Quebec

Michael Phelps reasserts authority with his 16th Olympic gold

The total now stands at 16 and this one was all his own work. Michael Phelps claimed his first individual gold of London 2012 last night with a devastating swim in the 200m individual medley that proved too much for a tiring Ryan Lochte. Phelps, the master of Beijing, has reasserted his authority in the pool.

Jack Layton: Canadian politician who became leader of the opposition

Jack Layton, a career politician, was the charismatic leader of the New Democratic Party (NDP), Canada's new opposition party. With his boundless energy and folksy yet feisty no-nonsense approach, he had battled cancer and a hip replacement to lead his left-of-centre party to an historic victory in last May's federal election. He had brought hope and optimism to federal politics and was arguably at the height of his political career.

24-hour room service: Hôtel-Musée Premières Nation,

"Where are the tepees?" It wasn't a subtle question from our three-year old, but one that's possibly on the minds of a few visitors to Quebec's Hotel-Musée Premières Nations, given that this hotel has not only been built by the Huron-Wendat, one of Canada's pre-eminent First Nations, but also is largely owned and run by them too. This four-star hotel is all about celebrating indigenous North American culture, and is set in a wooden longhouse-style building constructed with traditional materials and techniques. It's also about refined-rustic elegance and modern comforts. There's not a wigwam in sight, but there is a gourmet restaurant and a hi-tech annex museum.

Plate With A View: La Montagne Coupée, Quebec, Canada

This restaurant may be set in one of Canada's finest health retreats, but it is no place for dieters. The emphasis is on elaborate, regional food served in hearty portions. After a bowl of chef Amélie Roch's homemade soup (a rich pumpkin the night I was there), starters range from artisan smoked trout or wild mushroom ravioli to a goats' cheese tartlet served with onion marmalade, grilled pistachios and a Cape Gooseberry brandy.

Album: Kaki King, Dreaming of Revenge (Velour)

Kaki King's unorthodox approach to the guitar has already secured her a guest spot on the last Foo Fighters album, and a Golden Globe nomination for her soundtrack to Into the Wild.