• eat
  • shop
  • see
  • go
  • stay
  • daytrip
  • map
  • calendar
  • transport
  • weather
  • currency
  • tofrom

Where to Shop Vancouver

Talk Like a Pirate Day

By SHERI RADFORD

Bring home your pirate-themed booty in a tote bag from Make

Bring home your pirate-themed booty in a tote bag from Make

No need to walk the plank: landlubbers and salty dogs alike take part in International Talk Like a Pirate Day, which happens every year on Sep. 19. And there’s a treasure trove of pirate-themed fun in Vancouver.

Brush up on your facts with I Wonder Why Pirates Wore Earrings by Pat Jacobs and Wow! Surprising Facts About Pirates by Philip Steele (at local bookstores). Put your new knowledge to use composing a sonnet or haiku with a Pirate Magnetic Poetry Kit—though perhaps a ribald sea shanty would be more apropos. Discover all sorts of nautical lore at the Vancouver Maritime Museum, and if swashbuckling swordplay is more your thing, visit Academie Duello to learn how to use a rapier, longsword and more.

Look the part in a skull t-shirt by Strellson (at The Bay), an anchor ring handmade by Vancouver company Lacar (at Cavalier) and an anchor pendant from Thomas Sabo. Deck out your abode with an anchor doormat from Kikkerland and a Jolly Roger from The Flag Shop. Carry your buccaneer booty home in a tote bag from Make.

Dress pint-sized pirates in super-soft clothes from Pineapple Pete Kids

Dress pint-sized pirates in super-soft clothes from Pineapple Pete Kids

Dress a pint-sized pirate in an adorable shirt made from ultra-soft bamboo/cotton by local company Pineapple Pete Kids and a Disney’s Jake and the Never Land Pirates watch by Flik Flak (at Swatch The Store). Then keep the rapscallions and scallywags busy with Pirate Adventure Dice (at www.amazon.ca), a sailing trip around False Creek with Pirate Adventures or a visit to the Gulf of Georgia Cannery, which on Sep. 19 features a pirate-themed scavenger hunt with the grand prize of a chocolate treasure chest. Also popular with the 10-and-under crowd is a Pirate Pak meal from White Spot, served in a cardboard boat.

Pillaging and plundering are hard work, so bring your appetite to the Burrard Bridge Marine Bar & Grill. Known as Vancouver’s pirate pub, this charming eatery goes overboard for International Talk Like a Pirate Day, with themed contests, drink specials, swag, trivia and a photo booth, plus a prize for the best-dressed pirate.

Trade in the usual grog for Crystal Head Vodka

Trade in the usual grog for Crystal Head Vodka

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum! If no grog is handy to wash down your rations, try some Crystal Head Vodka. Manufactured in Canada, this additive-free spirit was created by actor Dan Aykroyd and artist John Alexander, who designed the distinctive skull bottle (at local liquor stores).

Shiver me timbers, if only this day came around more than once a year!

Take a Hike

By SHERI RADFORD

Trails abound throughout the Lower Mainland, everything from easy strolls to near-vertical feats of endurance. Local stores can outfit you with everything you need to tackle any terrain

The Crush Scoop from Icebreaker

The Crush Scoop from Icebreaker may be the perfect layering piece

The Crush Scoop from Icebreaker combines style with practicality and comfort in a soft, lightweight wool top that looks great on its own or layered. Bonus: it resists odours for days and dries quickly after washing—just like all of the company’s other merino wool garments.

Tackle trails in Helly Hansen's Odin Flow Hiker HT

Tackle trails in Helly Hansen’s Odin Flow Hiker HT

Put your best foot forward in Helly Hansen’s new Odin Flow Hiker HT, which blends cushioning, comfort and stability in an attractive technical boot. Waterproof yet breathable, this boot offers unprecedented temperature control thanks to the clever H2Flow technology.

The Nikka shorts from Fjällräven

Keep comfortable and confident in the Nikka shorts from Fjällräven

Form or function? There’s no need to choose with the attractive yet durable Nikka shorts from Fjällräven. Reinforced in all the right places, with well-placed pockets and a bit of stretch where it’s needed most, these technical shorts were designed for trekking and climbing.

