New York: Channel Your Inner Hepburn for Breakfast at Tiffany

In the 1961 film

Breakfast at Tiffany's,

Audrey Hepburn's character, Holly Golightly, muses that a visit to the jewellers Fifth Avenue flagship store "calms me down right away. The quietness and the proud look of it." She continues, in these lines also found in Truman Capote's novella of the same name, that "nothing very bad could happen to you there."

Turns out, Golightly was right. I discovered this firsthand when I inadvertently knocked over a piece of Tiffany china during a visit to the Blue Box Cafe, the luxury retailer's first dining venture, located on the fourth floor of the famed location.

The crash was neither quiet nor proud. I was mortified, and I know my middle-school self - who coveted Tiffany's chunky sterling-silver jewelry beyond any school crush - would have been, too.

But instead of a proper scolding, my waiter nonchalantly whisked the broken crockery away. "It happens more often than you'd think," he explained. His gaze shifted to another diner, who was struggling to hoist his heavy digital camera over his US$70 ($107) Tiffany blue dinner plate.

He looked back at me and smiled: "Just don't let it ruin your experience."

The concept of

Breakfast at Tiffany's

has changed dramatically since Golightly's tranquil 5 am stroll down Fifth Avenue in her sleeveless black dress. Now, instead of paper coffee cups and curbside pastries, modern-day Golightlys can indulge their rich fantasies with a three-course breakfast inside the store.

Visiting the seemingly built-for-Instagram restaurant - which opened to fanfare in November of last year - has become a bucket-list item for foreign tourists, film fans and even New Yorkers. The photo-friendly spot, outfitted entirely in the brand's signature robin's-egg blue and white, was reportedly designed with the intention of having guests feel like jewels nestled in one of Tiffany's trademark boxes: A reservation at the compact cafe, which seats only 40 people, has become as desirable as one of the jewellers heart-tag charm bracelets.

During a quick trip to the Big Apple in May, I was lucky enough to snag a last-minute weekday lunch reservation online. I arrived early to get the lay of the land and, in the spirit of Golightly, allow extra time for window shopping. Visitors must navigate the store's bustling first floor - a maze of eager employees, shiny display cases and ogling tourists - to reach the elevators leading to the cafe, which are manned by white-gloved attendants. En route, I stopped to gawk at a whopping 128.54-carat yellow diamond. (By comparison, the famous blue Hope Diamond is just over 45 carats.)

I then made my luxurious ascent to the fourth floor, where the cafe is perched at the end of the home-and-accessories department. Nothing makes a person feel more cognisant of their income - or lack of it - than passing by a US$125 ($192) bone-china dog bowl and a US$400 ($615) mohair teddy bear.

At the host's stand, I received the royal treatment - despite my lack of tiara and satin gloves - and was whisked to a two-top table facing Central Park's Grand Army Plaza. Many restaurant guests had dressed for the posh occasion in fancy fascinators and black cocktail dresses. One group of women, clad head to toe in blue, even bragged to their waiter that they'd gotten matching teal mani-pedis the night before.

From the walls to the slipcovered chairs and leather-bound booths, the space was a veritable sea of Tiffany blue. The attentive and friendly staff even sported blue ties and aprons.

The menu was full of trendy American fare (avocado toast) with buzzy New York monikers (the Fifth Avenue salad, with Maine lobster and grapefruit). And though I arrived at noon, I ordered breakfast, which is served all day. The decadent meal included a seasonal fruit plate with edible flowers and pre-peeled grapes; a miniature croissant with three spreads (Nutella, butter and jam); and my choice of one of four entrees. I opted for the smoked salmon and crisps - basically a deconstructed lox bagel.

While the food could coast on the Tiffany name and nostalgia alone, the cafe delivers in terms of presentation and flavour: The fruit was fresh, the croissant buttery and flaky. And the bagel crisps featured a generous portion of fresh lox. I savoured every bite during my leisurely, hour-long meal.

Sipping my second cup of coffee and staring out at the city's natural gem, Central Park, I was tempted to start humming

Moon River

. However, this serene moment was interrupted by a gaggle of giggling Golightlys, staging a full-blown photo shoot with a pastry shaped like a miniature bird's nest. "Get one of me with the sunglasses on!" one of the bouffants bellowed to her smartphone-wielding seatmate. Despite the quiet and proud bones of this place, it is still susceptible to enthusiastic selfie-seekers who want to preserve - and, perhaps more important, share - their fine memories of this special place.

Susceptible to my neighbours' enthusiasm, I decided that I, too, wanted a memento. I set my purse on the table, snapped a final photo of the tablescape - and clumsily bumped the white china creamer off the table.

