Harmony Arts Festival BEST of the WEST makes the most of a gorgeous location

If you don't live on the North Shore, chances are you don't get over to West Vancouver very often. There's that mental block of a bridge, which actually isn't such a big deal once you hop in the car or even on a bus from downtown. And once you arrive at the waterfront near Ambleside Pier, you'll wonder why you don't go more often.

The Harmony Arts Festival, which continues this week until Sunday (August 10), is the perfect time to visit.  The food and wine options have expanded this year, and there's plenty of art to browse, a cool installation, and free outdoor concerts and kids activities on offer. 

I ventured over for the Best of the West culinary event last night (August 6). Below, find some photos I took as a guest at the event, which brought together 12 North Shore restaurants and 12 B.C. wineries on Ambleside Pier. Let's start with a few of the general festival atmosphere.

Through today (August 7), there's 35 food and beverage booths on Argyle Avenue to peruse, many of them offering samples.
Carolyn Ali
Sutra Foods is one of the booths offering samples, and their premium korma sauce is delicious.
Carolyn Ali
The Park Royal Beachside Patio is serving food from a pop-up Fish Shack restaurant for the duration of the festival.
Carolyn Ali
Stoneboat Vineyards was one of the Best of the West culinary event participants at the Harmony Arts Festival, pouring Pinot Gris with a stellar view.
Carolyn Ali
The fellows from Rodney's Oyster House shucked oysters on the pier.
Carolyn Ali
Savoury Road offered coconut-and-ginger infused prawn cakes with pineapple salsa and pea shoots (and an edible flower!) at Best of the West.
Carolyn Ali
Bene Sushi wrapped sockeye salmon and crab meat in crisp veggies for Best of the West.
Carolyn Ali
Zen Japanese Restaurant served ahi poke cones with edamame hummous at Best of the West.
Carolyn Ali
Tantalus Vineyards paired its lovely 2013 rose with Cactus Club Cafe's ceviche.
Carolyn Ali
The steelhead and scallop ceviche from Cactus Club was perfectly balanced and not too acidic with Thai basil, mint, cilantro, and fish sauce. This dish--made with prawns not scallops--can also be found on the regular menu at Cactus restaurants.
Carolyn Ali
Ambelside Pier as the sun dips lower during the Best of the West event at the Harmony Arts Festival.
Carolyn Ali
The view of the Lions Gate bridge from Ambleside Pier.
Carolyn Ali
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