Archives for category: Food

I’m planning something big for the autumn and I couldn’t be more excited. This adventure will involve a lot of walking and so much drinking of tea. To prepare I am walking – taking little mini-adventures through the beautiful spring days in Victoria BC.



Back in March I walked about 12 kilometres to Oak Bay and Fairfield. I collected our friend Annie along the way and we made a few stops in Oak Bay before ending up at Abkhazi Garden for tea. We enjoyed a delicious repast in the teahouse, seated in the window overlooking the garden.





The garden was not quite at its peak of colour and vibrancy, but still beautiful. We enjoyed walking along the winding paths and meeting a feline visitor.




Abkhazi Garden is owned and managed by The Land Conservancy (TLC). Read the story of “the garden that love built” here. Check out the teahouse here.

I took a long walk today and noticed that the temperatures on the Canadian west coast are just beginning to turn towards spring, which is lovely. I look forward to the blossoms, but autumn and winter are my most favourite seasons.

Autumn in 2017 had many highlights. A dear cousin was visiting Victoria with family and friends and we all went to Pagliacci’s for great food and live music.

Pagiacci's with live music.

There was fun with an international flare to be had right in our beloved neighbourhood of Chinatown.


All Hallow’s Eve was spooky and filled with scary surprises around the city. We had a blast with tricks and treats visiting friends in Oak Bay.


In late November we spent two days in Vancouver for a tiny vacation and rendezvous with my sister and Randy. Day one we enjoyed the festive lights of the big city, ate at the always-delicious Bao Bei, and were mesmerized under the Grand Chapiteau for Cirque du Soleil’s show Kurios.


Day two, more wandering before a delicious dinner at Vij’s, then off to the last ferry home.


Victoria, so pretty with festive lights, window displays, and a very impressive “Whoville” gingerbread village at The Empress Hotel.


I catered dessert for a private Holiday party, and saw an impressive Santa and Mrs Claus at a local diner!


Christmas arrived with lots of treats (including Glerup slippers), and tissue paper and gift bag fun for the cats.


And the best gift of all, snow for Christmas Eve and Day!




For the last few years, we have hosted a group of friends for Christmas dinner. My favourite part of preparing for these events has been designing a display for the dinner table. We rarely use our large table for dining, as it is also GJ’s workspace, so it takes a special event to clear it off. This year, I chose a snowy woodland theme. I made five little trees with Sculpy low-fire clay, painted them white, and sprinkled the wet paint liberally with fine glitter. These were placed over battery-powered tea lights, and arranged with other candles and various curios we have collected. I cut some holly leaves from wool felt, and needle felted the berries, then combined these with sprigs of cedar to create napkin rings. I also decorated a trunk in the living room with cut glass dishes to hold pre-dinner snacks. The dinner was delicious, as was the table, if I do say so myself!








We’ve just started a new club for fellow vintage bicycle enthusiasts in Victoria. In spite of the only rainy day of the summer, a few of us braved the moisture, and had a quick ride in Fairfield. We stopped in Beacon Hill Park for a leisurely repast of tea and cake, plus lemon currant shortbread cookies delivered to our starting point by a member who didn’t want to ride in the rain, but still wanted us to enjoy the cookies! We ended at The Drake Eatery for a drink. A very lovely day and nice to meet new friends and connect with a dear friend we don’t see enough of!





For the Canada Day long weekend, a large group of friends took a trip to Saturna Island, part of the Southern Gulf Islands in the Strait of Georgia, just off the southern part of Vancouver Island. GJ and I rode our bikes to the Swartz Bay ferry terminal, about 31 km from our home in downtown Victoria. We made a few stops along the way and rendezvoused at the ferry terminal with more of our party, and a friend who spends July 1 on Saturna every year helping with the big Lamb BBQ event.


Such a beautiful morning riding out to Sidney on the Lochside Trail. This is the view from the Blenkinsop Trestle.


Mattick’s Farm in Central Saanich. Bathroom break, but could have easily been ice cream break! We were holding out for lunch in Sidney.


One of our favourite places to eat in Sidney, Maria’s Souvlaki.


I’m not sure why, but those waffle fries are so, so good.


On the ferry from Swartz Bay in Sidney to Lyall Harbour, Saturna Island.

