Friday, January 28, 2011

The Year of the Rabbit - Victoria Chinatown Celebrates February 3-6

Picture above: Crowd watches the Lion Dance just outside the Gates of Harmonious Interest in -
Top Picture: Year of the of UVic's finest - Why do they hang out there?
Victoria's Chinatown. If you have not gone before, do so soon. It is quite a spectacle of color and pageantry. It is exciting and very well attended. Get their early to get a good viewing point. This year's celebrations take place from February 3-6th.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

"Think Fast" The Tourism Victoria Annual Sales and Marketing Showcase.

Pictures above: Rob Gialloreto, CEO and Mayor Dean Fortin, top: Peter Legge, guest speaker

Today I attended "Think Fast" The Tourism Victoria Annual Sales & Marketing Showcase. Rob Gialloreto, Tourism Victoria President & CEO, guiding the membership through a brief review of 2010 and brings forward emerging trends that will impact how we sell and market our destination. Following, Peter Legge, motivational speaker extraordinaire, ignited the room with energy as the Guest Speaker. Peter is one of the top speakers in North America and is in the Speakers Hall of Fame, and was an ambassador to the 2010 Winter Olympics. Peter is an inspiration to anyone who meets him. Peter lives his life dream as an internationally acclaimed professional speaker, a bestselling author, and as Chairman & CEO of the largest, independently owned magazine publishing company in Western Canada - Canada Wide Media Limited.

Peter urged the audience to live their dream, use the runway of their life to the full, and maintain their integrety. He urged people to find mentors and provided examples from the mentors in his life. His presentation was definitedly food for thought and inspriational.

The presentation was followed by a cocktail hour and opportunity for smoozing.

The future of Tourism Victoria is in good hands.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Dine Around and Stay in Town Victoria 2011

Dine Around & Stay in Town Victoria 2011

Returning for its eleventh year, from February 17 to March 6, 2011, Dine Around & Stay in Town Victoria is offering a wide range of dining options and a host of world-class accommodations to compliment the culinary experience.

With over 50 participants, diners can take their pick from the fantastic menus offered by participating restaurants, each offering mouth-watering three-course menus for $20, $30 or $40. Over 20 accommodation options will allow food lovers to pamper themselves with an overnight stay, priced at $69, $79, $99 and $129 at participating hotels, resorts and bed and breakfasts.

New for 2011, Tourism Victoria and the BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association (BCRFA) have partnered with the local arts community to produce Bravo! Victoria. This promotion offers reduced prices for several arts performances happening during Dine Around & Stay in Town event.

“This year is bound to be the best yet, with chef’s pulling out all the stops. The event website is now live with all the menu options listed. Be sure to visit to make your dining selections,” said BCRFA Events Chair Judith Barnaby

“Tourism Victoria is a proud founding partner of Dine Around & Stay in Town and we are delighted with the opportunity to add Bravo! Victoria to this very successful event,” said Tourism Victoria’s Vice President, Visitor Services & Market Development and program Co-Chair Helen Welch.

“Local professional arts groups are eager to partner with the successful Dine Around program to offer Victorians a great night out that can now include the arts," said the Director of Victoria Film Festival, Kathy Kay.

Once again Victoria's foodies can have a sneak peak at what our chefs will be offering at the Dine Around Menu Launch. Fabulous food paired with VQA wine tastings will take place at Harbour Towers Hotel & Suites on Wednesday, February 16, 2011 from 5:00pm to 8:00pm. Tickets are available for $35 at the Tourism Victoria Visitor Centre and VQA wine stores.

Reservations for Dine Around & Stay in Town Victoria are recommended, and can be made by calling the restaurants and hotels directly. For a complete list of participating restaurants and hotels, as well as online menus visit

Dine Around & Stay in Town Victoria is organized by the BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association (Victoria branch) and Tourism Victoria. The event is sponsored by BC Wine Institute, Sysco Food Services, The Times Colonist, CHEK News, 100.3 The Q! and the Zone@91.3.

