What to see and do in the city we call home
If staying under the same roof as George Clooney and Brad Pitt tickles your fancy than the ultra-luxe, ultra-chic Hazelton Hotel may be right up your alley. Since it’s opening during TIFF this past September, its well-adorned doors have welcomed the likes of Hollywood A-listers to the mega-rich. Located in the fashionable Yorkville district, this exclusive boutique hotel boasts 77 rooms and 16 private residences. Weekend packages from the divine (chauffeured private tours of Tiffany&Co) to the decadent (private helicopter tours above the cityscape) are available for the picking. If a weekend retreat isn’t in your budget, a stop in the hotel’s plush restaurant & bar, One, can do the trick. A sip of their signature martini – appropriately called The One – will set your senses ablaze with fall notes of cloves and cinnamon. Yum! 118 Yorkville Avenue, Toronto www.thehazeltonhotel.com
What better time than the holidays to take a walk down memory lane? Nothing cures nostalgia like a good ol’ holiday classic. The Nutcracker is back in town from December 8th to 30th for your sentimental fixing. Think visions of sugar plum fairies dancing in your head. A holiday favourite since its premiere way back in 1892 this must-see production, performed by The National Ballet School of Canada at the swank Four Seasons Center for Performing Arts, tells the story of 19th century Russia and a brother and sister who move through magical landscapes before finally arriving at The Sugar Plum Fairy palace. Timeless, touching, and wonderous. Just what the holidays are all about!
145 Queen Street West, Toronto. www.nationalballet.ca
Not on yourself that is! With the holidays just around the corner why not prep yourself perfect before the invites start rolling in. Stock up on a variety of luxurious hostess gifts like chic cognac dish liquids ($15.95) or sweet Kate Spade ornaments ($68.95/4 pack) that say thank you in the prettiest way possible. We particularly loved the pretty glass box Table Topics game set ($39.95) that will surely get the conversation started at the dinner table. With questions ranging from “Is intelligence or common sense more important” and “What’s the best advice your partner ever gave you”, you won’t be hearing the clattering of cutlery around your next dinner soirée. For the more tame at heart, Teatro Verde offers custom hostess floral creations starting at $65.00. Now, all you have to do is decide what to wear.
Hazelton Lanes, 87 Avenue Road, www.teatroverde.ca
Need a little fine-tuning for that holiday fête you’ve offered to throw? You’ve still got time! Whip yourself in gourmet shape with a hands-on class at Calphalon Culinary Center. With classes ranging from scrumptious holiday hors d’oeuvres to a full-seated luxe dinner you’ll be whipping, mixing, beating and baking with the best of ‘em before too long. Now, if only you could get enough dishes to match.
424 King Street West, Toronto www.calphalonculinarycenter.com
Sotto Sotto is certainly not a Toronto secret but sometimes nothing beats the tried and true. Why settle for imitation? Classic Italian fare coupled in an intimate and candlelit cave-like setting calls for nothing less than the perfect pairing. Think cozy and warm on a chilly winter night. Try the Della Spiga risotto (mushrooms, saffron & parm cheese) which comes served tableside for two in the prettiest of copper pots. There’s a reason why this squish spot is still a city favourite. Best to save this spot for someone or something special.
116 Avenue Road, Toronto. www.sottosotto.ca
This blink-and-you’ll-miss-it hole in the wall has been entertaining in-town Hollywood A-listers this fall—although they certainly won’t be telling you that. With a capacity of a little more than a bakers dozen, Sweaty Betty’s main focus is on having a stinkin good time. Small and intimate, this drinker’s paradise serves up a bevy of imported liquors like Absinthe straight from the Czech Republic. And if hunger strikes, you’ll be able to find a cheez whiz and nutella on toast somewhere on the menu. Don’t forget to bring a pile of quarters for their stocked jukebox.
13 Ossington Avenue, Toronto. www.sweatybettysbar.com