I am a very lucky girl. Not only did my best friend, Helen, fly 3268 miles from Scotland to meet me in Toronto but my good friend Jen G came all the way to the west side to catch up in Vancouver!
You may have noticed that I’m not the girliest of girls, don’t get me wrong I do love creating outfits and strutting about in said outfits but I usually prefer charity shop clobber over brand names. I am partial to the odd massage (especially if they are Asia prices!) however Jen G and I aren’t the shop ‘til you drop / everywhere you go has valet (Clueless quote for your young guns!) breed of female, so I planned an alternative girls’ weekend in Vancouver for the pair of us.
Girls’ Weekend in Vancouver
Wheely Good Time
Cycling the Seawall in Vancouver is now one of my top five favourite things to do, and I would even go as far to say that cycling it that day was one of the best days I’ve had! We struck it lucky with the Indian summer lingering on until October; we had the warmth of the sun on our backs the whole way there. We opted for the longer False Creek Seawall journey, starting at Granville Market after collecting the bikes from Reckless Bikes on Fir Street.
Equipped with helmet, bell and basket, we took to the cycle path, following it around the marina, passing the sparkly globe of the Science Centre at Yaletown, through Stanley Park and finishing up back in Kitsilano on 1st. The journey took us two and half hours, with a coffee (Bloody Mary) stop and a couple of photo opportunities.
Website: Reckless Bikes
Address: 1810 Fir Street, Vancouver, BC V6J 3B1
Contact: 604 731 2420
Cost: 3 hours – $25.50 / £12.58
Tea for Two
You can take the girls out of Britain, but you can’t take Britain out of the girls! And what do Brits do? We drink tea! High teas always make me feel nostalgic, it was a frequent family activity when I was younger and I love the vintage crockery that comes with it. Neverland Tea Salon ticks all of these boxes! The tearoom is kitted out with pre-loved tables and chairs, chandeliers and Peter Pan art! The five-finger sandwiches and five different cakes come piled high on a flowery cake stand.
The high tea also includes two different types of tea and your server always ensures that your cup is full. This is my second visit to Neverland Tea Salon, I adore the traditional sandwiches with a modern edge, such as the Thai red curry egg salad with cucumber and mango chutney, and even the rye is not dry!
Forget party in your mouth, the passion fruit custard tartlet is a carnival! Since the antioxidants in tea promote good health and Neverland reassures you that you never have to grow up, this really is one of the most positive trips on our alternative girls’ weekend in Vancouver itinerary!
Website: Neverland Tea Salon
Address: 3066 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC
Opening hours: Mon-Thurs 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Fri-Sun, 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Cost: Bubbly High Tea $37 / £18.50, High Tea $30 / £15
There is no end to the thrift shops in Vancouver. It feels like every second shop on Main in Mount Pleasant celebrates pre-loved pieces. However, my favourite thrift store is actually the Salvation Army on 4th, it’s affordable and frequently does offers such as $2 skirts etc. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!
Bob Likes Thai Food
I read about Bob Likes Thai Food in The Westender newspaper and thought – Gemma and Jen G love Thai food too, this place is perfect. And it really was.
The menu is full of twists on your favourite Thai plates. Most notably Bob’s Poutine ($12 / £6), forget Canada’s traditional chips, gravy, and cheese curds, Bob’s poutine surprise consists of deep fat fried Taro root smothered in green curry sauce, tofu and chillies. Delicious! The miang kham ($8 / £4) was a juicy treat, you scoop up the leaves like a pouch and chew – a very fresh taste that kept coming, nice cleansing of the palate for the pad Thai ($14 / £7). We couldn’t go past this Thai favourite, a taste of Koh San Road in Vancouver. For drinks we both had the milk-iced teas, which complimented the food well.
The staff were super friendly, kept our water and serviette topped up, there was so much food we had to take a doggy bag home. BLTF’s pad Thai makes for a breakfast fit of queens!
Website: Bob Likes Thai Food
Address: 1521 West Broadway, Vancouver BC V6J 1W6
Contact: +1 (604) 558-3320
Electronic on the Eastside
Big fans of dance music, we opted to bypass the commercial typical Granville Street night out for a DJ on the raw Eastside. The Imperial plays hosts to electronic DJs frequently. Bob Moses wowed the crowds, who weren’t actually as friendly as Vancouverites normally are! Regardless of the too cool for school attitude of the audience, the gig was electric.
A much-loved part of any itinerary is a trip to Granville Island! This place is the Mecca for gastronome. There are a variety of restaurants, bars, comedy clubs, and theatres but my favourite thing to do at Granville Island is to pay the Public Market a visit and sample a new cake from Stuart’s Bakery! Once you have your sugar fix be sure to take a wander around the unique shops, the marina and check out the street art. Internationally renounced Brazilian street artists, OSGEMEOS, turned the dull grey Granville silos into bright eye-catching characters as part of the Vancouver Biennale event which promotes and supports public art!
Website: Granville Island
Address: 1661 Duranleau Street, Vancouver, BC V6H 3S3
Opening times: 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Although Vancouver is a great city with lots of nature, it is also an ideal springboard for day trips. Whistler is a mere 1 hour and 35 minute drive away and if you don’t have a car that’s not a worry. Lots of tour companies will play taxi for you, stopping off at Porteau Cove and Shannon Falls for a photo opportunity on the way. Watch out for those bears! There are lots of hikes of varying difficulties around Whistler such as the Lost Lake or Blueberry Trail. Whistler’s centre is a hot bed of cafes, restaurants, and shops. Come fall / winter, Whistler will become awash with winter sports lovers, keen to take on the famous Blackcomb Mountain with skis and boards! Don’t miss this post on more weekend trips from Vancouver!
Pin to your Vancouver inspiration board…
What are your tips for an alternative trip to your favourite city?
Thank you to Reckless Bikes, Bob Likes Thai Food, Neverland Tea Salon, Vancouver Tourism for their hospitality, an honest review as always.