Keep essentials close at hand with the Talon 6 from Osprey

Keep essentials close at hand with the Talon 6 from Osprey

Lighten up: carry your day-hiking or trail-running essentials—and nothing extra to weigh you down—in the Talon 6 from Osprey. This technical lumbar pack also includes two BPA-free water bottles, making hydration easy-peasy. Available at Atmosphere.

Choose your next trekking destination with Easy Hiking Around Vancouver

Choose your next trekking destination with Easy Hiking Around Vancouver

Both casual hikers and intrepid outdoor adventurers turn to Easy Hiking Around Vancouver, 7th Edition by Jean Cousins to discover picturesque new places to explore. Most of the 68 hikes described are located within an hour’s drive of the city. At local bookstores.

This pocket companion makes it easy for women to answer the call of nature

This pocket companion makes it easy for women to answer the call of nature

Gotta go? In the great outdoors, it’s awkward for women to answer the call of nature. Fortunately, the Pee Pocket can save the day. Small enough to stow in a pocket, this single-use, disposable funnel allows women to stand up to go. Purchase online at www.the peepocket.com.

Fall Beauty Favourites

By SHERI RADFORD

Féline Eyeshadow Quartet by Lise Watier

Féline Eyeshadow Quartet by Lise Watier

As the days get shorter and the nights grow longer, the minimalist beauty regime of summer shifts into the bolder, more polished looks of autumn. Lise Watier’s Féline Eyeshadow Quartet features four ultra-pigmented colours (champagne, luminous taupe, lace pink, coppery brown) in a cream powder formula that delivers impressive staying power, keeping eyes looking enticingly exotic until well into the evening.

NARS's Audacious Lipsticks in Geraldine

NARS’s Audacious Lipsticks in Geraldine

NARS’s Audacious Lipsticks, launched for the company’s 20th anniversary, deliver intense colour while locking in moisture and making lips look fuller; François Nars named the 30 pigment-rich shades after women who have influenced him throughout his career, including Raquel, Greta, Grace and Brigitte. Philosophy’s No Reason to Hide is an all-in-one transforming serum that treats everything from acne marks, dark spots, and redness to blotchiness, rough texture, and darkened and enlarged pores.

Correct eyeliner errors with the Prestige Makeup Eraser Pen

Correct eyeliner errors with the Prestige Makeup Eraser Pen

In case of a beauty mishap, the Prestige Makeup Eraser Pen saves the day, easily correcting eyeliner errors and mascara mistakes. Find the eyeshadow and makeup eraser pen at London Drugs, and the lipstick and transforming serum at Sephora or The Bay.

Why We Love Farmers’ Markets

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

There is a lot to love at Vancouver's farmers' markets

There is a lot to love at Vancouver’s farmers’ markets

Local Eating Though most meals travel 2,400 km (1,491 mi) from producer to plate, market produce usually travels less than 300 km (186 mi), which is great for the planet—and tastes better, too.

Fresh Produce In-season fruits and veggies make for picnic perfection, and September boasts a bounty of local fare:
Apples
Carrots
Grapes
Lettuce
Melons
Pears
Plums
Peppers
Strawberries
Tomatoes
Watermelon
Zucchini

Sweet Services Need a massage? Or fresh-cut flowers? How about knife sharpening? Many booths go far beyond fresh fruits and veggies.

Spirited Sips Find craft beer at R&B, or spirits produced from local ingredients at Odd Society and Long Table Distillery. Or for something truly unique, try the fortified walnut wine at Vista D’oro.

Cool Crafts A local handicraft makes a great souvenir. Chat with artisans over jewellery, pottery, beeswax products (delectable local honey included), chocolates, artworks, aromatherapy, woodwork and more.

