Saturday, September 4, 2010

Victoria Tasting Notes

Victoria was the highlight of this summer’s sail.  Nothing can compete with the whales, of course but you really need to come here to eat.

There’s Willies Bakery and Cafe on Johnson Street where you can sit in a brick walled courtyard covered with geraniums and roses, warmed by a massive fireplace.  Their hot chocolate is the best and you can’t go wrong with their menu…I always have the traditional eggs Benedict one of five benedicts on their menu.   Ross had the Latin Benedict with chorizo and chipotle hollandaise.

Tea at Murchies is served on a silver (faux) platter and costs $1.90. you get your own pot and your choice of dozens of teas.  The pastries taste as good as they look which is saying a lot.  Jane recommends the New York cheesecake, I can vouch for the macarons, Lizzie’s all about the brownies thick as fudge and covered with a 1/4 inch layer of caramel and topped with chocolate swirls (I KNOW!).  Ross is old school (it’s his English upbringing I suspect) and swears by the currant scones with cream and jam.  Frankly…you can’t go wrong so if your budget doesn’t run to tea at the Empress you’ll be very happy at Murchees on Government street.

If your budget does run to high tea at the Empress ($55 per adult $18 for princess tea) be sure to make reservations and don’t wait until the cruise ships arrive because the tearoom is booked on cruise ship days.  Dress up, put a bow in your princess’s hair and enjoy a world with queens and tea time.  Tea begins with strawberries and cream, study the portrait of Queen Mary and enjoy the pink, green and gold wedding cake decor of the room until your tea tower arrives laden with cheesecake, chocolates, shortcake, lemon tart, mini sandwiches of smoked salmon, cucumber, curry, carrot-ginger.  Divine.

Victoria has an authentic Chinatown and we come here every visit for dim sum at Don Mee.  Crispy duck with plum sauce, shrimp dumplings, gyoza fried tableside and savory rich soups like won ton and hot and sour.  Stoll Fan Tan Alley on your way back to the waterfront and pick up a dozen or so paper parasols to give as gifts or use as party favors.  Our family of four ate until we couldn't eat anymore for $45…a bargain.

Would love to hear your favorite places in this grand city…




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