Skip to main content

Actor George Clooney arrives to the red carpet for the gala screening of 'The Men Who Stare At Goats' during the Toronto International Film Festival at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, Ontario Friday September 11, 2009.Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

Who needs to actually see celebs during TIFF? The crowds are sweaty and the parties are exclusive. There are something like 57 velvet ropes between you and anyone you'd want to talk to – even if you did meet Kristen Stewart, she would mostly want you to go away. Just enjoy one of the drinks below paired with the optional celebrity encounter fantasies provided.

Brassaii, 461 King St. W.

"Pears of the Caribbean," $14 – Grey Goose Cherry Noir, smoked pear juice, vanilla syrup, and Caribbean-coconut bitters

Johnny Depp loves the cocktail you sent over. He twiddles his rings with delight as the notes of vanilla and pear hit his soft palate. He looks over at you, and mouths "merci," winding his accent scarf around his primary scarf, the two hanging just below the scarf he wears for warmth. You know the pun is a stretch at best – pears of the Caribbean? – but you saw an opening and you took it. You decide you don't even need to do the French accent you've been practising. He looks like he wants to blow cigarette smoke into your mouth. You slide out of your booth and head towards Depp, pinot in hand, thinking, Wino Forever.

Momofuku, 190 University Ave.

Fuzzy Peach Slushie, $14 – Sake, peach, melon, lemon

Ellen Page and Julianne Moore are high-fiving over fancy birthday cake. "It's not our birthday," Page tells the server when he brings it. "But imagine we were twins?" squeals Moore. They high-five again, and the server points down the bar. "You know, it is her birthday, " the server says. He's pointing directly at you. It is not your birthday. The server knows this, because earlier he asked for your ID, since you "couldn't possibly be over 19." He winks at you, and the actresses-turned-friends call you over to their table. Later that night, you each put a straw in a Fuzzy Peach Slushie and share it like a diner milkshake.

Cluny Bistro, 35 Tank House Lane

8 oz glass of "Le Sacre," $20 – Smooth as hell red wine

"Amal thinks it's cheesy that I come here," says George Clooney, husband of the world's most famous human rights lawyer. You can't believe he mentioned her name. You wish she was here so badly. I wonder what Amal is doing right now, you think. I wonder what she's reading, while using which face mask. Her husband seems nice. The man in the expensive suit talks to you for another 30 or 40 minutes, mostly about tequila, sometimes about pranks.

Sweaty Betty's, 13 Ossington Ave.

Cider, $7 – Just like, in a can

Drew Barrymore is on the patio in a T-shirt and jeans, looking radiant and unbelievably casual. She's drinking a cider out of a can, just like you. She notices that you're drinking a cider too, and smiles at you, like, "Samesies." When you bump into each other in line for another, you strike up a conversation that feels so natural you almost wonder if you and Drew Barrymore already know each other. Barrymore tells you that you're so beautiful, "like a flower." Eyes like bluebells, cheeks like roses … she keeps going on about it. Later, when she launches her cosmetics line, "Flower," you'll know it's a fun reference to the night you spent together, and that she still thinks about it too.

Reposado, 136 Ossington Ave.

La Cava Del Mayoral $12 – Tequila

The only thing smoother than the tequila you're drinking straight is the way Idris Elba smiles at you when he asks "Is this seat taken?" It is, by your boyfriend, but you text him not to come back from the bathroom. "Go home, stay at Kyle's, honestly just get out of this bar, we can deal with the fallout from this later," you type frantically. Your boyfriend leaves, no questions asked. He's a good guy. You and Elba make out all over the bar's romantic back patio. A lot of people from the tabloids see, plus that girl who was mean to you in high school.

The Thompson Rooftop Bar, 550 Wellington St. W.

Champagne Cocktail, $15 – Chartreuse, "absinthe wash," sugar cube, and sparkling wine

Helen Mirren loves champagne. "I'm considering getting in the pool," she says conspiratorially. "But Dame Helen, it's closed," you respond, immediately regretting the formality of using her royally appointed title. "Lighten up, poppet!" She talks like a sexy Mary Poppins. Over the next three hours you tell each other everything. By the time you leave, Mirren has heard about your first romantic betrayal, helped you figure out your true bra size, and composed four perfect sexts to be sent to your partner on an as-needed emergency basis. She's going to e-mail you tomorrow about the tattoo idea.

The Addisons Residence, 456 Wellington St. W.

The Summer Refresher, $13 – Vodka, watermelon, honey juice, lime juice, and basil leaves

A bar with no sign out front, designed to look like your friend's rich parents let him have the house for the weekend? Of course Bill Murray is here. You're sipping vodka with watermelon when you hear someone ask the bartender, "What's with the honey juice? Is someone milking bees?" The bartender is amused but also kind of, "Who is this guy," and then he takes off his hat and everyone can tell it's Bill Murray. But Murray isn't talking to everyone; he's stuck his finger in your drink and is slowly stirring it while talking to you. You drink three Summer Refreshers with a Murray swizzle in them, play a few rounds of air hockey, and that's it. You'll never tell anyone what he whispered to you that night, as the sun came up over Wellington Street.

Soho House, 192 Adelaide St. W.

Picante De La Casa, $13 – Cazadores Reposado, cilantro, chili, agave, and citrus, on the rocks

Shia LaBeouf is here as part of an art project. He wears a large balloon around his head, "to represent the Hollywood bubble we're all living in." He does not talk to you, but you help him fish his head out when the balloon gets caught on the door of the women's bathroom.

Interact with The Globe