Summer Date Night at Park Royal – by Gretchen Martin
It’s hard not to love the long days and warm nights of Summer; particularly right here on the North Shore. With a temperature that seems to have been perfectly set on a thermostat for max enjoyment (well, most days!), Park Royal provides the perfect backdrop for a Summer date night. My husband and I had the chance to have our own date night at Park Royal and it was the perfect mix of all the things I love! Him, food, fashion and a casual environment that let us relax and enjoy each other with fun little sensory-evoking shops.
Pro-tip for the ladies: one of Park Royal’s best kept secrets is the Beauty Boutique at Shoppers! I decided to duck in for a new lipstick and possibly a little bronzer touch-up before meeting up with my man, and what I was greeted with was an entourage of extremely talented makeup artists and rows of beautiful cosmetics that made me feel like I had died and gone to makeup heaven! What was initially going to be a short in-and-out lipstick run turned into a full makeup touchup that left me feeling completely glam. I have also been on the hunt for a self-tanner that was safe and easy for newbies and was excited to find the St. Tropez Gradual Tan Watermelon Infusion Body Lotion that came with rave reviews from the beauty team at Shoppers Drug Mart!
I have been thinking of ways to creatively remind my guy he is on my mind lately that doesn’t translate to a notification on his phone – so my next stop was to Zing Paperie. What a darling shop this is! I could probably get lost in all the adorable cards and gifts they have (and absolutely love their local owners!), but I was able to quickly find unique and fun little cards that I could write in to leave in his luggage before trips or, my favourite, these tiny cards that fit into a suit pocket (business-card sized) that are also tree-free and made from recycled denim! Seriously, people are so clever these days!
Now that I was glammed up and stocked with an arsenal of love notes, I was ready for date night to begin! I headed over to Eve Café at Simons to meet my husband as he was coming from his office downtown. I love Eve Café’s trendy-chill vibe and it was the perfect meeting spot to kick off the evening. We got a little distracted by all the great finds at Simons on the way to dinner, but then again, that’s what made the evening so fun!.
Dinner was at The Village Taphouse located in the Village at Park Royal. This was a great choice because their menu is chock-full of great food and they entertained us with live music which is always a welcomed touch. We sat outside for an al-fresco dining experience to soak up the gorgeous Summer evening and had such a wonderful time. While everything we ordered was delicious, do yourself a favour and try their Tuna Poke appetizer, a must! I don’t think I have ordered a Frozen Peach Bellini in years (hello two back-to-back pregnancies!), but I felt like this was an appropriate evening for the splurge and I indulged in this sweet treat and thoroughly enjoyed each sip. We left with full tummies and were ready for a little stroll through the Village at Park Royal.
Because a Summer evening isn’t complete without ice cream, our next stop was Purdy’s Chocolatier. I’m still dreaming about my Maple Walnut cone! On our way there, we stumbled upon the new Bailey Nelson store, which is so fun! First, their entire aesthetic makes the whole experience of getting glasses feel like a beach vacay, and they’ve got a huge selection of every day frames and sunnies for every mood. I love the Blue Light filter which helps to protect your eyes from all the screen time nearly all of us subject ourselves to. And as if the chic store experience and super cute glasses weren’t enough on their own, the price is right. Their glasses start at $145 – say no more Bailey Nelson, I am your newest fangirl.
Fresh off our Bondi Beach vacation via Bailey Nelson and with ice cream cones in hand. We headed to The Village at Park Royal and popped into one of our mutual favourite stores, Saje. My husband has been training hard lately for a race and was experiencing some lower back pain – we had come to the right place! The Saje gals knew just what he needed and armed us with their Pain Release Body Oil and Arnica Rescue, their acute injury ointment.
When the ice cream was finished, it was time to leave Park Royal with our hearts and bellies full. It was an evening well spent soaking up the essence of Summer, and falling just a little bit more in love.