Sun-Stained Afternoons (and Yoga) at Nelson the Seagull in Vancouver by

Issue 86 · The Summer Kitchen · August 21, 2013

Sun-Stained Afternoons (and Yoga) at Nelson the Seagull in Vancouver

Issue 86 · The Summer Kitchen · August 21, 2013

Remember life before the internet? Long afternoons loitering outdoors, indoors, and over extended meals—when it felt like there was just more time available. Three siblings from South Africa were looking to recreate this feeling when they opened Nelson the Seagull in Gastown, Vancouver. "We wanted to make a space where every meal feels like a lazy summer day spent with friends, leisurely snacking on simple but delicious food," says Jodie Balfour, one of the cafe's owners.

Balfour and siblings Jonathan and Lee serve up organic food, home baked bread, and coffee. Their coffee credo is totally purist: "No destroyed, decaf coffee," and their name references Dawn & Des Linbergh's 1971 song The Seagull's Name Was Nelson, written during Nelson Mandela's 27 years in prison; a reminder of their childhood country. The essence of the cafe, as the Balfour's describe, is about, "sun -tained afternoons and the best espresso we can pull." Another reason to take time out of your day? Instructor Ally Mazerolle teaches yoga at Nelson on Monday and Wednesday evenings, followed by an organic meal; all for CA $25.

For more, visit Nelson the Seagull online and read about the cafe via Scout Magazine. Photograph via Follow Me Foodie.

Nelson the Seagull Store Front in Vancouver, Remodelista

Above: Nelson the Seagull is located at 315 Carrall Street in the Gastown neighborhood of Vancouver.

Nelson the Seagull in Vancouver, Remodelista

Above: The Balfours, along with designer Zoe Pawlak, left the building's original mosaic floors and filled the gaps with cement that was then buffed and polished. Photograph by Natsumi of Sokokashiko

Nelson the Seagull in Vancouver, Remodelista

Above: Amber glass pendant lights hang above a table surrounded by vintage Tolix Marais A Chairs. Photograph via Jess in Vancouver.

Nelson the Seagull in Vancouver, Remodelista

Above: South African flora on display in eclectic glass vases: leaves pulled from banksia plants and pincushion protea. Photograph by Natsumi of Sokokashiko

Nelson the Seagull in Vancouver, Remodelista

Above: Photograph by Natsumi of Sokokashiko.

Nelson the Seagull in Vancouver, Remodelista

Above: The ornithological theme carries over into the cafe's coffee cups. Photograph by Natsumi of Sokokashiko.

Nelson the Seagull in Vancouver, Remodelista

Above: Photograph by Mia Hansen.

Nelson the Seagull in Vancouver, Remodelista

Above: Photograph by Mia Hansen.

Nelson the Seagull Vases in a Row in Vancouver, Remodelista

Above: On another day: dried thistle branches. Photograph via Smoky Sweet.

Nelson the Seagull Dining Room in Vancouver, Remodelista

Above: Photograph via Singularis, who enjoys the "detox-relaxation" atmosphere of Nelson.

Nelson the Seagull in Vancouver, Remodelista

Above: A hearty loaf of Nelson bread meant for a pop-up supper with local Pick & Sprout. Photograph via Scout Magazine in Canada.

Nelson the Seagull in Vancouver, Remodelista

Above: Lounge-worthy sofas and a rough palette table on wheels. Photograph by Vincent Lee for designer Zoe Pawlak.

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