Hearth of the Matter: Fill your belly, warm your body at some of Calgary’s best restaurants where your food is served fireside

The snow is falling and the air is getting colder as winter makes its way to us. You look up to the sky and see that there is no sun anymore, only clouds. The chilling atmosphere is sinking all the way down to your bones. It feels like you can’t even feel your fingers and toes anymore. If only you can find a warm, cozy place to hang out away from the maddening weather.

In our beautiful city, there are lots of cozy comfortable cafés, restaurants and pubs to rest on a soft chair and sit by a roaring fire. The perfect way to take a break from the slush and sleet is to find a fire to help warm you up. Here are some of the top places you will want to go in order to escape from the frost.  

The Living Room: Sometimes you just have to go upscale to find that one sweet sofa in front of the fireplace. Modern but masculine, homey but impressive, The Living Room is the salon that we all dream of having but is just a little bit out of reach. Picture yourself sitting in that round beige couch in front of that fire with some decadent fondue. It makes you want to curl up with a blanket and stay for a long time.  

The Hawthorn in Fairmont Palliser: Speaking of upscale, why not transfer from the living room into a ballroom. Fit for the kings and queens of the world, this castle-like room with ambience has a high tea that people from near and far come to try. Tall columns, intricate crown molding, and golden touches can be found everywhere you look in this local landmark, but what brings it all together is the giant antique fireplace tucked away in a special corner. To sip a cup of tea here is a sure way to get a posh new status or to at least feel like royalty for an afternoon.  

Higher Ground Café Kensington: Get in the trend with this hip, urban coffeehouse where writers, students and other creatives feel right at home. They don’t just have one fireplace but two. One is a classic-style brick hearthside while the other is a two-way tiled hob with chairs and tables on both sides. This is the place to come when you want to have a nice cuppa while catching up with some friends. Feel free to grab one of their delicious homemade squares to go with your hot drink. 

Alforno Café and Bakery: Contemporary with a touch of natural and delectable desserts is what a person can expect in this downtown oasis. Whether you are going there for an early morning tea or an evening glass of wine, it’s always a good time. The fireplace in question is a clean, white hearth where a couple of plants, thick pillar candles, and a tasteful black-and-white picture that sets the mood is in view for all to see. The perfect place for a first date so remember to bring your paramour.

LeVilla Chophouse West: When you love a good bit of winter scenery, a good place to go would be here. They have a sun room with some pine trees just outside and a 3D stone-walled fireplace for a person to enjoy no matter which direction they are sitting. It’s like being in a winter cottage if it had a lot of windows to look out of and more seating to savour it. Just no polar bears please!

The Nash: An old hotel from the 1900s has become quite the stylish spot to hang out on those icy days where the streets have turned into skating rinks. You can warm up at their bar with the wood-burning oven that doubles as their décor. Nibble on some popcorn while you choose one of their many drink options that are just waiting to be tried out. After a visit to this Inglewood treasure, you will be able to face anything life throws at you. SNOWBALL FIGHT!!!!  

Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant: Did you go on a winter hike recently? Or maybe you just decided to strap on some snowshoes and go adore the snow-covered outdoors. Either way, you will want to end up in this Fish Creek Park restaurant which provides wonderful three-course lunches and dinners. Those who love the alfresco can enjoy a lovely time sitting beside one of their large and unique fireplaces. After all, this historical house is worth exploring as well as the park around it.  

Osteria Chef’s Table: If an Italian style-villa is what you are looking for then look no further than Osteria. Bringing the boot-shaped peninsula to Canada is in their banquet room. The red-heart carved wooden mantle with the delicate mirror sitting above it tells you what the winters must be like in Italy. A glass of wine in one hand and a piece of bruschetta in the other, you can just wait for the snow to melt away. 

Kensington Pub: Does this remind you of a scene in the Lord of the Rings? You can see where J.R.R. Tolkien got his ideas from in the down-to-earth but decorative ambiance of an English pub like this one. So, when you feel like having a small but immersive fantastic adventure like Frodo Baggins, the Kensington Pub is just the place to do it. Up against the wall, you will see a stone stacked fireplace a Hobbit would be happy to sit beside. Make sure you stop in on a Sunday for one of their delectable $5 mimosas. 

When we tread though all this snow, we can’t help but shiver. And when we shiver, we just want to run far out of Old Man Winter’s way. But in Calgary, we are lucky to have all of these wonderful services where we can sit down and snuggle up by a fireplace. So don’t hibernate too much this winter. Come on out, have a hot cup of tea, and enjoy some quality time with friends, old or new. It’s easy to do in a warm, hassle-free space.