Diner en Blanc Vancouver 2017 Returns!

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Vancouver’s largest all white dinner party is back for the summer! This year, Diner en Blanc Vancouver will take place on August 24, 2017 at a secret location. This year, the dinner will take place at two secret locations and Vancouver will be the first city outside of Paris to do so.

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Hopefully by now, you’ve scored yourself one of those exclusive invitations. After experiencing the event last year, I can tell you that this event requires lots of work and preparation if you want the day to be perfect! Read along to learn what tips I have for preparing for this beautiful all-white event!

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One mistake I did last year was doing everything last minute. If it’s your first year, you’ll find that you likely don’t have a lot of the required items. When it’s down to crunch time, you’ll find that most items are sold out and you’re left purchasing the most expensive product and one that you may never use again. With less than one month to go, here are some tips for any first-timers:

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What to Wear

  • Shop early for your outfit! You can check out the typical retailers like Zara, Aritzia, or Forever 21, but chances are you will match with someone else. Try looking for outfits from vintage stores or independent retailers such as in Gastown or on Main Street.
  • Remember you need to wear all white! This means even your shoes need to be white. Don’t wear off-white or any other colours. You will stand out but not in a good way!
  • Wear comfortable shoes or at least bring a pair as backup. You’ll be hauling your tables and chairs to the venue so wearing sky high stilettos won’t help. If the venue is on the grass, wedges, flats or sandals would also be easier to walk in.
  • Accessorize with gold or silver accessories because you are allowed to!
  • Bring a light white scarf or cardigan in case it gets cold in the evening. Last year, it was hot throughout the night, but you never know!

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What to Eat

Sure there is catering which you can purchase in advance through Diner en Blanc, but for most of us, the catering menu seems quite expensive for what it is. In fact, we purchased our wine in advance through their website since you’re not allowed to bring your alcohol, but the line up to retrieve it took extremely long. The good thing with ordering through them is you don’t need to think about packing your food though. Anyways, for those of you are packing your own food, think of items that can be served at room temperature. The fact is, it will be hot out and it’ll likely be a few hours from transportation to set up. So any food that needs refrigeration would likely spoil, and food that is typically served hot would become lukewarm. I would suggest charcuterie boards with some bread since it also looks great on the table. If you’re too lazy to get the board set up, I would suggest buying take out such as sushi.

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What to Bring

This was probably the most difficult thing for us since we didn’t have white tables and chairs. I’d suggest purchasing or asking your friends as early as you can. We even tried rental stores, but they were completely sold out for the day.

For chairs, I would suggest foldable light chairs such as these from Ikea. As for your table, it actually doesn’t need to be white, since you can easily cover it with a white tablecloth. However, a table can be very heavy, so make sure it is foldable and light to carry. There are specific dimensions that you need to adhere to and the table must be a square shape since they will be placed next to a strangers so the line of tables need to look somewhat aligned. By the time I looked, most tables were sold out, and I ended up carrying a heavy and expensive table from JYSK. I saw some people carrying these roll up tables which were super handy as you can just sling it over your shoulder. I would also bring a trolley that can be folded up and hidden under the table if you want to ease carrying all the tableware. A picnic basket for the tableware may work, or else make sure to bubble wrap all glass and ceramic ware.

Other items to bring:

  • white table cloth
  • white cloth napkins (lots of fun to wave it around at the beginning of dinner)
  • wine glasses
  • white plates
  • silver or gold cutlery (no plastic!)
  • sparkling or still water
  • garbage bag and extra bags to put your dirty plates and cutlery in at the end of the night
  • paper towel
  • matches (to light your sparkler at the end of the night)
  • electronic candles
  • flowers or other white/silver decorations (try to find items that are light!)

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Hope you’re ready for one of the most photo-worthy event now! Be sure to walk around the venue and check out other people’s outfits and table decorations. And remember to capture the moments at the end where they hand you sparklers to light. Probably one of the most magical moments of the night! Enjoy and have fun!

Christmas in November at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge

Home for the Holidays by ukijojo on 500px.comPhoto Credit: Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge

Disclosure: I was invited to a media preview and all food and beverages were complimentary. All opinions are my own.

Christmas in November? You must be thinking I’m crazy. Well Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge has been celebrating Christmas in November for many years and it is now the 29th year! This food and wine festival runs from November 3 to November 12th, 2017 this year and I was invited to a media preview a few weeks ago to learn all about it.

 

Chesnuts on an open fire by ukijojo on 500px.comPhoto Credit: Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge

The event is not just about food and wine. Instead, it gets you ready for the holidays with cooking, cocktail, and decorating classes where you get to interact with the chefs and experts at a personal level. Attendees will be wined and dined throughout the 3 days from breakfast to dinner, so fear not of being hungry.

 

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One of the most exciting highlights are the celebrity chefs that you will be able to meet including, Chefs Chuck Hughes, Vikram Vij, Ned Bell, and Anna & Michael Olson. They will be showing you many recipes and you can mix and mingle with the chefs at a whole new level. Not your typical demo and dine experience.

 

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At the media preview, we were luckily invited to Chef Vikram Vij’s restaurant to indulge in some of his dishes (which will be available at the event as well)! He shared his stories from last year and said that the experience is like no other and is perfect for both guests who want to just relax and rewind but also guests who are ready to mingle and have a party. Jasper National Park is the perfect place to get closer to nature, but you will also make some lifelong friends along the way.

