Having just landed back in the UK a few days ago and still wrestling with the jet lag, I couldn't wait to get a few photos of my trip up to show you. The past two weeks have been spent travelling around the West coast of Canada including visits to Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Jasper, Yoho and Banff - offering the perfect mix of cool downtown coffee houses and snow topped mountains.
After a few days in Calgary we jetted off to Vancouver for a long weekend. As somewhere we have visited briefly before we couldn't wait to return. This is the city of mountain views, the perfect espresso and monochrome shopfits that in my line of work make my heart melt!
We landed early morning after a quick hours flight and hopped on a short train down to the harbour and city centre. Our hotel, The Fairmont Pacific Rim was as beautiful as I remembered. The huge, light, airy, cream reception area already had a great buzz with Vancouver's coolest arriving for Friday drinks and spectacular sushi. Our suite had spectacular views over the mountains and harbour from the living room and views towards Downtown from one of the two bathrooms and the large, dual aspect bedroom. The Pacific Rim is always wonderfully well stocked with a Nespresso machine in every room and well as Le Labo's Rose products filling the bathrooms. Pure luxury. I could quite happily live in this hotel forever.
However we have a city to see! So after settling in and a quick shower we set off Downtown for some shopping, coffee and dinner.
Now I'm not going to list EVERYWHERE we ate, drank and shopped but I will run through a few of my favourites incase you are planning a visit (which you totally should!). Gas Town is amazing for shopping with beautiful minimal boutiques filled with everything from copper candles to oversized silk trench coats. Oak & Fort on Water Street was one of the gems for me. A warehouse style store with simple rails and effortlessly cool staff, the store is filled with dreamy monochrome fashion pieces. Oversized knitwear and unusually cut white shirts are paired with backless mules and dainty jewellery. I could fill my entire wardrobe. I picked up a few pieces including a butter soft oversized pinstripe scarf. Check out their website as they ship to most countries.
There is no shortage of what to get up to in Vancouver and we started day two with an incredible Sea Plane adventure from the harbour. You can just turn up and book however they do fill up so go early or call in advance. Yes this is the plane that Kate and Wills took in to Vancouver the next day! They obviously thought it looked good fun too. The views from the flight are breathtaking sending you over Stanley Park, Vancouver island and the City.
I'd also highly recommend cycling around Stanley Park. This 1-2 hour route gives you views over the city and the ocean as well as enjoying the wildlife. We watched a family of Raccoons whist having a coffee break half way around.
There are more great Coffee houses in this City than we could fit into four days. A standout for me was Timber Train on W Cordova St. This tiny hideaway was filled with beautiful locals. The decor was simple in grey slate and wood with copper details. We devoured a few warm from the oven stuffed spinach scones and inhaled the freshly roasted coffee beans. Make it a morning pit stop.
By lunch time of Saturday Gas Town is buzzing and we jump into the tiny Bao Down on Carell St for a few of their famous steamed buns and topped fries which were incredible. Perching on the bar by the window we watched the world go by whilst digging in to some street food.
Vancouver is a truly amazing city and I'm already planning my next trip. If you haven't been be sure to add it to your list!
- VANCOUVER -
Stay - The Fairmont Pacific Rim
Shop - Oak & Fort
Drink Coffee - Timber Train
Eat Lunch - Bao Down
Have An Adventure - Harbour Air Sea Planes