With the ever-increasing cost of living and the daily struggle with the notion of “adulting”, one often forgets one thing (two words): “Me time.” That’s right, it actually exists and is still a thing – at least, it can be if you want it to. As I sit here in my office surrounded by a forest of towering glass architectural feats, it made me realize how little time I spend on myself. It’s so easy to get lost in work – especially with how busy and demanding this city can become. Despite Vancouver priding itself on its majestic mountains and its beautiful coastal rainforests, finding some greenery where I can just sit in peace is, more or less, scarce.
With that in mind, however, there are pockets of hidden gems – secret gardens, if you will – that are found in various parts of our city. My recent trip to VanDusen Botanical Gardens allowed me to escape the hustle and bustle of my hectic day-to-day, and gave me that opportunity to focus on me. I was able to stroll through a garden of beauty and just meditate surrounded by nothing but peace and tranquility.
A Marvelous Medley
Despite having VanDusen Botanical Gardens located next to a rather busy street, the trees and bushes do a great job at reducing all the noise pollution. After entering through the lobby, the path you choose is really just up to you! The self-guided tour I took had me meandering through the carefully curated plants and flowers. There were tunnels, bridges, fountains, and even a small pavilion in the heart of it all that allowed me to rest and relax. As much as I wanted to refrain from using my phone, every corner I turned had something worth adding to the ‘gram. On a perfect day when the sun beams down on you, there is no limit to the amount of photos one can take.
Truffles Café at VanDusen
To complete my visit to the gardens, I had to indulge myself at the Truffles Café. With a freshly baked pastry on my plate and a hot cup of fairtrade coffee in hand, I was able to relax and take-in the garden from a distance – a terrific way to wrap-up my visit! Given its prime location at VanDusen and the quality of food delivered, this café makes for a remarkable venue for small events, meetings, and even afternoon tea! Recall how I referred to VanDusen as a hidden gem in our busy city? Well, this Truffles Café is like a gem within a gem – a true rarity indeed!
For your chance to explore these lovely gardens or dine at this exquisite café, it’s quite simple! Whether by car or transit, VanDusen and Truffles Café are both located at 5151 Oak Street. I encourage you to visit the gardens’ website to see what events they have in order to help plan your visit. If you need a bit of guidance, look into the walking tours which are carefully curated by volunteers, or you can create your own journey. As for the café, it wouldn’t hurt to call ahead of time to reserve your seat. It gets busy depending on time of day, so keep that in mind!
VanDusen maze photo source: TripSavvy