A no messing around guide to the coolest things to eat, drink and do in Vancouver and beyond. Community. Not clickbait.

From Foraging to Feasting: Here are Eight Unusual Valentine’s Day Ideas

Not a fan of commercialized holidays? Neither are we. Besides, Valentine’s Day is about showing love and appreciation, not about how much you spend. Still feel obligated to mark the day with some gift-giving? We suggest opting for something more experience-based or activity-oriented. Here are some of our current recommendations:

FARM FLOWERS | Why stop at a single bouquet? Show you mean ‘business’ by gifting a bi-weekly rotating arrangement from the Valley Buds Flower Farm Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Valley Buds Flower Farm has a “Breezy Bloomer” package that will get you a handsome bundle of locally grown flowers twice monthly. With 70+ varieties of flowers, that means new colours and textures every two weeks (over a total of six weeks) starting in late July and running through to early September (estimated at $28 per bi-weekly arrangement). Pick up location: Antisocial Skateboard Shop (2337 Main Street). DETAILS

FORAGING | Going on an adventure with someone is a great way to bond. EatWild has a cool ocean-oriented event happening this spring that will deliver BIG. Spots on this boat aren’t cheap ($450 a pop), but the ticket price includes a full day of foraging (pulling prawn traps, digging clams, collecting oysters, and picking sea urchins), as well as the opportunity to learn a lot about your natural surroundings and safe identification, harvesting and cooking practices. Plus the whole this is capped off by a long table dinner prepared by Jody Peck (of Wild Northern Way) and EatWild’s own Dylan Eyers, enjoyed on an oyster farm where you will hear all about oyster farming and homesteading on the coast. This event will sell out! DETAILS

DRAWING | Not everyone is into chocolate. Got a non-cocoa-crazy, creative type you want to do something nice for? How about picking up one of these sweet Beginner’s Botanical Drawing Art Lesson Kit’s by Solstice Handmade from The Learnary? A gift like this shows that you are actually paying attention, and it will provide hours and hours of joy – a box of chocolates can’t compete with that! DETAILS 

COCKTAILS | Get ahead of the curve with a pre-Valentine’s Day ice breaker activity: Award-winning bartender, Chris Enns, will be at Odd Society Spirits on Sunday, February 11th, to teach a couple of cocktail classes. Participants will each get their own station equipped with all the necessary tools – so all you need to bring is yourself. Tickets are available on the Odd Society’s Tock page for $90 (+tax). The experience includes the making (and drinking) of three cocktails, as well as a distillery tour led by Master Distiller Gordon Glanz, an assortment of snacks, and a 10% discount on Odd Society bottles purchased on the day. The classes will be held at the Odd Society Spirits lounge, located at 1725 Powell Street in East Vancouver, with sessions at 3:30pm and 6:30pm. DETAILS

MAKE | Instead of presenting your Valentine with a vase of roses or fancy piece of jewellery, why not give them the chance to learn how to make the vase or forge a ring for themselves?! From woodworking and welding to ceramics, electronics, 3D-printing and sewing, MakerLabs has the facilities, tools, inspiration and instructors to get your Valentine up-to-speed. DETAILS

CLAY COLLAB | How’s this for memorable Valentine’s Day meal: The Arbor restaurant is hosting a February 14th “Clay Collab” dinner with ceramicist Gabrielle Burke (of Community Clay). Tickets are $99 each, including a multi-course plant-based meal, welcome cocktail (zero-proof alternative available), taxes, gratuity, and a hand-built limited edition ceramic side plate made by Burke herself. Optional wine pairing and full drinks list also available the day of. Dinner, a gift and an experience all in one! DETAILS

CHILL | Get deep with a Blue Lotus Experience at Raven’s Veil. Set for February 22nd, this 1.5-hour evening workshop at Raven’s Veil explores the Blue Lotus, a flower known for its ability to gently alter perception, mood, and consciousness in a way that helps the user to experience a meditative state and relaxed body. From event instructor, Lux: “In this workshop we will explore the ancient and modern uses of Blue lotus. This plant was seen as a panacea in Egyptian culture, from a pain reliever, to a plant of divination and lucid dreaming. Our time together will be half learning, half ritual and tea ceremony. You will be able to feel the magic of the Lotus and practice your divination skills.” Definitely not a run-of-the-mill gift. DETAILS

STEAM | Plan a relaxing day of steaming and soaking. Vancouver has a growing number of hydrotherapy situations that provide a nice setting for giving someone special your undivided attention, while also indulging yourself. Have a look at Scout’s Guide to the Best Places to Steam, Soak and Sauna In and Around Vancouver for ideas of where to go.

Fifth Annual ‘Frieze Los Angeles’ Takes Place Feb. 29th – March 3rd

Los Angeles, here we come! Here’s a run-down of what to expect from this year's 'Frieze Week'.

Four Super Tasty Spots to Catch a Canucks Game in East Van

It’s been over a decade since there’s been “can’t miss” hockey in Vancouver! As the playoffs approach, here’s a list of a few of my favourite spots with great food and full-volume sound to catch a game.

Merci Bakery is Now Open for Business

This popular Farmers Market staple is now ready to open doors at their new brick-and-mortar Commercial Drive location.

Get Into the Free Economy Spirit at The Burrow’s Brunch & Bazaar, Feb. 9th

This isn't your average brunch or shopping event: besides nourishing your body affordably and replenishing your closet (for free!), this is also the opportunity to find new homes for your old, gently used threads, have fun, and connect with other like-minded folks in the community.