The Capilano Tea House
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A Peaceful Space in the Heart of Gastown
Could this be Gastown’s coolest cafe? The Capilano Tea House is an indigenous business owned and operated by Michelle and Paisley Nahanee, a mother-daughter family from the Squamish Nation who are causing waves with their incredible plant-inspired creations. At first sight it’s Gastown business as normal; hipster music plays and the room has an exposed brick wall and a minimalist aesthetic, but look again, those wooden tables are etched with a Coast Salish design that echoes the traditional cedar-woven baskets that Michelle’s grandmother made, on the wall is a traditional Coast Salish woven hanging, and the menu reflects the best of the past –brought bang up to date. Try their house-made sodas brewed from plants and flowers, such as cranberry-rosemary, or wild cherry bark cream soda, or choose from their ten blended-in-house teas which bring global and local together, such as Senakw Village with rooibos and local herbs and berries, or their wonderfully aromatic Warm Grey which blends black tea with bergamot and lavender. They have a small food menu too, and there's plenty for veggies and vegans –such as their terrific bannock, which I had slathered in their bergamot-rhubarb butter blend and East Van Jam’s juniper. Pre-book a weekend Wild Coast tea for their take on afternoon tea, with a Wild Meat and Plant Lover’s version available. Browse the shelves before you leave for some decidedly tempting take-home goodies from local companies such as the Black Candle Society (their ‘Smokehouse’ candle smells exactly like a bonfire party!) or The Local Churn’s innovative hand-churned gourmet butters.
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