Archive for March, 2014:


Things to do in Vancouver  |  03.25.2014  |  

Around these parts, we’re super lucky to work among some supremely talented guys and gals, and we want to share the love and introduce you to them. This month, we’re bringing you a stone-cold fox who has managed to take a baked good previously considered as sexy as your Uncle Phil after eating a can of beans, and transformed it into a glamorous, “To Die For” cult treat available in our very own Betty coffee shop. Erin Ireland and your banana bread, come on down!

Erin Ireland

Photo: Karolina Turek


Erin Ireland

What are you known for?
If I was asked this question five years ago, I wouldn’t have believed the response I am now sharing: banana bread. I even respond to “banana bread lady.”

How did you find yourself doing this?
It all started in my home kitchen when, as a starving broadcaster, baked goods were the least expensive, most thoughtful gift I could offer to friends and colleagues. The feedback my loaf received made me realize that I had an opportunity on my hands, so things got real and I found a commercial space. Three years later I have 60 vendors and three products.

If you’re making breakfast, what should we expect?
On a regular day, a souped-up bowl of oatmeal with an overload of fixings like nuts, berries, almond butter, honey and so much more. For weekend brunch I’d try get fancy by serving mounds of chunky, fruit-filled pancakes with coconut yogurt, more nuts and pure maple syrup.

Morning-after strategy?
A glass of real coconut water mixed with a teaspoon of chlorella, followed by a messy breakfast sammy with ketchup and mustard. These two condiments together is key.

Thing that you love about Vancouver?
Having the ocean at our doorstep. There’s nothing like grabbing a coffee and heading to the beach for a read or a think.

Thing that drives you crazy about Vancouver?
The many coffee shops that don’t open by at least 6:30 am (unlike Betty, which opens at 6:00 am! Kudos!) If you specialize in caffeinated beverages, I believe it’s your responsibility to open early enough to help the rest of us wake-up.

Someone’s visiting the city for the first time and has just 24 hours. What are your top things to do in Vancouver?
A life-changing croissant from Beaucoup Bakery for breakfast #1, followed by an Aquabus ride across to Granville Island for breakfast/brunch #2 at Edible Canada, where you’d of course have to stop at their culinary retail shop to stock up on Vancouver-made goods. Do a flavour-packed Indian lunch at Vij’s Rangoli and then siesta in preparation for a fun night out on the town, where you must hit up as many restaurants on my “best casual restaurants in Vancouver” list as possible. Progressive dinners are the best! And so is the food in Vancouver.

Backpack or wheelie suitcase?
Wheelie suitcase 100%! This is a hot debate between my fiancé and me. I say you can roll a wheelie suitcase everywhere you go, even in the forest. Okay, maybe not sand, but here’s where you pick it up. Easy! Why break your back when you can roll?



News  |  03.18.2014  |  


You might have heard that Vancouver is sometimes referred to as “Hollywood North” because of the number of movies and TV shows shot in the city. You’ve probably groaned at how corny that nickname is – we sure have. But the fact remains: wander Vancouver’s streets on any given week, and you’ll literally stumble across tell-tale giant white crew trucks, catering services vehicles, and all manner of lighting cords. If you’re interested in what’s shooting in town while you’re in Vancouver, check this list.

The Burrard has been used as a filming location on many occasions, but most recently, we showed up on the season two premiere of Canadian-produced detective show, Motive, which airs on CTV here in Canada, and on ABC in the US. We know, it’s not normal to brag about your hotel being a crime scene (even if it’s a make-believe one), but there are some killer shots of our lovely courtyard. And our retro hotel rooms? Apparently people are just dying to get in them. Even our coffee shop, Betty, made an appearance, masquerading as a vegan restaurant. And you’ll see some nice views of Vancouver’s sea wall in there too. If you missed the episode, you can watch it on the CTV site if you’re in Canada.


SELFIES: Book a night, get a $75 AMEX gift card!

Vancouver Hotel Deals  |  03.11.2014  |  


You might be tempted to file this offer in the “To Good To Be True” department, but we’re being 100% straight-up with you here! No tricks or bait-and-switch, just book and pay for a night in one of The Burrard’s freshly renovated, retro hotel rooms starting at just $94, and you’ll get a $75 American Express gift card when you check-in. Just make sure that you have your dates nailed down as the room is non-cancellable.

So, math-wizards, this means you’re essentially paying as little as $19 for your Vancouver accommodation, freeing up your hard-earned cash for having fun (and if you’re looking for ideas, check last week’s blog post here.) Seriously, what more of an excuse do you need to visit Vancouver? You’ll need to hurry: this promotion runs through to March 14th, for rooms booked up until April 30th, 2014. Ready to commit? Book here.


TAKE-OUT: March 2014

Things to do in Vancouver  |  03.07.2014  |  

As winter nears its end, we see the light at the end of the tunnel! Seriously, it’s blinding, although that might be our blue-light therapy lamp… Crawl out of your hibernation chambers and join us at some of these great things to do in Vancouver over the next few weeks:

Urban Winery Sunday School

Maybe you were cooler than us back in high school, but our education didn’t include wine. Vancouver’s Urban Winery steps up to fill this gap in your education with their Sunday School, an on-going series of seminars featuring multiple flights of wine structured around a theme and served blind. The next session is March 16th’s “Sommelier Smack Down.” Ring the bell – school’s in, sucka!
Ongoing at Vancouver Urban Winery

Raincity Chronicles

We often like to tell stories over a late night currywurst at Bestie, so it’s no surprise that this is totally up our alley. Our favourite storytelling series, Rain City Chronicles, has teamed up with the Bestie lads for “Das Lexicon,” a night of bratwurst and stories inspired by German words such as Katzenjammer (hangover), Wunderkind (child prodigy) and Backpfeifengesicht (fights), all within the retro ambience of the Vancouver Alpen Club.
March 22 at the Vancouver Alpen Club

Rewilding Vancouver
Vancouver’s tagline might be “Spectacular by Nature,” but once upon a time, it was just “spectacular nature.” The brand new “Rewilding Vancouver” exhibit at Museum of Vancouver takes a look at the wildlife the city once boasted, and also what it could still be. Along with the core exhibit, take advantage of the score of free tours with curator J.B. MacKinnon, also known as one of the authors of the 100-Mile Diet.
Through to September 1 at Museum of Vancouver

Nifty for Fifty
If you’re looking to pick-up a souvenir of your stay in Vancouver, consider opting for something you might actually use, say something from one of our kick-ass local designers. The Nifty for Fifty Sale brings together 30 designers and artists offering clothes and accessories all under $50. Once you’ve perused the wares (and given the Visa a work-out), treat yourself to a beer down the road at one of the Main Street neighbourhoods’ “beer ‘n beards” craft breweries.
April 6 at the Main Street Heritage Hall