Instead of pocketing a shard of Tiffany china, I asked my waiter whether I could keep a cardboard coaster as a keepsake. He smiled, then returned with a second.

I guess everyone channels Golightly's spirit in their own way. The Blue Box Cafe, in the Tiffany tradition, makes a world of luxury and glamour accessible to all - even if only for breakfast.

Blue Box Cafe

727 Fifth Ave., New York

tiffany.com

The Breakfast at Tiffany (US$32, NZ$49) includes seasonal fruit, a miniature croissant and your choice of a buttermilk waffle, coddled egg, avocado toast or a deconstructed smoked salmon bagel. Lunch (US$42, NZ$64) includes a starter and main course, such as the "Charles Lewis Tiffany" chicken salad sandwich (named after the jeweller's founder). Feeling fancy? The Tiffany Tea (US$52, NZ$79) service comes with a three-tiered plate of finger sandwiches and sweets. Unlimited coffee and Bellocq tea is included for all of the above. A la carte options include drinks (tea, coffee, wine and refreshers) and select desserts.

The cafe is open 10am to 5.30pm Monday through Saturday and noon to 4.30 p.m. Sunday. Reservations can be made for up to four people on Resy.com and booked a month in advance, beginning at 9am Eastern time.

Can't snag a table? BYO breakfast (or a $1 bodega coffee) to the display window on the corner of 57th Street.

