Sip Trips #137: Exploring Europe (Part 2)

Lyon, France was the second stop on our European expedition. Upon arriving, our group of six (seven if you count Baby Sip… and you better!) settled into our Airbnb, before heading out to explore the city. As we wandered through the Old Town area, we stopped at Les Banana’s for some French cuisine. I went with a Napolitaine Crepe, which was very good and hit the spot, washing the meal down with a pair of Stella pints.

Our next stop was one of my favourites from the entire vacation: Les Fleurs du Malt. This bar, specializing in craft beer from around the world, had an amazing happy hour concept, where if you correctly guessed the flip of a coin, you got your choice of beer for half price. I guessed correctly twice (always opting for tails!) for my orders of Piggy Brewing Paradise Peppers and Coursendonk Rousse. The location had really funky art throughout and I really enjoyed our experience there.

Heads or Tails.jpg

The next day, our crew travelled to the Beaujolais wine region via a private tour provided by Tasty Lyon. The trek stopped at Chateau de Corcelles and Domaine de la Madone, where we sampled a total of about 10 wines. At our second stop, we bought bottles of Viogner and Domaine du Niagara, which we enjoyed at a park along the Rhone River later that afternoon.

Our dinner that evening was a McDonald’s feast of burgers, fries and chicken nuggets. To make the meal a little more French, I drank some of the craft beers I had picked up the day prior, including Licorne Blonde Bio and Ninkasi (the French company) Tripel and French IPA.

McNuggets Feast.jpg

On our last day, we returned to the old town for a long walk. We stopped at La Mouss’tache for lunch, where we just got our orders into the kitchen before their afternoon break. My Bacon Burger was quite good, paired with a pint of Paulaner Salvator Ambree. This place was neat, with beer taps at each table, but we never figured out how the system worked. We returned later that day to watch the FA Cup Final and enjoy 5-Euro per pint happy hour, where I drank servings of Paulaner Weissbier and La Chouffe.

That wrapped our stay in Lyon and next up we were off to Portugal. Our time there started in Porto and ended in Lisbon, but there was much fun to be had as we journeyed through the country for the first time.

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Sip Trips #3 – Celebration Central

After a slow start to January – drinking wise – this last week was full of revelry, as we celebrated Mrs. Sip’s birthday and a couple other events.

We had social events on both Friday and Saturday that involved some serious drinking into the wee hours of the morning. On Sunday, we hit The Distillery for brunch. The Distillery is attached to the Yaletown Brewery site, where the company also produces their own vodka and gin. Inside the restaurant, you can get a $5 cucumber- or jalapeno-infused Caesar or bottomless Mimosas for only $10. These go great with the joint’s $10 breakfast menu options.

Day Drinking Brunch

For Mrs. Sip’s actual birthday, on Monday, we met at Joe Fortes, for some of the best seafood the city has to offer. After a couple happy hour cocktails and appies, we sat down for the restaurant’s cold seafood tier, which was loaded with lobster, crab, oysters, mussels, clams, tuna sashimi, and oyster ceviche. With dinner, I ordered the Whistler Brewing Unfiltered IPA, which I didn’t even know the company produced.

Following dinner, we decided to visit the UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar for night cap cocktails. Despite living just down the street from the lounge for close to five years – and Mrs. Sip often saying we should try the place – we finally walked through its doors and were immediately impressed by the place. The cocktails aren’t cheap, but they’re hand-crafted and perfected before they reach your lips. Sitting at the bar, I was impressed to see the mixologists discussing recipes and ingredients, looking to improve elements at their disposal.

In conjunction with Vancouver’s Hot Chocolate Festival, UVA currently has a couple chocolate-based cocktails on their menu, which is the main reason we finally pulled the trigger and tried the place out. Mrs. Sip enjoyed the Black Widow (El Jimador Reposado Tequila, Cacao and Coffee Red Bush Tea, Averna Amaro Cherry Liqueur, and Plum and Root Beer Bitters), while yours truly ordered the Chartreuse Milkshake, complete with Citadelle Gin, Green Chartreuse, Cacao, Lime and Orange Juices, Chocolate Bitters, and Egg Whites. It was the first chance I’ve ever had to try Chartreuse and I will certainly have it again. Green or Yellow, it doesn’t really matter!

Hot Chocolate

Other beers I enjoyed over the week that was, included Red Truck Amber Ale, Ninkasi Total Domination, Persephone Wee Heavy, Granville Island Swing Span, Four Winds Pale Ale, Lighthouse 3 Weeds, and Driftwood Fat Tug IPA. Variety is, after all, the spice of life!

It’s been a crazy busy week, but the celebrating has been a lot of fun and it’s always great to catch up with friends and family over awesome food and drinks!