Archives for category: Food

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.

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

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

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

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

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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!

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

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

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A tiny beach at Breezy Bay, Saturna Island.

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Stranded moon jellyfish, Breezy Bay.

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Beach assemblage, Breezy Bay.

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Sunset from the Lighthouse Pub our first night on Saturna.

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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.

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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!).

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

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

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Sunset view from the hill above Breezy Bay.

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

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

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Goodbye Saturna…

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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2207 Oak Bay Avenue, near Hampshire Road.

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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.

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Fun staff making delicious drinks.

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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…

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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A new and amazing experience yesterday. A friend and I flew from Victoria’s Inner Harbour to Coal Harbour in Vancouver on Harbour Air. I have moderate flying anxiety and never thought I would be able to travel to Vancouver this way, but it was so easy and such a beautiful flight. We arrived in Vancouver before 9 am, so took our time wandering up to Robson Street. After a browse at the new Nordstrom Department Store (including a delicious visit to Sugarfina), we headed to Roche Bobois on West Hastings. It was fabric and furniture heaven going through all the possibilities. Then a nice walk through Gastown, filled with tourists and locals eating in cafes and enjoying the summer-like autumn day. We finished the day at one of my favourite Vancouver places, Mink Chocolate Cafe, for refreshment before boarding the float plane back to Victoria. A very late lunch at Victoria’s Red Fish Blue Fish completed a perfect day. Big thanks to J for bringing me along; a day I’ll not soon forget!

Victoria BC: Inner Harbour, downtown and Beacon Hill Park.

Victoria BC: Inner Harbour, downtown and Beacon Hill Park.

Victoria Airport in Sidney.

Victoria Airport in Sidney.

BC Ferries vessel sailing into Swartz Bay.

BC Ferries vessel sailing into Swartz Bay.

Gulf Islands.

Gulf Islands.

Morning mists over Richmond.

Morning mists over Delta.

Beautiful English Bay and False Creek with the Granville Street and Burrard Street bridges, Vanier Park on the top left, and the West End on the top right. A perfect view of Vancouver.

Beautiful English Bay and False Creek with the Granville Street and Burrard Street bridges, Vanier Park at the top left, and the West End at the top right. A perfect view of Vancouver.

Beautiful Coal Harbour at the Harbour Air terminal.

Beautiful Coal Harbour at the Harbour Air terminal.

Early morning view of the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Early morning view of the Vancouver Convention Centre.

An interesting curtain of lights at Nordstrom.

An interesting curtain of lights at Nordstrom.

Heading east along Alexander Street with views of the working harbour.

Heading east along Alexander Street with views of the working harbour.

Delicious hot chocolate and treats at Mink.

Delicious hot chocolate and treats at Mink.

Looking up the Burrard Inlet towards where we had been earlier.

Looking back up the Burrard Inlet toward where we had been earlier.

Last view of the Coal Harbour walkway as we head to our plane back to Victoria.

Last view of the Coal Harbour walkway as we head to our plane back to Victoria.