We’re now less than two weeks away from Christmas, this being both awesome (I soon get to see my parents) and terrifying (I still haven’t mailed the majority of my cards/Christmas packages). Luckily, one afternoon in Steveston meant I could get a bunch of shopping done, pick up decorations for my yet-to-be-found tree, and eat as many Christmas treats as would fit in my stomach. Even if you’re one of those people who’s already all organized (I say congratulations/darn you!), it’s still lovely to wander through the town’s shops, bakeries, and cafes for their festive ambience.
I first went into The Spotted Frog, which is a furniture and home store on No. 1 Road.
It’s gorgeously decked out for the holidays, with all the ornaments on every tree for sale.
They also sell beautiful local art.
Across the street is The Prickly Pear, a garden and home shop. The front part of the shop is so laden with decorations, it kind of feels like you’re standing inside a Christmas tree.
I purchased all sorts of stocking stuffers, and was tempted to take home a wreath, too. Their outside area is strung with lights, filled with bouquets of pussy willows and red berries, and there’s plenty of lush, Christmas greenery and trees.
I also did some shopping at Nikaido, A Monkey Tree, and Pieces, and don’t forget about Mary’s British Home if you have any UK-lovers on your list. I picked up a treat for my sister there, who also spent a year in England and misses it dearly. Mary herself was working yesterday, and she called me “love.” I melted.
Helpful hint: if you’re looking for a place to order a free-run turkey or ham for Christmas dinner – Heringer‘s is it!
Christmas shopping builds up an appetite, so early on I grabbed a bite at Damien’s Belgian Waffles on Chatham. It’s run by Philippe Leroux and his wife Miho, and their specialty is Liege waffles. These originated in the town of Liege and are a popular street snack throughout Belgium.
Damien’s waffles have chunks of pearl sugar baked right in, and are made with real butter and honey. In addition to the original flavour, some of their others include caramel, matcha, yuzu (Japanese citrus), banana chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and cinnamon; waffles can be bought individually, or in boxes of 6, 8, 10, or 16.
I sat down and enjoyed one of their all-day breakfast waffles with whipped cream, strawberries, and maple syrup. They offer savoury ones as well. I love Liege-style waffles, and this was the perfect pick-me-up!
I also took three to go: matcha, caramel, and dark chocolate, the latter two being my favourites. As long as they’re not covered in chocolate, these waffles can be popped in a toaster for a few minutes and enjoyed anytime – perhaps a good idea for Christmas morning?
The shop also offers freshly-baked breads each Saturday, and are doing truffles, jams, and buche du noel (French Christmas ‘log’ cake) for Christmas. If you’re interested in ordering any or all of the above, make sure you to call ahead!
Of course, I rarely go to Steveston without visiting the Sweet Spot, so I stopped in to see what they’re up to for Christmas. This year they’re baking marzipan stollen;
soft gingerbread cake with cranberry preserves, rum and eggnog mousse;
all kinds of cookies, tourtiere, and an entire holiday menu including cassoulet and their own spin on buche de noel. I took a piece of their apple brandy pecan cake to go, and it was phenomenal, as usual.
Next I headed over to Bell’s Bake Shop to check out their festive sweets. Particularly clever are their boxes of Christmas cookies for $20, $40, or $50. Everyone loves a festive cookie platter, but not everyone has the time to bake 18 different recipes, so Jennifer and her team have done it for you!
They’re also offering a variety of truffles, rum balls, festive cupcakes, gingerbread bundt cake, homemade eggnog and apple cider.
I tried their mincemeat cupcake with almond buttercream. The cake was soft, fresh, rich, and pale brown, with icing that was light and subtly almond-flavoured. Loved it!
Yes, that was a lot of treats in one day, but someone had to do the research. I finished my Steveston tour at Pizza Factory, a small takeaway shop on First Ave. I ordered a small Italian pizza, which has ham, pepperoni, Italian sausage, bacon, fresh garlic, onion, cheese, and tomato sauce.
It took about 10 minutes to make, and I ate a few slices before taking the rest home. It didn’t taste all that different from other pizzas I’ve had in Richmond, but it was tasty, and a nice warming way to end an afternoon of shopping.
Now I just need to get my stuff wrapped, packed, and sent off. If my family and friends receive things late, at least they’ll know it wasn’t for lack of eating. I mean trying. It wasn’t for lack of trying.
cash and cards accepted