Once an industrial home to factories & sawmills, on Granville Island you’ll now find the food hub of Vancouver & a host of talented artists & craft workers.
I’ve written about Granville Island, in Vancouver in the past (here and here) with more of a focus on the food aspects of this fabulous spot, but there’s a wealth of gorgeous craft workshops and stores there as well. Of course the food, especially at Edible Canada, is always going to attract me, although there is no shortage of other eating spots on the island, and on my last visit I stopped in there for lunch before I did a little exploring – after all, a girl’s got to keep her strength up.
I also indulged in one of the favourite local tipples – the Caesar. This drink was invented by a Calgary restaurateur in the late 1960’s and is considered to be Canada’s national cocktail. The drink has a base of vodka and Clamato, a distinctly Canadian beverage which owes it’s name to it’s combination of tomato juice and clam broth. (Yes, you read that right.) A Caesar is varyingly hot/spicy depending upon the mixologist behind it and is usually served with celery, limes and often bacon. I’ve tried them a few times now and have yet to actually finish one – it is truly an acquired taste.
Adequately refreshed (and somewhat recovered from yet another brush with the Caesar) I headed out to check out a few of the local craft stores. If unique, one-of-a-kind, handmade craftworks are what floats your boat, this is absolutely the place you need to be. There are scores of workshops, studios, artists co-ops and boutique stores on the island selling everything from jewellery, glassworks and ceramics to boats and beverages.
Artisan Sake Maker is the first boutique premium sake winery in Canada and is headed by proprietor and sake maker Masa Shiroki, who lectures on sake for International Sommelier Guild courses. He produces a range of sakes, all of which is fermented from Japanese Junmai rice, then pressed and bottled by hand.
Dalbergia Wood & Fine Objects is the workshop of Caracas-born/Vancouver-based Federico Méndez-Castro. His fine cabinetry, sculpted works and accessories in wood are defined by simple lines, clear shapes and exceptional craftsmanship. Check out his website for images of his exquisite works.
This much-loved cow which sits on my kitchen window ledge and which I featured in my In My Kitchen October 2014 post was purchased at Daniel Materna Ceramics on Granville Island. Daniel’s studio is where he and his partner, Zuzy Vacek, produce their range of hand-painted ceramics and they had a selection featuring the flying cow from nursery rhymes. I was sorry I could only fit one in my luggage.
Art work is certainly not restricted to the studios, stores and workshops on the island. These enormous silos are part of the concrete works, the last remnant of the industrial past of Granville Island and were strikingly transformed by the famous Os Gemeos, a pair of identical twin Brazilian street artists. Painted in 2014, the mural was one of the brothers biggest works to date and was also part of the Vancouver Biennale’s 2014-2016 exhibition.
And if, after a wander around Granvilles Island and a little retail therapy, one was to feel a wee bit hungry there is always more food to discover!
While in Canada, Lambs’ Ears and Honey was a guest of the Canadian Tourism Commission.