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Vancouver

5 Alfresco Favourites

By TIM PAWSEY

Soft-shell crab and To Kill Ya martini, at Lift. (Photo: KK Law)

Soft-shell crab and To Kill Ya martini, at Lift. (Photo: KK Law)

Patio culture truly blooms in June, albeit with heaters and blankets to ward off early-summer-evening chills.

Lift Bar-Grill-View An expansive rooftop deck and lower waterside patio lure with sweeping harbour views along with progressive West Coast fare.

Gotham Downtown’s best-kept secret is a compact, discreet private garden, populated with oversized parasols to keep the martinis chilled—and a fireplace to keep the clientele warmed.

Wild Rice Hop on the SkyTrain for an easy 30-minute trip to New Westminster, where this riverside room serves contemporary Chinese-fusion fare with casual flair.

Pier 7 The SeaBus spirits you across the harbour close to this dockside North Van room, where upper- and lower-deck patios grant impressive vistas of the working port and downtown.

The Teahouse This impressively transformed, one-time officer’s mess boasts a dramatic deck overlooking English Bay, near Third Beach, on the shores of Stanley Park.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Top Timepieces: Global Watch Co.

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

The Longines shop-in-shop at Global Watch Co.

The Longines shop-in-shop at Global Watch Company

A trove of treasured timepieces can be found at Global Watch Company, a boutique devoted to haute horology and fine diamond jewellery. The swish space is home to three unique shop-in-shops, including 165-year-old German watchmaker Glashütte Original—one of the few showrooms to carry the brand in BC. Rounding out the collection: a range of sophisticated sparklers, some featuring rare coloured diamonds. Adore adornment? Then this venue is a must-visit.

G&T Design’s Luxe Linens

By SHERI RADFORD

A whimsical throw pillow by G&T Design

A whimsical throw pillow by G&T Design

Beavers and chickens and ravens, oh my! These are just a few of the critters you’ll find screen-printed on earth-friendly textiles from G&T Design, along with moose, pineapples, bicycles and inspirational sayings. Vancouver resident Stephanie McRae uses natural linen to create her vintage-looking pillows, tea towels and napkins, because she likes that the durable fabric is also sustainable. She’s even been known to create custom designs for clients celebrating special occasions. Available at Barefoot Contessa and at Etsy.

cesna?em: the city before the city

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Ancient artifacts from

Ancient artifacts from cesna?em

Vancouver officially became a city in 1886, but the area’s history goes back much further—nearly 5,000 years, to be exact. For millennia, the Musqueam Nation has called this land home, and the remains of the ancient village and burial site still lie beneath the modern city. Delve into the rich history at cesna?em: the city before the city, a trio of long-term exhibits that explore oral histories, examine artifacts and highlight contemporary Musqueam culture. It’s a history buff’s dream. At the Musqueam Cultural Education Resource Centre & Gallery, Museum of Vancouver and Museum of Anthropology.

Win! Whale Watching for Two

Whale Watch

Vancouver’s proximity to the Pacific yields plenty of opportunities for water adventures, but ogling orcas tops our list. Close encounters of the marine kind can be found with Vancouver Whale Watch, a local company that offers tours through the scenic Gulf and San Juan islands.

We’re giving away a whale watching trip for two with Vancouver Whale Watch! Here’s how to win:

1. On Twitter (1 entry): “Retweet to #win whale watching for 2 @vanwhalewatch! #contest #winvanwhales @wherevancouver http://ow.ly/OHUMn”

2. On Instagram (1 entry): Follow @WhereVancouver and regram the contest post on Instagram. Be sure to include #WinVanWhales, @vanwhalewatch and @WhereVancouver in your post.

Contest closes July 8, 2015.

Contest rules and regulations

Tops for Shops: Robson Street

By SHERI RADFORD

Ecco's new store on Robson Street

Ecco’s new store on Robson Street

Long considered Vancouver’s mecca for savvy shoppers, Robson Street now ups the ante even more with the recent addition of Ecco (pictured), the Danish brand known for stylish but comfy footwear. The store is mere steps away from the intersection of Robson and Burrard, where you can find well-crafted leather bags at Roots, stylish yogawear at Lululemon, alluring lingerie at Victoria’s Secret, beauty products galore at Sephora, sweet-smelling skincare products at L’Occitane en Provence, and intricately designed greeting cards and gift bags at Papyrus. It’s enough to put a spring in the step of any serious shopaholic.

