Saturday, October 4, 2014


My trip to the PNW would not be complete without a trip to beautiful
Victoria BC. So I grabbed a coffee, a warm sweater and headed off to
catch the CoHo Ferry from Port Angeles for the 90 min ride.

The deck was full of first time and seasoned travelers, all looking forward to a day in the charming, british oriented city of Victoria and the beautifully organic Vancouver Island. Talk of sites to be seen and food to be tasted is a conversation that is heard and might I add, great advise.

The ride across the Strait of Juan De Fuca is breathtaking but nothing compares to the view as you turn the corner and enter the Inner Harbor.
Seaplanes landing, tall ships loom through the fog and the cutest little water taxis scoot around delivering visitors to the piers for a day of adventure.

My adventure begins at Murchies Tea Shoppe as I meet up with the kids to enjoy family and food for a few hours.
No trip to Victoria is complete without a stop at Murchie’s Teas.
Murchies has a classic British influence with tea sets, linens, and 109 types of loose teas.
I grab a Lavender Black tea and we are off to explore.

Even a few rain sprinkles will not dampen the day as we venture into Fan Tan Alley. You might think you just walked into a Harry Potter movie. Fan Tan Alley is a hidden gem. Tucked away in the heart of Victoria's Chinatown, it's a tiny (5' wide) stretch of a walkway between Fisgard and Pandora Streets.
The sweet smell of fresh bread lead us to a small italian bakery La Tana drew us in to taste and buy a treat to cover us until we got to lunch.

La Tana

Lunch couldn't come soon enough as we were headed to
Red Fish  Blue Fish. This amazing wharfside take out stand
is a must place to eat. It is located in an old shipping container right
on the pier of the Inner Harbor. I had the fish and chips and the kids had their fish “Tacones” –  Grilled Fanny Bay Oysters and BBQ Wild BC Salmon wrapped in flat-bread with sweet-smoked chili adobe, pea shoots and lemon pickled onions.
Be patient- the line is worth waiting in.

Courtesy of Red Fish Blue Fish

The rain begins, so time to open up the umbrella and head to the ferry but not before a stop at the magnificant Empress Hotel- The cornerstone of Victoria. The hotel looms atop the harbor in all its floral glory. Most people go for high tea but on this rainy day
the perfect spot to sit and people watch is the Bengal Lounge. It has been serving people for over 60 years. It overlooks the stately gardens and the harbor streets. You step back in time to when
Queen Victoria was also the Empress of India. The decor is rich, the service legendary and the signature cocktails are delicious.

This was an amazing feast for the eyes, the beautiful gardens, the taste of the fresh food, the visit with family but the ferry awaits . I will return to explore and enjoy this magnificant city on the edge of the Vancouver Island again and again.

PS: If you do get to stay overnight,
I highly recommend The Beaconsfield Inn.
It is an award-winning Edwardian Inn in the heart of quiet Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
From the nine guest suites to breakfast to the edwardian gardens - this is an exquisite stay only four blocks from downtown.
I maybe biased. The Beaconsfield Inn is where I began my innsitting career and I adore it. 


  1. Kimberly, I long to see Victoria again one day. I was there for a week of my honeymoom years ago and still remember it vividly. I've heard afternoon tea at the Empress is even more tourist-trappy now than it was then, but I'd still have to do it again! Afternoon tea is my "thing" and my English grandmother had tea at the Empress back when it was all that it should be.

  2. The Empress is a classic...even we locals flock there for the curry buffet in the Bengal Room and tea once in awhile. The Willowstream Spa is Amazing!
    Munchies, The tearoom at Abkhazi Gardens and The White Heather Tea Room and at Butchart's The Blue Poppy should satisfy all your tea party dreams !