Crunchy leaves, soft sweaters, crisp air—fall is here. And while we’re sad to say goodbye to summer, this season has its own share of delights. Here’s what we’re loving right now.
After closing its doors to help curb the spread of COVID-19, Botanist restaurant in Vancouver’s Fairmont Pacific Rim has reopened for dining in (health checks are completed for every guest prior to being seated, and tables are well spaced). Celebrate your return to Vancouver’s most Instagrammable restaurant with a delicious two- or three-course brunch, which includes a glass of sparkling wine and a house-made cocktail. Course one might look like a delectable charcuterie board or a selection of fresh pastry (the almond croissant is a must), while course two includes options like a croque madame, crab eggs Benedict, and a delectable mushroom risotto with poached eggs. Consider the Chocolate Raspberry Bombe with raspberry sorbet, if course three suits your fancy. Tip: arrive hungry.
Also in Vancouver, Granville Island’s Sandbar has a covered patio (ideal for autumn pandemic-safe dining) worth writing home about. Overlooking False Creek and the mountains beyond, it’s a glorious spot in which to sip some wine and nibble on appetizers such as mussels in Thai coconut broth (save room for a delicious chocolate mousse treat, too). Then there’s Jules in Gastown, a cozy French bistro with lots of heart. Indulge in poutine, charcuterie, and red wine at happy hour—perfectly warming comfort food on rainy days.
And popular East Vancouver vegetarian Vietnamese restaurant Do Chay has opened a second location, this time in Yaletown. There are many of the classic favourites from the restaurant’s Kingsway outpost, including the vegetarian vermicelli bowl and the much-loved rice cakes. And there are special menu items as well, such as the crunchy and sweet Uncle Hing’s wings (made with mushrooms instead of chicken) and deep-fried cubes of tofu with black truffle (a must-order). Pair the meal with a refreshing glass of activated charcoal lemonade or a Vietnamese spin on a spicy margarita to really seal the deal. Plus, with a large covered patio, Do Chay Yaletown is perfect for dining year-round.
East Vancouver got a welcome addition to its craft beer scene with Superflux Beer Company’s new brewery on Clark Drive. Locals can pick up favourites including the dry-hopped IPA Happyness and the Nova Dry-Hopped Sour. Also new in the beer category is Coors Organic: a light and refreshing beer that is Certified Organic. Approachable and a little malty, it’s great for your next at-home sports-watching marathon.
Public saunas and steam rooms aren’t exactly a place that anyone wants to hang out right now, but that’s where Shrink Wrap comes in. This urban sweat lounge in Vancouver’s Yaletown features eight completely private and single-person sauna pods, which will help warm you from the inside out on cold fall days. The benefits of infrared heat include detoxification, skin renewal, increased circulation, wound healing, and cell growth. The team has extensive cleaning protocols in place to keep clients and staff safe.
If looking for a cozy evening activity, Formation Studio’s stretching class, called Release, is a perfect fit. With the lights dimmed and soft R&B music playing, you’ll be led through a series of stretches to release tension and get you primed for bed. Located in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood, Formation is all about feeling good in your body, and Release makes it easy.
New to the clean skincare scene is Vancouver’s East 29th, which launched with just one product: the Vital Serum. Made with hyaluronic acid, lemon rind extract, vitamins C and E, cucumber extract, and more, it’s an all-natural solution to dull, tired skin. Created by film and television makeup artist Victoria Ferguson, East 29th knows what skin needs, and it delivers.
And finally, on chilly, rainy days when you’re stuck inside, diffuse vitruvi’s Grove Essential Oil Blend for a dose of the outdoors. Made with Fir, Spruce, Pine, and Cedarwood essential oils, it smells like the dewy wilderness; consider it your forest bath from the comfort of home.
A lot of things look different this year, but that is especially true for events. Gone, at least for now, are the glitzy black-tie galas that help keep many community organizations afloat. For its annual Splash fundraiser, Vancouver arts school Arts Umbrella is doing things a little differently—namely with an art auction (both live and silent) that is currently on display at Pendulum Gallery downtown. There are many incredible pieces up for grabs by celebrated artists including Marie Khouri, Dana Claxton, Ed Spence, and Don Yeomans. A standout is Blue: a drippy, layered oil painting by Angela Grossmann, who created the piece during the isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking further of the pandemic, with life shifting back indoors in the dreary months, you might be looking for something new to occupy your time. Consider joining a book club—Malala Yousafzai’s. She’s partnered with Literati to select a different book each month, starting with Zadie Smith’s acclaimed White Teeth.
Handmade is the best kind of made, so next time you’re looking for a cute ceramic mug or bowl, consider Vancouver’s Good Time Club. Created by two friends in East Vancouver (one does the pottery, while the other—our very own vitruvi digital designer Jenna Vaandering—paints each piece), Good Time Club is, well, a really good time.And Vancouver-based furniture company Sundays has a new pop-up shop on South Granville. With an expanded collection and a strong focus on soft tones and natural materials, it’s an impressive, comfort-inducing offering. Highlights include the Embrace chair, which looks and feels like a warm hug, and the Movie Night sectional, which is basically a cloud. Perfect for snuggling up on this fall.