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Cheers! Tips for Hosting A Successful Cocktail Party at Your Home

By | Calgary, Dining, Lifestyle

With spring well on its way (fingers crossed), we have been channelling our inner hostess vibes over here at Homes & Lifestyles. Backyard BBQ’s, potlucks and best of all, cocktail parties, we love to entertain and be entertained. It’s these exciting gatherings that allow us to create amazing memories with our friends and family, while connecting over good food and even better drinks!

The ultimate host or hostess is hard to live up to with the high standards set by the queen hostess, Martha Stewart. However, even if you’re spread isn’t a Pinterest worthy moment, the fun is all in the process.

We caught up with Chef Eric Beaupre, Executive Chef at the Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge, during the filming of our ‘Mountain Living” episode, to get his advice on hosting an flawless cocktail party at your home.

What tips would you recommend when hosting a cocktail party?

First and foremost, always have lots of ice.

Second, I would recommend making a batch of the cocktail you want to make before your guests arrive. Then all you have to do is pour, garnish and join in on the group conversation. Presenting it on the countertop in a pitch style – easy!

How do you choose a cocktail for the evening?

Personally, I would choose a cocktail that is spirit based that only requires juices and syrup to be added. Decide on two drinks to keep it simple, but still have options for your guests to choose from. Make one easy drink. For example, anything spritzed, Sours, Collins Class tall, Moscow Mule, Tom Collins etc. Then make one that’s a little stronger, such as a twist on the old fashioned. This will give a good balance of both the feminine and masculine.

What ingredients should you always have on hand?

Anything citrus such as, lemons or grapefruit for garnishes. Soda to mx. Prosecco and ginger beer to add to spirits.

What cocktail recipe is a safe bet every time?

The Mojito – it’s a classic that’s always a crowd pleaser.

Get a sprig of mint and flick it over the glass with your hand, to release the oils. Then, build the mojito in a tall glass:

  • Add the mint to the glass
  • 1oz lime juice
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • 5oz white rum
  • Add ice chunks to the top of glass,
  • Use a stirring spoon to mix well
  • Add a splash of soda to fill the glass (2-3oz)
  • Finish with three sprigs at the top
  • Sprinkle of sugar on top. Voila!

Last tip: always MEASURE! For balance, and for maintaining the correct ratio of spirits to mixers. People always forget to measure.

Of course, if you you’re just not the do-it-yourself type, head down to the Pomeroy Kananaskis for an array of craft cocktails, curated with the mountain enthusiast in mind!

The Blacktail Bar at the new Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge  was featured on the first episode of Homes & Lifestyles season two, airing March 28th, 2018 on CTV Two at 8:30 a.m. Miss it? Subscribe to our YouTube Channel to catch it.

The Kananaskis Nordic Spa: Nordic Tradition with a Canadian Twist

By | Calgary, Design, Dining, Entertainment, Kim Hayden, Lifestyle, Vacation | No Comments

Who can relate?

You’re at a spa for the first time and you don’t know what to do. Where do you sit? Where are the towels? And also, shhh, don’t dare speak. You feel completely aware of every move you’re making and you feel like everyone is watching you. They of course are not, and it’s pretty likely that many are feeling the same way you are. What is it about the traditional spa experience that can make us feel so uncomfortable?

Well take a deep breath. You will not experience this at the brand new Kananaskis Nordic Spa, located next to the beautifully updated Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge. This deliberately different take on the hot-warm-cold-rest-repeat hydrotherapy lifestyle practiced in Nordic wellness circles for centuries feels, well, Canadian. *Read: comfortable, rustic, welcoming, friendly, and warm. Surrounded by alpine forest and rugged mountain peaks, deep in Alberta’s Kananaskis Country, this oasis combines the Nordic Spa style tradition of repair, relaxation, and rejuvenation with rustic, modern Canadiana.

We took a test run (someone’s got to do it!) and have highlighted what we found makes this Nordic style spa uniquely Canadian and experience you won’t soon forget.

Outdoor Campfires

Who doesn’t like a year-round outdoor fire? We’re Canadians after all, we don’t let winter hold us back from getting outside and gathering with friends by the fire. At the Kananaskis Nordic Spa, you’ll find social campfire settings within the outdoor woodland design. And rather than the traditional ‘silence-at-all-times-please’ approach typically seen at Nordic spas, guests can quietly socialize within a spa setting. Well it’s still expected that the ambience be quiet and respectful, guests are able to socialize in hushed tones while unwinding together.

Canadian Tartan Robes

Instead of the classic white robe you’ve come to expect, the Kananaskis Nordic Spa has deliberately opted for something a little more Canadian. The tartan selected as the fabric for the robes, is the maple leaf print designed in 1964 by David Weiser to commemorate the new Canadian flag, with its four colours representing the colours of the maple leaf as it changes through the seasons; green in the spring, gold in the fall, red at the first frost, and brown when it falls to the ground.

The Spa Lodge

Surrounded by a series of hot, saltwater, and cold plunge pools resides the modern-meets-rustic Spa Lodge. Step inside to find a mix of bold industrial features complimenting the décor of stained grey wood panel walls, white tile flooring and granite counter-tops – finished with clean, bright white lighting. Rich textures, luxe fabrics, and soft seating add a home-away-from-home feel to the spa space – like a chic Canadian style lodge.

Outdoor/Indoor

Boldly making ample use of both the outdoors and indoors is what sets this spa experience apart. Outdoors, guests benefit from the hydrotherapy cycles, peaceful rejuvenation and meditation practices, while quietly socialize within a spa setting. Inside the Spa Lodge, guests are met with an inviting plush, comfortable lounge setting – reminiscent of a contemporary-luxe Canadian cabin, complete with a lounge area that can fully open up to the outdoors in the summer months.

