Saturday, May 29, 2010

Real Chinese Food - An Experience to Remember - Golden City Restaurant

Larry the lobster was just one of the delicious items on the menu during our tasting tour of the Golden City Restaurant at 721 Fisgard Street in downtown Victoria. Our menu included Pork and Prawn rolls and Prawn and Cilantro Dumplings from the Dim Sum Menu as well as Prawn and Seaweed Spring Rolls, Stir Fried Prawns with Deep Fried Milk, Steamed Atlantic Lobster with Garlic, Singapore Style Rice Vermicelli, Jay Jay Singing Chicken Hot Pot, Chili and Peppered Calamari, Egg Friend Rice, and Satay Style Pork Chop with Onion. Ever single dish was delicious. Portions were substantial and the service was excellent. If you are looking for a "real" Chinese dinner, give them a call. If Daniel Low, the manager is on duty, he would gladly help you choose from the menu. He selected the menu for our dinner and it was excellent. I would recommend the restaurant and from the satiated look on the face of our group, they would too! Make your reservation at 250-386-8404. For a photo pictorial of our tour, click here.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Inside the Fairmont Empress Hotel - A tour

Photo Courtesy of the Fairmont Empress

Incredible decor, super friendly staff, incredible food, amazing shops, superior service, the best location, and plenty of history....what more could you ask for. Linda and I recently were invited to a tour of the Fairmont Empress Hotel. We have a photo pictorial on Facebook. Check out our tour of the stately Fairmont Empress Hotel.

We had a reception with Martinis and hors d'ouevres in the Empress Room and then were taken on a tour of the hotel. The Bengal Lounge is exceptional and it was hard to walk by the Curry Buffet without having week knees. The food looks and smells delicious and it is a well known buffet by locals and tourists who frequent the hotel. The tea lobby is where the famed Empress Afternoon tea is served. That history has been going on for over a century. It has set the standard for afternoon tea. The Willow Stream Spa is one of the best there is and offers a full range of Spa services. Great dining is available in the Empress Room. You can expect outstanding cuisine that showcases the finest ingredients from Vancouver Island and British Columbia. The hotel has a long history and has hosted movie stars, dignitaries and even Royalty. If you want to have the best dining seat in the city try the hotels Veranda and watch the world go by Victoria's magnificent Inner Harbour. The service we experienced throughout the hotel was as good as we could find anywhere. We had a sample of afternoon tea and goodies and it was excellent. To fully appreciate the Fairmont Empress, you need to experience it. We highly recommend you give it a try.

Coast Collective Gallery Art Show

Now here is an event worth taking in. The Coast Collective Gallery at Havenwood next to Esquimalt Lagoon is hosting an opening reception on Saturday, June 5th from 2-4 p.m. The address is 3221 Heatherbell Road. For more information you can call 250-391-5522. For more information, click here. The show focus on getting from here to there physically, mentally and spiritually. Check it out.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Muse Winery Saanich Peninsula strikes Gold

Celebrations were just beginning for the awards received at the NorthWest Wine Summit in Oregon this year when in came the results from the All Canadian Wine Competition 2010 and it’s Gold, Gold, Double Gold for the Muse Winery!

The Double Gold went to the new Foch/Noir, a first for Muse Winery and the first Vancouver Island red blend. Foch/Noir combines Marachel Foch with Pinot Noir, both Vancouver Island grown grapes. The blend is tantalizing taste buds and obviously wowed the judges. Also new this year for Muse Winery is their Rosé, winning Gold along with the Muse Ortega. Taking the Bronze was their new Late Harvest Viognier. Four medals and three of them new wines for Muse Winery, a fantastic accomplishment for any winery, greater still for this small boutique winery in Deep Cove on Vancouver Island.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bug Me Please at the Victoria Bug Zoo

Today Madison and I visited the Bug Zoo in Victoria. One of the exciting things to do is to hold the bugs in your hands. As you can see from the picture above and the facebook pictures, it is a lot of fun. Once you get over your preconceived notions, it is a blast. Today I held a scorpion, a tarantula, and a millipede in my hands. The millipede tickled my hands as it move its hundreds of feet over my hand. My grand-daughter loved it and she really like all the other bugs as well. It is fun and educational. Today I learned that centipedes are carivores and they only have one foot per body segment and that millipedes are herbavores and they have two feet on every body segment. If you are in Victoria you must visit this great attraction.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Pacific Northwest Raptor Centre near Duncan British Columiba

Imagine yourself watching a fantastic bird of prey demonstration while visiting Vancouver Island! Watching these amazing birds flying will be an irresistible draw to your curiosity and a great value added surprise for your vacation. The birds of the Pacific Northwest Raptor centre are skilled and comfortable at flying near and around people making them fantastic ambassadors for their wild cousins. They fly on a daily basis free of any attachments and outside of cages. Our flying demonstrations are highly popular across B.C. - at such places as, Vancouver Aquarium and Butchart Gardens. We regularly attend various events with our eagles, hawks, vultures, falcons and owls.

