Inside Vancouver’s Summer Patio Party Series

Gastown on a summer afternoon. Photo: HappyBarbers | Flickr

Gastown on a summer afternoon. Photo: HappyBarbers | Flickr

Ah, summertime. That most glorious of seasons that adds extra sparkle to the Pacific Ocean, infuses our West Coast flesh with golden bronze and lures Vancouverites out in droves to sun-drenched patios across the city. But while we tirelessly park ourselves at familiar haunts, pop open craft beers and settle in ‘til October, alternative outdoor oases remain unexplored – to our own detriment. Because for every event life throws at you – from impressing a big client to satisfying your inner hipster to mingling with cute strangers – there’s a patio in Vancouver patiently waiting to deliver.

Today, Inside Vancouver introduces the first of a six-part investigative series that surveys patios spanning the city, puts each to a stringent test and gives you, dear reader, a fresh batch of possibilities for life’s most important situations. Try ‘em out, tell us what you think and help us expand the list – just don’t forget the sunscreen. Cheers!

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Inside Vancouver’s Summer Patio Party Series

Christmas Cocktail Crawl III: Literary Libations

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Photo: Conrad Fox

“I drink to make other people more interesting.” – Ernest Hemingway

Ah, Christmas. A time for peppermint-infused lattes, sparkling snowfall and – most importantly – booze-filled soirées with your nearest and dearest.

Our annual Christmas Cocktail Crawl is entering its hat trick year, and this time around there’s a movement afoot. A call to bring back the Era of the Literary Salon, when cocktails stimulated engaging conversation, inspired philosophical debate and, as the evening progressed, created masters of the universe out of mere drinkers.

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Christmas Cocktail Crawl III: Literary Libations

New Urban Orchard Coming to Main and Terminal

Photo credit: Solefood Street Farms

Photo credit: Solefood Street Farms

You’ve seen the Solefood’s innovative urban farms on your morning jogs along the seawall, or perhaps after a late night at the Astoria. You’ve probably eaten their fruit and veg in some of the best restaurants around town including Hawksworth, Salt Tasting Room and Fable.

After three years, Michael Ableman and Seann Dory, the guys behind the pioneering social enterprise, are expanding beyond raised garden beds. Solefood is planting an urban orchard on one acre of city-owned land at the busy intersection of Main Street and Terminal Avenue. They also plan to have a produce stand onsite at the new location.

According to this coverage in the Straight, Solefood will plant 1,000 fruit-bearing trees including quince, persimmon, pears, and plums starting this May. Continue reading:
New Urban Orchard Coming to Main and Terminal

Inside the Restaurant of the Year: Hawksworth

Photo courtesy of Hawksworth Restaurant.

Since opening in 2011, Hawksworth Restaurant in the refurbished Hotel Georgia has generated plenty of buzz in Vancouver.  The upscale eatery cleaned up at the 2012 Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards, taking home honors for Restaurant of the Year and Chef of the Year, among others.  It seems to be the rare restaurant in Vancouver that everyone – from your mother-in-law to the food critic at the Sun – raves about.

But with all the build up, can it really be that good?

I checked out Hawksworth over the weekend, on a busy Friday night.  The first big surprise: the ambiance.  Continue reading:
Inside the Restaurant of the Year: Hawksworth