Go Where You Want to Go: Inspiring Ideas for the Globetrotter
Locals say there’s magic in the tiny town of Naramata on the eastern shore of British Columbia’s Lake Okanagan. Photo: Caillum Smith
From an Irish odyssey to Canada’s next great culinary destination, we’ve got off-the-beaten path ideas for your travel planning.
An Irish Odyssey
It’s been 100 years since James Joyce’s Ulysses was published, and Dubliners have been throwing a party for the book that helped make the UNESCO City of Literature a character in its own right. Usually, the hoopla takes place only in June, but you can still experience Dublin’s Museum of Irish Literature (moli.ie) and the James Joyce Centre (jamesjoyce.ie) with walking tours, special exhibits and digital offerings. Live like a local and grab a pint at the historic Davy Byrnes pub (davybyrnes.com), a watering hole frequented by Joyce and mentioned in both The Dubliners and Ulysses. But why stop there? The city was also home to Bram Stoker, and 2022 marks the 125th anniversary of his book, Dracula. The big party happens this October, just in time for Halloween. It’s fitting, since legend has it the scary holiday originated on the Emerald Isle. bramstokerfestival.com; ireland.com —Vivian Vassos
Locals say there’s magic in the tiny town of Naramata on the eastern shore of British Columbia’s Lake Okanagan. The food, the wine, the views and the vitality seem to be dialled up to 11, while the pace of this community of about 1,600 people is set at an agreeable 1.5. And it may well be Canada’s next great culinary destination, if Ned Bell – the former executive chef of Ocean Wise, the Vancouver-based non-profit that rates seafood based on its sustainability – and his wife, Kate Colley, have anything to do with it. The duo, with the support of business partners, bought the historic Naramata Inn just before the pandemic. The lockdown lull gave the couple time to forge bonds in the community and with the Syilx Nation, one of eight Okanagan First Nations. Bell, who was born in nearby Penticton, is working with Syilx leaders to incorporate Indigenous heritage and culinary practices into the guest experience. The inn was built in 1907 by founder and developer J.M. Robinson, who claimed the town’s name came to him during a seance – a popular social activity in the early 20th century. Bell resurrected the inn’s legendary bar and named it after Robinson’s wife, Eliza; with sommelier Emily Walker at the helm, it is reinvigorating the inn’s reputation as a hangout for winemakers, growers and artisans. Bell’s hyper-local cuisine – “there’s no lemon for your Pellegrino,” he likes to say – changes daily, reflecting foraged goodies, garden treats and products from 40 local farms that he and his executive chef, Stacy Johnson, visit in person. naramatainn.com —Dick Snyder
Michelin, the French tire company that launched – more than 100 years ago – a motorist’s guide to the best routes and places to stop and eat along the way, has set its sights on Toronto. “This first selection, for Canada’s largest city, and our first in the country, will represent the local flavours, international inspiration and distinct creativity that makes Toronto’s dining scene world class,” Gwendal Poullennec, international director of the Michelin Guides (guide.michelin.com), said in Toronto this spring. For chefs, the bump in reputation and business from a Michelin ranking is incentive to elevate their game, since the guides rate more than 30,000 dining spots around the world “for the quality of their food and the ingredients used, mastery of flavour and cooking techniques, the personality of the chef in his cuisine, value for money and consistency between visits.” Aside from those that will get a vaunted Michelin star (with three being the apex), when the list is announced this fall, the Toronto guide will include restaurants that offer great quality at good prices, under the guide’s Bib Gourmand awards. Not to be outdone, Canada’s 100 Best restaurant list (canadas100best.com) is back, after a two-year, pandemic-induced break. Revealed in May and, for the first time, a Vancouver resto, Published on Main, took the top spot, while Major Tom was awarded best new restaurant, a first for Calgary. Start your engines, culinary travel is back on the map. —VV
A version this article appeared in the Aug/Sept 2022 issue with the headline ‘Go Where You Want to Go: Inspiring Ideas for the Globetrotter’, p. 30.