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Pink Travel Coffee Cups for Breast Cancer Awareness
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Are Takeaway Coffee Cups Recyclable?
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War on Christmas 2017: Fox News Asks If Starbucks Holiday Cups Are Pushing a "gay Agenda"
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10 Best Reusable Coffee Cups
"Single-use" was Collins Dictionary's word of the year for 2018 - and for good reason. It seems we're finally waking up to the impact that single-use plastic is having on the planet, with documentaries such as David Attenborough's Blue Planet II serving as a rallying cry for us to clean up our act.Takeaway coffee cups form a significant part of the problem. While you may assume that they're recyclable, most single-use coffee cups contain a thin plastic lining.In fact, according to Paul Morozzo, a political campaigner for Greenpeace, the UK throws away 2.5 billion coffee cups each year and less than 1 per cent of these are recycled.He says: "Switching to a reusable coffee cup is a great way to cut your plastic footprint, and lots of businesses now offer discounts to customers who do this - so it's win-win." To help you on your way, we've tried out a wide range of reusable coffee cups and chosen the best on the market.We tested each product on the go over several days, assessing leakproofness, portability, the materials used and whether it kept our coffee hotter for longer.Our final pick ranges from sturdy flask-like models to those designed to look and function like your traditional takeaway cup.Here's our top 10:You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formd from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.The rCup is pretty unique. It's the brainchild of pioneering eco product-design company ashortwalk and environmental consultancy Nextex, and its outer, thermal layer is made entirely from used coffee cups. The companies have developed a hardy resin they call NextCupCycle, which is born from both the plastic and the thick paper of throwaway cups.The final result is the rCup: a sleek, reusable cup with a push-close seal and capacity for 360° drinking. It's also purported to be 100 per cent leak proof, a claim we found to be true regardless of any amount of jiggling in transit. Our coffee was warm enough to drink an hour after pouring too.The rCup is dishwasher safe, 100 per cent recyclable and free of BPA (that's bisphenol A, an industrial chemical that's often used in plastics and that can potentially release harmful toxins). The brand will also replace worn or damaged seals for free.Choose between a 227ml or 340ml cup with a teal, mustard or pink lid, and a black or cream body. All round, it's a reliable option with impressive eco credentials.Buy now Straightforward but effortlessly chic, Frank Green's offering sits somewhere between a small flask and a more traditional cup.While there's now a stainless-steel option available, the Aussie brand's original cup is made from a recyclable co-polymer, that's free of both BPA and BPS (another potentially harmful chemical) and is comfortingly robust. We found the push button on top to be a little stiff, but that's a small compromise given the cup kept our coffee hot for more than five hours. There were no leaks either, even when it was laid sideways at the bottom of a backpack - just remember to screw the lid on tight and make sure the drinking hole is clicked closed.If you're a design fiend, you'll love the fact that your cup is customisable. Decide between a 230ml or 340ml product and combine colours such as nude rose and harbour mist grey for an up-to-date look. This one's ideal for eco warriors with a keen sense of style.Buy now Hydro Flask is on a self-professed mission to "save the world from the lukewarm". They promise to keep your coffee piping hot and your cool beverages ice-cold for up to 6 hours and 24 hours respectively. Indeed, we found our coffee was warm enough to drink come 3pm, even though we made it just before 9am. Despite its hot contents, the flask's body remained cool to the touch.Hydro Flask's secret is the use of pro-grade stainless steel and a double-wall vacuum design that maintains the temperature of your drink. The lid (dubbed the Hydro flip lid) has a mechanism that can be easily clicked open and shut with one hand, and we found it didn't spill a drop when on the go.Design-wise, it's smart and fuss free. There's a rainbow of 11 colours available, from Lemon yellow to Pacific blue, and you can opt for a size of 354ml, 473ml or 592ml (roughly corresponding to small, medium and large in an average coffee shop). It's also BPA free and not too heavy considering its robustness. A dependable option whatever your lifestyle.Buy now A concept from cookware giant Tefal, this smart travel mug scores highly for its ability to lock in heat. Our coffee was still warm some six hours after we filled it up (Tefal promises four) and our cold drink remained chilly all day too. It's the mixture of stainless steel and soft BPA-free silicone that keeps your brew toasty.You open and close the cup by a simple button on the top, which allows for 360° drinking. Given its sturdiness, the cup is little heavier than some other products tested, but still light enough to carry around without too much fuss. It delivered on its claim to be "100 per cent leak-proof" too.Coming in plain black, blue or red, it's not quite as easy on the eye as some of the other products tested - but what it lacks in aesthetics, it makes up for with sheer quality. This is a practical, no-frills option from a trusted brand.Buy now While every product on this list has green credentials, Ecoffee's cup goes the extra mile. It's made from the fibre of "naturally organic" bamboo which, according to the brand, is the "world's fastest-growing, most sustainable crop". It's free of BPA and phthalates (another kind of chemical) and is completely biodegradable.Though not as leakproof as some other models, the lid is secure, modelled on a traditional takeaway cup, and its soft material makes it comfortable to drink from. Our coffee had cooled within the hour, but the product's light weight and grippable heat sleeve means it's ideal to carry in one hand and drink from on the go.It gets points for style too. You could go for a bold block colour, from eye-popping orange "Mrs Mills" to bright turquoise "Inca", or patterns range from florals to polka dots. Our favourite design is 'Like, totally!' (pictured) with its geometric flowers and rosy pink lid and heat sleeve. Ecoffee Cups are available in 250ml, 340ml, 400ml and 475ml.Buy now As the name suggests, the KeepCup brew range was created with coffee drinkers in mind. It's made from durable, tempered soda-lime glass and its leak-proof design means you