“You know, we’re spoiled really.” said my dinner date as he scooped up a handful of seafood nachos, loaded with tasty seared tuna and spicy shrimp, as he waved at the view. Vancouver was lit up before us. All glittering high rises and moonlight over the water. “Anywhere else this would be THE best restaurant in town. But here it is, tucked away on the North Shore.”
He was right. I’m slowly making my way around Vancouver and discovering its many different neighbourhoods. I’d imagined the North Shore to be The ‘Burbs. Not much happening there. Kind of quiet. Guess what? Think again.
I got there on the ferry bus from the terminal downtown. It’s a pleasant 12-minute trip across the water and I’m guessing if it wasn’t bucketing with rain, it’s a lovely view. The rain held off for a few minutes when I hopped off the ferry and looking at the city from the other side made me see with fresh eyes how gorgeous it is. On the way to the hotel I stopped into the Lonsdale Quay market place which really reminded me of the indoor markets in Paris, something about the metal shutters and artistically-stacked fruit and veg, I guess. After wandering around and making a mental note to come back with shopping bags another day, I checked into the Pinnacle Hotel at the Pier.
My room was big and I loved the huge tub with its glass-wall shower which faced onto the bedroom. Very steamy! Floor to ceiling windows gave a show-stopping view of the city. I sat on the bed and tried to make out my new apartment building, it’s nice to finally start to recognise the skyline. All settled in, I went to explore, and discovered one of the largest hotel pools I think I have ever seen, on the third floor – flooded with natural light and a big gym too.
We had dinner at Pier 7 , which has Executive Chef Dino Renaerts, ex-chef of Diva at the Met (one of Vancouver’s best) at the helm. I tried the Dine Out menu, three courses for just $28, which was spectacular value for money, I loved the braised beef short ribs and hope they weren’t just a Dine Out special… People always talk about hidden gems, which are often in full view, but after raving about the food to other Vancouverites who’d never heard of Pier 7, perhaps this really is one after all. Maybe these North Shore-ers are on to something…
After being led deliciously astray by sommelier Alain – a guy who knows far too much about wine and wants you to try every drop – I reeled my way back to the hotel and kept the curtains open as I curled up in bed so that I could see that view. In the early morning at dawn it just got better.
The Pinnacle has a huge patio which they have open in the warmer months and I’m already making plans to head back on that ferry and get a heaped plate of those amazing seafood nachos to enjoy with a few cocktails and watch my new city light up as the sun sets.
I stayed and ate as a guest of The Pinnacle Pier and Pier 7. My views are 100% my own and I am definitely going back once it stops raining!
Find out more about Vancouver’s North Shore