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Events & Celebrations

How To Have A Micro Wedding

Over the past few months, our lives and the way the entire world operates has evolved into something so unprecedented and unpredictable that planning just about anything is near futile. Due to the seriousness of Covid-19, our industry has faced several challenges from closures of our stores to the cancellation of events. With that said, our province has endured and we are slowly moving into phases that allow us to operate again. We know how important it is for you to tie the knot. And, as the old saying goes, “The show must go on!” When it comes to having your wedding, is it not just as relevant and applicable? 

With current restrictions in place, our culinary team has been able to pivot by welcoming any and every request pertaining to Micro Weddings. If this concept is new to you, I invite you to read on.

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Events & Celebrations

How To Prepare For A Wedding

It goes without saying that we, at Truffles Fine Foods, has seen our fair share of weddings and events. Having been in the catering industry for 15 years, we have grown accustomed to seeing the best and worst of planning. Yes, planning – the most stressful process of any event you host (especially if it is your own wedding). Planning is what ultimately determines how successful your wedding is. I know “success” is subjective, but you want to put yourself in the eyes of the guest. If I were to attend a wedding, for example, does it look put together or is it missing several elements? Have I had to wait for my dinner because the bride and groom arrived late? Did a golf cart drive through the background of the ceremony as the vows were being said? I’m only using these examples because I have witnessed them firsthand! 

I digress. You get the gist. If you’re planning or know someone who is planning their wedding, you’re in luck because here some some high-level tips to make your event smoother and successful! It will also (hopefully) help you mitigate the stressors that seem to manifest themselves in the days leading up to the big day.

Setting Your Budget

You want to make sure your life happily ever after is not filled with debt, so it is always best to set a budget before you begin making any plans. Ask yourself what is feasible or not? What is necessary? What is or isn’t an absolute must-have at your wedding? Once your budget has been set, you can start identifying venues, caterers, gown costs, and other expenses that you will incur during the planning process.

Identify Your Guest List

Another major headache for engaged couples is finding the proper venue for your big day. I know a lot of you have a dream venue in mind with certain criterias such as view, decor, location, etc., but nothing can be done until you have figured out your guestlist. I’ve encountered several couples who have families so large or a guestlist so long that most hotel or boutique venues were no longer feasible. So, what do you do? Start figuring out who you intend to invite first, and categorize them into people you must-invite followed by the standby list. The latter doesn’t necessarily mean people on this list won’t get an invite, but should folk from the first list cancel or fail to RSVP, there’s the standby list to help fill seats.

With a budget and your guest list in hand, the planning process will slowly start falling into place! In my upcoming blog post, I’ll provide a couple more wedding-related tips to make your planning process all the more easier. Stay tuned!

Events & Celebrations

The Festival Of The Season

Christmas is almost here! I just took a look at the calendar today only to realize that Christmas is next week and I haven’t even started my holiday shopping yet. Oops! That said, are you in the festive spirit as much as I am? My tree is up, the lights are out, and the stockings are hanging. All I need now is some snow.. (I know, I know, but it’s been ages since we’ve had snow around Christmas time!).

If you had a chance to read my previous blog post about the Hootenanny over at VanDusen, I’m happy to announce that Anna the Hummingbird and her friends have successfully lifted the Halloween spell! Now, as the season transitions from Fall to Winter, so too does the experience at the Botanical Garden. As the snow begins to cap our local mountains with the sun setting earlier each day, VanDusen has brightened Vancouver once again with their annual Festival of Lights.

VanDusen Festival of Lights

What should you expect this year? If you haven’t seen the light show on Livingstone Lake paired with the music – all choreographed – it is amazing! Worry not, the show happens every 20 minutes, so you have several opportunities to catch the show and have it on your ‘gram. 

Carousel rides are another fun family treat for all ages. The ticket you purchase for entry grants you one free ride on the carousel, so be sure to check that out. Santa’s Lodge in the Visitor Centre is another free experience where choirs, bands, and singers perform on select nights. In addition, there is the Fireside Lounge, a Candle Grotto, and many more activities.

Getting hungry? Worry not because the Truffles Cafe and Truffles Hot Drink Hut is open at VanDusen on the regular and available to satisfy your taste buds! Be sure to stop by for some hot beverages or freshly prepared snacks as you see fit.

