From Tessa Webster, Sales Manager , Lord Elgin Hotel (busy young mom)
One of my closest friends, Karalyn is coming from the Big City of Toronto to Ottawa for a girls’ weekend. I can’t wait! Our favourite things to do are sit on a patio, sip wine and shop, shop, shop.
On Saturday morning we must have our Starbucks latte. We grab one at the Starbucks attached to the Lord Elgin Hotel, which is ideally situated in the heart of the city. We go for a walk along the canal – she appreciates the quiet nature walk which can be hard to find in a bustling metropolis like Toronto. This walk gives us a good chance to get caught up. It also helps that we can walk from the canal and easily access the Rideau Shopping Centre which is where we end up after only an hour into our walk! We grab lunch at the Dining Hall in the mall otherwise known as the food court – we love Amaya and when I visit Karalyn in Toronto it tends to be our go-to spot as well so why not continue the tradition?
The mandatory part of our girl time together is a spa treatment. So we enjoy a relaxing afternoon at Spa Nordic. What girl doesn’t need to put her feet up after spending the morning maxing out her credit card? The massages are heavenly and while we lounge in the many baths and saunas it gives us a chance to chat a bit. We know that Nordic has a great restaurant but with the nice weather these days we prefer to head to downtown Ottawa for dinner. We end up on the patio at the Bier Markt on Sparks street. We know the brand well because her husband works at a location in Mississauga. The food is delicious – the cheese and lager fondue is great for sharing and the mussels are always at the top of our list of plates to share. The “Bier Flights” is like a sampler platter of beer that adventurous beer lovers like us can’t get enough of. They also have live music on Saturday nights which gives us a reason to stay out late.
On Sunday morning we head out early, stop at the Starbucks drive-through in Kanata and head over to the Tanger Outlets. We can always find a good sale at J. Crew and Banana Republic – our favourite stores. Once we have worked up an appetite we head over to my new favourite restaurant in Kanata – Central Bierhaus located in Kanata Centrum. There’s an incredible selection of beer on the menu and the food is perfect – great sharing plates, salad and French fries with mayonnaise…yum!
Sadly, our weekend together has come to an end. See you next time, Karalyn. Can’t wait for our next “girl’s weekend.
From Colleen Mabon, Sales Coordinator, Lord Elgin Hotel
I’ve lived in the Ottawa/Gatineau valley since I was 4 years old, and have many great memories of exploring the area with my friends and family. Throughout the years, I’ve visited many of the popular tourist attractions through school field trips such as the Experimental Farm, Museum of Science & Technology, Parliament Hill, and many others. My parents used to take my sisters and I on hiking trips in the Gatineau Park, and we still try to make it up there at least once a year.
I adore using the bike path along the Rideau Canal during the spring and summer months. Whether it’s biking or roller blading with friends and family or just taking a leisurely stroll on my own, there’s nothing I love more in Ottawa than the canal. The Farmer’s Market in the Byward Market is something I look forward to every summer. There’s nothing like being able to pick up a basket of fresh raspberries to snack on while I make my way to meet friends on our favourite patio at the Heart & Crown.
There are many festivals throughout the area but my favourites are Blues Fest (July), and the Hot Air Balloon festival in Gatineau (early September). Both festivals are family friendly and fun for all ages. No matter what you’re looking to do, there’s something here in Ottawa for you.