So it’s been a little while since I’ve spoken about this gem of a city, Vancouver. I thought the beginning of November — and of course, the start of grey days, constant drizzle, and *cough* whinging Vancouverites — was a good time to remember why the Pacific Northwest is amazing at ANY time of year.
Vancouver is too big and diverse to cover in one post, so I thought I would start with an area that I am only just discovering — the South Granville shopping precinct.
As much as I’d love to be a fashionista, I think I can safely say that my personal style is “comfortable, casual, and whatever is clean”. It helps that I spend just about every last penny of disposable income on travel, skiing, delicious treats, and adventures with Mr Midday Musings. That being said, it can be a lot of fun to window shop, and South Granville is definitely the place for that. Armed with a gift card for the wonderful Anthropologie and a need for fall/winter basics, I started my excursion down the strip a few weeks ago and realized there’s more to this quaint high street than meets the eye.
Here are my top five picks of this somewhat poshy area:
Whimsy meets decor in this sparkly, ruffly, and comely house/fashion/lifestyle store. I still feel as though I will be a proper grown up when I shop here for real, but actually, I initially had finding clothes that were “me”. I am definitely much more of a fan of the store’s interior design, books, and decor items. Each section is decorated to feel like a room in the home and as you wander past a group of middle-aged women completing a craft project, book shelves stuffed with cookbooks, and a wall of gorgeous faux-china crockery, it really does feel as though you’ve stumbled into someone’s tastefully decorated West Van mansion. Despite my initial misgivings about the clothes, I went home a gorgeous green maxi skirt and dark blue ¾ jeans — as well as a fabulous travel book, of course.
2. West Elm
Again, like Anthropologie, this place feels “grown up”. I guess I really am getting older, since I can only nod in agreement when reading the “30 signs you’re nearly 30” BuzzFeed list that describes West Elm as where the place to go “when you’ve graduated from IKEA”. This store is full of well-designed and quirky items, from Scandinavian chairs to papier mache reindeer sculptures for your walls. If you can’t find something you like here, I’m not really sure we can be friends.
Obviously, this isn’t a shop. But it is a place where I’ve enjoyed hours of entertainment and actually laughed until I cried while watching a particularly over-the-top performance of The Importance of Being Earnest last year. Tickets are reasonably priced, especially if you go for the “restricted view” seats — which FYI are usually the front row!
This place lived up to the hype. Tucked away just off Granville on W 11th Street, it’s a sensory delight of modern Indian food. Line up early — on our visit, we got there before it opened and were seated easily, but I’ve heard stories of people waiting for hours. At least you can enjoy free (delicious!) samples and order drinks while in line!
5. Shoe Shopping
Ok, this is also a bit of a misleading entry, since it’s not actually one location. But shoe shopping in South Granville really is worth the trip. Whether you’re an Uggs fan (but really, why wear a sponge on your foot one of the rainiest cities?), Town Shoes addict, or like me, have really sad, old feet that require tender love and care from the experts at Ronsons, you’ll find your fix here. There’s also Ecco, Ella Shoes, and more.
I’ll admit, it’s a short list! There’s definitely some honourable mentions missing, such as West, Luke’s Corner Bar & Kitchen, and a whole host of pricy art galleries. Clue me in — what’s your favourite place is in South Granville?