Day two in Vancouver!
Technically, it’s day 3 but jet lag got the best of the very first day so Day 2 it is.
Like I said, before, breakfast at the Shangri La Hotel in Vancouver is something of an event.
It’s not something you rush – there’s no buffet – everything is made to order so, with that in mind, (and with hunger/greed totally ruling my tummy), I went for 3 breakfasts.
Steel cut oats, pancakes with extra sides of bacon (yes, and syrup too) followed by eggs royale. This is in large part why I spent at least an hour at breakfast every morning here.
Fed, coffee-d and smoothie-d; we headed out for a more chilled day exploring the city!
We meandered through the towering buildings making our way over to Gastown.
It didn’t take us very long to be distracted though – Nemesis Coffee, pop it’s head up as we made our way through the city.
A purple tea, latte and gooey gigantic chocolate cookie later, we carried on our seemingly aimless amble through Gastown.
When you’re in Gastown, you’ve got to stop by the Steam Clock – it’s one of the most famous sights in this part of the city (and in Vancouver).
There are, of course, a lot more interesting sights in the city than the clock but it’s still worth a gander when you’re in the neighbourhood (totally missed it the first time we visited Vancouver).
Gastown is such a fun area in the city and is where you want to head on a night out, for lunch or dinner and definitely for a great night out!
After a fair bit of window-shopping (and a little bit of actual shopping), we hopped into a taxi and made our way over to Granville Island to essentially eat our way through the market for lunch!
Food tours are something new to me and the very first one I’ve ever done was the one here with Vancouver Foodie Tours. The idea is that you go round the market, finding out more about the different parts of it but instead of getting tiny samples from the vendors, you get your own proper tasting of everything – my favourite way to explore any food market!
We kicked off with the most delicious Chai lattes I’ve ever tasted (granted, I’ve not tasted many but this was still pretty fantastic), before moving on to the breads and charcuterie!
Next up were the cheeses and apples.
Sounds like such a silly thing to say but given that I mostly eat Braeburn Apples in the U.K. (with the odd Golden Delicious and a Fuji apple when I can get my hands on those), I was thorough surprised by how much the apples here tasted like “apple juice” – like you know, the kinds you buy in the store but know if you ever tried to make the same thing at home, it would taste nowhere near the same.
Makes total sense though – I feel like traditionally British Apples probably went more into cider than just apple juices (though you’ll hear no complaints from me on that front).
Fruit and cheeses tucked away, we moved on to my favourite of the lot – the nuts. I have an obsession with sweet nuts – honey roast any nut in the world and I’ll gorge on it to the point of shocking excess! It took me all of three seconds here to decide to fill a bag up with lots of bags of nuts.
Now, one of the best parts about this Vancouver Foodie Tours is actually getting to learn more about the stall owners, how they started and I guess a bit about the history of the market.
Typically, this is the kind of stuff I would groan about and just be like “Less talking – just give me the food!” but I found this to be one of my favourite parts of the food tour. It truly gives you a better appreciation of Granville Island – it’s across the water from the main part of Vancouver and although it’s relatively easy to get, chances are you won’t visit this part of Vancouver as much as the other as it’s not as walkable so a foodie tour is one of the best ways to fully experience this culinary part of Vancouver.
Right – where was I? Oh yeah, the foodie tour!
To be honest, after the nuts, I thought we were done but turns out we were – the next stop was at the doughnuts place.
These doughnuts totally surprised me – partly because I kinda expected them to be like ones you get in the stores in the U.K. (doughnuts here aren’t quite like doughnuts in the US) but boy was I mistaken! It’s the lightest, fluffiest, most delicious doughnuts I’ve had in such a long time (I may have headed back to pick up a pack of 6 after the tour was over 😉 ).
To finish off the foodie tour, we headed over to a restaurant next door for wine, falafels (perhaps my least favourite item – coincidentally though, this was one of Lloyd’s favourite; I’ve just never really like falafels, I just don’t get the appeal of them).
With that, we said farewell to our brilliant guide Miguel (not before tasting some proper Canadian maple syrup) and hot-footed it back to the Shangri La Hotel to cool off in the pool and pretty much mooch around for the rest of the evening!
I just love slow-paced days like this (especially so when they’re filled with food) – it’s always nice to balance off action-packed days exploring the city with days where you can actually just chill and take in the city properly! 🙂