Party like a Goddess

Shouldn’t all weekends be three days long? I certainly think so! Crawling out of bed this morning was particularly painful and my full inbox has me already day dreaming about next weekend.

Like always, I have the inside scoop on the best upcoming events. Today’s feature: the Art & Soul: Clash of the Titans party at the Winnipeg Art Gallery on Saturday, February 20 at 8pm. It’s going to be AMAZING.

My insiders tell me that there will be three floors of fist-pumping dancing action with performances by The Lytics, MEMETIC DJs, DJ Co-op and DJ Hunnicutt. The Aveda Institute Winnipeg will have an onsite beauty bar and will be giving free makeovers all night long. Albert Street Cocktail will be serving up delicious mythical creature-inspired cocktails. Best of all—it’s a costume party!

Peggy as MedusaWhich favourite mythical creature are you going to dress up as? Sweet and beautiful goddess of love Aphrodite? Strong Athena, goddess of wisdom and war? Personally, I think I make a pretty fierce Medusa.

Whoever you choose be, you’re going to need a costume.

And what’s a Greek party without a toga?! Mitchell Fabrics on 637 Main Street is your go-to-place for all your ancient linen needs, and clearance cloth prices start as low as 99 cents per metre.

I found some amazing local jewellery at the Downtown Farmers’ Market last week that fits perfectly with my goddess gear. It’s a Cree-owned company called Boreal Workshop and they create all their handmade jewellery right here in Manitoba.

Peggy's art and soul costume 2

If you’re in a pinch, I find Ardene at Portage Place is perfect as a one-stop-shop for all your accessories for any party. I found a pair of gladiator sandals (3 for $10), some golden necklaces (4 for $10), and a flowy peasant top ($10)—I love a good bargain!

Peggy's art and soul costume

Tickets for the event start at $55 and for an additional donation you can get some pretty sweet perks. For an added $10 donation, you will receive a laurel wreath to complement your costume. An added $25 donation gets you access to the exclusive VIP lounge in The Bacchus Room. And either donation will get you entered to win a night’s stay at the Mere Hotel, dinner for two a Cibo, and two tickets to see Rhianna, April 18 at the MTS Centre.

For more info and to get your tickets, check out wag.ca.

As for me, time to get back to the work day and start tackling all these emails!

Show downtown some love!

Whether you have several, one, none or only potential Valentines this Valentine’s day, why don’t you take a little time out of your day and show a little love for the heart of the city, my home and yours: downtown.

This week, swing by my Valentine-making space on the second level of Portage Place (where the Lennard Taylor Launch It! shop used to be). There you’ll find all kinds of Valentine’s Day activities including craft supplies, retro love songs on vinyl and a bunch of contests to enter.

Stop by and make a Valentine and let me know what you love most about downtown Winnipeg, or make one ahead of time and drop it off.

For all the details, click here.

Take a guess at how many candies are in each jar for a chance to win daily prizes including:

Monday:

Bouquet courtesy of Freshcut Downtown

Two tickets to Winnipeg Mardi Gras

 

Tuesday:

Two tickets to Vinyl Love at the Garrick Hotel

Betsey Johnson sparkly owl bracelet (HBC)

Saucy Jack Butter London Nail Polish (HBC)

Bobbi Brown lip gloss trio (HBC)

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Wednesday:

Two tickets to Winnipeg Mardi Gras

Pearl necklace and bracelet (Flash Boutique)

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Thursday:

Two tickets to Vinyl Love at the Garrick Hotel

Selection of craft beers

Mama Pacha’s Brilliant Beard Balm (Flash Boutique)

Paper Chess Set (Best of Friends)

Space Invaders Playing Cards (Best of Friends)

5 Classic Bond Stories (Coles cityplace)

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Friday:

Black and Sparkly

Anne Klien ankle boots (HBC)

Butter London Nail Polish (HBC)

Smashbox Lipgloss (HBC)

Timex watch (HBC)

Two Saturday Swing Out passes

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Downtown Pop-Up Shop

One shop, two shop, three shop….I’m going to stop because there’s actually 7 shops in one that just popped up in Portage Place!

 

 

All of the 7 are young entrepreneurs who are testing out what it would be like to have a storefront – and they’re actually a very cool bunch that I would never have expected to see sharing the same space, but it really works! I was at their launch yesterday and got to peek at all the products.

In all, you’ve got Lennard Taylor – maker of fabulous clothing and accessories, from leather holsters to painted tshirts and lovely flowy tunics. EPH Apparel – who help the young gents of downtown suit up in custom gear at a price they can afford. Bannock in a Box and Delicious Kicks (who are in a dead heat for cutest names) serve up bannock and spicy salsas. Synonym Art represents 10 local artists and sells their work in the pop-up. Digiplus can do a gorgeous engraved phone cases, business card cases, and more out of everything from coloured metal to bamboo! And there’s an awesome lounge in the middle from Oi Furniture that you can arrange and rearrange out of separate blocks to build seating that’s as big or small as you need it to be!

