My #BigDayDowntown 2014

Last month  I was lucky enough to be asked to participate in this year’s #BigDayDowntown, planned by the Downtown Halifax Business Commission (DHBC). I, along with 30 other local bloggers, was given $150 in Visa gift cards and a deadline of one month to spend and write about it. Today is the last day of the deadline (I’ve been out of town) and luckily, I needed to buy a little wedding gift for this weekend. So today, I truly did spend most of the day eating and shopping, and going to the spa in downtown Halifax. Normally I blog about the food, but I wanted to show off the goods I picked up at Inkwell Boutique & Letterpress Studio, an incredible shop that was first recommended to me by friend Anna, who sells her origami roses there.

The ‘Always & For Ever’ is a print I bought for a wedding gift (hopefully she doesn’t read this blog before tomorrow night). Aside from that, I found a great card for the newly weds, an awesome 7-year pen that Geir will love (he’s very into pens) with bacon and egg on it, plus some coasters (a gift for me).

I did also meet a friend for a lunch at 2 Doors Down, which I’ve previously blogged about. Always a fantastic spot (they just finished shooting an episode for You Gotta Eat Here! yesterday). The lobster bruschetta with sweet pea, ricotta and lemon blitz was delicious, and I especially enjoyed the glass of Avondale Sky Cheverie with it. After that, I hit up Spirit Spa, my favourite spa in downtown Halifax for a hair appointment with Vernon (he’s the best — try to go see him).

Today was a gorgeous, sunny September day, the best kind to spend downtown. Thanks DHBC!

Tasty Bites from the 11th Annual Savour Food & Wine Show

My fave... no bias I swear! The salmon tartare with avocado and creme fraiche at Saege Bistro's booth.

My fave… no bias I swear! The salmon tartare with avocado and creme fraiche at Saege Bistro’s booth.

Last week I attended Savour Food & Wine on a media pass. This year the event was bigger than ever before and seemed to really gel. The layout was slightly adjusted and the crowd seemed to flow nicely. The noise level never became uncomfortable, and the group was relatively tame, which seem to lend well to everyone experiencing the food and drink in a more involved way. It was a great night.

I still (as usual) was not able to visit every single booth. There were over seventy this year with a close to fifty-fifty split on food and alcoholic beverages. A couple of wines I really enjoyed were Zalze Bush Wines Chenin Blanc (South Africa) which was poured by Franklin Imports, and Real de Aragon Cava poured by Bishop’s Cellar (which won best of show).

Pig trotter from Ratinaud French Cuisine

Stuffed pig trotter from Ratinaud French Cuisine

One of the most delicious bites at the show, for me, coincidentally was the salmon tartare with avocado and creme fraiche on a crostini from Saege Bistro (I could have eaten these all night but limited myself to two). I also seriously enjoyed the stuffed pig trotter with green onion sauce from Ratinaud French Cuisine, 2 Doors Down haddock taco, the smoked meatloaf from The Stubborn Goat. I thought the scallop hotdog was a great idea from Le Caveau, plus I just love their team, so friendly and professional. It was also a pleasure to see the kids from Hope Blooms give the media tour a run-through on their salad dressing line.