Planning Your Trip

As per their website, it is strongly encouraged that tickets are purchased ahead of time because it will save you money, bypass the lengthy lineups, and ensure you get through the gates. There is also a maximum number of tickets sold each night to avoid overcrowding, so make sure you plan ahead. The closer to Christmas, the busier it usually gets. If you don’t have any luck online, there will be limited tickets available at the gate and it is suggested that you arrive after 8pm. One tip I tell all my friends is to arrive early as parking is limited in the lot and fills up quickly!

Events & Celebrations

Our Traditional Christmas Dinner

I wish I can start singing, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas”, but one would argue that it is still a wee bit too early (or is it?). Planning and preparing for the holiday season, however, does not always need to be saved for the last minute. As I witness every year, there is a mad rush at the malls in the days leading up to Christmas as folk attempt to swipe that extra gift they forgot to buy or the cards they forgot to write. When it comes to meals, I see it happening, too. Grocery stores and supermarkets lack the necessary ingredients you need to pull off your Christmas dinner, and most restaurants are not open on the big day. If you have ever been in that position of hunting down that holiday ham or turkey without much luck, then you know exactly what I am talking about!

Christmas Dinner To Go

There is an annual tradition here at Truffles Fine Foods where our culinary team prepares a delicious Christmas dinner to go for you, your family, and friends. We understand how busy the season can get, so we decided to prepare a traditional meal to save YOU time. Think about it – more time to entertain family and guests, more time to bake your holiday cookies, and more time to sing some carols! Our dinner to go has been a popular request for the past few years as the four-course meal is not just flavourful and filling, but is also prepared fresh and made with the finest ingredients our team can get their hands on.

What’s included? Have a look at this menu:

Roasted Turkey
Served with turkey gravy, stuffing, and cranberry sauce

Roasted Garlic Mashed Yukon Potatoes

Roasted Root Vegetables
Carrots, parsnip, rutabaga, red onion, and yellow turnip

Cinnamon Apple Rhubarb Pie

This dinner serves up to four people for a reasonable price of $180 (plus tax) and can be ordered from now until December 16th (or until we have reached our capacity). If you are interested, please submit your order to us at info@trufflesfinefoods.com 

Orders are available to be picked up at our VanDusen location between December 22nd to 24th. 

Events & Celebrations

A “Hootenanny” at VanDusen

Like the summer tradition of watching the fireworks display down by English Bay, autumn has its share of spectacles, too. If you are ever looking for an easy date idea, a family-friendly event to attend, or a place to simply take-in the setting and go for a stroll, I would highly recommend the Glow in the Garden event at VanDusen. This annual Halloween-themed event features a number of treats, crafts, pumpkin carvings, and the ever-so-popular light show.

Photo Credit: Lindsay William-Ross

A Big “Hootenanny”

Every year, the Glow in the Garden event features a different theme. In the past, adventure seekers have been graced with the classical tale of Hänsel and Gretel, the hijinks of Alice-in-Wonderland (under the watchful presence of the Queen of Hearts, of course), and even spooked by a ghoulish-themed walk filled with creepy creatures and ominous music as one ventured through the garden. This year, however, we learn that an “old barred owl has played a Halloween trick by casting a ‘hootenanny’ spell and making it glow”. Those who decide to undertake the walk are asked to assist the hummingbird, Anna, and her friends to lift the Halloween spell. Are you up for the challenge?

Delectables Await

The garden walk can take adventurers up to an hour (or more) to explore, and during this time of year, it could be very cold and wet. What better way to prepare and warm up with a cup of hot chocolate or tea, and some tasty sweet and savoury treats? As an annual ritual for myself and some friends, we always find time to stop by the Truffles Fine Foods located at the VanDusen Garden Visitor Centre. Here, we are in a well-lit, enclosed space that overlooks the garden – the ideal place to plan our walk and prepare ourselves for the spectacles that await. The garden itself does have its share of food vendors scattered throughout various pockets as well, but neither are sheltered and typically have longer queues. 

truffles-fine-foods-vandusen

With all this in mind, I am truly excited about meandering through the walk again this year because it is always a treat to see what the creative team at VanDusen are able to conjure. It is also that time of year for adults to reflect and remember the simpler times when we were once curious and unsuspecting of all the spooks and sprites that Halloween had to offer. If you have a chance, do visit Glow in the Garden and help Anna lift the spell!

