The tradition of high tea goes back to the 19th century England and it was strictly for the wealthy. They would have tea in the late afternoon with sweets and finger sandwiches. Tea would be served in the parlor or in the garden, weather permitting and it was a bit of a snobby social occasion. Today high tea or afternoon tea is a bit of a novelty. You can find high tea usually served in one of the older fancy hotels like the Plaza Hotel in New York. If you want high tea in Vancouver then head to the Wedgewood Hotel.
Here tea can be served in the lounge area of the hotel, while the chairs and set up are comfortable the large television in the background is more than a little out of place. The service is excellent however and rather being rattling off a list of teas or bringing a menu the server will bring over a tea box and you have the ability to choose your own.
The selection of teas come from The Tealeaves Company and you have a pretty big selection of teas to choose from. If you want something light and fruity then try the Pear Tree Green Tea. If you want something more traditional then you can select the Earl Grey. The teas are excellent and you can serve them clear or with milk and sugar.
The Finger Sandwiches
High tea would not be complete without some of the delicate finger sandwiches that come with it. There is an excellent array of finger sandwiches that included:
Organic egg salad with chives and English mustard
Smoked salmon with cream cheese
Baby English cucumbers and cream cheese
While salmon, egg and cucumber sandwiches are staples of high tea, they have incorporated more modern choices into the tradition of high tea that are delicious. It is a perfect blend of the old with the new.
Pastries are of course a staple of high tea and the Wedgewood won’t disappoint. The pastries are light and flaky and the fresh scones will crumble in your mouth. They do serve tarts with seasonal fruit, mini chocolate eclairs, cakes and of course macarons.
Bear in mind that high tea used to be a tradition of the English nobility so this is not going to be a $2 cup of tea with a $3 muffin that you get at Starbucks. High tea will run you about $50 per person. If you want to spoil your mother for her birthday or another special occasion then it is perfect.
Gastown is one of the coolest neighborhoods in the city of Vancouver, known for the big whistling Steam Clock. The neighbourhood is filled with art galleries, Victorian architecture, souvenir shops along with a plethora of bars and restaurants. The area downtown is filled with some pretty hip restaurants serving every type of cuisine imaginable. If you consider yourself a foodie then you are going to love Gastown. There are even tours you can take through the neighbourhood that include tastings at a couple of the different restaurants here. If you’re on your own then let us show you where to eat. Here is a look at the Gastown neighbourhood.
If you want to try some truly epic Mexican food then you’re going to love this place. They have the best fish tacos in Vancouver (probably in all of Canada) but that isn’t all they serve here. You are going to love the churros! The place is warm and friendly and you can have dinner on the patio during the warmer months. If you don’t have time to sit down and dine, then grab some takeout from the Burrito Bar.
This is a popular destination for foodies from all over Vancouver, it serves upscale French cuisine and the service is five star. It is a great place to grab brunch on the weekends and it offers a secluded spot for dinner that is guaranteed to impress. The price of dinner for two here doesn’t come cheap but it is worth every penny.
If upscale French food is not your thing, that’s okay head on over to Peckinpah for something just as tasty but a bit more casual. You can grab some slow cooked smoked meat and southern Barbecue. There is a patio for those hot summer nights and the atmosphere is fun and casual. There are a number of craft beers on tap and a country vibe.
This is the perfect spot when you want some comfort food with a distinctly Canadian flavor, how about some poutine with cheese curds and beer gravy. Finish the meal off with some double chocolate cookies that are to die for. Located in the oldest building in Gastown the place is welcoming with a relaxed atmosphere and the prices will work for you.
Nicli Antica Pizzeria
What food tour would be complete without at least one place to go and get a good pizza. Named the best pizza in the city for several years running, you won’t be disappointed. They serve classic Neapolitan style pizza with fresh ingredients cooked in a wood fired oven. This is perfect place to head to with the family.
Vancouver is a great city with plenty of things to see and do. There are restaurants, world class shopping, professional sports teams and plenty of ways for you to occupy your time.
