The British-born artist and author shares his favourite Cook Street Village haunts.

`NickBantock.Yukiko OnleyWhen he’s not writing novels (such as his newly published The Trickster’s Hat) or painting (check out his stuff by searching BantockArt on, Griffin and Sabine author Nick Bantock can be found wandering the environs of Victoria’s scenic and eclectic Cook Street Village neighbourhood. Here’s a list of his favourite spots.Cook Street Village Victoria1. I’m up early, so I love walking down beside the sea as the sun comes up on Dallas Road: the smell of the slightly salty air, the clarity of light.2. I’ll often wander the sidewalks around Fairfield, examining the facades of old houses well loved and well kept; humane architecture so utterly un-Erickson.3. With a good strong cup of coffee (decaf, in my case) at the Hot and Cold Café, I sit on a window stool writing, playing Scrabble, watching the passersby and the dogs getting their free bowls of water.4. You may find me hunting for one of the “12 pairs of hands” that are hidden in Beacon Hill Park—a park that reminds me of London’s Serpentine, with its elegant layout and duck-filled ponds.

5. Pic a Flic is without doubt the best video store I’ve been in, and I love that the people who work there are always willing to talk about films. WL