What's proper etiquette for the Queen's sommelier? West Coast Wine Education's John Gerum confronted this question head on when he served Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Apparently he made the right choice, as he went on to pour wine for Prime Ministers, Presidents, Provincial Premiers, and cultural icons during his 20-year career. Gerum's achievement distills three generations of fine dining experience that was passed down from his father, a chef, and his grandfather, a maitre 'd. Wine education was always his passion, so when starting out, he sought personal instruction from the master sommelier Andrew Laliberté and demonstrated a palate refined enough to earn him membership and certification from the International Sommelier Guild. Gerum often merges his know-how with other wine educators to cultivate a roster of classes and hone their delivery. These experts join in delineating Scotch terroir and describing the bouquet of a student's favourite pinot-stained shirt with an easy professionalism that has enthralled groups of up to 300 people. They share their expertise with casual drinkers and professionals during two-hour workshops, in consultation for store openings and events, and through appearances on Global TV.
he Safari Partners was born out of a love for what we believe to be the most fascinating continent in the world: Africa. It is our goal to help fulfill the dreams of our travellers in creating the perfect safari vacation for them. We are dedicated to providing the most authentic African travel experiences available.
As the sun sinks below the English Bay, the lights of downtown Vancouver flicker on. Accent Cruises’ fleet of yachts provide panoramic views of this crepuscular splendour as they glide past Burrard Inlet, Point Atkinson, and Whytecliff Park during private and public charters. The event planners at Accent Cruises strive to match the opulent backdrop of international ocean freighters and coastal mansions with equally lavish cruises. A resident chef prepares B.C. salmon and garlic teriyaki chicken during the dinner cruise, which departs 2-6 nights a week, and 200 party guests can carouse on the M.V. Burrard Queen's deck for private charters. Vessels come with stereo systems, fully stocked bars, and at least one passenger who used to be a class clown, further enlivening cruises.
Rain or shine, for 362 days out of the year, Vancouver's streets teem with Big Bus's fleet making their daily stops around the city's sites. Customers pile aboard for 90-minute hop-on, hop-off tours that trek down a route that wends past Vancouver's most compelling attractions, enabling guests to create flexible sightseeing outings that proceed at a convenient pace. Tour captains ferry passengers past 22 city landmarks, such as Stanley Park, Granville Island, and Gastown, letting passengers spring out of their seats before picking up ticket-holders and tumbleweeds eager to make their way across the city. Champions of making the city accessible to visitors from around the globe, Big Bus tours are available in seven languages, including English and German.
Looming 168.8 metres above the city atop the historic Harbour Centre complex, the Vancouver Lookout’s heated indoor observation deck has afforded visitors 360-degree city views since Neil Armstrong cut the ribbon in the 1977 opening ceremony. A pellucid glass elevator pilfered from Willy Wonka’s local chocolate factory speeds visitors up the tower’s side in a scenic 40-second ride. Once they reach their lofty destination, sightseers can peruse a host of interpretive displays that identify Vancouver’s landmarks including Stanley Park and the North Shore Mountains. An ensemble of knowledgeable staffers helms complimentary guided tours, doling out interesting historical tidbits. To further help guests decode what their eyes observe, a city-view guide slider clearly designates the names and locations of prominent sites. Single-visit passes grant all-day access to the observation deck, enabling visitors to watch planes landing on the sun-dappled waters of Harbour Water Airport throughout the day and return in the evening to bask in the glow of the city’s twinkling lights and prominently displayed bat signals.
Though self-professed foodie Michelle Ng proudly admits to ordering takeout 20 times a week, it wasn’t until she started striking up conversations with the chefs behind her favourite dishes that she got a sense of the depth and diversity of Vancouver’s food scene. Now, on her walking tours, Michelle strives to impart the weight of the local food lore she has gleaned during countless conversations with food-truck owners, chefs, and restaurateurs. In an effort to showcase the city’s cultural diversity, she prioritizes truly authentic international cuisine. “It’s not fusion, it’s not dumbed down—these dishes are what you’d get if you had them in their native country,” she says. And because there's no need to walk very far to sample those dishes, she’s found Vancouver to be the perfect city for hoofing it between each dining destination. At each tour’s conclusion, guests walk away not only with full bellies, but with recipes and tips for recreating their favourite dishes at home, and a bonus of any paper napkins they manage to smuggle out whole.