Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The other neck of the woods
Well we are all off to Vancouver today for a few days. We're having a sales meeting, a creative brainstorming session - and best of all our Cartolina Christmas party - can't wait! So this morning I thought I would be a bit of a tour guide to a few things I love about Vancouver(most of which will involve food and shopping!). The first place I want to tell you about is Salamagundi West in historic Gas Town. This is one of my all time favourite shops it ranks right up there with Tinsel Trading in New York and Cabin Fever in Sandpoint Idaho. It has a great old store front and it is jam packed to the gills with cool stuff - antiques, books, stationery, toys, prints, jewelry - an amazing selection of oddities. Ask anyone what they like best about Salamagundi West and they will tell you its the original Chinese apothecary chests in the basement - hundreds of tiny drawers filled with wonderful curiosities - you could hunt for treasures for hours - I know, because I have!

Top 4 pictures are of Salamagundi West. After an hour at Salamagundi my favourite thing to do is go around the corner to the Water Street Cafe(below) and eat grilled oysters in the most yummy chile and basil cream sauce - I love the simplicity of this restaurant - feels Parisian. Its been here forever and consistently produces a high calibre of Pacific Northwest cuisine(think seafood, asian, natural influences and incredible freshness) and top notch service.

We always try to go for dinner at Bin 941 (below) when we are in Vancouver. We love the busy, loud atmosphere and the tapas are the best. They play really great music here - its funky, casual and inexpensive. It's small and crowded and perfect!

This year we are having our Cartolina Christmas party at The Lift Bar and Grill . I haven't been here before but one of our Vancouver gals really recommends it and I am so looking forward to it. I had a peek into the interior the last time we were in Vancouver and I definitely give it the thumbs up for its interior. Pacific Northwest design and architecture has come along way in the last 20 years and has really found its niche in huge timbers, expanses of glass, eco friendly systems and views views views! Talking about views - the view is stunning from  The Lift - right over Coal Harbour where the float planes come in, across to Stanley Park and the marina. (And the menu looks delicious too!)

This is one of the little Aqua Busses that takes you from down town Vancouver over to Granville Island Market(below). It only take a couple of minutes but it transports you to a different world - of art, crafts, food, music and shopping. You can spend all day at Granville Island Market. the public market is a spectacle of growers and their harvests, cheeses, fish, flowers - you name it. 

The Island is also home to the Emily Carr University of Art and Design which is well worth the visit too. How fabulous is it to have a market, a marina, restaurants, an art school and great shopping all in one place, on the ocean, in the down town of a beautiful city like Vancouver. 
See you next week - hopefully with lots of inspiring Vancouver shots, because I've got a new camera and it's going to turn me into a better photographer . . .  no, really   :-)

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