Tuesday, 4 September 2018


The kids knock on my door, as arranged, at ten.

An all-day pub crawl was Alexei's suggestion for today. Seeing as he can drink. I’m not going to argue with that choice. Nor Andrew. He’s turning into a class A pisshead, just like his dad.

I’ve been trying to get the kids to do at least some of the legwork.

“Where are we going to eat breakfast, dad?” Alexei asked, on discovering breakfast wasn’t included for the first time.

“I’d like to go to a diner.” Andrew opines.

“That’ll do for me. What about you Lexie?’


“Can you look for a diner on my laptop, Andrew. There’s some whiskey that needs drinking.”

He finds somewhere called the Templeton. A proper diner, in the downtown bit of town.

It’s not that far. But the route demands a Joe. It’s not a huge distance, as the crow flies. But a really awkward walk. That’s the downside of being on an island. We order a taxi at reception.

While we’re waiting, an English woman of around my ages emerges with half a dozen kids aged 4 to 8. The boys start misbehaving almost immediately, climbing onto the edge of the fountain. Their grandma -  that’s what I assume she is - struggles to keep them under control. The brothers keep egging each other on. As boys do.

“Do you know what that white stuff is, Oscar? That’s bird poo. Go inside to the toilets and give your hands a good wash.” The grandma says. The joy of having small kids. I feel for her. Been there myself many times.

They’re waiting for a brace of taxis. When one shows up, it’s unsure whose it is.

“Taxi for Pattinson?” The driver asks.

“Yes. That’s us.” I turn and smile at grannie. Just as their taxis arrive. Which makes me feel less of a bastard.

It’s hard to spot our destination, the Templeton. Just as well I have the exact address. The monetary transaction completed with the cabbie, we mosey on up to the diner. Where there’s a queue waiting for tables.

“That’s a good sign, dad.” Andrew says.

“Yes, but I’m a deeply impatient person.”

“We’re well aware of that.”

As we’re waiting, it becomes apparent that this diner is licensed. Alexei’s little eyes light up when he realises.

“Will you have a cocktail with breakfast, dad?”

“Why not? I’m always up for new experiences.”

“I doubt a breakfast cocktail is new for you.” How cynical Andrew is. Yet annoyingly correct.

We get seated after 20 minutes or so by a waitress who is literally working her arse off.

We order drinks: mimosa for me, chocolate milkshake for Alexei – with a shot of vodka - pint of Lager for Andrew.

Food? I have an excellent farmer’s breakfast. The kids some other eggy stuff. I’m not paying too much attention to their scran. I’m busier soaking up the atmosphere and that second mimosa. Living for this perfect North American moment, where breakfast, pop culture and alcohol collide.

Next stop: the Museum of Vancouver. Our only cultural stop on the trip. Unless you include pubs and breweries. Which I would be inclined to do.

We need and taxi. And, magically, one is parked just there. “Museum of Vancouver, please, mate.”

The ride doesn’t take long. Soon were outside the modernist edifice, fronted by a fountain where a google of geese are grooming themselves. What’s going on here?

I really like the museum. It starts with the indigenous population. And is totally open about all the racist shit against Asian immigrants had to put up with, right up until the 1950s.

Museuming done, how to get to our next stop, a brewpub?

“We could try to flag down a taxi, kids.”


We stand on the main road leading to the bridge towards the city centre.

“Oh, look, this building is a Molson brewery. I didn’t expect to see that here.”

“Dad, stop taking pictures and try to get a taxi.”

“I just need to get a couple. It’ll only take a few seconds, Lexie.”


We have no look on the taxi front and decide we might have more luck on the other side of the bridge. It’s a bit warm on the bridge, but the view is good. I pause to take a few snaps.

“Dad, can you stop taking photos all the time.”

“They’re for my blog, Lexie.”

“I don’t care about your stupid blog.”

Bridge crossed without too much moaning (well, quite a bit of moaning, really but I’ll gloss over that), we consult the map on Alexei’s phone.

“It’s only four or five hundred metres. We may as well walk it.” Yes, taxi fare saved. Just for the cost of an unpleasant 30-minute walk.

“We’ll get to see more of the city, too.”

“We could have seen it from a taxi.”

“Don’t waste time taking more photos. And don’t say that they’re for your blog again. I couldn’t care less about your blog.”

