Shopping and Sustenance
By: The Traveling Gourmand
Enjoying a quick trip to Vancouver for some serious Christmas shopping.
The crowds are crazy and the traffic is the typical December nightmare but for the most part the weather has been fairly dry making frequent trips and stops fairly civilized.
Hitting the “big city” is challenging but fun. For those of you who live here full time you can’t appreciate the selection and choices we who live in a more rural setting do without. Sure we have some wonderful places on Vancouver Island, we have peace and tranquility, we have quiet and for all that we aren’t complaining. But once in awhile we too want to break out and spread our social wings.
Christmas is a great excuse to come to Vancouver and shop like the locals. Providing us with shopping options. Such an array of exceptional and unique gifts in the many boutiques in the neighbourhoods from 4th Avenue and Kits, South Granville Rise, Main Street, Commercial Drive to Gastown.
A stop Downtown to hit the mall and department stores. Splurge shopping at Holt Renfrew for him and for her or Harry Rosen just for something special for him. Michael Kors to Burberry and Tiffany’s, even if it’s only window shopping.
Is there a better place than the Bay for bargains this year? Checking out their one day specials from the 40% off ladies wear in the Hudson Room to 50% off boots. Be prepared to stand in line and fight the crowds because these prices are unbeatable. While you’re there check out the expanded Top Shop and Topman. For trendy and wallet friendly jewelry pop into H & M.
Note to downtown businesses: a coat check would be appreciated for all us beleaguered shoppers
Time to give my feet a well deserved break so off to lunch. I’ve been wanting to try La Ghianda on Alma Street and as luck would have it parking was easy so I found myself at a cozy table in the corner. Quite a busy spot with many patrons lining up for take out.
The menu (which I’m told is about to change in the next week or two) features some wonderful Italian home style choices. I started with a glass, or in this case a small tumbler, of Prosecco. You can share family style or go it alone. We chose the latter option with my companion starting with a generous sized Salumi plate accompanied by a glass of red wine followed by the Minestrone soup. I started with my favourite green, an arugula and beet salad with toasted hazelnuts. I was obviously very hungry from all that shopping and followed with the braised lamb shank, cannelloni beans, and tomato. Absolutely delicious! The perfect comfort food at the end of a tiring day.
La Ghianda is an Italian deli and restaurant from chef/owner’s Adam Pegg and Lucais Syme. La Ghianda specializes in deli products as well as dine-in and take-away options for lunch and dinner.
Open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 am to 9 pm.
2083 Alma St. (at 4th) in Vancouver’s Point Grey.
Not up for a full meal. Not far away you’ll find Baguette & Co French Bakery & Café where you can enjoy a mini quiche, pizza, sandwich or Panini. Not to mention some very delectable desserts and Salt Spring Island coffee.
You’ll also find a great selection of Bonne Maman conserves
Baguette & Co
3275 West Broadway at Blenhdim
Phone: 604 737 8080
For anyone with the energy and inclination to cook after a full day of shopping you’ll find Granville Island Public Market quiet and easy to maneuver at the end of the day. Stop by one of my faves the Net Loft Café for the world’s best Date Squares.
Last stop for me is Lusso Verde the newly opened Italian deli featuring scrumptious delights, chocolates, gourmet coffee, charcuterie, condiments, and breads. Or order one of their bountiful gift baskets or something special from their floral section. Everything wonderful and Italian to please the most discriminating palate.
1523 West 8th Avenue Vancouver, BC V6J 1T5
Looking forward to the delayed opening of Beaucoup Bakery & Café at 2150 Fir Street. Expected to be open on or around December 15.
If you’ve finished your shopping consider taking a stroll around the office and bank buildings downtown because in addition to the malls and hotel lobbies you will find a beautifully festive display of Christmas trees in a variety of themes.
Finally, be very careful out there during this holiday season. Pedestrians take care and drivers expect the unexpected on our streets.