Deck the Halls: Winnipeg Cocktail Culture
Holiday season in Winnipeg is a magical time. Freshly fallen snow morphs the city into a magical winter wonderland. Twinkling lights transform streets, homes and businesses into sparkling cityscapes. The spirit of the season enraptures the citizenry.
OK, so that's the rosy picture. Winnipeg can also be a tad chilly at times. Sure, you can pretty much dress for any temperature but when there's a tipple inside a cozy lounge with your name on it, why wouldn't you head indoors?
With that in mind, here are PCG's choices for choice downtown spots to savour scotch, tip a glass or savour a cab sav.
The Palm Room, Fort Garry Hotel
Winnipeg's original railroad hotel celebrates its 101st birthday in 2014. This grand dame is renowned for its 10th floor Ten Spa and its appetite defying Sunday brunch. The hotel's lounge, The Palm Room is every bit as fantastic. With a domed ceiling, gilded adornments and comfy, cushioned chairs, this drinking room beckons guests to sit, relax and stay awhile. Locals love it.
Located inside another circa last turn-of-the-century building, The Exchange District's Peasant Cookery is a charming spot to catch up with friends. Take a seat at the long bar or grab a table at the window and watch the street life pass by on the side walk. Test the bartender to make a newfangled refresher using one of more than a dozen bitters at the rail.
Lobby on York
Lobby on York screams 'modern with an edge.' Urbanites and professionals have adopted this downtown restaurant and lounge as the go-to place for business lunches and pre-event drinks and dinner. Inside the slick and sophisticated lounge you'll choose from a menu of house-concocted cocktails using fresh fruits, herbs and specially sourced liquors.
Scotchy, scotchy, scotchy. This olde English pub in the east Exchange District boasts Winnipeg's largest selection of scotches. Watch football matches from around the world on TV or pick up the sticks and hit the pool tables. The scene is low key but comfortable.
Sensi Wine Lounge
Located above its sister restaurant Tre Visi, Sensi Wine Lounge is a plush parlour. Banquettes topped with sumptuous cushions invite guests to stay awhile and indulge every sense. Peer inside the impressive wine room, a windowed behemoth which lives at the back of the lounge. Linger over a glass of wine and nibble on modern Italian antipasto.
Rae and Jerry's
Located just east of Polo Park Shopping Mall in Winnipeg's West End, Rae and Jerry's hasn't changed much in its 56 years of existence, including its decor. Those red vinyl banquettes and dark wood-panelled walls and dim lighting are irresistibly charming. Settle back into this Mad Men-style lounge an order a Rusty Nail or an Old Fashioned. Rae and Jerry's has embraced some modern conveniences though: sports games air on big screen TVs.
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