Local markets are open rain or shine, and dogs are welcome

Christine Lingerie’s Sizzling Silk

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Christine Lingerie’s luxurious designs evoke that on-holiday feeling—without the travel time

Christine Morton wears one of her own creations while at work in her design studio. (Photo: KK Law)

Christine Morton wears one of her own creations while at work in her design studio. (Photo: KK Law)

From the silky pyjamas that graced the cover of O, The Oprah Magazine to the luxe gown worn by Sofia Vergara on Modern Family, pretty little numbers by Christine Lingerie have been spotted all over Hollywood. And it’s easy to see why. “I like to think that women feel like celebrities in my things,” says Christine Morton, founder and designer of the popular line.

The stunning pieces may have their Tinseltown following, but the company remains firmly rooted in Vancouver. “I can rest here and work it into who I am, what the collection is. Vancouver to me is a very peaceful place. It’s a beautiful city.” Located in East Van, Morton’s boutique/studio has a charming storefront, but the space beyond is where the hard work happens. All the designs and manufacturing are done in Canada, which contributes to the impeccable quality. “I know the name of the person who made that chemise,” she says. “It’s a whole different thing than having a factory somewhere else.”

Original prints and imported fabrics such as French lace adorn the pieces, and it’s these elements that often inspire the garments. “It kind of tells you what it wants to be,” she explains. The designs blend classic and vintage-inspired cuts and styles with a vibrant colour palette, which lends a contemporary feel. More recently, street-worthy loungewear and kimonos have vied for room in the collection. “You put that on with your jeans and t-shirt, and it looks fabulous. It’s a whole look.”

(Photo: KK Law)

(Photo: KK Law)

Other signature pieces include the elegant-yet-flirty Button Back chemise and the Glamour Gown: “It looks like something out of the ’40s. It’s very dramatic.” From classic pyjamas to racy teddies, every piece has one thing in common Morton says: once it’s on, the wearer won’t want to take it off. “It’s so beautiful to feel, the silk against your body.”

Christine Lingerie has been around for 40 years, but Morton says that “we think our place here is like a little secret, and we love it when people come in and find us.” But with celebrities and starlets routinely sporting her luxury loungewear, it’s safe to say the secret’s out.

Find Christine Lingerie at La Jolie Madame, Dianes Lingerie, Holt Renfrew and Romantique. Or visit Christine Lingerie’s Boutique and Design Studio, or order online at www.christinelingerie.com

Pyrrha’s Top Talismans

By SHERI RADFORD

Imperfect by design? A Vancouver couple makes unique jewellery, their way

Danielle Wilmore and Wade Papin manage to juggle a happy home life (complete with a two-year-old daughter) and a thriving business. (Photo: KK Law)

Danielle Wilmore and Wade Papin manage to juggle a happy home life (complete with a two-year-old daughter) and a thriving business. (Photo: KK Law)

Most designers craft their jewellery to look absolutely perfect. Not Wade Papin and Danielle Wilmore, the unorthodox duo behind Pyrrha. They have been breaking the rules pretty much from the moment they met, became a couple and started their business, about 20 years ago.

For one thing, neither had a background in jewellery. “We’re totally self-taught,” Papin says. That didn’t stop them from quitting their day jobs and plunging in. “It made it a must to succeed, not having any other means of support. I sold off a lot of my record collection to fund Pyrrha in the early days,” he says. “The rest of it we funded on credit cards. I wouldn’t suggest that to anyone.” In those early years, he explains, “we were doing soldering in our bedroom—very unhealthy stuff.” Now Papin and Wilmore have a separate design studio here in Vancouver, as well as a flagship store in Los Angeles.

Handcrafted using reclaimed sterling silver or bronze, Pyrrha’s talisman rings, necklaces, bracelets and earrings are based on 18th- and 19th-century wax seals. Each piece reflects the antique seals’ cracks and imperfections, and each carries a specific meaning. The Fidelity talisman, for example, shows a turtle dove on the tree of life, symbolizing interconnectedness and unity, while the Power and Protection talisman features a crown with a dragon head coming out of it.

