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Vancouver: Travel Tips from Ceramicist Jacqueline Klassen

3.10.2015


Spring time is upon us (more like summer here in So Cal!) and I've been looking forward to a little spring break to my "must-visit" destination. Since Vuela is rooted in my love for travel and design, it's always exciting to highlight the locales our designers call home. We're thrilled to feature our neighbors to the north! Canadian ceramicist, Jacqueline Klassen, offers the best tips on her beautiful hometown of Vancouver sparking the wanderlust in us.

You are currently based in Vancouver, British Columbia. What are "must see" things or "must do" for those visiting your hometown?
Vancouver is such a naturally beautiful city. Nestled between mountains and the sea, the city itself is still pretty new and offers so much to explore. In general I’d say that you’ve got to experience a bit of it all when you come here. I’d recommend going to Third Beach in Stanley Park to fill the beach / park requirement, and perhaps a hike through Lynn Canyon to satisfy the mountain experience. But then, of course, my favourite thing about Vancouver is the food, and I could talk your ear off about that. Vancouver has an amazing craft beer and coffee thing going on right now, which I would HIGHLY recommend investigating. For beer: Brassneck, 33 Acres, and Strange Fellows. For Coffee: Elysian, Revolver, and Matchstick.


Matchstick Coffee
 What are off the beaten path local hangouts? Favorite neighborhoods, parks, etc.?
Crab Park is my favourite spot to have a picnic. It’s quaint and quiet, and it has a beautiful view of the orange gantry cranes, the water, and the mountains.  Le Marche St George is my go to for French crepes and coffee. It’s located in a super old house that is filled to the brim with beautiful (and delicious) treasures. The furthest point west you can go at Spanish Banks is my top choice for watching the sunset. Oh, and I also love the top of Queen Elizabeth Park. I like to go there in the spring and wander through the gardens, just as they are starting to come to life. The view from the top is pretty spectacular, and then there is the Bloedel Conservatory… a glass dome filled with tropical plants and birds. I go there in the dead of winter and pretend I’m on the other side of the world.

Picnic essentials + Lunch at Le Marche St. George
Bloedel Conservatory

Favorite places to shop: boutiques or outdoor markets:
For clothing, I love Community Thrift store. The prices are reasonable and I almost always walk away with a one of a kind treasure. I balance out my thriftiness by splurging on shoes. My favourite shoe shop is Umeboshi on Main Street. They have the most gorgeous, drool- worthy selection of shoes, and the sweetest staff. I also adore Old Faithful Shop, a store filled to the brim with gorgeous home goods. I would buy every single thing in that shop if I could. I do all my book shopping at Pulp Fiction.  Dressew on East Hastings is where I go to get any and all of my crafting supplies. It’d huge, so be prepared to lose yourself for a couple hours, even if you plan to only stay for 5 minutes.

Then of course there are all the wonderful farmer’s markets that pop up around the city throughout the year. We’re lucky to live in a place where we have a pretty decent variety of local produce available all year round. I’ve always found the farmer’s markets to be a source of inspiration and connection within Vancouver.
 
Image via Old Faithful Shop

Favorite places to eat or type of food:
Vancouver is absolutely loaded with incredible ethnic food. My favourites are Toshi for sushi, Phnom Penh for anything on the menu, Menya Japanese Noodle for Ramen, and Au Petit Café for Bahn Mi. Vancouver also has some really, really great pizza. Pizza is probably my favourite food on earth and I take it pretty seriously. My favourite spots are Campagnolo, Pizzeria Farina, and Nicli Antica.

Pizzeria Farina

Best mode of transportation to get around the city:
By bicycle! Or if it's pouring (which it might be), by foot (with umbrella in hand). Transit is always a last resort for me.
  
Easy day trips from Vancouver-cool places to see right outside the city:
My favourite day trips are the ones that allow me to really escape from the fast pace of the city. I love to drive to Squamish and hike The Chief (the second largest granite monolith in North America, I believe). It’s a challenge, but the view from the top is staggeringly beautiful. In the summers I love to visit either Lighthouse Park or Whytecliff Park, where I’ll always climb along the rocks and jump into the sea. I’m convinced that there is nothing better than that.

Whytecliff Park
 Favorite local designers or makers:
Olla Urban Flower Project- ethereal bouquets, informative workshops, etc. I go into their shop anytime I need a pick me up.
Lissu Linen - I’m a sucker for linens, and Lisa crafts the most clean and classic towels, napkins, and duvet covers I’ve seen.
Wylden – for minimal, timeless and elegant jewelry... it’s all I wear.
Hendrik Lou – for the coziest (and most gorgeous) knits
Charlotte Falk - I want to cover all my walls in her paintings.

Wearing Wylden Jewelry
Painting by Charlotte Falk
 For the wanderlust in all of us, what are some of your favorite places to visit? Where would you like to travel next?
I love to visit Ucluelet, BC perhaps more than any place I’ve ever been. It’s located on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Wide open ocean, and wild, rugged beaches… it is the place I go when I want some peace and perspective. I recently returned from Europe and I got to visit Portugal for the first time… I fell so in love. I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I got back. Next on the list though will be South Korea, Turkey, and Spain.
Ucluelet, BC
Jacqueline Klassen Inspiring Interview Part 1
Shop her collection.
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I'm truly grateful Jacqueline for giving us a wonderful travel guide to your hometown of Vancouver. Such a great resource! Some of my favorite things to do when I travel is to explore the local food scene. Even though I live in the west coast, I've actually only explored the east coast of Canada. I can't wait to visit and hang out especially to try out the great selection of food there. Thank you!
Personal photos courtesy of Jacqueline Klassen

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