Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Nautical Nellies Restaurant Best of the Best

Tonight members of the Victoria Guest Services Network were hosted by the owner of Nautical Nellies.  Jeff wanted the opportunity to showcase his new menu items to workers in the tourism industry.   Jeff told me that he wanted everyone who comes to Nautical Nellies to feel like they are at home and have exactly the kind of individual experience they are looking for.   Jeff emphasized at Nautical Nellies he guarantees a quality you won't find anywhere else, always served with a smile by friendly, caring and knowledgeable staff.  I checked around and everyone I talked to through the course of the meal said exactly that.  Most said that it was the best restaurant in Victoria and the food was always top quality and very delicious.  Jeff brought out a series of tasting plates that included Corn and Clam Chowder, sushi (Hawaiian Role and Mermaid Roll), Crocodile Sliders (croc meat from Australia), a Lobster Sandwich, Iva Mae’s Spinach and Crab Dip, and a superb West Coast Paella.  VGSN members were also treated to drinks from an impressive wine, cocktail, martini and beer menu.  The food was absolutely delicious.  The attached photos also show some of the main courses enjoyed by VGSN members .  What a feast!  The servers were skillful and friendly, and we were amazed at how quickly our meals arrived at the table, considering that the restaurant was busy and we were a group of 30.  Jeff has been in business for 17 years in Victoria and from what we saw this evening, it is easy to see why he is so successful.  There are many great reason for choosing Nautical Nellies, including a great location on Victoria's  waterfront, lots of parking, great staff, superior food, comprehensive food and drink menus, beautiful decor, a caring attitude, an oyster bar, and the best seafood and steaks in Victoria.  We always recommend Nautical Nellies when seafood is called for.  Our guests have always been impressed and it is our "go-to" restaurant for special occasions.  So why not impress your guests when they arrive in Victoria?  You won't be disappointed either.

For more pictures from Nautical Nellies please go to our Facebook Page.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Grand Opening Boutique Bistro and Abrosia Event and Conference Centre

Tonight we attended the Grand Opening of the Kitchens of Distinction Boutique Bistro and the Ambrosia Catering and Convention Centre.  His Worship Mayor of Victoria Dean Fortin, assisted by Bistro owner Shirley Lang and Centre Manager Guy Le Monnier cut the ribbon.  Mayor Nils Jensen from Oak Bay was also in attendance as was Councillor Pamela Madoff from the City of Victoria.  About 200 people attended to congratulate Shirley and Guy and enjoy delicious appetizers and champagne in the newly refurbished Ambrosia Centre.  It has been some time since we have attended an event here and the transformation achieved by French trained chef (and owner of Island Gourmet Catering), Guy Le Monnier is stunning.  Guy took over the business and expanded on the solid foundation of good work and quality reputation built by its former owners.  Both businesses, Shirley Lang’s Boutique Bistro and Guy’s Ambrosia Conference and Event Centre are centrally positioned at 638 Fisgard Street in downtown Victoria in historic Chinatown. Situated between Government and Douglas streets on the main floor of Ashlar Manor, it is a short walk from Victoria City Hall and Centennial Square. Affordable, secure covered parking is located directly across the street in the City Parkade. In the month that Shirley has been in business, the accolades for her delicious food have poured in.  If you have not visited her Boutique Bistro and checked out Guy’s Conference and Event Centre, you are missing something special. Congratulations Shirley and Guy. While at the Bistro, check out the feature artist of the month, currently photographic artist Laura Breckenridge.For more pictures please go to our Facebook Page.


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Bird Sanctuary Esquimalt Lagoon

 Ever since Madison was little she loved to chase the gulls, or perhaps she thinks she can fly like they do!  When we get into the lagoon and pull out the hen scratch, they start coming from every corner of the Lagoon.  Geese, ducks of all kinds, gulls, swans, and pigeons all flock to the shore, even if you don't have food, they think you do.  It was another great late October afternoon as the fog finished burning off just as we arrived.  What a beautiful place we live in. For more pictures please go to our Facebook page.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Take a pea Victoria Style

We have had a wonderful summer and an extraordinarily dry and sunny October.  Everything in Linda's garden came early this year so Linda replanted some items.  The carrots, beets and peas are doing amazingly well for a second crop.  As you can see, October 25 and the peas are still flowering.  Our resident hummingbirds have been feeding at the pea flowers.  The peas are delicious and would be very plentiful had it not been for a deer who was smart enough to crawl under our fence.  I picked these peas today and promptly ate them.  Who would have though that we could get two crops of peas.  Linda did!  It is so wonderful to be living in the amazing place.  For more pictures, visit our Facebook page.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