(Photo: KK Law)

(Photo: KK Law)

Hollywood has taken note of these eye-catching creations. Pyrrha boasts an enviable roster of celebrity fans, including Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner, Brad Pitt and Halle Berry. How do the stars stumble upon the brand? Papin explains with a laugh that their company is well situated, “between all the filming that goes on in Vancouver, and the fact that every third person who comes into our LA store is someone famous.” Pyrhha also recently launched a line of talismans in partnership with HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Papin and Wilmore are determined to resist the siren call of the US—or anywhere else, for that matter—and keep producing their jewellery here. “We love Vancouver, and we want to support it. We love to be part of an arts community that’s growing,” Papin says. “It’s always been our mandate, from the very beginning, to keep it local. There aren’t a lot of people doing that anymore.” Once again, breaking the rules. And once again, with great results.

Find Pyrrha jewellery at Barefoot Contessa and BeautyMark, or shop online at www.pyrrha.com

Hot Looks That Beat Summer Heat

By SHERI RADFORD

Pool parties, festivals, BBQs—there are plenty of reasons to look good in summer, but no one wants to spend hours slathering on thick make-up that melts in the August heat. Instead, try this handful of products to look your sun-kissed best

Skoah-00694Essie-Summer-Collection

The oil-free Skin Boost Serum from Skoah uses plant polypeptides to increase collagen production and fade hyperpigmentation, resulting in firmer, clearer, hydrated skin. Essie’s summer collection of nail polishes includes eye-catching shades such as florescent fuchsia berry (pictured) and supercharged blue violet.

Mineral-Fusion-Lip-TintSelf Tan Bronzing Mousse from St. Tropez

 

Sheer Moisture Lip Tints from Mineral Fusion use cocoa butter to nourish lips while adding a hint of colour. The Self Tan Bronzing Mousse from St. Tropez creates a streak-free, natural-looking golden hue that lasts up to five days—and doesn’t harm skin the way Mother Nature’s suntans do. Find the Skin Boost Serum at Skoah and the other products at London Drugs. Who knew summer beauty could be so effortless?

SeaWheeze: Sea, Sun, Sweat & Smiles

By SHERI RADFORD

Runners enjoy the seawall during the SeaWheeze, Lululemon's half marathon. (Photo: Sheri Radford)

Runners enjoy the seawall during the SeaWheeze, Lululemon’s half marathon. (Photo: Sheri Radford)

One of the world’s prettiest half marathons, the SeaWheeze winds around spectacular downtown scenery such as the seawall and Stanley Park, encouraging runners to forget about setting a new personal best and instead snap plenty of photos. Along the route, over-the-top entertainers—including stilt walkers, TheatreSports improvisers and yogis on paddle boards—also encourage dawdling. Too bad all 10,015 spots in this year’s race sold out in under an hour. But there are still ways to get in on the weekend’s fun.

Sunset yoga practice in Stanley Park after SeaWheeze half marathon. (Photo: Sheri Radford)

Sunset yoga practice in Stanley Park after SeaWheeze half marathon. (Photo: Sheri Radford)

All are welcome at the Sunset Festival in Stanley Park. First Eoin Finn leads a sunset yoga practice, perfect for stretching out tired muscles after the morning’s long run, then The Colourist and headliner Capital Cities fill the park with their pop sounds.

Limited edition athletic gear from Lululemon

Tracker-Short

Any event organized by Lululemon isn’t complete without apparel. The day before and the day of the race, a pop-up store featuring exclusive SeaWheeze clothing and accessories takes over the Vancouver Convention Centre. Lengthy line-ups don’t deter diehard shoppers, who scoop up the limited-edition tees, tanks, shorts, crops and more, none of which can be purchased in any other stores or online.

It’s a weekend of great workouts—whether for bodies or credit cards (or both) is up to you.

The SeaWheeze and Sunset Festival take place Aug. 23. The pop-up store is open Aug. 22 and 23.  Register for next year’s SeaWheeze in Jan. 2015. 

Outdoor Essentials

By SHERI RADFORD

Whether your warm-weather destination is a beach, cabin or tent—or just the backyard—these handy items should improve your trip

Picnic basket and blanket from Poppytalk

Basket & Throw

Vancouver’s Jan Halvarson, who founded the popular design blog Poppytalk, teamed up with Target to create a line of “glamping” items such as a picnic basket and a camping throw with a useful carrier handle.