The store is open 11 – 3 Monday to Saturday, and you can actually meet the entrepreneurs some of those times too – I got to talk to Lennard about what his favourite pieces are for spring, with the salsa people about their recipes. They’re running for the next 3 weeks only, so stop by before it’s gone!

 

 

 

Italian nostalgia

Thank you to everyone who participated in my first Let’s Do Lunch Downtown contest this month.

The winners of the gift certificates were:

$50 to East India Company: Shael

$50 to 4Play Sports Bar: Chrystal Friesen

Congratulations!

If you didn’t win this round, don’t fret. I’ve got more stuff to give away.

This time I’ve got a $50 gift card to Old Spaghetti Factory and a $25 gift card to Dessert Sinsations.

To enter, leave a comment below telling me which one you’d like to try along with a way to contact you. (You can leave your email address in the form–it will be kept private.)

You’ve got until Friday at 9am to enter this one.

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Old Spaghetti Factory
The Johnston Terminal, 957-1319

I can remember going to the Old Spaghetti Factory for pretty much my entire life. It’s the kind of place you can go with mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, kids and everyone else and their dog in tow, and everyone will find something they like. (Please note: they don’t allow dogs… I assume.)

I always love revisiting these places as an adult and realizing how much bigger they seemed when you were a kid. Although in the case of OSF, it’s still huge. My favourite room has always been the one surrounded by windows that looks out into the wilderness of The Forks site. After a day spent skating on the river, it’s the perfect place to warm up.

I am addicted to the bread and whipped garlicky butter they bring before your meal and always have to restrain myself from overdoing it before the food even comes.

I really love the sauteed mushrooms for an appetizer. They come swimming in a wine and butter sauce and it’s just the right size for two people to share.

One of the things OSF prides itself on is value, and they do that aspect extremely well. It’s hard to find a meal complete with salad or soup, entree and dessert for under $15 these days. Another reason this is a great option for families.

Of course you can’t go wrong with any of their pastas and I’ve always been partial to the classic spaghetti and meatballs and the spicy chorizo penne.

Last time I went, I thought I’d try something new with the spaghetti tossed in brown butter sauce and topped with shredded mizithra cheese–apparently it was a favourite of Homer’s while he was composing the Iliad. (We’re talking the Greek dude, not Simpson.) It was delicious and I’d definitely recommend it for someone who wants something a little different from the norm.

I also really like that you can opt for half sizes of the pasta in case you’re not feeling extremely hungry that day. (It’s never happened to me, but I assume it happens to other people.)

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Dessert Sinsations
505 St. Mary’s Avenue, 284-4661

One of my very favourite get-together-with-the-girls places in the city is Dessert Sinsations. From creative and innovative menu items to a sparkling dessert case that kind of makes me want to cry with joy, it offers the most delectable combination of sweet and savoury.

The menu is packed with so many things to choose from. If you’re a regular reader at Downtown Peggy, you’ll know I’ve got a thing for poutine and Dessert Sinsations’ is one of my favourites. It’s made with a combination of regular and sweet potato fries and topped with a beautiful velvety gravy. You can even make it vegetarian and then it comes with an equally delectable mushroom gravy.

The moist and juicy portabella mushroom white cheddar burger is a can’t-miss menu item (currently featuring as a top contender in the Downtown Magazine best burger in downtown search). I also love the pulled roast turkey sandwich topped with tangy cranberry sauce and sweet red onion chutney.

For an entree choice, chèvre stuffed chicken breast is a good bet. It comes with an amazing strawberry rhubarb red onion compote and a creamy, buttery pistachio risotto. And for a local hit of flavour, I love the spiced pickerel that comes wrapped in a banana leaf (neat) and topped with blueberry siracha sauce (really neat). It too comes with risotto, but this time a corn one. It’s all to die for.

Once you’ve had your fill of dinner, that’s when the fun really begins. After all, in a place named after desserts, it would be a sin not to save room for some… see what I did there? Oh never mind.

The dessert case has got it all–tortes, cheesecakes, cookies, squares and cupcakes–and I’ve never gone away anything less than completely delighted. I’m always partial to lemon and chocolate desserts so I often go for the very citrusy lemon torte or the chocolate mint cheesecake. Along with poutine, I’ve also got a thing for cupcakes so I’ve been known to take one or two (or six) home with me after dinner to save for later.

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On another note:

I also wanted to let you know about a promotion happening at Portage Place.

Purchase a $60 Portage Place Gift Card and get an additional $10 Gift Card free! Plus enter to win a $500 Portage Place Shopping Spree!

Offer valid from March 16 – 27.

I’ve also got a $100 gift card to give away to one lucky winner! To enter, go to the Downtown BIZ Facebook page and like us. If you’re already a fan, then you’re automatically entered! The draw will take place March 16.