Posts Tagged ‘Victoria Flower Count’

Dine Out and Around!

Saturday, February 11th, 2017

From January into early March many communities have Dine Out or Dine Around events happening to promote their local restaurants, accommodations and attractions.  It’s a great time to explore your local community or take a few days to explore an area not too far away.

Dine Around & Stay in Town Victoria launches with a gala event at the Victoria Conference Centre on February 16.  With 60 restaurants, more than 20 VQA wineries and breweries, this will be a foodie’s paradise!  During the two weeks of the event, which runs through March 5, restaurants will be offering special menus at $20, $30, $40 or $50 per person.  And not only are restaurants getting in on the action, Bed & Breakfasts and hotels are encouraging you to stay a few nights by offering special overnight rates ranging for $89 to $169.  Victoria is a great place to visit anytime of year, and if you come towards the end of the Dine Around & Stay In Town event, you can also take part in the annual Victoria Flower Count!  Since 1976 this fun event to promote Victoria as a destination in the shoulder season and to bring pride to communities has been a great success.  After all, Victoria is not called The Garden City for nothing!  Usually this event takes place in late February, but as even BC’s balmy west coast had quite the winter this year, the Flower Count will happen March 6th to March 12th.

Great food, great company, Dine Around!

If you want to check out the deals and great food in Vancouver at Canada’s largest annual food and drink festival, you’ll have to plan on doing so next year.  Dine Out Vancouver took place from January 20 through February 5. Special fixed price menus at $20, $30 and $40 and dine & stay packages were on offer here as well, as were numerous unique culinary events. Vancouver is such a multi-cultural city and that is definitely reflected in its restaurant scene.

BC’s Thompson Okanagan region also featured a similar festival with over 50 restaurants participating in Dine Around Thompson Okanagan in January.  Menus ranged from $15 to $45, and this being the Okanagan, you just know that many Okanagan wines were on offer.

Cowichan Valley restaurants take part in the first Eat Stay Play!

Back on Vancouver Island, Dine Around Mid-Island takes place March 3 through March 19, a seventeen day event to explore the cuisine in Nanaimo, Parksville, Lantzville and Qualicum Beach. When Victoria’s Festival ends, travel up Island and check out some great places in this region.

Before you get to Nanaimo you must stop in the Cowichan region for a few days for its first ever Dine Around event, Eat Stay Play.  This region, sometimes called “Canada’s Provence” is a real food lovers destination with wineries, breweries, distilleries, specialty food producers and top notch restaurants.  Special fixed price menus from $15 to $45 per person, accommodation at local hotels and Bed & Breakfasts at $69, $99, and $119, and discounts at local attractions, can be enjoyed from February 24 to March 12.

Don’t let the weather stop you.  Get out there and explore culinary BC!

 

The Red Chair Visits The Garden City

Saturday, March 19th, 2016

After the Red Chair’s stay in the beautiful Cowichan Valley, he traveled down the Malahat Drive to BC’s capital city of Victoria, also known as “The Garden City”. In fact when Red arrived at his first B&B, Birds of A Feather Victoria Oceanfront B&B, the 38th annual Victoria Flower Count was just getting underway.  This light-hearted campaign to promote Victoria as a shoulder season destination full of blooms when the rest of Canada is still in the grip of winter is sponsored by Tourism Victoria and the most famous of the gardens, Butchart Gardens. (The city of Colwood, part of Victoria, where Birds of A Feather is actually located, just won the 2016 Flower Count!)

The Red Chair visits the historic Fisgard Lighthouse and guess what, there are red chairs there!

The Red Chair visits the historic Fisgard Lighthouse and guess what, there are red chairs there!

Red at Hatley Castle and Gardens

Red at Hatley Castle and Gardens

Red goes kayaking in the lagoon at Birds of A Feather Victoria B&B

Red goes kayaking in the lagoon at Birds of A Feather Victoria B&B

Birds of A Feather Victoria Oceanfront B&B is spectacularly located on a 120 acre lagoon that is connected to, but protected from, the Pacific Ocean, and is designated a migratory bird sanctuary.  This Vancouver Island B&B features an oceanfront hot tub and some yellow Adirondack chairs on the dock where you can take in all the wildlife activity around you. Red wasted no time in getting acquainted while enjoying the fabulous view, with the snow capped Olympic Mountains in Washington State in the background.  There were also complimentary kayaks and yes of course, Red went kayaking!  You know by now that he loves trying everything!

Surrounded by 600 acres of old growth forest with hiking trails and beaches, Birds of A Feather is also just next door to the 1860 Fisgard Lighthouse (where Red met more red chairs!) and Historic Fort Rod Hill.  He also visited Hatley Castle and Gardens. This historic site is home to Royal Roads University and the famous castle has been used in a number of movies.  Red wandered the beaches, explored the nearby Sooke Potholes Regional Park, visited the Colwood Firefighters Historical Museum, went for a Sunday evening bowl, and most thrilling of all, went for a ride on the wild side on a RED motorcycle!  So much excitement!  Red and the innkeepers also took a little trip to the town of Sidney, also known as “Book Town” where numerous interesting book stores can be found on the main street, including the “Haunted Bookshop”.  On his day of departure to his next B&B, the rain arrived, which made it extra sad to say goodbye to this beautiful spot!

Kitty Islet Victoria - Red should have brought his can of paint!

Kitty Islet Victoria – Red should have brought his can of paint!

Red almost gets blown off the mountain at the Mount Doug viewpoint in Victoria!

Red almost gets blown off the mountain at the Mount Doug viewpoint in Victoria!

Red’s next Victoria Bed & Breakfast was in another community within Victoria, at the Oak Bay Guest House.  This 1912 elegant accommodation in Victoria’s toniest neighborhood has been hosting visitors in one format or another since 1922 when it first opened its doors as the Newport Inn.  Very quickly the local paper, the Oak Bay News, came to visit Red.  With innkeeper Lori, Red visited another one of the beautiful gardens in Victoria, the Abkhazi Garden, where lots was blooming! A visit to the Oak Bay Marina had Red feeding the pigeons and enjoying all the boats, while a visit to the Oak Bay Beach Hotel included a stop at the Boat House Spa and Pools.  Now

Red liked this art gallery in Oak Bay!

Red liked this art gallery in Oak Bay!

that was a decadent outing!

Exploring the heart of Oak Bay Village, Red discovered the Red Art Gallery!  It’s amazing how red keeps popping up wherever he’s gone throughout North America!  He also met some more interesting chairs at Kitty Islet, a small waterfront natural area with an endangered maritime meadow ecosystem, and he rode in a red convertible to get there (even though it wasn’t quite convertible weather that day)!  Red went up Mount Doug for a great view of Victoria, but almost got blown off the mountain, so he needed a helping hand to stay put! It was definitely blustery up there!  He even took part in some local politics when he was the honored guest at the local Oak Bay council meeting.  I bet the local politicians don’t get many visitors from Cape Cod!

Victoria is such a big tourist destination with so many attractions like the famous Butchart Gardens, the fabulous Royal BC Museum, the Parlaiment Buildings, whale watching from the inner harbor, the Robert Bateman Centre and other galleries and museums, cycling the Galloping Goose trail.  Red was looking forward to what else he would get to explore once he checked in at his next B&B, Marketa’s Bed & Breakfast.