Our Big Day Downtown!

We love Halifax. I’m a Nova Scotian girl at heart, growing up in Dartmouth and spending lots of my summers on the Fundy coast, the Annapolis Valley, and taking little road trips to pretty little spots all over the province. Nick grew up in Edmonton, moved here ten years ago this month to attend NSCAD, and loved it so much that he stayed. I’ve lived in Alberta and BC, and Nick has contemplated moving to Toronto or Montreal for work. But both of us knew that Halifax was the place to be. When it came time to buy our house, we knew we wanted to live as centrally as possible. Our renovation plan to convert our house into flats is partially based on the fact that we think more people living close to downtown is a great thing.

So, we were super pumped when the Downtown Halifax Business Commission invited us to be part of their Big Day Downtown! Each year they give bloggers a prepaid Visa card (this year they upped the amount to $150!), and set them loose on the downtown to experience all it has to offer, then blog about it! Best. Job. Ever. They gave us three “experience cards” to help guide our day: Offbeat. Thrilling. Satisfying.

Challenge accepted.

Busy with our house renos for the last couple of weeks, we took the Saturday of the long weekend to take a break and enjoy our #BigDayDowntown! We wanted to focus on two of our most favourite things in the entire world: home decor and food. Yes.

We started off at the Halifax Seaport Farmer’s Market to get something yummy. Though there were a tremendous amount of yummy options, we decided to splurge a little at Fox Hill Cheese House. We’ve been a big fan of theirs for awhile (you gotta try the chocolate milk!!!), and after recently having their feta (and falling utterly, hopelessly in love with it), we were keen to grab some more. We also grabbed some smoked gouda and some imported halloumi. Yummmmm.

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Then we headed over to Seeds Gallery, the student art gallery at NSCAD. Nick is a NSCAD grad, and so we knew that it can be a great place to find artwork that is a bit different. Plus, we think it’s important to support student work.

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Though we may be a long way from hanging art on our walls at home, we thought we might find something special…and we were thrilled that we did!

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This gorgeous piece is called “Secret Ghost” and it’s by NSCAD MFA student Elyse Moir. We can’t wait to frame it and hang it up on our walls (once we have walls!).

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Then we headed to the other end of downtown to pop into Urban Cottage, a great antique store on Granville St. It’s packed with awesome finds, furniture, artwork, dishes, and a million other things that could find a cozy little spot in your home. It’s one of our favourite offbeat spots in the city to find that perfect little antique piece.

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And we did! We found this sweet little Moroccan-style elephant and this really lovely hand-painted lamp! It needs some rewiring but at only $14, it was a total steal!

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One of the coolest things about Urban Cottage is that the building is a former bank, and the original ceiling detail is all there. Check out how gorgeous that is!!!

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Then we wandered up to Attica, THE place to go for beautiful furniture and housewares in downtown Halifax. We sat on a lot of furniture. It was so, so nice. Unfortunately our gift card was for $150, not $1500 or $15000, so we couldn’t buy all the things we wanted. But we had a lovely time checking out all their beautiful items and making plans for when we buy new furniture for our house!

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Tweeting in the giant chair like it’s my job! We also loved this sectional by G Romano:

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 I never wanted to leave this sofa.

All this decor shopping had us HUNGRY! So we headed to Ristorante aMano at Bishop’s Landing for a yummy lunch. We started with a delicious trio of bruschetta, and I indulged in a glass of Tuscan red. Nick had spaghetti and meatballs (look at the size of those meatballs!!!) and I had the vegetarian pizza. Yum yum yum.

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The pizza was so big that Nick had to help me out with it, and I still had some leftover to take home. So, so satisfying.

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Oh man he’s so cute!!!

We finished our meal with espresso and then wandered along the waterfront. We headed home and I promptly fell asleep. Phew. What a #BigDayDowntown. We had a great day exploring one of our favourite parts of the city, and thanks to the DHBC for choosing us to participate!!

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