The VAG - a favourite lunch spot. www.vanartgallery.bc.ca
Now that it's getting drizzly, dark and dreary, I'm trying to take advantage of the unexpected breaks in the weather whenever I can by eating lunch, terrace style. Not that there are a lot of terraced cafes where I live, but the Art Gallery downtown is the perfect oasis of calm and civility. Oversized vanilla-coloured patio umbrellas, Mozart flute concertos on the outside sound system, terra cotta tubs of still-blooming alyssum and hydrangea, Japanese Maples and poppies; tall grasses lining the terrace. A computer-free sanctuary that is a total sun trap, even during the winter. Fir trees trimmed to resemble the cypress trees of your Tuscan dreams. (Perhaps they are cypresses. I'm a tree nerd; I should know that.)
What does it have besides scrumptious food (salads of tiny lentils, poached chicken, baby beets and bleu cheese)? Well it has a wine list. Desserts to die for. Sound (music, birds, discreet conversations), colour, light and privacy. No Wi Fi so you are spared the site of people (like me), hunched over their smart phones, angling them away from the light. You are extremely unlikely to run into your co-workers. It's the perfect place to go and restore your sanity, with a good friend or a good book. Trust me, that dude from the shipping department won't be there.
Some other Art Gallery cafes to contemplate....
The Art Gallery NSW, in Sydney, AU. Oh so cool, naturally.
The Wallace Collection, Hertford House, Manchester Square,
Marylebone, London UK
From the “Time Out London” review:
"It isn’t cheap and the French schtick can feel a little laboured, but Oliver Peyton’s Wallace comports itself with dignity, set beautifully in a white, glass-roofed interior courtyard. With a starter portion of foie gras terrine with blackberries, apple jelly and spiced gingerbread costing £11, and a lemon sole main with girolles and clams nearly £20, avail yourself of breakfast or afternoon tea, which offer cheaper options. The drinks menu is impressive: French wines and cider, Frenchified cocktails, Belgian beer and an appealing range of juices and fruit coolers."
Lavandale Art Gallery and Cafe, Christchurch, NZ.
I might just have to move in here.
Unnamed gallery cafe in Singapore.
I could spent a whole afternoon in this place.