, only has one road leading into the village. After checking out the view, the first stop is local haunt Honey’s. Don’t be tempted by the chocolate or maple-iced doughnuts because the original honey-dipped is the way to go. After a good carbo-load, join the 41-km (25-mi) Baden Powell Trail at the trailhead on Panorama Drive. This gentle hike through the rainforest, complete with bridges and waterfalls, ends at Quarry Rock, a bluff over the water with spectacular sweeping vistas of the Cove, the island-dotted inlet, and the distant city skyline. After this workout, reward yourself with a meal from Arms Reach Bistro. The light yet flavour-packed penne chicken features goat cheese with basil, asparagus and sundried tomato. Next, take a leisurely stroll by the boutiques lining the main street. Check out locally designed goods at A’hoy or peruse the gift shop at the Seymour Art Gallery. Later, once you’re back in the hustle and bustle of the city, you’ll wonder if it was all a mirage.