Media Inquiries:

BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association
Judith Barnaby
Co-Chair, Dine Around & Stay in Town

Tourism Victoria
Helen Welch
Vice President, Visitor Services & Market Development
Co-Chair, Dine Around & Stay in Town

Victoria Tea Festival Feb 12, 13 at the Crystal Garden

Photo courtesy of the Tea Festival

Visit the Victoria Tea Festival
February 12 & 13, 2011 at the Crystal Garden

Come visit the largest public tea exhibition in North America! Hosted in the tea capital of Canada, the 5th annual event features tea tastings, tea-food selections, complimentary presentations, and opportunities to purchase tea, tea-related products, and exquisite tea wares. A Silent Auction (live and online) will be offered. Proceeds to Camosun College Child Care Services! It’s a one stop shop for all things tea! For more info & ticket outlets, click here.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Critic's Choice - Victoria's Best Restaurants

Photo above Courtesy of the Hotel Grand Pacific.

The Victoria Times Colonist Food Critic, Pam Grant just released her Best of Victoria Restaurants for the 2010 year. The Mark shown above is one of Victoria's best restaurants. Her is what Pam says about the Mark. "The city's most exclusive dining spot seats 26. Menus illustrate genuine respect for both ingredient and methodology, offering unique and faultlessly harmonious dishes. Indulge in one of the seasonally themed tasting menus or dine a la carte, with local oysters with horseradish oil and preserved lemon mignoinette, followed by duck breast, butternut squash and chestnut confit and molasses butter. Desert? Perhaps roasted pear tart scented with fennel seed and orange zest, served with tarragon panna cotta and cranberry compote. Service in all venues at this hotel, whether a formal evening at the March or Chef Choy's fabulous dim sum on the patio of the more relaxed Pacific Restaurant is simply exceptional".
Well if you are looking for something special, this is certainly one of the best in the City. We have eaten there and certain "ditto" Pam's remarks. When a food critic gives you the high sign, it is hard to go wrong. Be sure with all of the restaurants discussed here that you make a reservation to avoid disappointment.

Other restaurants that got the go from Pam Grant are:
The West Coast Tap House in the Four Point by Sheraton Victoria Gateway, 829 McCallum Road in beautiful Langford, phone 250-474-6033. We have had great food here as well.

Basilico Ristorante and Lounge, 832 Goldstream Avenue in Langford. Phone 250-391-5589. We have eaten here a number of times and the food is sensational.

Kim's Vietnamese Restaurant, 748 Johnson St., phone 250-385-00455 - We have had good food here as well. Downtown Victoria.

Nar, 2540 Windsor Road, Oak Bay. Phone 250-598-1085. Turkish fare. We have heard good things about this restaurant.
Green Leaf Bistro, 1684 Douglas Street, phone 250-590-8302. Downtown Victoria.

Ulla, 509 Fisgard Street, phone 250-8795. Downtown Victoria.
Bon Sushi, 1467 Hampshire Road, Oak Bay, phone 250-592-0008.
Evadar's Bistro and Wine Bar, 2829 Peatt Road, in Langford. Phone 250-391-8636. As we live near here, we have been to this place multiple times and it is great!
Al-Sultan, 1813 Douglas Street, phone 250-590-4044.
Amrikko's Fine Indian Cuisine, 298 Old Island Highway, phone 250-590-4044.
The Marina Restaurant, 1327 Beach Drive, Oak Bay. Phone 250-598-8555. This restaurant has been around for a long time and it is always good.

Golden Chopsticks Chinese Restaurant, 627 Fort Street, phone 250-388-3148.

Restorante La Piola, 3189 Quadra Street, Saanich. Phone 250-388-3148.
Ho-Ting Chinese Restaurant, 809 Craigflower Road in Vic West, phone 250-383-8897.

To view Pam Grant's comments on these restaurants, click here to view the promo I received.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Butterfly Gardens 2001 Activities


Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Sun Sets in Victoria - a fine Winter Day

With slightly cooler weather on the West Coast, we often get more blue sky. With the clear skies come great sunsets. These two were from last night. We were on the move through Victoria, so we were not strategically located for great photos. As we drove the intensity of the sunsets increased. It was a spectacular evening in Victoria. Enjoy.

For more information on Victoria click here. For a great place to view waterfront sunsets, stay at Hemingway's by the Sea or Denniston by the sea.