Sea Monsters Revealed at the Vancouver Aquarium

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

A sand tiger shark, at the Vancouver Aquarium

A sand tiger shark, at the Vancouver Aquarium

Songs, stories and even statues have been devoted to the monstrous beasts lurking beneath the ocean’s surface—and now, the Vancouver Aquarium is adding an exhibition to the list. Sea Monsters Revealed (to Sep. 7) brings creatures of the deep onto dry land through a preservation technique called plastination, which displays the insides and outsides of the ocean’s most fascinating residents, including a sand tiger shark, Humboldt squid and metre-long ocean sunfish. The stuff of legend? This exhibit certainly is.

Healthy Fast Food at Tractor

By SHERI RADFORD

Meghan and Steve Clarke in their new Tractor location,  in the Marine Building

Meghan and Steve Clarke in their new Tractor location, in the Marine Building

Meghan and Steve Clarke had never run a restaurant before—her background is marketing, while his is investment banking—so they surrounded themselves with experts when they opened the first Tractor location two years ago, in Kitsilano. Chefs designed the menu of healthy sandwiches, salads and soups, then a nutritionist reviewed everything. The end result was so popular that the husband-and-wife duo recently opened a second location, in the iconic Marine Building. Right in the heart of downtown, this larger, brighter room serves the same dishes we already know and love: Moroccan chicken stew, roast pork sandwich, kale chicken Caesar salad and more. Who knew healthy eating could be so delicious?

Best Bites on Robson

By TIM PAWSEY

An assortment of  mouth-watering North African dishes at Fez Café. (Photo: KK Law)

An assortment of mouth-watering North African dishes at Fez Café. (Photo: KK Law)

Myriad flavours contribute to the multicultural feel on the west end of Robson Street. At welcoming Fez Café Bistro, nibble on lunchtime omelettes, baba ghanoush or hummus, or linger over a dinner of couscous royale or merguez, brochettes, lentil soup, lemon sole and more. The North African decor is beautiful, with live music Friday through Saturday evenings. (No alcohol served.) Find authentic Korean at Jang Mo Jib, which means “mother-in-law’s house.” Head to Guu for lively home-style Japanese, or to Tavola for fresh-made Italian pasta and small plates.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival

By SHERI RADFORD

Buddy Guy

Performer Buddy Guy

Summer comes a few days early this year, as the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival kicks off Jun. 18, enveloping the city with cool tunes and hot shows. The hottest tickets? Buddy Guy (pictured; Jun. 19), Erykah Badu (Jun. 23), Pink Martini (Jun. 27) and The Roots (Jun. 30). And because all good things must come to an end, the fest wraps up on Canada Day (Jul. 1).

6th Annual Vancouver Draw Down

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Budding artists at the Vancouver Draw Down

Budding artists at the Vancouver Draw Down

Delighted by design? Enchanted by illustration? Then make your mark at the 6th annual Vancouver Draw Down (Jun. 20), a day-long celebration of creativity. Sketch and scribble at over 30 free hands-on workshops found in art galleries, museums, community centres, parks and more. Plus, keeners prime their skills to Jun. 19 with the online daily drawing challenge. So go ahead: dare to doodle.

Sitting Pretty: Vancouver Beach Chair

By SHERI RADFORD

This Vancouver souvenir is as stylish as it is comfortable

This Vancouver souvenir is as stylish as it is comfortable

There’s no better way to soak up some rays than in a folding beach chair from Gallant & Jones. Designed and handmade right here in Vancouver, each one features a frame stained with a natural, eco-friendly oil and a cotton back screen-printed by hand. Bonus: for each chair sold, $10 goes to Covenant House, a local charity that supports homeless youth. Buy online at www.gallantandjones.com.