This can be the most wonderful time of the year, and we have done our best to help make it so. Our annual Holiday Issue always gets us thinking about the season a little prematurely because of our production schedule, but the reward is similar to that good feeling one gets after wrapping the last present on your gift-giving list. The work is done and now we can really enjoy ourselves and jump into the festivities with both feet.
Our Gift Guide will provide plenty of inspiration. Getting our favourite retailers to highlight just one item each is a challenge they take on willingly, but it really isn’t fair. There are sure to be hits for you there, but a visit to the shop and talking to the experts will ensure you find a perfect fit — sometimes quite literally. Our culinary focus at Eatdrink also leads us to know that people who like to eat and drink well also enjoy every other facet of “the good life” … and express their zest for living with the clothes they wear, the home they keep, the culture they enjoy, and what they do with their leisure time.
Party season is kicking into high gear, and you’ll see that the quality restaurants advertising in Eatdrink are keen to help take care of the particulars for you, whether you’re a table of four or you need to book out the whole space for the bash of the year. The holiday season is a time to be with people, so why not let professionals take some of the load off your shoulders so you can enjoy yourself?
Of course, hosting in your own home can be a great experience too, and we’ve got plenty of help for that in this issue. Wow your guests with a “spherical cocktail” that you will find the secret to in our Spirits column. The magical ingredients are surprisingly affordable and you don’t need to be David Copperfield to pull this off.
’Tis also the season for more robust beers, and you’ll know their history and have some leads on porters and stouts after you read beer columnist Aaron Brown’s first contribution to Eatdrink. For more solid sustenance, you’ll find some intriguing recipes and “indigenous fusion” ideas — and reviewer Tracy Turlin has kept the holidays in mind with her suggestions — as we look at the popular Cooking with the Wolfman cookbook that combines rustic indigenous traditions with fine dining.
Bryan Lavery hit the road for a few days for us this issue. He surveyed some of the key culinary highlights — and there are many — in the Kitchener-Waterloo region. He also made the envious trek to Blyth and visited the exciting Cowbell Brewing Co., which is an outstanding brewery, restaurant and so much more. It’s a great story about an inspiring business, and don’t we all love seeing a bold group of people embracing a grand vision that taps into so many ideals, and pulling it off. Kudos!
Closer to home, Bryan also shares the story of the transformation of London’s Hilton into something new, and specifically the Blake’s Bistro & Bar on the second floor. Will Blake’s still be “a London secret” after this? I doubt it.
Let’s really celebrate the season with gusto, but also ensure that we remember the less fortunate members of our community. There is no shortage of worthy organizations looking for support and I encourage you to find one or two that have meaning for you and give to them generously. While I often say “we reap what we sow,” I know that good fortune is often not earned, and misfortune is too often out of one’s control.