Western Canada: For Goodness Sooke

Continued from Driving to Port Renfrew and Walking Botanical Beach

Garden at Sooke Harbour House

Garden at Sooke Harbour House

After an afternoon finding our way across Vancouver Island from east to west (via the Harris Creek logging road near Duncan), Adam and I had hiked the Botanical Beach Loop of the San Juan de Fuca Marine Trail and were hungry for dinner.

We were also dangerously near Sooke Harbour House.

[Read more…]

Western Canada: Driving to Port Renfrew and Walking Botanical Beach

Continued from Sidney by the Sea


On a chilly, gray late-May 2008 day on British Columbia’s Vancouver Island, we set out to somehow reach the west side of the island.  

It should be said that doing this is not necessarily easy, and few locals even know how.

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Western Canada: Sidney by the Sea

Continued from Salt Spring Island

In late May 2008 on British Columbia’s Vancouver Island, we took the Crofton ferry to Salt Spring Island, then the Swartz Bay ferry back across to Sidney by the Sea.

Sidney by the Sea is a pretty big town for Vancouver Island.  There are new apartment complexes going up all over, and the central shopping district has several blocks of businesses rather than just one or two.  Built around the sea, as advertised, the town actually sprawls far and wide along the highway, stretching from a small facsimile of a 1960’s Florida retirement village into a semi-rural community.

We’d come here to taste cider — the fermented kind, that is. [Read more…]

Western Canada: Salt Spring Island

Continued from
Touring Farms and Wineries on Vancouver Island
Amuse Bistro on Vancouver Island

Salt Spring Island is a perfect day trip from the southern edge of Vancouver Island in British Columbia.  

Take your car across by ferry and either wend your way straight across, stopping to taste local wine, cheese, and baked goods, shop for t-shirts and stuff from the Far East, or just have a good time getting as lost as you can…on an island.  

[Read more…]

Western Canada: Amuse Bistro on Vancouver Island


Continued from Touring Farms and Wineries on Vancouver Island  

After a late-May 2008 day of eating and drinking our way through Vancouver Island’s Cowichan Valley with Kathy McAree of Travel With Taste, it was at last time to sit down and have a proper lunch.  Fortunately for us, Kathy took us to the Slow Food mecca of Amuse Bistro in nearby Shawnigan Lake.   


The baby of American-born Brad Boisvert, a Culinary Institute of the Arts graduate who was brought to Vancouver Island by our hotel, The Aerie, and his wife Leah Bellerive, Amuse is a little gem where just about everything that’s used in the kitchen is locally sourced; some of the produce even comes from Brad and Leah’s home vegetable and herb garden next door.   [Read more…]