Our accommodation on Saturna at the Breezy Bay B&B was delightful. Saturna Island is beautiful and rugged, with much beautiful shoreline. We enjoyed walks, beautiful views and great food. The Lamb BBQ, the Community Club’s yearly fund raiser, was an old-fashioned country fair. I hope we can return to Saturna Island soon!


Our home for three nights, the Breezy Bay Bed and Breakfast.


The view of Boot Cove from the Breezy Bay B&B.


A tiny beach at Breezy Bay, Saturna Island.


Stranded moon jellyfish, Breezy Bay.


Beach assemblage, Breezy Bay.


Sunset from the Lighthouse Pub our first night on Saturna.


Twenty-seven Saturna Island-raised lambs. The event sold over 900 tickets for this feast. The community Club uses money raised from this event for their yearly budget which funds the local library, health care, ambulance service, school events, to name a few.


The crazy wood-fired beverage barrels at the BBQ. One for coffee (thick and fierce by all accounts), and the other for water (from which was brewed the best cup of tea I’ve ever had!).


Ah, the shady veranda. M and J relaxing with GJ.


Heading back to the B&B from the beach at Breezy Bay we are greeted by the pet chicken.


Sunset view from the hill above Breezy Bay.


The Saturna Heritage Centre at East Point. Photo courtesy GJ Pearson.


M and Sprocket staying on the path to avoid the spear grass. Photo courtesy GJ Pearson.


Goodbye Saturna…


Back to Sidney and breakfast at The Five and Dime Diner.

I’ve been taking lots of early morning walks with a friend lately. Afterwards, we usually end up at the new Fol Epi location on Yates Street. They have very nice, perfectly brewed tea, and the coffee is good too.


Toast made from the bakery’s organic wood oven bread is available weekdays, and comes with maple cinnamon butter, or butter and house-made current jam.


The last little bit of Festive decor with early morning light.


View from the window seats, onto bustling Yates Street, Victoria BC.

It is the wintery season and my thoughts turn to hot chocolate. For this year, I’m going to post about what’s new in Victoria and hopefully, I will find some new gems.

A delightful little coffee shop called Hide + Seek Coffee has recently opened in Oak Bay. I loved the atmosphere and the super-friendly staff. We enjoyed one of their versions of hot chocolate: organic camino coco and a bit of sugar with the milk of your choice. It was delicious and bitter-sweet.

I’ll be visiting again soon to try their London Fog and sample a baked treat or two. They have some nice looking gluten-free options.


2207 Oak Bay Avenue, near Hampshire Road.


Slight fail with the foam decoration on the right was handled with humour. Didn’t make any difference to the flavour! Plus I think it’s a perfectly rendered sea turtle.


Fun staff making delicious drinks.


I loved the mixture of beautifully upholstered Danish mid-century and contemporary furnishings.The atmosphere was very pleasing.

It’s always time for tea when I’m out with Annie, so last week we stopped by JagaSilk on our way to a craft fair…


JagaSilk Teabar is a gem tucked away in Nootka Court, just off Courtney Street.


Instead of my favourite maccha latte, we mixed it up with a London Fog and a Masala Chai; plus house-made vanilla bean shortbread cookies.


Peeking through the window at teaware… and Annie.

Victoria’s newest offering in the realm of tea is Terroir Tea Merchant on Fort Street. In one of a row of my favourite retail spaces in Victoria, Terroir has created a calm retreat of tea experience. Their passion for their product is immediately evident. We enjoyed Black Ruby from Taiwan, and Ceylon Chai blended in house with spices and tea leaves from Sri Lanka, both infused with their interesting method. A wonderful addition to the increasingly fabulous 800 block of Fort Street.








Tea is big in Victoria again. We’ve never lacked places to purchase high-quality tea – Special Teas, Silk Road, Murchies. But now, there are increasing options for sitting down for a fine cuppa. Recently, a friend and I stopped at one of our favourite Oak Bay haunts, Just Matcha. They will be opening a new location in our neighbourhood soon. My latte was very pretty, as well as delicious. Like so much of Victoria’s food culture, tea inspires a passionate dedication to quality and preparation.

Before I am fully involved in seeking out new venues for my seasonal hot chocolate obsession, I will be visiting some of the fine tea purveyors in the city.