You know what else it has?
Rain…lots of rain.
The locals bring an umbrella with them everywhere, you could need it at any time. So what do you do when you want some nibbles and it’s a miserable rainy day or evening? Here are some of the best spots to hit in Vancouver when it is too rainy to hit an outdoor café or one of the many delicious food trucks.
Coffee and Pastry
Grabbing something to nibble on doesn’t always have to involve a three course meal. You can simply grab a cup of your favorite brew and a sweet treat that goes along with it. Café Thierry is a great choice, you need to try the hot chocolate it is to die for. The Granville Island Tea Company is also a great choice, pass a rainy afternoon with friends having chai tea and some succulent pastries.
Pub Grub and Board Games
Vancouver has a thriving nerd culture, it might have something to do with all the sci-fi television series that are shot here. One of the pluses of this is that you can head over to a “nerd bar” and play some old school board games. Anything from a strategic game of chess to Monopoly. Two of the best places to have some pub grub and board games are the Storm Crow Tavern or the 131 Water Kitchen and Bar in Gastown. This is great way to spend a rainy fall evening with some friends and have some delicious eats while playing old school games from your childhood.
Grab Some Authentic Ramen
Vancouver has a huge and vibrant Asian community and that means there are some amazing noodle shops all over the city. Can you think of a better time to have ramen then when it is cold miserable and raining? Watching the rainfall while you’re warming up inside and a piping hot bowl of spicy ramen noodles. It’s perfect. But where do you go and get that perfect bowl of noodles. Let’s have a look.
Marutama Ramen: With three locations in Greater Vancouver you won’t have far to go and grab their famous creamy chicken shio broth with thin noodles.
Hokkaido Santouka Ramen: This place holds the title of the “Best Ramen in Vancouver” and because of that you can expect it to be crowded, noisy and delicious.
Taishoken Ramen: You can find this place in Gastown and they take their ramen very seriously. Your ramen will be separate from the broth to maintain the perfect consistency of the noodles. You dip your noodles in the soup before eating them…trust me it is delicious.
Vancouver has no shortage of excellent restaurants and being such a multicultural city there are hundreds of fantastic ethnic restaurants. With so many food options it can make it hard to choose a particular cuisine let alone a favorite restaurant. If you are craving some Indian food you won’t have to look very far to find an Indian restaurant, but which one do you choose?
Finding a Good Indian Restaurant
If you want to find a good Indian restaurant you need to understand how Vancouver works. Like any large city, the Greater Vancouver Regional District have some distinct neighborhoods. These neighborhoods have their own culture, food and they represent the ethnic groups that live there. Finding good Indian food starts by going to the right neighborhood.
Head over to the Punjabi Market, you can find it at 49th Ave and Main Street, it is the biggest Indo-Canadian district in the city. Indian immigrants first started arriving in Vancouver in the late 19th century and settled in this neighborhood. Even more than a 100 years later if you take a stroll through the neighborhood you will find all kinds of great Indian markets and restaurants.
Head Over to Surrey
You can find great Indian food outside of Vancouver as well, there is a large population of Indo-Canadians living in Surrey. Again that means some incredible Indian restaurants here as well. There is a wide variety of Indian restaurants in Surrey, so it doesn’t matter if you’re craving tandoori or some succulent curry you will find something that will please your palate.
Getting a Recommendation
Most people will tell you when they have had a great experience at a restaurant, but if you’re friends and family don’t eat much Indian food then you are left looking at Yelp or Urban Spoon looking for recommendations. You can find some good recommendations there, but here are some that we love. Vij’s Restaurant, located on 11th Ave down near Granville St has some amazing food. The staff are warm and friendly and will help you choose something if you are new to Indian cuisine. All of the dishes have a heavy Pacific Northwest influence, this is Vancouver after all.
If you are craving Indian food, then nothing else will do! There are so many rich flavors to choose from! If you live in Vancouver then you are blessed with a plethora of choices when it comes to Indian or any other type of cuisine.