Ten holiday gift ideas from the Armoury District
Christmas shopping doesn't have to mean running through the malls like the hordes escaping bulls in Pamplona. At this busy time of year, plan your holiday shopping around a destination neighbourhood where you can enjoy some fresh air, browse, stop for coffee, indulge in lunch and treats, and, oh yeah, pick up some presents too.
The Armoury District, with its combination of design, home decor, jewellery and gourmet food shops for the discerning shopper, is perfect for me-day holiday shopping excursions.
Stollen photo courtesy Patisserie Lebeau Facebook Page
First stop: Patisserie Lebeau because every me-day shopping excursion must start with rich coffee and pastries or authentic belgian waffles. While sipping and nibbling, pick out some special items for holiday meals.
Croissants or waffles for Christmas morning? Buche de Noel, stollen or pannetone for office parties or gifts? Just be sure to order ahead.
If thoughts of cooking Christmas dinner are ruining your Zen moment, give Armoury District caterer Culinary Capers a call to order their oven roasted grain-fed turkey dinner with crème fraiche mashed potatoes- $39.95 per person.
Cheese Platter photo courtesy les amis du Fromage website
Next stop, the legendary les amis du Fromage where you'll find over 400 cheeses from around the world, including many varieties of local and unpasteurized cheese. The good folks at les amis can hook you up with cheese and charcuterie platters, gift baskets, gift cards, and cheese implements such as knives, cutting boards and graters.
You'll also find raclette machines and fondue pots, and even home made soups and entrees to stuff your freezer with.
Chocolate Bowls photo courtesy Chocolate Arts Facebook Page
After coffee and cheese, the next most important food group of the season is... you guessed it, chocolate! Head over to Chocolate Arts for edible holiday gift bowls in every size and price range. Not only are Chocolate Arts' artisanal chocolates stunningly beautiful, they are made from the finest ingredients available and most fillings and flavourings are house-made.
If low-impact experiential gifts are on your list, check out Quince's list of cooking classes. For $35 you can learn to make Madeleines and Lemon Cream, and $50 will get you a Spanish Tapas with Sangria demo. And the perfect gift for the mom who's got it all, a Mother's Day brunch. Give mom the gift of an afternoon with you, learning to prepare seared Sooke Tuna while sipping rose.
While there, don't forget to check the Quince freezer for lots of yummy holiday meals or hors d'oeuvres for entertaining.
Quince Cuisine photo courtesy Armoury District website