Further Afield Trips asks a local in a town well beyond Vancouver’s city limits where to find the best places to eat, drink, chill, and have a good time. Think of it as the country cousin to The Dishes.
On this trip we head to Bowen Island for a day of eating, drinking and enjoying the outdoors, with Allison Audrey Weldon, founder of Sangre de Fruta Botanical, as our trusted guide. When Allison first moved to Bowen Island from Vancouver in search of a slower pace, her artisanal skin and hair care business was home-based. Fast forward a few years (and factor in an international demand for her hand crafted products) and Sangre de Fruta has expanded to include an elegant store front, head office and a dedicated production space – all on Bowen. Despite the growth of her brand and the hard work that it takes to create an environment where a brand can grow, Weldon remains committed to the reasons she chose to move to Bowen in the first place: “We wanted more quiet, access to nature, and to be part of a close-knit community.” We like these priorities, too, so we thought Allison would be a good person to check in with about what to eat, drink and do on Bowen Island this summer.
Good morning! Let’s take a walk/hike in nature before it gets too hot. Where should we go?
Dorman Point: A short but steep walk up to a viewpoint that looks back towards the mainland, showing you how close you are and yet a world away from the city.
Is there somewhere along the way we can stop for coffee?
Tell Your Friends Cafe on the Snug Cove pier. They make great coffee, beautiful baked goods, and yummy breakfast sandwiches. Try their lavender latte with macadamia nut milk for something different and delicious.
Now we’re starving! Where should we eat? (breakfast/brunch or lunch)
Branch on Bowen makes amazing tacos, and scoops Vancouver local Earnest ice cream. Artisan Eats in Artisan Square has tons of tasty options for breakfast, brunch or lunch. Take to-go or they also offer wine and beer for a leisurely lunch on the patio.
We’ve got some free time for an afternoon adventure. What do you suggest we do?
Before leaving Artisan Square, check out the art galleries and studios, grab a spicy Poblano hot cocoa at Coco West Chocolatier and come and say hello at the Sangre de Fruta Botanical shop! Then head to Cape Roger Curtis for a scenic ocean walk along the coastal Sea Walk trail.
That was fun! Now we need a pick-me-up plunge in some cool water. Can you let us in on your favourite nearby place to cool off in?
The Cape is perfect for a dip. (The small beach at the end of Roger Curtis Lane.)
Where should we head for a post-adventure beer, glass of wine or cocktail?
Riley’s Cidery is newly opened and home to over a thousand varieties of apples. They have a sunny patio and a tasting room where you can sample their island brewed, complex ciders.
Now we’re hungry again. What’s the plan for dinner?
Grab a cocktail at Copper Spirit Distillery and then head a couple of doors down to Barcelona for tapas. Their menu features dishes made with locally produced veggies, eggs, and bread. The tortilla is so simple and delicious, and I can’t get enough of the Gambas Al Ajillo.
It’s patio season! What’s your favourite restaurant patio?
Tuscany! The patio is covered in gorgeous wisteria vines and has a European feel that transports you somewhere far away. Especially beautiful if you catch it when the wisteria is in bloom.
Any tips on a good spot to take in the view and watch the sun go down?
Tunstall Bay beach offers some incredible sunsets. Get out in the evening water on a paddle board if you can!
It’s time to catch some shuteye, where do you suggest we stay?
Immerse yourself in the forest at the Japanese onsen inspired bathhouse experience at Kitoki Inn. The individual cabins that dot the wooded property are full of thoughtful details, offering a sensual and rejuvenating experience.
Anything we absolutely have to pack in our suitcase while visiting?
Sangre de Fruta products of course! A Garden Of Earthly Delights Botanical Tonic for a refreshing post hike spritz, and a Mille Fleurs Body Serum to soothe your skin after your sun filled adventures.