EXPLORING EDMONTON: VALENTINE'S DAY DATE IDEAS

Exploring Edmonton is a series in which I share adventures and discoveries in my new home in Alberta's capital city. 

As a photographer who documents love on a regular basis, it may come as no surprise that I have a soft spot for Valentine's Day. Everything from the gaudy red and pink paraphernalia to the dazzling array of sweets on offer, and of course the occasion to show appreciation for your partner. Yes, it's a commercial holiday, but I'm in the business of celebrating love, so embrace or discard the cheesiness as you will, but why not take the opportunity to do something fun with the person you adore?

For the latest installment of my Exploring Edmonton series, I teamed up with luxury consignment boutique Blogger Armoire to dream up a few ideas for Valentine's Day dates you could enjoy here in Edmonton. If you're ambitious, you could theoretically do all five activities in one day, or you could spread them out over the week and make the holiday last a little longer. In case you're looking for ideas for this weekend or VDay itself, I visited some of my favourite spots around the city in different looks from Blogger Armoire to offer you a few date suggestions!

All clothing and styling is courtesy of Blogger Armoire.

Photography by my own valentine, Brian.

First up, we visited Credo to start the day with delicious coffee and cake. I am continually drawn to this cafΓ© for its clean, modern design, peaceful atmosphere, and of course its excellent beverages and snacks. My favourite things to order are the London Fog and ginger pear muffins. They have a devoted clientele of regulars, which adds to the cozy, friendly, neighbourhood feeling of the place.

Outfit details: top (Alice + Olivia)

Next up, we decided to explore the surrounding neighbourhood of 124th Street. This is one of my favourite areas of Edmonton due to the selection of independent boutiques, excellent dining options, world class bakeries, cozy coffee and tea houses and all sorts of other amenities. It's the area I go to most often to run errands and to relax.

Outfit details: joggers (Vince), poncho (Isabel Marant), sweater (Wilfred), boots (Fossil)

Next, I purchased tickets to the Ice Castle, which is located in the heart of Edmonton's Hawrelak Park in the river valley. It was our second time visiting this spectacular structure, and we marvelled at how it was even more beautiful than last year. We wandered the many icy curves and tunnels, and shared hot chocolate and fresh mini donuts beside the fire. It was chilly but very fun and romantic.

Outfit details: coat (Alice + Olivia), blouse (Phillip Lim), Skirt (ChloΓ©), boots (my own, vintage)

One of our favourite things to do is catch a movie at Metro Cinema at the historic Garneau Theatre. It's right by the University of Alberta, so it's always a great after-work date option for us. The setting is lovely and the popcorn is top notch!

Outfit details: skirt (Sacai), leather moto jacket (The Kooples), top (Raquel Allegra)

The finale for our string of dates was a visit to the gorgeous Clementine for cocktails and dessert. To me, the French Art Nouveau-inspired design is perfection. You couldn't ask for a more romantic place to sip drinks and share stories with your sweetheart. On top of that, their cocktails are some of the best I've tasted. They have a creative selection of drinks, but our favourites so far have been their matcha-infused Verte, their luxe, smoky take on a banana daiquiri and Provence, an aromatic delight. All in all, it's an ideal place to cap off your Valentine's Day celebrations. 

Outfit details: dress (Issey Miyake), shoes (Stuart Weitzman), bucket bag (ChloΓ©)

Thank you very much to Blogger Armoire for all the lovely clothing and accessories you provided!