An intimate live music venue tucked beside the Queen Elizabeth theatre, The Media Club is one of Vancouver's better kept secrets.
The line up is always refreshing, especially in a city that is finally being given the notice it deserves in terms of up and coming bands.
It is a members bar but guests are welcome, there is no pretention as the crowd tends to be music junkies so any attitude is left firmly up the street. The staff are friendly and the bouncers considerate, what more can you ask for?
It is small and loud, so not ideal for a first date but a great venue to come and hang out, listen to some great new bands and have a good time.
695 Cambie Street
Having just scored the grand slam of culinary awards, newcomer Nu's awards are richly deserved. The wine list is phenomenal, and it is fast gaining a reputation for its excellent cocktails (Jay Jones is the resident mixologist). The service is second to none and the food a dream. The only downside is the eclectic interior, thankfully there is a patio with an amazing view. Order a Windsor and watch the sun set. Pure bliss.
1661 Granville St, Vancouver;
tel: 604 646-4668
One of Paris' more renowned maisons de thé and always my first point of call. Head upstairs to the café for afternoon tea and patisserie, Parisian style or a light lunch where all the dishes have a definite tea influence. Don't be overwhelmed by the intimidatingly large selection of teas on offer, both in the restaurant and the shop downstairs.
There are 3 locations in Paris, my favourite is 13 rue des Grands-Augustins, Paris 6ieme Tél. : +33(0)1 40 51 82 50 www.mariagefreres.com/
I found this fantastic little shop several years ago and always make sure I return. The staff are incredibly accommodating; and the shop offers estate wines to suit any budget. They also offer tastings on Saturdays and are more than happy to pass on their knowledge of great wine.
6, rue de Bourbon le Château, 75006 Metro: Odeon, Saint Germaine des Pres Tel: 0143291162
Tucked down Spring Street, this little brasserie is a great place to rest your weary feet after a hard day's shopping in Soho. It's pricey and you may have to wrestle for a table or a space at the bar but the Bloody Mary's are worth it!
80 Spring Street, NY 10012 212 965-1785 www.newyorkmetro.com/frame/set.htm?site=http://balthazarny.com
The sign outside boasted the best pancakes in America, and even I have to admit they were right. Nestled underneath the overpass opposite Grand Central Station, the cafe is a rare find. We spent our last morning in New York here, the staff were incredibly charming and accommodating, and the breakfast was incredible.
90 East 42nd Street New York; 212 286 9600
The best way to get downtown is to get a cab, which is approximately $26. Alternatively you can catch the 'Airporter' coach for around $12 which will take you directly downtown or to the ferry terminal to Vancouver Island.
Popular with the Hollywood North set, the list of celebrities who stay here reads like a Who's Who, and even the doormen look like movie stars. If you can't afford to stay here, head over to the Opus Bar for cocktails and pretend you can.
322 Davie Street; Tel: 642 6787; www.opushotel.com
As a former Vancouverite, Douglas Coupland’s City of Glass made me homesick from the get-go; the pages are full of beautiful and haunting images interspersed with his musings on all Vancouver has to offer from art, architecture, design, landmarks and film making. His is a satirical journey, full of bizarre and charming reminiscing, and cleverly using each letter of the alphabet as a tour of his beloved city.
Not just a toy store for all ages, in the summer months Kids Market hosts several special events and is a great venue for birthday parties. There is an old fashioned arcade, a multi-level play area and outside, in an old fashioned caboose, a deli dedicated to your dog or cat.
1494 Cartwright; Tel: 682 2116; www.kidsmarket.ca
To get from A to B in the city, I'd recommend a yellow cab. There are several bus routes covering the city, but be prepared to wait. Vancouver is a city of cars, and public transport is not necessarily as reliable as in other cities.
Take the Aquabus (www.aquabus.bc.ca), Vancouver's commuter ferry service from Granville Island. A relatively cheap way of getting from one side of False Creek to the other with the added bonus of a scenic river cruise. Beautiful at night!
Go for a run, rollerblade, cycle or simply meander along the seawall at Stanley Park, the 3rd largest urban park in North America. Take time out to see the totem poles and the view from Prospect Point (where in June gangs of graduates converge to drink champagne after their prom). You can spend the day walking, go for a horse drawn tour, take a swim from any of the beaches along the seawall, or visit the Aquarium. In the summer, Stanley Park hosts Theatre Under the Stars in Malkin Bowl, showcasing local talent in 2 musicals each year.
Head to Tojo's (www.tojos.com) on West Broadway for the city's very best. For the more budget conscious, Tsunami on Robson Street has Vancouver's only floating sushi bar. The quality of the sushi is fantastic, but be prepared to queue for lunch.
Tojos, 777 West Broadway; Tel: 872 8050. Tsunami. 1025 Robson St; Tel: 687 8744.
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