So ditch the white robe and head to the Kananaskis Nordic spa for a red Canadian tartan robe. They’ll take good care of you, while you take good care of yourself. Disconnect to reconnect.

The Kananaskis Nordic Spa will be featured on the first episode of Homes & Lifestyles season two, airing March 28th, 2018 on CTV Two at 8:30 a.m. We’ll be airing again March 31st, 2018 on CTV Calgary at 10:00 a.m. and again April 4th, 2018 on CTV Two at 8:30 a.m.

The New Kananaskis: A Home Away From Home

By | Calgary, Dining, Entertainment, Kim Hayden, Lifestyle, Vacation | No Comments

It’s been over 30 years since the original Kananaskis Lodge was built within the Kananaskis valley amongst the surreal Rocky Mountains. Emerging from a complete facelift and redesign, this boutique hotel has been officially renamed the “Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge” and is now officially a part of Marriot’s exclusive Autograph Collection of Hotels. Not only is this the first hotel in Alberta to be a part of the Autograph Collection, but it’s the 5th one in Canada. As Calgarians, we are honoured to have this luxury mountain resort so close to home, as it’s only a mere 45 minutes away from Calgary’s City center, how exciting!

What does it mean to a be a part of the Autograph Collection? The Homes & Lifestyles team had the amazing opportunity to visit the lodge and get a full tour before the new identity was revealed!

Embodies the Local Surroundings

One of the requirements to be a part of the Autograph Collection is that it must be inspired by it’s ‘locale’ and be reflected in the experience. From outdoor activities to your experience at the lodge, The Pomeroy is meant to be an escape from the hustle and bustle, with an emphasis on modern, yet rustic mountain living. It aims to inspire adventures, reconnect you with nature, and reflect the rugged, pristine image of the Canadian Rockies here in Alberta. It’s simply the perfect intersection of backcountry beauty and luxury world-class comfort, which is presented in all the details.

Flawlessly Designed

Each suite has been carefully designed to be more like a condo rather than a hotel room, to give guests a feeling that this truly is a home away from home. Along with standard one-bedroom suites, the lodge offers two-level lofts, which give a sense of space, luxurious comfort and openness. Take in the alpine outdoors on your very own private balcony or enjoy the comfort of a fire on those cool mountain evenings. With everyone in mind, the lodge also offers the Hospitality Suite to larger groups and families. All suites feature luxurious textures, stylish furnishings, soft lighting and are designed with a timeless charm that not only looks amazing, but provokes a tactile and emotional connection for every guest that stays at the lodge.

Authentic Canadian Hospitality

To be a part of the Autograph Collection having a guest-centric mindset is key. Paying ‘ode to our well known Canadian culture, the Pomroy aims at giving each guest a custom experience that arm you with memories and have you coming back time and time again. From nourishing food offered at one of their 5 uniquely curated, on-site eateries, to access to worldclass amenities and services to a concierge service that will make sure you are well taken care of from the moment you walk in the door, you will never need to look far to be prepared to indulge in the natural beauty of the mountain region.

A Focus on Health and Wellness

From getting outdoors and reconnecting with nature to nourishing your body with health-focused meals, fitness and health are a priority at the lodge. With organized group activities, recommendations for surrounding active mountain experiences and trails for all levels with panoramic breath-taking viewpoints, you’ll never find yourself with a lack of adventure at your fingertips.

Relax at the Nordic Spa

We took a test run of this four season, mountain sanctuary and let us tell you, it’s unlike anything we have ever experienced! Combining the tranquil rejuvenation of a traditional Nordic Spa and the alpine stillness of the Canadian Rockies this spa is meant to provoke relaxation and give you the opportunity to discover clarity in the midst of the Rockies. Learn more about the spa here!

Accommodations for the Entire Family

The Pomeroy is designed to accommodate guests of any age, along with your furry best friends (your dog is essentially a part of the family, so they’re more than welcome). They offer accessibility services, an extensive list of kid-approved activities and seasonal programs, along with menu items that will satisfy the pickiest of eaters. Memoires made with your loved ones are the ones that matter most, and the lodge has been thoughtfully designed with this mantra in mind, aiming to get the entire family out to experience the natural beauty of the Kananaskis region. There’s also a recreational facility that is opening this summer that will feature an all-inclusive water park that will have you dragging your kids away at the end of the day. Stay tuned!

A Cosy and Inviting Atmosphere

Continuing the theme of a home away from home, the lodge aims at being a spot you want to hang out at. Curl up by the warmth of the roaring fireplace in the Blacktail Bar or the lobby and enjoy some lounge time tucked in one of their complimentary fluffy blankets on the low, sofa seating available. There are also games and a scrabble board available so you can recreate the excitement of a family games night in the middle of the lodge.

All Elements Combined Work to Tell a Story

From the details in the design to the outdoor spirit to the dedication to reconnecting guests with the beauty of nature, each element captures all the glory and natural beauty that Kananaskis is known for. The new logo says it best, combining nature, shelter and location, in a modern representation that highlights the mountain ridge and the expansive valley below the resort. Each element is meant to be a subtle reminder of the natural beauty of the lodge, the surrounding wildlife and laid-back coziness that is embodied in the ambiance of the new Pomeroy Kananaskis.

The Pomeroy Kananaskis will be featured on the first episode of Homes & Lifestyles season two, airing March 28th, 2018 on CTV Two at 8:30 a.m.

We’ll be airing again March 31st, 2018 on CTV Calgary at 10:00 a.m. and again April 4th, 2018 on CTV Two at 8:30 a.m.