|O.K. Boot Corral in Gastown. Photo by Sue Frause.|
The International Slow Food movement was founded by Carol Petrini in Italy in 1986. And for the past decade, Slow Food has also been making its mark in Canada, with high interest in British Columbia, Ontario and Montreal. Slow Food Canada is the umbrella group, and there are also local chapters such as Slow Food Vancouver and Slow Food Vancouver Island & Gulf Islands in British Columbia.
With Executive Hotel Le Soleil in walking distance of Gastown, the 119-suite boutique hotel thinks it's a perfect fit. And while Gastown still has the reputation of being rundown with boarded up storefronts, it's undergone a renaissance in the past few years. Vancouver's oldest neighborhood is now home to local designers, artisans, food producers and restaurants. Today, with more than 180 shops, restos, bars, cafes and clubs, the neighborhood is buzzing with new energy. One of the many entrepreneurs making changes in the neighborhood is Mark Brand and his Save on Meats, which I highlighted in a previous blog post.
Gastown's narrower streets and distinct architecture encourage both window shopping and grazing. Some of my favorite food stops are Big Lou's Butcher Shop, Boneta, Chambar, Cork & Fin, L'Abattoir, Salt Tasting Room, Save on Meats and Two Chefs and a Table. Many of them are part of this year's Dine Out Vancouver Festival (running through Feb. 3, 2013).
For shopping, there's John Fluevog for unique footwear; Angel Vancouver for hand painted clothing; Bruce Eyewear for cool spectacles; C&K World for handbags and wallets; Orling & Wu and Old Faithful for home decor, accessories and gifts; and Vole for menswear.
- Accommodation in an Executive Suite
- Complimentary valet parking
- Complimentary WiFi
- Gastown walking map with hotel staff's favorite spots to shop
- Bottle of wine to enjoy post-shopping in the room