 

Playing cards by The Mountaineers Books

Playing Cards

Play your favourite card game and learn wilderness safety skills at the same time. The Don’t Get Lost Out There! Deck gives practical info on orienting a map, GPS usage, how to avoid getting lost, and more. At local bookstores.

 

Fabric checkerboard from Poppytalk, perfect for travel

Checkers

Banish boredom with this adorable fabric checkerboard, which includes game pieces and a cute travel bag, from Poppytalk for Target. Lightweight, colourful and quiet, it’s the perfect game for kids and adults alike.

 

Dermalogica sun protection line can be found at Spruce Body Lab

Sun Protection

For fun in the sun without fear of sunburn, slather on Protection Sport from Dermalogica. Non-greasy and water-resistant for up to 40 minutes, it’s ideal for extreme sport enthusiasts. At Spruce Body Lab.

 

Find a striped HBC hammock at The Bay

Hammock

Laze away the long hot days of summer in a hammock from The Bay. It comes in the eternally popular HBC multi-stripe pattern also found on swim trunks, beach towels, tote bags, deck chairs, Swiss Army Knives and more.

 

Zap Away bug repellant products from Escents Aromatherapy

Bug Spray

Repel pesky mosquitoes and other creepy crawlies with Zap Away spray from local company Escents. Made from lemongrass and lavender essential oils, the spray smells wonderfully fresh and is free from DEET and other harsh chemicals.

Tasty Tomes

By SHERI RADFORD

An appetizing trio of books will whet your appetite for dining adventures. Find all three at local bookstores
StreetEats_VancouverCATStreetEats Vancouver by Mijune Pak, edited by Suresh Doss ($16.95): In this comprehensive new book, Mijune Pak (aka Follow Me Foodie) dishes up all the details on the city’s burgeoning street-food scene, including local favourites Japadog and Mom’s Grilled Cheese Truck.

StreetFoodJournal

The Street Food Journal: An A–Z by Sophia Augusta ($16.95): Foodies can keep track of all the street eats they sample, from the ordinary (Italian ice cream, American hot dogs) to the unusual (starfish on sticks in China, “red red” stew in Ghana), in this beautifully illustrated notebook and sketchpad.

Foodspotting-Field-GuideThe Foodspotting Field Guide edited by April V. Walters ($15.95): This guided journal from Foodspotting—an online community of eager foodies who share where to find specific dishes in cities around the world—includes photographs and details on 75 must-try dishes.

Commercial Drive

By KRISTEN MORAN

Nestled in the heart of East Vancouver, Commercial Drive boasts nearly 350 shops and restaurants along a 22-block strip, but we focussed on a few blocks in the centre of the action

Banners featuring the colours of the Italian flag line Commercial Drive. (Photo: Kristen Moran)

Banners that feature the colours of the Italian flag line Commercial Drive. (Photo: Kristen Moran)

The delightful scents rolling out of Escents draw you in to get a better whiff. The West Vancouver company has gained international status, especially after its stress relief line was featured on The Dr. Oz Show. Find a hidden treasure at Mintage. This large vintage shop boasts a wide variety of hand-selected pieces to suit even the most fashion-forward individuals. (more…)

What a Doll: Maplelea Girl

By SHERI RADFORD

Maplelea dolls offer an educational playtime experience.

The Alexi doll hails from Toronto, Ontario, and helps kids learn about Canada

Can a toy teach kids about Canada’s culture, history and geography? This doll can. Each Maplelea Girl comes dressed in clothing appropriate to her region, such as the jeans and t-shirt for Alexi’s Toronto, Ontario (pictured); cozy turtleneck and hiking boots for Taryn’s Banff, Alberta; and vest and kamiik (traditional Inuit footwear) for Saila’s Nunavut. Accompanying each soft, huggable, 46-cm (18-in) Maplelea Girl is a journal overflowing with fascinating photos and tidbits about the doll’s hometown, with room for kids to add their own thoughts and doodles. Who says learning can’t be fun? Order online at www.maplelea.com.