10 Acres Bistro Bar and Farm

After the VGSN meeting tonight, Linda and Ron met Joanna Mercer, former VGSN member from the Delta. Joanna says hello to all her old VGSN friends. For appetizers we had a cheese plate and chicken liver parfait....mmm delicious. For mains we had Tagliatelle....wild mushroioms, roasted farm vegetables, citrus brown butter and parmesan chees, Spaghetti and meatballs with granapedano and herbs, and an open face burger with onion jam, rosemary aioli, Taleggio, frites and greens. All meals were delicious. Nice surroundings and good service. We suggest you give 10 Acres a try

For more pictures, please visit our Facebook page.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tilley Store Victoria BC presents Hidden Places Travel

Tonight we attended the Tilley Store to hear a presentation by Dag Georing and Maria Coffey owners of Hidden Places Travel. In 1991 they started to explore the world's most spectacular places as photographers and writers. Several years (and several books) later they began sharing their experiences with others by developing and leading adventure tours. In 2000 they founded Hidden Places Travel and quickly became renowned for their unique, off-the-beaten-track itineraries. Dag and Maria support local communities and conservation projects. That provides their trips unprecedented access and a loyal following of repeat guests is a testament to our professionalism and nurturing approach. In 2013 Hidden Places Travel was recognized by National Geographic Traveler who selected “100 Miles for Elephants” as one of their ‘50 Tours of a Lifetime: 2013's most authentic, most innovative, most immersive, best–guided, and most sustainable tours.

The evening started with appies and time to tour the store and see the diversity of products offered at the Tilley Store. Jennifer Robinson, store manager introduced Dag and Maria and the presentation began. We were treated to reviews of hidden places in Vietnam, Laos, Indochina, Myanmar, Africa, India, Mergui, Croatia, Turkey and the Galapagos. The tours looked amazing and each certainly seems to meet their goals of providing trips that are a work of art, honed to perfection and filled with the ‘hidden gems’ that are their trademark.
This most enjoyable evening ended with draws for door prizes and everyone went home with a beautiful gift bag.  Thanks Jennifer.  For more pictures please go to our Facebook page.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Finlayson Arm Road - an unusual side trip!

Today I ventured where no man had ever gone before.  I felt like Capt. Kirk from Star Trek!  Well truth is man has gone there before, but my guess is 99% of the people who live in Victoria have not.  Two suggestions:  don’t go there when it is raining or snowing!  There are two ways to get on it.  One is on the road that turns into Goldstream Park.  If you are coming from Langford it is a safe turn into the park.  If you come out that way, then you have to turn left onto the Island Highway from Goldstream Park and this is not so safe.  However, I think the road is more enjoyed from the other end.  To get there, head for the Highlands on Millstream Road and turn left on Finlayson Arm Road.  Right away, the yellow caution signs come out.  The road is narrow (sometimes only one vehicle wide), has lots of curves and goes up and down quite a bit.  Mount Finlayson is about 400 meters high and it feels like Finlayson Arm Road gets pretty high up in the mountains. 


Not far into the road, you pass Lothlorian Wilderness  Retreat and Spa.  Until today, I never knew it existed.  It appears to not have a web site and I have never seen an ad for this place.  It is truly a mystery to me and I am in the tourism business.  Further along the road I pass a fence that is made out of pairs of skis.  There are beautiful homes, mobile homes, homes that look like they were built bits at a time…the standards seem to be non-existent.  This is truly a unique place to visit.  No chance of getting car sick.  You would be a fool to drive fast enough for that to happen.  There is a trail that goes to the “Ridge Top” and it appears that it also goes to the trail head for Caleb Pike.

There are signs and more signs.  There is one with a truck on it looking like a grade of 45 degrees downhill.  It is steep by manageable if you drive sanely.  Enjoy the pics.  For more pics go to our Facebook page.

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Vic Theatre Re-opens

Tonight we joined the Victoria Film Festival (VFF) for the re-launch of The Vic Theatre at 808 Douglas Street and corner of Humboldt St. The Victoria Film Festival recently took over the theatre, and after a few coats of paint, we're ready to launch The Vic seven nights a week! Guests were treated to “cocktails and nosh”. The excellent wine was from the Devine Vineyard and the “nosh” was provided by Michael Murphy owner of 10 Acres Bistro + Bar + Farm. The staff and volunteers from VFF served the “cocktails and nosh”.
Thanks to VFF for inviting us to their grand opening night. We really enjoyed the “Secret Screening” which will be showing later on this month. Tonight’s film was Good Ol' Freda
by Director, Ryan White, a 2013 documentary where Freda Kelly tells stories from her career as the secretary for the Beatles.
We are aware that this is a society that is keeping this historic Victoria theatre running and that they really need a modern projection system, so if you are in a position to support them, please go to their web site and donate what you can. They are doing great work and deserve some support.

You can see more pictures on our Facebook page.