 

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Of course we got to try some of Vikram Vij’s curries including this Chicken Curry which was packed full of flavour and paired perfectly with naan and rice.

 

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A Chickpea Curry was also served and the aroma of spices filled the room.

 

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So how do you attend this amazing event? There are 3 packages to choose from: 3-Night Weekend Package (November 3-6) from $1,049 per person, 3-Night Mid-Week Package (November 6-9) from $999 per person, and a 3-Night Weekend Package (November 9-12) from $1,110 per person. All these packages include accommodation, a reception on the first day, breakfast, lunch and dinner on the next two days, continental breakfast and brunch on the day of departure, instructional seminars and gratuities. There is also a VIP package which features private classes, meet and greet with the celebrity chefs, and a private kitchen party! For more details, check out https://www.christmasinnovember.com/

7th Annual Vancouver Craft Beer Week

Source: Vancouver Craft Beer Week

“The seventh annual Vancouver Craft Beer Week is set to kick off with opening night festivities on Friday, May 27th and will run until Sunday, June 5th. This year’s 10-day line up of events includes the VCBW Festival, Canada’s largest craft-only beer festival, presented by the Donnelly Group.

The VCBW Festival weekend will take place from Friday, June 3rd to Sunday, June 5th at the PNE Centre Grounds (2901 E Hastings, Vancouver, BC) and will feature local food trucks, over 350 craft beers and ciders and live music provided by The World Famous CFOX.

Vancouver Craft Beer Week tickets are now available – including VCBW Festival Weekend passes ($95), Single Day Gate Crasher tickets ($40) and Single Day General Admission tickets ($35).

From May 27th – June 5th 2016, Vancouver Craft Beer Week will also host a number of craft beer events leading up to the festival weekend.

This year’s VCBW Festival is set to showcase over 100 breweries and cideries pouring over 350 craft beers and ciders from around the world. Local favourites include Parallel 49 Brewing Company, Postmark Brewing and Four Winds Brewing Company. The festival also includes a U.S Brewers Association section, offering craft beers never before seen in Canada.”

For more information on Vancouver Craft Beer Week or to purchase tickets, visit vancouvercraftbeerweek.com.

Facebook: Vancouver Craft Beer Week
Twitter: @vcbw
Instagram : @vcbw

Xpocity 2015

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NOTE: I received complimentary tickets to the event, but all opinions are based on my own experience.

I was invited to attend Xpocity Vancouver 2015 hosted by the Socialettes which happened last week at the Four Seasons Hotel ballroom. Xpocity is an event that brings women together for an evening of socializing and shopping and showcases a variety of fashion, food, drinks, beauty, and fitness vendors that women would be interested in.

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There were over 60 vendors and everyone was extremely friendly! Tons of samples and new experiences at the event.

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SocieTea Events

SocieTea Events offers boutique mobile high tea and brunch services and had afternoon tea treats for us to sample. I loved how girly all the chinaware was and can see it being perfect for showers or birthdays!

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Bon Macaron Patisserie

We got to sample some marshmallows and macarons at Bon Macaron Patisserie and I tried the Matcha which was strong in tea flavour. K tried the Yuzu which was also delicious! I like how the flavour tasted very natural and the meringue was light. Owners are from France, so you can be sure of the authenticity!

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Sweet Petite Confectioner

At Sweet Petite Confectioner, they set up a S’mores Bar and I got to sample a torched earl grey marshmallow. This melted in your mouth and had a strong earl grey flavour. They offer a variety of other sweets other than marshmallows and is perfect to book for events.

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Everyday Superfoods

One of my favourties of the night was from Everyday Superfoods. They have a variety of products, but the one they were showcasing that night was their new product It’s Not Bacon. They’ve pitched on Dragons’ Den with the product and they definitely fooled me with it! These are coconut flakes that taste just like bacon! K who is vegan enjoyed this thoroughly!

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Truffles Fine Foods

Truffles Fine Foods was also there that night with some lemon meringue pies and tomato basil and Bocconcini skewers. They offer customized experiences and are have a variety of menus for catering.

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The Juice Truck

The Juice Truck has been around for quite some time now and they have even opened a store since. It was my first time trying these healthy juices and I was surprised that they actually tasted pretty good. I tried the Skin Deep, which featured apple, strawberry, kiwi and lemon.

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Firefly Fine Wines and Ales

Then it was time to try some wine samples! We headed over to Firefly Fine Wines and Ales which is a private liquor store and we sampled some white wines. My favourite was the Prosecco by Luna and it was ever so light with a bit of sparkle and hint of sweetness. The wines they featured were also quite affordable.

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Odd Society Spirits

There were also some funky looking bottled spirits featured at Odd Society Spirits.

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Pure Float

Another favourite vendor of mine was Pure Float, which offers Vancouver’s first all-float room spa. Well since they couldn’t transport those rooms to the event, we got to try a 15 minute NeuroSpa treatment instead. It was pretty relaxing after a long day at work and I felt vibrations along with music that went down my spine. Pretty neat!

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Flipbook Entertainment

Another one of our favourites was from Flipbook Entertainment and it was even better because we each got to take home a memorable flipbook. You pick your props and then step in front of the camera which films you for a few seconds. Within 5 minutes, they are able to produce a flipbook for you to relive the moment!

Overall, I was very pleased with the vendors at Xpocity 2015 and look forward to attending next year again! A fun night to hang out with your girl friends! Thank you to Xpocity for the invitation!