Which stories did readers love most? We’ve got a hot 15 from our year in review.

While we love all our stories like our own children (children designed to our precise specifications by our talented art team), the stats don’t lie: our readers are playing favourites. As the year draws to a close, it’s a great time to look back at the posts that made a real splash. Let the countdown begin.(Photo: Janis Nicolay.)

15. Home for Christmas with Michael Bublé

The singer and Burnaby, B.C., native travels the world with his music, but when it comes to Christmastime, he always makes his way back home. Check out our intimate interview with the world-renowned Bublé—and take a peek inside his ready-for-the-holidays home.Photo: David Lebovitz

14. Salted Caramel Sauce from David Lebowitz

When cookbook author and prolific blogger David Lebovitz dropped by Vancouver to promote his latest cookbook, My Paris Kitchen, last year, he shared with us his recipe for Salted Butter Caramel Sauce—which just so happens to make the perfect hostess gift. Get the recipe here.


13. Susan Jubu’s Nanaimo Travel Guide

Author Susan Juby shares a little love for the Vancouver Island city she calls home: it’s an oceanfront city littered with parks and lakes, where it’s affordable to own a home. Why Nanaimo, Juby asks? Why not. Read about her fave Nanaimo haunts here.Thai Red Lentil Soup with Chilli Oil

12. Chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s Thai Lentil Soup

It’s no surprise that this recipe cracked our top dozen stories for the year. Celebrated chef  Yotam Ottolenghi knows how to whip up an amazing vegetarian dish, and this amazing lentil soup—part of last winter’s soup story, which highlighted recipes from the Soup Sisters cookbook—is no exception. It’s fresh, creamy, and loaded with flavour. Find the recipe here.


11. Designers of the Year 2015

From modernist architects to a menswear designer, this year’s winners are at the forefront of the West’s ever-changing, always thrilling design scene. See our full winner profiles here. Flask

10. Anicka’s Pick: The Cutest Camping Accessory

Our editor-in-chief has found a solution to her aversion to winter camping: this vintage-cool Stanley flask. See her full review here.OMB_1340_Image9

9. The New Face of High-Density Houses

New condo towers and amalgamated packs of townhouses aren’t the only solutions for higher-density housing (and thank goodness for that). On a lot that would traditionally fit one North Shore bungalow, now sit three West Coast Modern homes—called the Houses at 1340—each detached, and each finely tailored to its site and the contemporary demands of everyday living. Check out the full tour here.Duchess Bake Shop Paris-Brest

8. Recipes from Edmonton’s Duchess Bakery

On any given Saturday, over 300 Edmontonians will file through in the first hour alone. It’s a well-choreographed routine now between devotees and the young, stylish and efficient staff. Customers point through the glass display counters at multi-hued macarons, brioches, croissants, pains au chocolat, éclairs, galettes, madeleines, lemon cream tarts, quiches and housemade marshmallows. Of course, there’s also the dark ganache-draped Duke cake, and the pistachio-green domed cake—the bake shop’s namesake, the Duchess. Recipes and profile here.fairmont banff springs

7. Behind the Scenes at the Fairmont Banff Springs

Over the course of its 124-year history, the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel has garnered a few lofty nicknames. It’s the crown jewel of the Rockies, the grand dame of Banff, Alberta’s castle. But to executive chef JW Foster, the iconic beauty of the Springs is less meaningful than the practical gifts it offers: it’s the ultimate teaching hotel. Check out our behind-the-scenes guide to the most storied hotel in Western Canada.

warming huts winnipeg

6. 48 Hours in Winnipeg

Yes, Winnipeg is the type of place where the dress code is occasionally announced as “wear all the clothing you have.” But it’s also a place where a little cold snap doesn’t stop the party. Check out our guide to a wild weekend in city that’s heating up.FOTY-1

5. 2015 Foodies of the Year

When we first started our Foodies of the Year program in 2008, there was no such thing as Instagram to document your great meals. Food trucks were a distant dream. There was no Pinterest to collect your fave recipes. What there was, was a growing interest in food. From chefs and winemakers to activists and producers, there was a feeling that we here in the West lived someplace special. Seven years in to our annual celebration, that feels more true than ever before. See our winners’ profiles here. Tony Robins AA Architecture

4. Architect Profile: DOTY 2014 Winner Tony Robins

Tony Robins won an unprecedented three categories in our Designer of the Year 2014 competition: architecture, interiors and eco design. It won’t take long to understand why. Read more about the triple threat, and check out his beautiful work, here.Fipke_08

3. Inside the Gorgeous Eppich House

When entrepreneur Asaph Fipke (the man behind Nerd Corps, one of the largest children’s animation studios in North America) went in search of a new house for his young family in 2010, he wouldn’t settle for what he calls a typical “matchstick and drywall” abode. Indeed, he abandoned plans to build his own custom home and instead purchased one of the most acclaimed—and challenging—homes then on the market: architect Arthur Erickson’s iconic Eppich House in West Vancouver. Read the full story (and check out the stunning photos) here.


2. The Best Hikes in the Okanagan

You literally can’t eat and drink all day—so to temper the nourishing bounty of the region, it’s time to take advantage of the Okanagan’s other main draw: hikes made for Instagram scenery. We tapped Josh Hoggan—a Langley native who grew up an introverted computer programmer in the Lower Mainland, but became the Okanagan’s resident hiking authority when he moved to Kelowna. His website, hikingaddiction.ca, is the go-to source for anyone who spends their early Saturday mornings packing energy bars and plotting what forest to disappear into. Read the full story here.peel your garlic fast

1. Garlic May Just Be the Most Dangerous Ingredient in Your Kitchen

Forget sharp knives and open flames—garlic is one of the most dangerous things in your kitchen. In a private demonstration at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, Chef and instructor Julian Bond took Western Living staff on a harrowing journey through food safety and the many unassuming dangers in the kitchen—the first stop? Garlic. Watch the video here.