An Afternoon in Steveston, Richmond


Monday, February 28th, 2011 — 12:56pm PST
Comments 12

Over the weekend John and I celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary. Since we’ve been on the go so much, we decided to have a mini staycation and ended up staying in Richmond (following our attendance at the Sport BC banquet Thursday night). We had the most amazing room at the River Rock Casino Resort complete with big soaker tub, twinkling stars in the ceiling, and a beautiful 180 degree view.

River Rock


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I had previously linked up with Tourism Richmond regarding our plans for a mini staycation and they arranged a few activities for us. Hopping into a Garden City Cab we headed down to Steveston for the day without knowing what was in store. The first stop was lunch at Tapenade Bistro.

Anniversary Weekend in Richmond, B.C.

It was a cold and blustery day along the waterfront and walking into Tapenade we were welcomed with warm aromas (especially from the truffle oil that topped the soup of the day, potato leek). That was enough to make me order the soup right off the bat, while John went with an appetizer order of the fish and chips (halibut cheeks with eggplant frites).

Tapenade Bistro

Tapenade Bistro Tapenade Bistro

The soup was smooth yet textured with tiny bits of pancetta, and small potato cubes. John’s fish was tender, crisp, and the eggplant soaked up delicious flavours yet maintained its crispy shell. Our mains were the mushroom and arugula crepes along with the flatiron steak salad. The crepes were rich and creamy, and the steak was succulent and tender. Without leaving any room for dessert, we enjoyed a glass of wine as we looked out the rustic shuttered windows to watch the fishing boats dance in the wind.

Anniversary Weekend in Richmond, B.C.

Following our meal, Chef Alex Tung came out and handed me an envelope. Tourism Richmond had planned a secret scavenger hunt for the rest of the day and this envelope contained our first clue and led us over to the Gulf of Georgia Cannery. “Built in 1894 in the historic fishing village of Steveston, the Gulf of Georgia Cannery was the largest building of its kind and the leading producer of canned salmon in British Columbia.”

Steveston Scavenger Hunt

Anniversary Weekend in Richmond, B.C.

The cannery is an incredible industrial structure that takes you back in time to the smokey, pungent, waterfront cannery operations (minus the disgusting smells and soot, nowadays). It took us at least 30 minutes to make our way through, taking photos and reading placards. Some displays had audio that would play from speakers hidden inside old cans, while black and white news reel footage played from kiosks in the middle of one of the rooms.

Anniversary Weekend in Richmond, B.C.

Anniversary Weekend in Richmond, B.C. Anniversary Weekend in Richmond, B.C.

Steveston Scavenger Hunt Steveston Scavenger Hunt

Anniversary Weekend in Richmond, B.C.

The women at the gift shop were very friendly and helpful, and we soon found that to be common theme in Steveston. We had fun exploring and learning about the cannery, and answering a trivia question before receiving our next clue.

Anniversary Weekend in Richmond, B.C.

The next stop was Pieces Gift Shop located inside Steveston’s oldest building; it was the only building to survive the ‘great fire’ of 1918 in the area. Filled with local, Canadian, and imported trinkets, jewels, furniture, gift items, and toys, we spent quite a bit of time browsing the collections at Pieces. The owner spotted us and asked if we were looking for a clue, which indeed we were. We chatted about the building (and learned its history), about the display cases (made from recycled wood by a local woman), and scooped up our next clue that sent us over to Steveston Coffee Co.

Anniversary Weekend in Richmond, B.C.

Anniversary Weekend in Richmond, B.C.

Just across the street and down a few doors, we arrived at Steveston Coffee Co. Fresh baked goods and house-roasted coffee beans were their specialty. We grabbed a drop coffee and a mocha before receiving our next clue.

Steveston Scavenger Hunt

Anniversary Weekend in Richmond, B.C.

Steveston Scavenger Hunt

A Monkey Tree Emporium, another great gift shop, was next on our list. It had clever kitchen gadgets, paintings by local artists, and a very unique and extensive greeting card collection that made me chuckle out loud several times.

Anniversary Weekend in Richmond, B.C.

The clue we collected her instructed us to head over to The Prickly Pear garden centre next, where I received a beautiful bouquet of flowers.

Anniversary Weekend in Richmond, B.C.

Anniversary Weekend in Richmond, B.C. Anniversary Weekend in Richmond, B.C.

Anniversary Weekend in Richmond, B.C.

The final clue from the garden centre instructed us to end our day at Bell’s Bake Shop, the next street over.

Anniversary Weekend in Richmond, B.C.

I went with the devil’s food cupcake while John chose the one topped with Reese’s Pieces. Cupakes at Bell’s are delicious, creamy, and sweet without being overpowering in taste. They also have gluten-free and vegan options. While we were there, a woman came in and asked for strawberry but the girl behind the counter said they only use fruits that are in season for their cupcakes.

Anniversary Weekend in Richmond, B.C.

We waited there for our return trip to the River Rock by taxi and reflected on the day’s activities. History, arts, culture, culinary talents, and local pride were all prevalent in Steveston through cupcakes and coffee, paintings, heritage structures, independent shops, and passionate proprietors.

River Rock

While we definitely have to come back during the warmer months (to enjoy from fish & chips or an ice cream on the wharf), I found new places to shop, buy coffee, and take my niece and nephews. I also realized how lucky I am to have a husband who enjoys scavenger hunts, photowalks, local history, and all that we discovered in Steveston that day.

You can view all of John’s photos in his Flickr set and mine are on Flickr as well.

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12 comments

  1. Christine says:

    Great post Rebecca! Was just at Tapenade for the first time a few weeks ago. We also enjoyed our lunch very much.

  2. giggles says:

    Happy Anniversary! I love Steveston, I always find inspiration at the prickly pear and the little gift shops. Such unique treasures there, and great fish and chips!! Thanks for sharing this sweet staycation. You’re fortunate to have a well rounded husband who supports your endeavors, and he lucky to have you!!!

  3. Sherry says:

    Glad you had a good time. Nothing like Steveston on a sunny day. Love Tapenade. Next time out try Paesano’s for Italian or Blue Canoe for more yummy goodness.

  4. Obviously with your anniversary and all, you’d probably not want company, but th next time you’re out my way you should let me know – I’d be happy to show you around some. And Sherry is right, Blue Canoe is all that and a bag of chips – you need to try their Lemon Meringue (assuming it’s not sold out as it’s baked fresh each day).

  5. Gladys says:

    Me too me too! No one loves Steveston more than its residents. Don’t forget to check out more of the shops along Moncton. They are fantastic! (I’ll happily play co-tourguide to Chris).

  6. Gladys says:

    Me too me too! No one loves Steveston more than its residents. Don’t forget to check out more of the shops along Moncton. They are fantastic! (I’ll happily play co-tourguide to Chris).

  7. Karen says:

    Congratulations to you both! Thanks for sharing about your day and for the great ideas. Now to convince my husband to check out all these spots!:)

  8. Scott says:

    Happy to see that you had a great time in our fun little enclave.

  9. Julia Falci says:

    Loved this post! I would love to go to this little shops, everything is so cute!

  10. Muckymoo says:

    What a fun way to spend a day!

  11. Casey Moulton says:

    Miss 604,

    Next time you’re in Steveston you HAVE to pop in to Violet Hill! I grew up in Steveston with the lovely Nicola Gillam, who opened this amazing boutique in 2010.

    Hope you enjoy!

    Casey

    http://twitter.com/#!/vhillboutique

  12. […] the waterfront fishing boats, there are infinite possibilities for the imaginative photographer, as Miss604 could tell […]

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