Date Night in Vancouver: Farmers markets to weekend getaways

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Kick the end-of-summer blues by adding some pizazz into your love life this fall. This series has you covered with date night (or weekend) ideas for couples aiming to escape the rut of snooze-worthy rendezvous.

Laid back: Farmers Market

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Not everyone is a master chef, we get that. But some of the best date nights are spent navigating the grocers and strategically rubbing elbows in the kitchen. Cooking doesn’t have to be a chore. My suggestion is to head over to Trout Lake’s farmer’s market. If commuting via bicycle, the convenient bike valet makes for an easy park and shop. With many vendors to choose from, you won’t be short on options. My two cents: grab some spreadable peppercorn goat gouda from The Farm House Natural Cheeses to slather atop Sweet Heart bread from A Bread Affair, pick some locally-sourced protein, to douse with salt and spice and stock up on veggies to fill your plates. Maneuver your way through vendor stalls to find sauces, seasoning and herbs. En route home, stop for a take-home bottle of bubbly, or wine. Cook, canoodle and leave the pots and pans to the dishwasher.

Fancy pants: Lift bar + grill

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Tuck into your seats at Lift bar + grill. What makes this place magical are the views of Coal Harbour, Stanley Park and the North Shore mountains. Boys, no need to offer your lady your coat, the fireplace-warmed roof terrace keeps guests cozy and is open throughout the year. Start with beef tartare as a segue into the Alberta Angus Beef Tenderloin. To end, share the black forest liquid dessert: vanilla gelato, chambourd, Kahlua, Aztec chocolate bitters, creme de cacao. Drinks, inspired by the Pintxos menus of Northern Spain and the Basque Country, are on-hand for a much-needed boozy Friday night.

Get Away: Leavenworth 

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Approximately a four-hour drive from Vancouver, in the state of Washington, lays a quaint, but very special, Bavarian village. For lodging, think rental cabins, many of which include a private outdoor hot tub, kitchenette and a barbecue. Attractions include spas, world-class wineries, breweries and plenty of hearty German cuisine. Bavarian sausages? Check. As a bonus, next month sees the annual Oktoberfest. And when snow begins to trickle, it’s a truly wondrous sight to see.

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Sunita Bassra 

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