Best brunch in BC

Travel

Now…I’m not recommending that you fly all the way to Vancouver for brunch (even though it would definitely be worth it) but if you happen to be on the west coast or passing through, you definitely need to check this place out.

the-elbow-room-cafe-storefrontIf you’re wanting a big hearty breakfast this is the place to go. When in Rome (or Canada in this case), I feel like you have to follow the Canadian way and try some off the local cuisine – pancakes and maple syrup. Need I say more. When I was in Vancouver 6 years ago now, my family and I stumbled across this diner when looking for somewhere for breakfast and it was one-off the most interesting places I’ve been to eat, I remember it so vividly. It was called ‘The Elbow Room Cafe’ (560 Davie Street, downtown Vancouver). At first it just seemed like an ordinary brunch cafe, but whats special about it is their customer service is more on the sarcastic side of things. It. Was. Hilarious. The staff are very blunt, in your face and highly entertaining in the most friendly ‘unfriendly’ way possible. I’ve never been anywhere to dine where its the norm to be insulted for just asking ‘where are the toilets please?’ You feel a bit confused at first, but they do give you a little disclaimer that its nothing personal,  and invite you to join in on the banter. When you are first seating, for example, along with the menu on the table is a ‘set of rules’, as I would take as a warning off whats to come. here for some of the things listed:

  • “This is not a The Public Library, so stop wasting time, hurry up and order something!”
  • “We belive in fast service, so relax we’ll be with you when you’re done yakking!”
  • “Water? Do you mean club soda? Otherwise get it yourself.”

It’s not just the ‘customer service’ that gives this place top marks in my opinion, the menu is very diverse, ranging from your standard english breakfast (being British myself I didn’t dare order this from the fear off hearing a snarky remark) to all sorts off brilliant combinations, with a lot of the options named after famous people. I could pick a bunch off my personal favourite ideas but to be honest there are too many to choose from, so here’s a sample of the menu instead so you can see for yourself.o

I cannot remember what I ordered was called (annoyingly) but it was by far the biggest pancake I’ve ever had, filled with cooked apple, cinnamon and syrup. Now I have a very good appetite and I hate food waste, but I couldn’t finish it however delicious it was.

I would say if you get easily offended stay clear of this place, but if you’re up for a bit of a laugh, monstrous pancakes and great coffee, don’t miss out. I will definitely be returning to ‘The Elbow Room Cafe’ when I go back to Vancouver sometime in the future, maybe this time I’ll be prepared and be able to make it an even better experience.

Thank you for reading!

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6 months on the West Coast

Travel

For me, Canada is one of those places where everyone should visit at least once. So when I had the opportunity to go (again) and stay for 6 months working as an Au pair on Vancouver Island- I had to do it! It all happened pretty fast, I never thought I’d do anything so adventurous all on my own but with nothing tying me down I thought it would be an amazing thing to do.

I was away from December 2015-June 2016, I was living in Victoria which is the biggest city on Vancouver Island. I had been once before 5 years ago, when my family and I decided to do a road trip from Calgary all the way through the rockies up to Jasper, down through Whistler. Then catching the ferry from Vancouver over to the Island to stay with my Auntie and Uncle who live in Nanaimo. That was such a great trip- one of my favourite family holidays too this date. But I was a lot younger then, so although even then I knew Canada would be a place I wanted to go back too, I didn’t appreciate it fully. Victoria was such an amazing place for me to live, I was so lucky with my location. It felt like the ‘big city’ but it had this ere of Britishness which made me feel so at home.

Being an Au pair was one of the most inspiring things, I got to look after a 4 and 2 year old. Baring in mind I was only 19 (now 20) it was such a big responsibility to take care of these children, I’ve always loved kids though so it never really felt like work. I got to re-live my childhood which these kids, so even though parts of the job were torturous (potty training and mornings to name a few) the best bits were when we would play ‘tag’, or pop bubbles or have a water fight- things everyone wishes they were never too old to do.

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Woody’s Lagoon

The job aside, during my free time I loved to explore the area around me. I always say to people that Canada is the land of hidden treasures, as sometimes I feel its not about seeing the most well known landmarks or places, it’s about discovering places that can just be for you. My host family were always exploring and taking the kids too new places so I was so grateful I got to tag along for the ride. There are so many things I’d love to share about my trip, definitely way too many for one blog post, so heres just a few photos!

Thanks so much for reading! x

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Nanaimo Bay

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Goldstream National Park