July 21, 2014

Rodney’s Oyster House Soon to be Shucking Calgary

Rodney’s Oyster House Soon to be Shucking Calgary

According to three-time Canadian Oyster Shucking Champion Rodney T. Clark “I thought oyster shucking was going to be the easy part!” Timing for the grand opening of the Rodney’s Oyster House in Toronto in December 1987 may have been slightly dubious, barely six weeks after the stock market crash on October 19, 1987. However, according to the man himself it was not the bottom falling out of the equity market that caused consternation, but rather the fact that the day Rodney’s Oyster House opened on Adelaide Street was the same day the Canadian Ban On Shellfish began. What could have been a bad omen did not seem to matter – Hogtown was hungry for oysters and lots of them. (more…)

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July 14, 2014

Disoriented Pavilion Turning Lisbon Upside Down

Disoriented Pavilion Turning Lisbon Upside Down

Camila Cañeque is a Spanish-born contemporary artist her latest project Disoriented Pavilion is a blossoming street art exhibition that can be found in a derelict urban site in Lisbon. Camila’s Disoriented Pavilion has taken an empty plot of land adjacent to Palácio Belmonte in Portugal’s capital and filled it with a riot of colour. Old dilapidated walls are now covered with thousands of plastic flowers. (more…)

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July 7, 2014

Art and Flowers in Canada’s Top Garden Jardins de Metis

Art and Flowers in Canada’s Top Garden Jardins de Metis

Elsie Reford would anxiously await the arrival of her seed package orders during Montreal’s dreary winter months. These precious parcels would arrive with the promise of future exotic plants from around the globe. Elsie would store the packets until spring when she and her husband Robert Wilson Reford would head to their home on Quebec’s remote Gaspé Peninsula. (more…)

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June 30, 2014

Provence’s Purple Fields of Essential Lavender Oil

Provence’s Purple Fields of Essential Lavender Oil

If you had to conjure up a mental picture of Provence – what would it be? Thanks to talented photographers who have turned their best shots into postcards, books and Internet sites, one of the most iconic images of Provence is the deep purple undulating rows of lavender plants. (more…)

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June 23, 2014

5 Surprising Things About Portugal

5 Surprising Things About Portugal

Nutmeg has wanted to visit Portugal since the 1970s. At that time, her parents spent their holiday venturing along the rugged Atlantic coastline and small roads in a Volkswagen (VW) van, sharing the driving and vinho verde (young wine) with some Canadian friends. It was their photos of sunny surf swept shorelines and red-checkered tablecloths that stuck Portugal firmly on Nutmeg’s travel bucket list. (more…)

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June 16, 2014

Historical English Market in Cork Ireland

Historical English Market in Cork Ireland

Regular G&N readers know Nutmeg cannot resist a market and certainly not if it involves coffee, lunch or both. That is exactly what a couple hours at the English Market in Cork served up. The name may seem a bit odd in the heart of Ireland, but it was the Protestant or “English” corporation, which controlled Cork at the time that created the market. The English Market first opened to the public on August 1st, 1788 predating the election of the first US president. (more…)

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June 9, 2014

Olivier Bourillon and The Rodeo Cowboys of Provence

Olivier Bourillon and The Rodeo Cowboys of Provence

Most readers already know that Ginger is a devoted rodeo fan and Calgary Stampede volunteer. In the last few years, he has embraced Provencal equine traditions surrounding brawny white horses and feisty midnight-black bulls. Ginger can explain the rules of a Course Camarguaise, and he has been to ferrades (branding events). In the process, he has taken hundreds of photos of bulls running in the streets during the annual Fêtes de Village in August. However, his heart remains saddled to traditional rodeo. (more…)

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June 2, 2014

Lonely Planet’s Martin Heng in Pursuit of Accessible Travel for All

Lonely Planet’s Martin Heng in Pursuit of Accessible Travel for All

Exhausted by merciless cold and blowing snow, you can hardly wait to get seated on the airplane that promises to transport you far away from this Siberia-esq scene. You arrived at the airport within the current allowable check-in limits, but despite your best efforts the security line snaked well into the concourse and now you are at a full sprint flying through the airport with your suitcase and laptop, leaving a path of destruction in your wake. The plane’s overhead compartments are full of winter jackets, so you have crammed your carry-on under the seat and can barely move your legs for the next four hours. Sound familiar? Now, picture the same scenario only you are mobility impaired, you cannot sprint through the concourse or even reach the overhead compartments. That is Martin Heng’s reality. (more…)

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May 26, 2014

Longing for Marseille’s Palais Longchamp

Longing for Marseille’s Palais Longchamp

Marseille has managed to improve its image in the last few years, from seedy French port to European Cultural Capital in 2013. A financial infusion of several hundred million Euros did a lot for cleaning up the heart of the tourist area and expanding the city’s museums. The last major infrastructure project of this magnitude in Marseille was the post WWII reconstruction of the Vieux Port and le Panier district. Marseille’s cultural transformation has been significant, including the recently renovated Palais Longchamp home of two galleries the Natural History Museum and the Musée des Beaux-Arts. (more…)

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May 19, 2014

The Next Era for Marseille’s Fort Saint Jean

The Next Era for Marseille’s Fort Saint Jean

Salty cobalt-blue waters of the Mediterranean slip into the Port of Marseille under the careful watch of two stoic limestone sentries, Fort Saint-Jean and Fort Saint-Nicholas. In 1660, King Louis XIV ordered the construction of Fort Saint-Nicholas and the reinforcement of existing structures at Fort Saint-Jean. The justification for these monumental building projects was to improve the defense capabilities of the old port. The reality was likely more a show of military force to encourage calm among Marseille’s rebellious citizens than against the threat of external attack, the forts’ cannons faced the city. (more…)

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