can pop it in your bag while travelling (we're pleased to report no spillages).The lid has a nifty "twist and click" plug: a moveable part turns to reveal a small drinking hole, and it can be slipped back into position and snapped shut when you're on the move. Our coffee stayed warm enough to drink for about an hour.The silicone heat sleeve is fixed well, and fully protects your hands from the glass, which can become pretty hot when your coffee is just brewed. The sleeve is also BPA and BPS free.KeepCup has a huge range of products, and you can design your own bespoke cup by mixing and matching the colour of the lid, plug and sleeve. Size options are 227ml or 340ml. A good-value pick.Buy now According to its makers, this simple, stylish cup was designed for "optimistic drinkers and half-full thinkers". It's crafted from thick hand-blown glass, meaning it's hardwearing and also 100 per cent chemical free, so it won't impair the taste of your brew. Sol cups are also microwave and dishwasher safe.A word of warning: the glass becomes extremely hot when your coffee is first poured, but a silicone sleeve keeps your hands protected and adds a pop of colour too. The matching lid snaps on firmly, but is not leak-proof. If you want to slip your cup in your bag, though, you can buy a little waterproof pouch for it - the pouch's silicone interior is waterproof, protecting your things from any remaining dregs of coffee.Pickbetween a 236ml, 354ml or 473 ml cup and 13 tasteful colour options. The attractive box it arrives in means this one makes a lovely gift too.Buy now FOSH, an acronym that stands for "for our sea's health", is dedicated to mitigating the harmful impact single-use plastic has on our oceans. Their stainless-steel coffee cup uses vacuum technology to keep your drinks at their desired temperature, and we found our steaming coffee was still hot enough to drink four hours later.The lid snaps on and off and you drink from a small opening, much like a traditional takeaway cup. Sadly, given this opening, the design isn't leak proof, so it's not one to toss in your backpack. But the 454ml product is perfect for carrying on short journeys, or for sitting upright on your desk after your morning-coffee dash.FOSH's BPA-free coffee cups have style as well as substance too. Creative designs range from a marble effect to a striking graffiti print, while a durable powder coating means they'll stay in tip-top condition. A thoroughly worthwhile investment.Buy now EKOBO has many eco-friendly products in its portfolio, and the brand's reusable coffee cup stands up to the market leaders. It's not spill-proof, and it doesn't keep your coffee hot for much longer than a takeaway cup would, but it deserves recognition for its eco-friendly materials and its elegant design.The cup itself is made from natural bamboo fibre, while the neat silicone top is BPA and phthalate free. The lid can also double up as a coaster once you're settled at your final destination. Its material also means it's tough and the cup's outside is not too hot to touch, even when it's filled with just-brewed coffee. You can pop it in the dishwasher, but keep it out of the microwave.The minimalist designs come in four solid colours: orange-red, yellow, black and off-white, the bamboo's natural colour. If you fancy, pair your new cup with EKOBO's Bento lunch box, which is also made from bamboo fibre.Buy now The aptly named Pokito cup is a winner if you're short on space since it collapses right down to a third of its fully extended size. Depending on your coffee order you can pop your cup up into a range of volumes: 230ml, intended for an espresso, 475ml or the full-size 350ml.The built-in insulation kept our coffee warm for just over an hour, and the spill-proof lid twists on firmly. The slightly fanned base means the cup is near impossible to tip over, and it's extra light too.Both the cup's soft, adjustable body and its harder base, heat sleeve and lid are made from recyclable materials that are BPA free and also dishwasher safe. This is the ultimate in convenience and sustainability.Buy now If you're after a design that replicates the look and feel of your regular takeaway coffee cup - but without the harmful impact on the environment - ashortwalk's rCup delivers. It's also light, leakproof, and we love that it's made from otherwise non-recyclable single-use coffee cups. If you need something that will keep your coffee hot for hours, plump for either the Hydro Flask coffee or the Frank Green original reusable cup IndyBestproduct reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.
Ottawa Gives Plastics Giant $35m Grant Despite Commitment to Reduce Use of Single-use Plastics
OTTAWA-The Liberal government gave $35 million to a chemical company that makes plastic resins just one day before Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to use Canada's G7 presidency to get other nations to commit to reducing or phasing out single-use plastics.The grant to Nova Chemicals was announced in late January as part of the Strategic Innovation Fund, a $1.26-billion, five-year business growth measure that was unveiled in last year's federal budget.The investment is meant to encourage research and development and "secure a long-term commitment to the company's Joffre, Alta., research and development centre," said Karl Sasseville, a spokesperson for Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains."More specifically, Nova Chemicals is using innovative technologies to produce cleaner resources and less undesirable byproducts stemming from production," Sasseville wrote in an email."This could mean making products like plastic food packaging stronger and more easily recyclable. This innovation could also be used in products and applications such as small appliances, automobiles, solvents and food and cosmetic additives." According to a Jan. 23 news release from the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada, the money is also going towards Nova Chemicals' $2.2-billion expansion plan in Sarnia, Ont., including a new polyethylene facility and expansion of an existing ethylene facility.Ethylene is one of the main substances in polyethylene; the expanded plant will allow Nova Chemicals to produce 431,000 additional tonnes of polyethylene a year.Nova Chemicals did not respond to requests for comment Wednesday.Polyethylene is the world's most common plastic material. It is largely used to make plastic bags, food wrap and containers such as water and soda bottles, as well as plastic pails, pipes and bins.An estimated 8 million tonnes of plastic garbage ends up in the world's oceans each year, with single-use plastic food containers among the biggest culprits.A day after the grant was made public, Trudeau hosted a roundtable at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, with