Romance - Fall & Winter
Oh, hey there good looking. If you are looking for advice on how to turn up the heat when the city gets cool this year, look no further.
The thing about crisp air is it gives you the perfect excuse to hold your partner close.
Winnipeg, being a four-season city, has the sort of fall that you’d find in a J-Crew catalogue; one with multi-coloured leaves and the sounds of migratory birds in the air that makes for an environment that is ripe for romance.
Our winters too are primed for steamy encounters, as our outdoors involves spas, skating, and walks through a silent park, all things that makes you want to get a little closer.
First off, let’s get you two a room, shall we? If you are feeling adventurous how about an exotic room at Mariaggi’s Theme Suite Hotel & Spa, where you love birds can nest in exotic locales like Morocco, Rome and Jakarta, via lavishly decorated rooms replete with jacuzzis. Mariaggi’s is the number-one-rated romantic hotel in Winnipeg on TripAdvisor — making it a prime destination for acting out some of your worldly fantasies.
If role-play is not your thing, and your style is more old-world grandeur, the always-classy Fort Garry Hotel, Spa and Conference Centre is a great choice.
When you approach this stunning façade you’ll see how its polished brass rails invite you in through the lobby for drinks in the elegant Palm Lounge, where evenings almost always feature someone tickling the ivories on the grand piano.
But save that lounge for later, because after you two check-in you should hit the streets of Winnipeg where romance permeates like music from performance tents at Festival du Voyageur (February 16–25).
With hay at your feet, maple taffy in your hands, and warmth in your heart at being surrounded by such joy, Festival du Voyageur is prime grounds for courtship. Perhaps you’ll meet that special someone at single’s night? Or, if you are a couple already, you two can get bundled up in your fur-trimmed coats, drink some caribou out of glasses made of ice, then cozy up to live music while passions flicker like the bonfires that dot the grounds.
Not far from the Festival grounds (Fort Gibraltar) in St. Boniface is Chocolatier Constance Popp, where you can sip on spicy Mexican hot chocolate and feed one another all manner of handmade, ethically sourced chocolate goodies that will see you closing your eyes with pleasure. In fact, Winnipeg’s whole sweets scene is one to be savoured by lovers. More bean to bar chocolates are made at Aschenti Cocoa; Jenna Rae Cakes is where you can buy no shortage of Instagram-approved sweet treats (167,000+ followers can’t be wrong); while Baked Expectations has launched many a high school romance over a decadent schmoo torte (PSA: caramel is the sexiest of dessert sauces).
This season, our arts scene is also turning-up the romance with a couple performances that will make for an ideal date night. The Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre is opening their 2017/18 season with Shakespeare in Love (October 18–November 11), the Academy award-winning tale of forbidden romance between the Bard and his muse, while Manitoba Opera is opening their 45th season with the heart-wrenching Madama Butterfly (November 18, 21, 24), which, although terribly tragic, will make any sort of “tests” in your relationship seem trivial. Now isn’t that romantic?
Lovebirds also flock to The Forks, just a short walk from anywhere downtown.
During autumn, you can take a stroll amongst the falling leaves in this richly tree-lined area while watching the migratory birds in flight from the Riverwalk (the babble of the river will be like whispering sweet nothings in your ear). Or, get on the river itself, as Splash Dash Tours provide insightful guided city tours until October 15 (weather permitting) where you two can bundle up while observing Winnipeg’s skyline from the water.
Come winter, The Forks is all romance, all the time. Rent skates then attempt to impress one another with your athletic prowess under the canopy (which often has nightly DJs spinning soul jams). Or, better yet, take to the Red River Mutual Trail where you can push your loved one (should their feet get sore) on pretty red chairs down the ice, taking breaks in their internationally designed warming huts which run all along the trails.
If you are looking to get real steamy, all while rejuvenating those skating legs, boy do we have a spot for you.
It’s called Thermëa by Nordik Spa-Nature, a Scandinavian spa so exquisite that its very name, when whispered amongst the snow-covered pines of the Fort Garry neighbourhood, will bring you to pure, sensual bliss, as if its eucalyptus vapours were nibbling at your ear.
All you need is a bathing suit, a robe and some flip flops, and this place will do the rest with hot thermal pools, steamy and dry saunas, and cold pools and a waterfall that will perk you right up. It’s an ideal place for couples — hence the offer of a “Hot and Steamy” package for two — as you’ll need someone to rub the invigorating and exfoliating lavender salts on your back between steam room sessions. They also have tantalizing dining for lunch and dinner where — get this — you can only dine in robes.
As night falls, head out to one of Winnipeg’s celebrated tapas restaurants because nothing entices like sharing bites, you feel me? In Osborne Village you can savour Spanish flavours from chef Adam Donnelly at Segovia — Winnipeg’s most acclaimed restaurant. Get there early to avoid the wait — they don’t take reservations — so you can get a nice seat at the open kitchen bar where you can sip some cava and feed one another delectable bites while watching the chefs work.
Post-dinner, take a romantic stroll down through the city’s historic Exchange District, where live music permeates from warm, inviting rooms as if to say, “get a little closer.” Holding hands while walking back to the hotel isn’t mandatory, but I bet you do, you smitten little lovers you.