Pacific Northwest Raptors received the Tourism Vancouver Island “Raising the Bar” award in 2009 for our innovative and educational programs and this year we were nominated for Business Achiever of the Year by the Duncan Chamber of Commerce. I am sure you will appreciate that to conduct successful flying demonstrations with birds such as Bald Eagles near people in locations such as Vancouver Aquarium takes experience, professionalism, and attention to every imaginable safety detail. The staff at the centre are very good at their job and take very good care of the birds. Make sure you visit this attraction while on Vancouver Island, it is truly amazing. The Centre is just north of Duncan, which is about 50 km from Victoria. It is an easy day trip from Victoria.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Spring Time is Good Food Time in Victoria

Spring is time for renewal. The farmers in the area bring us produce and the fishers provide us with the bounty of the sea. It is a great time to eat! If you are in town or coming to town, check out these items.

Travel With Taste’s Culinary Walking Tour starts each 1st and 3rd Saturday morning during the months of May through September at 9:30am in downtown Victoria. Aspiring culinary tourists will taste their way through town beginning with a little ‘brunch’ at Willie’s Bakery and Café. Next we experience a structured tea tasting at Silk Road. The walking tour will be about three hours with a cornucopia of tastes along the way such as; cheeses, meats and house-made pâtès at Choux Choux Charcuterie, pastries at the iconic Dutch Bakery, Victoria landmark Roger’s Chocolates, plus a wine tasting at the Artisan Wine Shop. Cost is $89 per person plus GST/HST with 5-6 tasty stops. Wear comfortable shoes. Bring empty stomach.

To book, please contact Kathy McAree at (250)385-1527 or by e-mail at using a Visa or Mastercard number. Payment will be processed in advance and a receipt will be available to you on the tour if requested. You will receive confirmation by e-mail along with details to meet. Please note that 8 persons are needed to run the tour. Tour can be cancelled 24 hours prior without sufficient advance reservations.

Peter Greg from the
Floating Fish Store at Fisherman's Wharf has put a hot kitchen in the lower level of our store to compliment the cold kitchen upstairs. Since Spot Prawn season has just begun they will be offering these wonderful local delicacies for people to take home and cook themselves, or we can cook a pound of them in garlic butter and serve them with focaccia to eat right here on the dock. It really doesn’t get much more West Coast than that!
The Fish Store at Fishermans Wharf
Victoria, B.C. Phone 250 383 6462, Fax 250 383 6482

Fishermans Wharf also has a
Barb's Fish and Chips stand and great ice cream...Jackson's Ice Cream Float‎
16-12 Erie Street, Victoria, BC V8V 4X5, (250) 383-0057‎ - worth a visit.

Photo courtesy of Floating Fish Store.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dance on Dallas - Abalone on the Move

Sometimes when you walk the ocean shores you see amazing things. During one of the spring low tides we were walking along the breakwater at Ogden Point on Dallas Road in Victoria. We were with our grand-daughter Madison checking out the intertidal life when we spoted an abalone right out of the water doing a dance for us. Its shell was raised right off the granite blocks and it was gyrating back and forth. I have often seen abalone out of the water, but I have never seen one doing such a dance. See picture above. For more interesting information about Vancouver Island, click here.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Kunamokst - Coastal Inspirations - Victoria Airport then Galiano Inn

A few days ago I was at the Victoria Airport and I had a chance to see the Mosaic call Kunamokst. 131 artists from BC and Alberta made panels that were put together to make this amazing mosaic. Take time to review many of the panels and you will see how amazing this project really is. Some very famous artists participated in this project. It was unveiled at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games. It is now in Victoria until near the end of June and then it will be moved to the Galiano Inn on Galiano Island where it will live. Take it in if you can, it is wonderful.