Temperance and Temptation

“Is it just me, or does the Temperance lady have an ass like two duck eggs in a napkin,” whispers Micky Burns with a nudge and a wink as Eleanor Krumpacker inspects our bus for whisky. And so it goes as we sidle up for a most unique interactive tour to experience the scandalous history of bootlegging in York Durham Headwaters. Continue reading “Temperance and Temptation”

On The Trail of the Perfect Peking Duck

There are many reasons to visit Beijing: to see what remains of ancient art, history and culture; to shop at the Silk Market and the Friendship store; and to witness the future on a collision course with the past. All of these inducements notwithstanding, for me, it really comes down to the pursuit of exquisite food. Great emphasis is placed on the cultural significance and symbolism of Chinese food. In fact during the Cultural Revolution, most of the Imperial Recipes were destroyed.

I learn that the Chinese word wei means taste, flavor and meaning itself. Sikong Tu, (837-908 AD) of the Tang Dynasty said to a poetic friend, “you cannot speak of poetry if you cannot tell taste.” He goes on, “If poetry, like food, is truly perfect, it is because it contains the tantalizing meaning beyond taste: wei wei zhi zhi. Could I find that elusive poetry today in Peking duck? Continue reading “On The Trail of the Perfect Peking Duck”

Family Friendly Travel in Japan

Beyond the temples and the tech, tourists heading to Japan often wonder what there is to do with their children. Well, there’s a lot. Family travel in Japan offers incredible opportunities that are totally unique and so much fun. Here are DINE’s recommendations. Continue reading “Family Friendly Travel in Japan”

International Farmer’s Markets

Food trails and markets have become the tastiest part of any travel experience. They are the places where we can really sink our teeth into a taste of place. Write up a new bucket list of farmer’s markets. Here are some of the most incredible ones to experience. Continue reading “International Farmer’s Markets”

Thailand’s Tapestry of Flavour

With spoon and fork in hand, we experience the edible kaleidoscope of fruits and spices that paint the culinary landscape in the land of smiles. Continue reading “Thailand’s Tapestry of Flavour”

The Best Hotel in New York City

The Four Seasons Hotel at 57 East 57th opened in 1993 to great acclaim. The world came to admire the classic design of architect I.M. Pei, and the opulent lobby with its Art Deco design. Wherever the eye fell in the lobby, there was the beauty of rare wood, an onyx ceiling and marble columns and floors. I was fortunate to have attended the grand, black tie opening, and joined the international celebrity guests who admired the handsome staircase from the front door to the lobby, the lighting and the sumptuous interiors. Each room, they said, cost one million dollars to create with its gold silk walls and unique furnishings. The hotel had instant cachet and became the toast of New York. Their reputation has never wavered. Continue reading “The Best Hotel in New York City”

Shopping and Dining in Bal Harbour

The laminated bag ladies who shop and lunch have certain buzz words that define their style. Mention the Bal Harbour Shops and there are knowing looks. One hundred fine stores in a landscaped garden include Valentino, Chanel, Lanvin and Van Cleef and Arpels. The casual Carpaccio and La Goulue, a study in art deco, are celebrity-sighting eateries that also serve some inspired dishes. A five-minute complimentary limo ride away, or a 15-minute walk if you’re wearing the right shoes, is the newest member of the neighbourhood, The Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour. Continue reading “Shopping and Dining in Bal Harbour”

The Forks in Winnipeg

In the footsteps of the bison hunters. About 6000 years ago, they walked right here where I am walking. The bison hunters, Nakoda, Cree and Anishinaabe and Dakota, following the vast herds of bison along the frozen river, where the Assiniboine flows into the Red. Continue reading “The Forks in Winnipeg”