I always think the best time to throw a party is in the middle of the winter. In a city known for its frigid winter temperatures, one would think that once the holiday season has come and gone, widespread cocooning would begin. But not in Ottawa! We are a hearty bunch and embrace the cold weather by heading outside to hit the slopes and relish our well-earned après-ski life. And what a life it is!
There is no denying the enjoyment that comes from a good glass of wine or craft beer, accompanied by a casual meal with friends, after a day of outdoor activity. This issue offers plenty of ideas on how to welcome a winter's day and celebrate its end.
We had fun checking out the various ski hills in the Outaouis region, meeting the owners and enjoying the surrounding villages. It was a bit of a trip down memory lane for me. While I gave up skiing years ago, as a teen I spent many winter weekends and nights at one of the local hills, and as we visited each one I found myself smiling as the memories flooded in.
Looking at the grand fireplace at Mont Cascades, I could almost see my former teenaged self stretched out and drinking in the warmth of the fire. At Edelweiss I remembered having my first up-close and personal encounter with a prime minister - who knew they took to the slopes just like the rest of us? Our visit to Camp Fortune brought back the most memories as it's where my weekend affinity for the après-ski life began. On a very cold winter's day, I found myself longing for my old wineskin as we rode the chairlift to capture a shot of the hill's co-owner, Bob Sudermann. I left a little disappointed that my friends wouldn't find me lounging in the bar while they finished another run or two . . . yes, I was definitely more of a lodge bunny than a ski bunny.
Vorlage and Mont Ste-Marie became a part of my life in my later years when my children started lessons at Vorlage and my husband enjoyed the more challenging aspects of skiing at MSM. While each one of the ski hills has its own unique attractions, they all had one thing in common for me: Memories of fun stages in my life, and once again I feel gratitude towards a city that makes being entertained so easy.
So, with our first issue of 2014, let us entertain you!
Mary Taggart, EDITOR IN CHIEF
Winter entertaining becomes laid-back and fun when a crowd is gathered to share an interactive meal.
- Le Cuistot fondue set, C.A Paradis
- Emile Henry pizza stone, Grace In The Kitchen
- Swissmar Swivel Raclette, Ma Cuisine