I sneakily take a couple of snaps while we’re waiting for traffic lights.

The brewpub we’re heading for is Yaletown Brewing, in, er, Yaletown. It’s a big, corner place with a fair bit of outdoor seating. We sit at the bar. And order beers.

Loading Bay IPA 6.2% ABV, 48 IBU, $7.50
Hazy pale amber colour. Grapefruit and mango aromas. Very bitter on the tongue, but finishes quite soft. The usual tropical fruit stuff in the gob.

Andrew is on Roundhouse Wheat (a Hefeweizen), while Alexei is drinking a 604 Lager. They’re both drinking way faster than me and soon have empty glasses. Andrew has the Lager next, while Alexei plumps for a cocktail: Emerald City.

No-one is inside except for us three and the staff. All the other customers are outside.

“Can we get a table?” Alexei asks, “I don’t want to eat at the bar.”

“Don’t worry, we can always get a table later.”

“Don’t leave it too late as usual, dad.” I’ve no idea what he’s talking about. I never leave stuff too late. Talking about not leaving things too late, it’s time for another beer.

Green Monster IPA 7% ABV, 25 IBU, $7.50
Very low IBU count on this one. It’s paler than the first IPA, though it smells much the same. It seems much more bitter than claimed, quite harshly bitter. Finishes all tobacco. A bit weird and not entirely pleasant.

Despite a couple of cocktails Alexei is pissed off, for some reason. I think he may be nervous about our early start tomorrow. He keeps saying that he wants to go back to the hotel. Even though he can have as many free cocktails as he wants.

We swap to a table when we want to eat. Alexei shuts up a bit after we order food. I suppose the chewing keeps his mouth busy. But it doesn’t last long. The whingeing starts up again as soon as his food is done.

I get a lamb sandwich in nan bread with onion rings. Very nice it is, too. A pulled bork burger for Andrew, a bacon burger for Alexei.

We get a taxi back to Granville Island. I’ve done enough walking for today.

On the way back, we stop by Granville Island Brewing, a brewery really close to our hotel, which is also on Granville Island. Alexei isn’t happy: "I don't want to stay in one place for more than one drink."

“Neither do I, but the pubs I want to visit are too far apart here. At least you can drink here. Unlike in Seattle tomorrow.”

“Thanks for reminding me, dad.”

It’s very much a taproom attached to a brewery rather than a brewpub. Not enormous, but with the pleasantly shiny background of brewing vessels. I order a beer.

Baconator 7.5% ABV, 25 IBU
Amber colour, bacon aroma. That’s rather nice: full of bacony goodness. I love smoke, in the right quantities. And it’s served in a proper German half litre sleeve.

On the way back, we stop by Granville Island Brewing, a brewery really close to our hotel, which is also on Granville Island. Alexei isn’t happy: "I don't want to stay in one place for more than one drink."

“At least you can drink here. Unlike in Seattle tomorrow.”

“Thanks for reminding me, dad.”

Not sure what got Alexei in such a bad mood. He heads off back to his room – the hotel is only a couple of hundred metres away - while me and Andrew hang around for another couple of beers. We don’t stay too long.

Back at the hotel I tell Andrew: “Come to my room in half an hour and we can have a quick last drink in the hotel bar.”


Alexei is looking much perkier than earlier when the kids turn up at my door. He must have been getting stuck into the bourbon. He’s positively cheerful.

Did I mention that there’s a brewery in our hotel? Just over the corridor from my room. It’s the closest I’ve ever slept to brewing equipment. They sell their beers in the bar, obviously. But I go for a double Jack Daniels instead. As does Alexei. He seems much happier now. He goes upstairs to sleep, while me and Andrew linger for one more.

We don’t make it too late. We’ve a very early start tomorrow. A nazily early start.

Sleep smothers me swiftly.

The Templeton
1087 Granville St,
BC V6Z 1L2.
Tel: +1 604-685-4612

Museum of Vancouver
1100 Chestnut St,
BC V6J 3J9.
Tel: +1 604-736-4431

Yaletown Brewing
1111 Mainland St,
BC V6B 2T9.
7VGH+6J Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Tel: +1 604-681-2739

Granville Island Brewing
1441 Cartwright St,
BC V6H 3R7.
Tel: +1 604-687-273


Anonymous said...

Who had the coke?

Ron Pattinson said...


Andrew. Along with his beer. I know, weird.