Victoria Journals

Victoria - City of Gardens

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A September 2004 trip to Victoria by zabelle

Blethering Place Tea Room & Restaurant Photo, Victoria, British Columbia More Photos
Quote: Victoria is justifiably known for its outstanding gardens. With the mildest climate in Canada, it is hardly surprising. From Beacon Hill Park to Bastion Square, you can’t help but be delighted by the color and scents of the profusion of blossoms.

Victoria - City of Gardens

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Overview

The Empress Hotel Photo, Victoria, British Columbia
Quote:
Victoria is as close to an English Village as you will find in the Western Hemisphere. You will find it an enchanting place to visit. This year the Orca Statues (aka New York Cows) dot the town. They will be auctioned off in October to benefit charity. I searched in vain for Vincent Van Orca, but I did find First Nation Orca and Egyptian Orca. Our favorite however was the Orca in a kilt at the Douglas Hotel. Victoria has enough diversity to please anyone. Butchart Gardens: Celebrating it’s 100-year anniversary in 2004, these gardens are the vision of Mrs. R.P. Butchart. She took an abandoned quarry and turned it into 50 acres of flowers and fountains. There are over 2,000 r...Read More

Aerie Resort

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Hotel

Aerie Resort Photo, Victoria, British Columbia
Quote:
If you are looking for a special place to get away to, I have to recommend the Aerie Resort. Chris arranged a tour for us, and to say that I was impressed would be an understatement. Billed as "The Castle in the Mountains," The Aerie is located about 30 minutes outside of Victoria. Inspired by the villas of Southern Europe, owner Maria Schuster has brought the charm and calm of the Mediterranean to South Vancouver Island. They have been named to Condé Nast’s Gold List of hotels and have been awarded Four Kisses, the highest designation offered by Best Places. We toured several of the rooms. The Aerie Suite knocked my socks off. It is constructed on two levels. The king-sized bed dominates the u...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 9, 2004

Aerie Resort
600 Ebedora Lane
Victoria, British Columbia
(250) 743-7115

Blue Ridge Inn

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Hotel | "Blue Ridge Inns"

Blue Ridge Inn Photo, Victoria, British Columbia
Quote:
If you want to stay in a grande dame with a price to match, then The Empress is your hotel in Victoria. If, however, you are willing to stay a little outside the downtown area in a hotel that will meet all your needs and leave you enough money to enjoy all that Victoria has to offer, then the Blue Ridge is an excellent choice. The Blue Ridge has rooms in four categories: The Compact, is just that, with a separate shower room and toilet, it is a basic room; no coffeepot, but with a comfortable bed and a very economical price (in off-season, as low as C$39). The Standard has a room divider to separate the bedroom from the entry. You will have a refrigerator and a cof...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 9, 2004

Blue Ridge Inn
3110 DOUGLAS STREET
Victoria, British Columbia V8Z3K4
250-388-4345

Blethering Place Tea Room & Restaurant

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Restaurant | "The Blethering Place Tearoom"

Blethering Place Tea Room & Restaurant Photo, Victoria, British Columbia
Quote:
"I say you chaps, the Blethering Place is simply spiffing for a spot of Tea!" Billy Bunter I couldn’t imagine coming all the way to Victoria and not partaking of the oh-so-British institution of afternoon tea. If you don’t mind spending $49 each, the Empress Hotel is impressive. We, however, wanted to share this venerable tradition with the locals. The Blethering Place is the perfect location to do so. It has a charming location in the village of Oak Bay, which does look amazing like many English villages I have visited. This restaurant is quintessentially British. Clothes in a small floral print cover the tables, and the floor has carpeting with cabbage roses. There is ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 9, 2004

Blethering Place Tea Room & Restaurant
2250 Oak Bay Avenue
Victoria, British Columbia
(250) 598-1413

Spinnakers Brewpub & Guest House

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Restaurant | "Spinnakers"

Spinnakers Brewpub & Guest House Photo, Victoria, British Columbia
Quote:
"Spinnakers is Canada’s oldest brewpub and was a pioneer of the North American craft-brewing renaissance" as states their brochure. For our first dinner in Victoria, we decided that a brewpub would be an excellent choice given all of our different preferences, our one common denominator being the love of a good beer. Spinnakers calls itself a gastro brewpub, and one look at their menu will fortify this impression. In their own words, a gastro brewpub means "gastronomically amazing fare". I am here to tell you that they don’t exaggerate. There are two dining options. Families will want to choose the dining room since minors aren’t allowed in the taproom. Located on the second f...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 9, 2004

Spinnakers Brewpub & Guest House
308 Catherine Street
Victoria, British Columbia
(250) 386-2739

Aerie Resort and Spa

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Restaurant | "The Aerie"

Aerie Resort and Spa Photo, Victoria, British Columbia
Quote:
Chris told us he was treating us to dinner and to dress smart-casual. This caused no end of hilarity because I couldn’t seem to remember smart-casual. Every hour or so, I would ask him what kind of casual am I suppose to wear? However, he was right, to dine at the Aerie, you will want to wear smart-casual. Dining at the Aerie is not just eating; it is a dining experience. Getting there is also an experience, but I digress. The Aerie is a member of the Relais and Chateaux Group, which gives you some idea of what to expect. There are several dining options here; we chose the dining room. It offers an intimate dining experience. Our table was in a small alcove, and it felt like we were the only gu...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 9, 2004

Aerie Resort and Spa
600 Ebadora Lane
Victoria, British Columbia

A Whale of a Good Time

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Story/Tip

The Marauder IV Photo, Victoria, British Columbia
Quote:
Springtide Victoria Whale Tours 950 Wharf St. Victoria 250/386-6016 www.springtidecharters.com We hadn’t planned to take a whale-watching tour when we came to Victoria. My cousin Chris arranged it for us since he had never gone on one himself and thought it would be a nice way to spend a morning - nice doesn’t begin to describe the adventure. Whale-watching tours are big business in this part of the world, and, if you get the chance to take one, I can’t recommend it highly enough. I wasn’t prepared for the adrenaline rush you get from your first sighting of these magnificent orcas breaching the water. ...Read More