Heading to the public market on Granville Island at the weekend is a bit of a rite of passage if you live in Vancouver.
So that’s exactly what I did.
It was another beautiful day – look! Not a cloud in the sky.
The market is a colourful array of stalls, mixed aromas, and an exciting mish-mash of fresh produce and homemade goodies with samples to try – some of which I’d never heard of. Definitely my cup of tea!
Everywhere you look, there are fresh vegetables, pastries, fruit, and cheese in all directions.
I was happy to discover in amongst the many exotic cheeses some Double Gloucester! Yep, even across the Atlantic and the other side of North America, it’s still a hit.
Just look at these babies – almost too good to eat!
You can buy pretty much any ingredient you could possibly need for the fridge, freezer, or cupboard at home. Oils and vinegars…
Freshly baked pastries and Cornish pasties…
And fresh pasta, which is made in front of you! It’s pretty fascinating to watch.
Just look at the stripy ravioli! I really want to try it next time, it’s so pretty!
Almost any olive you could think of…
And my section – plenty of Granville Island tea. I got a little bit lost here!
I’m so happy that tea seems to be growing ever more popular in Canada. A good cuppa is something you can’t find too easily in the U.S, so I’m really pleased it’s really taken off here! I’ve tried so many different types already since I arrived – bubble, black, Rooibos, chai spice, you name it!
Sadly, the maple tea didn’t smell quite as I’d expected!
How good would these look with burrata or in a spag bol!?
And plenty of fresh fish. I’ve been told to try the sablefish, a fish that’s pretty big here in Vancouver, which apparently has a buttery taste. Unfortunately they didn’t have any when I looked, but watch this space!
Check out all the beautiful fresh flowers too! I just love hydrangeas!
Once we’d completed a good circuit or two of the market, we set off for the Granville Island Brewery.
Dad was determined to introduce me to the popular ‘craft beer’ fad, which is just crazy in Vancouver at the moment. It all started when Canadians started getting tired of imported beer or the same old stuff on tap in pubs and bars.
But now, you’re never far from a brewery.
The Granville Island Brewery is one of the most popular, and a real hit with tourists.
Not prepared to do anything by halves, we ordered the entire taster menu…
Don’t worry – they’re not full pints! More like halves!
There were all sorts of types – everything from India Pale Ale (IPA) to lager.
I still find it slightly bizarre that everybody drinks beer here as opposed to wine or anything else!
But you soon get a taste for it…
I found my favourite – a typically girly raspberry ale.
Accompanied, of course, by a Canadian national dish – poutine!
Today I got the full Canadian experience.
Now to anybody who’s not heard of poutine, let me tell you! It’s essentially skin-on fries (amazing!), with cheese curds and a rich gravy-style sauce (and we added pulled pork). Ok, so you may not be too impressed. I wasn’t either when I thought it was essentially cheesy chips with gravy.
But oh my goodness, it’s good! You can also pair it with a million other combos – chicken, guacamole and sour cream, bacon… The list goes on. And it pretty easy to find around here!
Having left the brewery with slightly woozy heads, we went for a bit of a walk around the island.