For more information about Glow, or to purchase tickets, visit them here.

Events & Celebrations

Thankful For Thanksgiving Turkey

Muggy weather, crispness in the air, and the scent of pumpkin spice wafting about at our local coffee shops – the Autumn has finally arrived in Vancouver. Summer this year, it seems, came and went too quickly as per usual, and despite Vancouverites now having to endure weeks, if not months, of consecutive rainfall, there are plenty of things to look forward to in the Fall.

At Truffles Fine Foods, another transition takes place as the weather changes. We are catching the tail-end of the wedding season which means our culinary experts are busy putting together a new menu that is available for all! I’m not referring to a private catering event that you must book in order to sample our food, or even having to walk-in to one of our locations. No, I am talking about a carefully selected and crafted to-go dinner for Thanksgiving: our locally acclaimed and annual tradition, Turkey Dinner To Go.

Thanksgiving Set Dinner

Need some convincing? Apart from how amazing these set dinners are, this particular menu was a huge hit last year and was sold out in no time! This year’s menu features:

Sliced Boneless Turkey
Served with turkey gravy, stuffing, and cranberry sauce

Whipped Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Delectable Roasted Root Vegetables
Carrots, turnips, parsnips, and red onion

Creamy Autumn Pumpkin Pie
Served with cinnamon cream

Orders for this set menu is now being taken until October 10th, or until Truffles Fine Foods is fully booked. This four course meal feeds four guests and is priced at a reasonable $150 plus tax. 

If you’re interested, I encourage you to call 604.505.4961 ext. 1, or email us at info@trufflesfinefoods.com

Events & Celebrations

Coquille: Summer, Seafood, Patio

Is it just me, or does this Summer season seem a lot shorter than the previous years? It seems like only yesterday when I was heading to the beach or watching the Canada Day fireworks display. My goodness, where has the time gone? As I sit here in this coffee shop people watching and finding inspiration for my upcoming blog posts, I felt it fitting for me to reflect and draw attention to the three things in Vancouver that epitomizes the ideal evening. On a hot day surrounded by the warmth of the sun, nothing beats the combination of summer, delicious seafood, and an amazing patio with the people you love spending time with.

It’s Patio Season

Picture this: Blue skies, a gentle breeze, the odd gull calling, and you’ve just taken a leisurely stroll down the historic streets of Gastown. You’re passing by the various gift shops, furniture stores, cafes, and are in need of a place to sit and grab a drink to quench your thirst – maybe even to recharge over some small plates. Just a few blocks from the iconic Steam Clock and adjacent to Gassy Jack’s statue emerges an eatery situated on a corner with an amazing view of the Hotel Europe, Vancouver’s “flatiron” landmark. This eatery, my friends, is Coquille – one of Vancouver’s best seafood restaurants (definitely the best in Gastown, in my humble opinion). On this summer day, you’re welcomed by an open patio with a view to bask in the surroundings anywhere you sit. This is patio season, and it’s still on!

Happy Hour Is Still In

Suppose you’re meandering the bustling streets of Gastown, carefully making your way down the brick sidewalks and you’re looking to recharge. The happy hour specials from Coquille is quite the enticing option if you’re a lover of fresh seafood. From the hours of 3pm to 6pm, a visit to Coquille will see fresh oysters at half price, grilled octopus skewers for cheap, and drink specials on their signature cocktails, craft beers, wines, and more! Don’t believe me? Have a look at their menu and you tell me why this place isn’t worth the visit.

With all this in mind, I believe that the Coquille patio is worth the visit – especially when the countdown to Autumn is upon us. Unlike the other patios that dot Vancouver’s dining landscape, this particular one gives you an intimate look into the historic gateway of our city yet still capturing the feel of the waterfront. Whether you’re starting your visit through Gastown or wrapping it up, the food at this eatery is both fresh and delicious, and staff are happy to welcome you whether you’re dressed formally or casually.