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by Catherine Dunwoody

Imagine 28,000 square feet of Christmas entertaining ideas, delectable gift shopping, and décor all under one roof. The Christmas Store at Potters Nurseries in South Surrey is open now until Christmas Eve, and you have never seen a thing like it.

sauces-n-dips

The foodie on your list will love the thought you put into creating your own culinary gift basket, delicious hostess gift, or stocking stuffers for them. Think hot chocolate packs, dips, soups, crackers, sauces, jellies, British biscuits, and preserves from local wineries. Bacon candy canes? Why not. Ornaments with a food theme? How does the burger and fries grab you? And nutcrackers? Imagine an entire section dedicated to a jaw dropping display and variety of options that make fabulous gifts.

And this year, the Gourmet Food area has been expanded with some fun new items, like popcorn in 10 fun flavours, a staggering 30 flavours of hot chocolate and hot chocolate toppings and SpiritDust, because who doesn’t need colour and glitter in their holiday drinks?

bacon-canes

Décor inspiration and gift ideas runs the gamut here too, from a frosty winter white palette to traditional red and green, or geared to the gardener, the pet lover and well, just name it. This year, the front entrance has been transformed into an English Country Garden, with rock walls, flowers, bunny decorations and adorable felt-mice ornaments.

fries-orn

Grinch wouldn’t stand a chance here. This Christmas happy place is a force to be reckoned with.

nutcracker

Open daily through December 24
Mon – Wed: 9am – 6pm
Thu – Fri: 9am – 7pm
Sat: 9am – 6pm
Sun: 9am – 5:30pm

The Christmas Store at Potters
19158 48th Avenue
Surrey, BC
604.576.5011
potters.ca/christmas

By Joyce Chua, Vancouver Foodie Tours

It’s the last “sprint to the finish line” to find a unique and thoughtful gift for everyone on that Christmas list. Luckily, here in Vancouver, we’re blessed with Granville Island – an area filled with Canadian artisans, one-of-a-kind goods, and delicious wares.

The best part? It’s all at your fingertips – no shipping required. Check out these 6 expert tips on how you can find awesome last-minute gifts at Granville Island:

1. Arrive early or late

Granville Island is a hub for Christmas activity, especially in and around the Public Market. If you’re able to shop the Island before 11:00am or after 4:00pm, you’ll avoid the masses and have a chance to chat with the bakers, chefs, artisans and makers.

2. Start at Make Vancouver

Start at Make for a dose of gift inspiration. Start with a Canadiana t-shirt printed with images of Justin Trudeau, hockey and moose and move on to quirky gifts, the coolest patterns of Herschel Supply, and a whole lot of items (wearable and otherwise) that you can customize in their design lab.

3. Check out Edible Canada’s Retail Shop

Tucked behind Edible Canada’s bistro, this little retail shop is filled with delicious Canadian wares. From marshmallows to maple syrup, to chocolates, salts, and jams, each delectable item carries a meaningful story.

4. Surprise! The Kids Market is not just for kids

If you are looking for some scrumptious gifts for the furry ones in your lives, the kid’s market is home to the Granville Island Pet Treatery.

5. Finishing touches at Paper-Ya

Once you’ve picked out that perfect gift, it’s to Paper-Ya for the finishing touches. Tucked inside the blue Net Loft building, you’ll find adorable Christmas cards, holiday tags, and stunning wrapping paper!

Image by Joyce Chua
Image by Joyce Chua

6. Treat yourself to a well-deserved Lee’s Donuts

You’re all set! Seal the day of shopping success with a holiday gingerbread donut from Lee’s Donuts in the Public Market!

Catherine Dunwoody

Is there a seafood enthusiast on your Christmas list? We found the perfect present. Chef Ned Bell has his first cookbook recently published, titled Lure Sustainable Seafood – Recipes from the West Coast.

Ned’s mission to bring sustainable seafood to restaurants and fish markets around BC, and now to our own kitchens with this cookbook has been impressive. As Dr. David Suzuki, award-winning scientist, environmentalist, and broadcaster says, “Ned’s passion for sustainable seafood is infectious and this book irresistible. Bring his recipes into your home to support healthy oceans.”

Lure walks the reader through all things fish, from selecting to preparing, to cooking and serving fresh, delicious meals.

With 80 recipes to make at home included, it’s a useful edition to any foodie’s library.

Here’s a sneak peek with Chef Ned Bell’s recipe for Salmon Bake.

by Catherine Dunwoody

Chocolatier Thomas Haas has revealed their brand new holiday collection of Christmas-themed chocolates and candies, plus stocking stuffers and baked goods.

Image courtesy of Thomas Haas Chocolates & Patisserie
Image courtesy of Thomas Haas Chocolates & Patisserie

A long-time resident of North Vancouver, Thomas and his wife Lisa own two patisseries, one on Harbourside (where the production kitchen is as well) and the other on Broadway in Kitsilano. The holiday goodies include Rudolph in the Forest— a chocolate crafted Rudolph with a belly full of cocoa nib crunch and caramelized nuts dipped in chocolate, a Truffle Tree, traditional stollen Christmas bread, chocolate lollipops, delicate fruit gelées and so much more.

An internationally acclaimed, fourth-generation pâtissier, Thomas Haas gained experience in Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe and North America before settling in Vancouver in 2005. Haas is a fourth-generation pâtissier, and has held stints as Executive Pastry Chef at the Four Seasons Hotel, Executive Pastry Chef at chef Daniel Boulud’s flagship eatery Daniel on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and has been singled out as one of the Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America by Chocolatier and Pastry Art and Design magazines.

Image courtesy of Thomas Haas Chocolates & Patisserie
Image courtesy of Thomas Haas Chocolates & Patisserie

Thomas is not a fan of assembly lines and mass production, and instead has a team of 38 talented pastry chefs and chocolatiers who hand-make each confection with love. Haas carefully chooses his ingredients too, including BC wines, Fraser Valley hazelnuts and berries and Okanagan fruits for many of his products.

Visit Thomas Haas Chocolates & Patisserie for these holiday treats and more.

Thomas Haas Chocolates & Patisserie
128-998 Harbourside Drive
North Vancouver, BC
604.924.1847
(Closed Sunday & Monday)

2539 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC
604.736.1848
(Closed Sunday & Monday)