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Citizen Spring Preview, Stanley Park

It has almost been a year since the last Citizen Spring Collection launch, so we were due a revisit for 2024. And this year we were getting a first had look and the new collections even before Toronto got theirs. Once again, the destination was an iconic one, worth travelling to. Nestled in Stanley Park, at the inviting Stanley Park Teahouse, better known for its views of the city and as a destination for many weddings.

Tonight the space was bought out for our private party. As guests arrived we were greeted at the door with a cocktail. Either a zesty French 75 with Empress gin or a whisky one that had a red wine float. Both of which lovely sippers to help initiate light conversation, as we mixed and mingled.

When time we were invited to the left wing of the Teahouse, where our long table dinner was set up. There were also a few standing tables showcasing time pieces by collection. Each accessible, staged in their own branded holders for us to pick up and get a closer look at.

Until last year I was unaware that watch brand Citizen had five others under its label, each with its own personality and identifiers better distinguished through its own branding. The portfolio speaking to the diversity of the crowd and the market they represent.

Citizen is the flagship label, with a focus on sustainability. Their hallmark is their trademarked Eco-drive technology: pieces powered by light, meaning you don’t need to change the battery. And in this small measure Citizen is doing their part to help reduce waste and their carbon footprint on the planet. This season they are introducing smaller diameter faces and radio control pieces. The collection today showcased the classic look of stainless steel analog marked with glow-in-the-dark time markers and arms. Majority of the collection had colourful face plates in colours like ruby red and aqua marine. The stand out was the iridescent teal that went from black to navy depending on how the light caught it. A few of the women’s pieces even had diamonds on the bevels, which I noted was an elevated presentation from the Citizen that I grew up with.

Many of us were familiar with Bulova, myself included; as their famous luxury brand. Here the pieces are fashion forward with an array of dials, face plate, and bevels to choose from. A few showed the inner gears, had jewel encrusted frames, and/or had its face shaped in a decagon. The unique offering here was the gold pocket watch, as a piece that no longer sees much commercial use.

The Bulova that caught my eye and interest was blinged out in diamonds along the boarder of the watch face, and as two stripes along the gold polished band strap. It was then given an even more luxe feel with the face plate carved to look like angles of a Diamond, enlarged; refracting any light that struck it.

Alpina is their Swiss luxury sports brand, with a heavier emphasis on extreme sports, and it showed through these pieces. They captured the essence of ruggedness through mixed textures and dual colourings, contrasting stitching on black leather and bevelling on cloth bands. What to look out for in 2024 from Alpina is there silver bracelet extreme and the 140th anniversary heritage pieces.

Frederique Constant is Citizen’s Swiss brand of watches that presents modern, high-quality pieces with classical designs that are priced sensibly. The crowd favourite had a rectangular face with Roman numerals in gold to match the face plate, held together by an alligator skin-like, black leather band.

And Accutron crowns their collection with their luxury, open face design. They are known as the world’s first fully electronic watch. There were none to examine today, but we were told about their space view.

When time for dinner service, we were invited to take any seat along the long table set with fresh cut flowers. Dinner would be a set menu, with your choice of entree and the possibility for substitutions for those with dietary restrictions.

We all began with the Teahouse Mushrooms stuffed generously with a lip smacking mix of crab, shrimp, and cream cheese. Each cap was heavy on the cheese, offering such a flavourful zesty start to get the appetite going. This would be my favourite dish of the night.

With the first course I would opt for the white wine option, poured table side. Its refreshing tart apple notes and lingering citrus helped cut into the cream cheese and brought out the sweetness in the seafood.

For entrees between the seafood, steak, or vegetarian pasta option I always go for what I feel has the best value. In this case the steak, that I special requested to be prepared more on the rare side. Good thing too as they typically do it medium and I am not fond of a dry steak. I actually will order down from the wellness I want of any steak, to ensure that it is never overcooked.

This was a 7oz Tenderloin with mushrooms, garden vegetables, potato fourchette, and a red wine demi-glace. A classic steak and potatoes combination. Prepared tender, but not all that remarkable or unique to the locale. I would have liked more char and body from the grilled meat, but at least the sides offered good varied bites to have me finishing my plate. Although, in hindsight, and looking around the table, I wish I got the wild mushroom ravioli instead.

My steak I paired with the red they were pouring. A sweeter cherry finish that added more nuance to the wine already in the demi-glace.

And for dessert there was a Chocolate Milano Cake with a light chocolate mascarpone mousse, almond wafer crust, and raspberry coulis. Very decadent and for the chocolate lovers who love a variety of sweetnesses and textures to their chocolate.

In conclusion this was a very timeless meal and an elegant way to present pieces to help you keep time, fashionably.

Teahouse in Stanley Park
7501 Stanley Park Dr, Vancouver, BC V6G 174
(604) 669-3281

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