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By VisitRichmondBC.com In the nights before Christmas, you and your loved ones may well have “visions of sugar-plums” dancing in your heads. Part of the delight of the holidays is the chance to indulge in decadent sweets and desserts, as well as gift them to friends and family. Richmond is home to some amazing boutiques and patisseries that are bound to satisfy everyone on Santa’s nice list— read on for details. Wild Sweets Dominique and Cindy Duby are the ultimate Christmas elves, busily coming up with innovative ways to transform ordinary chocolates and cakes into innovative works of art. Wild Sweets® (2145 – 12191 Hammersmith Way) has just released some new chocolate tasting gift sets, which consist of three, four, or five tiers of their cocoa bean-to-bar chocolate collections. One of the tiers is their new Crispy Praline & Ganache ‘arOma’ Collection, with each chocolate featuring crunchy nut butter praline,…

By Kristi Alexandra Tucked away just behind Burnaby’s landmark shopping epicentre, Metrotown, where there’s no shortage of food to wares, is a small culinary enclave to satisfy any sweet tooth. Beresford Street, between Dow and Willingdon Avenues, is home to several cafes boasting homemade sweets with the saccharine quality of authenticity. From bubble tea and waffles, to gourmet soups, fresh pastries and handmade chocolates, this gastronomic haven is the gourmand’s secret gem — it’s a place to dine, sip, and study in relative quiet just steps away from the bustling crowds. EStEA Café | 4466 Beresford St.  EStEA Cafe is the eatery to frequent whether you want to stay for five minutes or a few hours. The quaint cafe recalls a Riverdale favorite, Pop’s Chocklit Shoppe, with a modern Taiwanese influence. Seating less than 20, the cafe has an ambiance as adorable as its treats – with spiraling pink art…

By Joanne Sasvari Keep going. Over the train tracks. Past the North Shore Auto Mall. Towards the giant Seaspan crane towering above the North Vancouver shoreline. Through the industrial park and across from the high school. And there it is, chocolaty nirvana, in one of the most unlikely locations you could expect. This is the bijou little shop of master chocolatier and pastry chef Thomas Haas. If you’ve arrived after, say, 10 am, chances are good that there’s a lineup of people waiting for his croissants and cappuccinos and the gorgeous chocolates glittering in the glass case like cacao-scented jewels. Don’t worry, just get in line: everything here is worth the wait. If it’s really busy, Haas himself might pop out to visit. Perhaps he’ll hand around some of his rich, dark “sparkle cookies,” which have been named among the best in the world by Saveur, The Los Angeles Times…

By Nikki Bayley If you want a sweet taste of BC in a glass, leave the downtown core and jump on a 135 bus which will take you straight along Hastings Street and deliver you to Glenburn Soda Fountain and Confectionary in the heart of Burnaby Heights. As a residential area dotted with historic heritage houses, it’s not necessarily somewhere that most visitors would see, but fans of ice cream and soda fountains need to add Glenburn to their itineraries; you’ll be delighted that you did. Once you’re in the parlour and take a seat at the shining counter, prepare to enter a world of delicious indecision: what should you order? So many choices! From milkshakes, malteds and egg creams to piled-high sundaes with a myriad of flavours, everything looks so tempting; but it’s when you discover that it’s you’re getting a truly local flavour that things get interesting… Owners…