Victoria, Canada

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Andrew Kotowski
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Victoria, Canada

#1 Post by Andrew Kotowski » November 16th, 2018, 4:00 pm

Thoughts?

Flying in via seaplane tomorrow (Sat, 11/16) and staying at the Empress for an impromptu date night. Dinner at Little Jumbo.

Other ideas of stuff to do? Not a lot of notes to search through here...
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C. Mc Cart
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Re: Victoria, Canada

#2 Post by C. Mc Cart » November 16th, 2018, 5:56 pm

How long are you there? Just the day?
Chris

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Re: Victoria, Canada

#3 Post by Andrew Kotowski » November 16th, 2018, 6:51 pm

Yes, but will likely return, as I’m seattle based. Long story, but I need to get out more :)

Thanks for taking the time to throw some pointers out!
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Re: Victoria, Canada

#4 Post by C. Mc Cart » November 16th, 2018, 8:31 pm

For just a day, I suppose you will need to stay in Vic. There are a few markets (antique & book) and little wine shops a close walk from the empress. If you have more time in the future head either west about 45 min to Sooke (The Harbour house is an excellent restaurant) or keep flying a bit up island towards Tofino & Ucuelet, which are amazing places with high quality spots to stay. We rented a cabin at Middle Beach Lodge a few years ago, which was spectacular, as it was perched on a cliff over the ocean, with a path to a very private beach/inlet.
My mother lived on a gulf island for years and is now in Vic, but there's not too much I know in the area that is a must see. If you're into gardens, Butchart Gardens up near Saanich is worth the drive and entrance fee and can use up hours walking around, but really only if you're into gardens.

Victoria is a very pretty small city & you will feel very young.
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Re: Victoria, Canada

#5 Post by Andrew Kotowski » November 17th, 2018, 8:10 am

And we’re off! I’ve never been in one of these things...
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Re: Victoria, Canada

#6 Post by Siun o'Connell » November 17th, 2018, 1:52 pm

Pick up some wines by Tantalus while there - they are very good and not available in US. I'm a big fan of their Reislings.

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Re: Victoria, Canada

#7 Post by Andrew Kotowski » November 18th, 2018, 4:48 pm

Couple of quick thoughts after a short weekend in Victoria:
* Nobody is going to be starting an "Adventures in Victoria" thread
* Kenmore Air sea plane was a blast. After tax, it was $325/person, but I've never ridden in a sea plane, there was free parking and we got to hope over to Lake Union before landing in Victoria. About an hour ride, including the stop. Also, super convenient drop-off in front of the Empress.
* The Empress - they upgraded us to a suite upon arrival, but had problems with the room and, after buying us several rounds of drinks, bumped us back down. The bartenders saw what was going on and then comped up the drinks from the $16 max to cover a couple of glasses of Siduri Willamette ($22) and their Veuve Gin cocktail.
* Chris nailed the city itself - quite a few retirees, although it also appears to be the place to go for a girls' weekend, especially if you like high tea. You can easily walk the entire downtown over the course of a day... and still make happy hour. I think it probably has a much better vibe during the summer; the fisherman's wharf (read: a few houseboats and some food shacks) was closed, save a Mexican seafood place.
* Little Jumbo (dinner) - really liked this place. The restaurant at the Fairmont was exponentially "nicer" and had the usual wine cellar, but Little Jumbo was in my sweet spot with great cocktails and a gastropub food spin (pork belly, braised lamb necks, octopus, foie gras poutine, etc.)
* Blue Fox (breakfast) - was going to go somewhere else, but a foody friend steered me here. 100% Portland breakfast scene with gourmet pancakes, lots of grains/fruit/yogurt, a benedict line-up including butter chicken benedicts, and AM cocktails. Expect a wait.
* The Churchill (cocktails) - yes, we drank a lot. 50 taps and a solid cocktail line-up, but noteworthy because of their sour cocktails, which surprised the hell out of me. All things with egg whites are the hot thing now and this place was all over it, with the Rye Sour just nailing it.

Outside of that? Not somewhere I'd spend more than 48 hours. Probably a great gateway to the rest of Vancouver Island, but half of the value prop for Victoria is not having to drive anywhere.

@Siun - Little Jumbo had Tantalus on the menu, but I was solving for cocktails. Didn't see any other wine shops while we were walking around. Much appreciate the recommendation and will keep my eyes open when we had back up to Vancouver.
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Re: Victoria, Canada

#8 Post by Marshall Gelb » December 5th, 2018, 8:35 am

Andrew Kotowski wrote:
November 18th, 2018, 4:48 pm
Couple of quick thoughts after a short weekend in Victoria:
* Nobody is going to be starting an "Adventures in Victoria" thread
* Kenmore Air sea plane was a blast. After tax, it was $325/person, but I've never ridden in a sea plane, there was free parking and we got to hope over to Lake Union before landing in Victoria. About an hour ride, including the stop. Also, super convenient drop-off in front of the Empress.
* The Empress - they upgraded us to a suite upon arrival, but had problems with the room and, after buying us several rounds of drinks, bumped us back down. The bartenders saw what was going on and then comped up the drinks from the $16 max to cover a couple of glasses of Siduri Willamette ($22) and their Veuve Gin cocktail.
* Chris nailed the city itself - quite a few retirees, although it also appears to be the place to go for a girls' weekend, especially if you like high tea. You can easily walk the entire downtown over the course of a day... and still make happy hour. I think it probably has a much better vibe during the summer; the fisherman's wharf (read: a few houseboats and some food shacks) was closed, save a Mexican seafood place.
* Little Jumbo (dinner) - really liked this place. The restaurant at the Fairmont was exponentially "nicer" and had the usual wine cellar, but Little Jumbo was in my sweet spot with great cocktails and a gastropub food spin (pork belly, braised lamb necks, octopus, foie gras poutine, etc.)
* Blue Fox (breakfast) - was going to go somewhere else, but a foody friend steered me here. 100% Portland breakfast scene with gourmet pancakes, lots of grains/fruit/yogurt, a benedict line-up including butter chicken benedicts, and AM cocktails. Expect a wait.
* The Churchill (cocktails) - yes, we drank a lot. 50 taps and a solid cocktail line-up, but noteworthy because of their sour cocktails, which surprised the hell out of me. All things with egg whites are the hot thing now and this place was all over it, with the Rye Sour just nailing it.

Outside of that? Not somewhere I'd spend more than 48 hours. Probably a great gateway to the rest of Vancouver Island, but half of the value prop for Victoria is not having to drive anywhere.

@Siun - Little Jumbo had Tantalus on the menu, but I was solving for cocktails. Didn't see any other wine shops while we were walking around. Much appreciate the recommendation and will keep my eyes open when we had back up to Vancouver.
Andrew: If you go again, I highly recommend "Eagle Wing" whale watching tours. They are amazing and try to book the smallest (12 person) boat. Also "Redfish, Bluefish" for fish & chips near the harbor.
https://www.eaglewingtours.com/tours-ra ... day-tours/


Cheers!
Marshall [cheers.gif]
A quién tiene buen vino no le faltan amigos.

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