the heads of multinationals and several international environment activists and academics.There, he promised Canada would use its year as president of the G7 nations to get the world to address the issue of plastic pollution in the oceans."The other big issue we would very much like to highlight and get the global community to show more leadership on is oceans protection, particularly around plastics and pollution," Trudeau said at the start of that meeting.Later that same day, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said Canada was looking at getting the other members of the G7 to sign a plastics pledge to commit to reducing the amount of plastic that ends up in the ocean.Plastic is often found in the stomachs of marine life; turtles and fish can mistake it for food. McKenna has tweeted repeatedly about the issue in recent days, linking to a Jan. 26 article about the impact of plastic garbage on ocean reefs.Just last week, she responded to a discussion about plastic-lined coffee cups by saying, "Eliminating single use plastics is critical!" Keith Stewart, senior energy strategist for Greenpeace Canada, said it's hard to believe Canada's commitment to reducing ocean plastics when it's providing multimillion-dollar grants to the companies that make them."So limiting single-use plastics gets tweets and producing more of them gets $35 million," said Stewart. "We really should be trying to ban the use of disposable plastics and find better alternatives." Greenpeace has a number of campaigns to convince people to reduce or eliminate their use of single-use plastics such as polypropylene drinking straws and disposable water bottles.Britain's royal family gave the idea a boost this week when Buckingham Palace announced a ban on plastic straws, bottles and non-biodegradable containers at all royal estates, including public cafes at royal residences and staff dining rooms."You know you're getting somewhere when the Queen is on side," said Stewart.Canada has no current plans for a ban or limits on the use of plastic in federal government buildings or official residences, said a spokesperson for Treasury Board President Scott Brison, who oversees a government strategy to focus on recycling and composting.
Jack Knox: From Catwalk to Landfill: Journey of Disposable Wear
News item: Fashion-conscious British Columbians are clogging landfills with discarded clothing."Is that a new shirt?" she asked."Yes," I replied brightly. "I bought it on Satur...""WHY NOT JUST RAM AN ORCA WITH AN OIL TANKER INSTEAD, YOU EARTH-MURDERING MONSTER?!" Just kidding. That didn't happen. For one thing, I haven't chosen my own wardrobe since Mulroney was prime minister. Most days I don't even dress myself ("You're not going out looking like that, are you?" "Of course not. These are just my car-warming clothes. Please remind me of what I wanted to wear.") Nor do I chuck garments in the trash - not out of any sense of environmental responsibility, but because it would simply never occur to me to do so. Fashion be damned, once I wear an article of clothing, the two of us have a till-death-do-us-part relationship, bonded like Trump and Cohen until one of us turns to dust. Ifsomething I own ever shows up in Value Village, you can be pretty sure it's only there because I had something nicer to be buried in. Istill have a souvenir T-shirt that someone sent me from the 1986Gorbachev-Reagan summit in Reykjavik.Maybe it's a generational thing. Comox Valley humourist Harold Macy once wrote a piece in which he chronicled the life cycle of his grandfather's blue denim overalls: "Annually, he bought a new pair, stiff as boards, which he initially saved for church. After a few months, they became his house pair. Eventually, they were worn at the shop, on the tractors and in the barn doing the chores he loved. After a year or so on this duty, they were fit only for wipe rags. Grandma made quilt squares from the few sections that were not threadbare, grease stained or soiled by animals." Contrast that approach with what they're seeing in the Lower Mainland, where the dump deluge is so great that the Metro Vancouver regional district launched a campaign this past week to lower the mountain of clothing piling up in the landfill. For whatever reason - fickleness of fashion, consumer culture, the low cost of T-shirts sewn by nine-year-old fingers in 10-cent-an-hour sweatshops - Canadians go through clothing like TMZ goes through Kardashians, buying three times as many clothes as we did in the 1980s.More than half of the trendy fast-fashion garments we buy have the shelf life of a White House staffer, are disposed of in less than a year, says Metro Vancouver. It estimates clothing makes up half of the 20 million kilograms of textiles - that's five per cent of everything in the dump -- trashed there annually. Here in the capital region, the figure is just under six per cent. That's 21 kilograms of textiles per person, piling up in the Hartland Landfill.That highlights a broader reality: As much as we like to think of ourselves as enlightened and green, the typical Canadian churns out more trash than the National Enquirer. We might talk like David Suzuki, but we walk like Goliath. In 2013, the Conference Board of Canada calculated we produce more garbage per capita than anyone else on Earth, 2.7 kilograms a day.Think of how much junk you take for granted, and how recently it came into your life. The normal we grew up with is not, in fact, normal. Most of the disposable items we now take for granted became popular only in the past few decades.The first Heinz ketchup packet was bitten open in 1968. The disposable Bic lighter first flickered in 1973, around the same time the company introduced its disposable razor. The U.S. went from 350,000 tons of disposable diapers in 1970 to 1.9 million tons in 1980; they take up to 450 years to decompose, just like Christmas cake or memories of the Mark Messier-era Canucks.The plastic shopping bags we're trying to get rid of weren't widely used in grocery stores until the mid-1980s. Paper-poly coffee cups took off shortly after that. The cardboard coffee-cup sleeve wasn't invented until 1991. The little splash sticks that Starbucks uses to block the hole in the lid arrived in 2008. BTW,the Recycling Council of B.C. estimates Canadians go through 1.6 billion single-use coffee cups each year (yes, you can throw them in the recycling, but no, you don't).On and on it goes. Every time you buy fast food, it comes wrapped up like a Christmas present. Globally, we use a million plastic water bottles each minute, 91 per cent of which aren't recycled, says Forbes magazine. Just last month, Justin Trudeau threw out a perfectly good attorney general.Why are we in such a hurry to trash the planet? Keep your shirton.
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