“Field Trips” is either a day trip or a few days where I visit food areas of interest which may include farm visits, producers, wineries, restaurants and/or other places that people can visit. This is about offering Vancouver Foodster readers a chance to get out of town and take a “Field Trip” for the day or a few days to explore, learn, taste and experience.
Field Trip to Victoria
For this trip we took the V2V to Victoria from downtown Vancouver by their catamaran service which took 3-1/2 hours to travel to the downtown harbour in Victoria. V2V Vacations is a premium cruise service connecting downtown Vancouver and downtown Victoria.
They offer two different classes of service featuring their regular service of seating on the main level along with seating on the upper deck in Royal Class. As we were seated in Royal Class we were able to enjoy a 3 course breakfast that included a Raspberry white chocolate scone, Mixed berries and a Quiche accompanied by an Orange Juice and a Silk Road Earl grey tea. The V2V catamaran offers seasonal service from downtown Vancouver to Victoria and return once each day between March – October.
Once we arrived to Victoria we walked directly to our hotel which was only a few blocks away checking into the Chateau Victoria Hotel and Suites at 740 Burdett Street. In a spacious suite with a king bed, living room and dining room and small kitchenette, regular bathroom, corner suite with wrap around balcony we enjoyed our stay immensely.
It had been years since I had been to Pizzeria Prima Strada and it was time for another visit. Lawrence and I headed over to Cook Street Village for lunch at Pizzeria Prima Strada which was fairly close to the hotel. Voted Best Pizza 2019 in Victoria BC and the Cowichan Valley. Simple, Fresh Ingredients, Thin Crust Neapolitan Wood-Fired Pizza, House Made Gelato.
Here we shared some dishes including this great vegetable forward dish, Insalata d’verdure arrosto oven roasted seasonal vegetables, fresh herb vinaigrette, ricotta, chilis; I also loved the Polenta roasted red peppers, balsamic roasted onions, fresh mozzarella, parmigiano, basil.
As Lawrence hasn’t been before, he was eager to try the Polpette della casa meatballs, shaved parmigiano, house bread; I enjoyed some as well.
We then tried the Funghi Supremo pizza with rosemary garlic olive oil, portobello, button & oyster mushrooms, fresh mozzarella, balsamic roasted onions, parmigiano, fresh parsley, which I loved.
For dessert, we indulged with their traditional Tiramisù and then tried a selection of their house-made gelato, the Fior da latte, and lemon, and Chocolate hazelnut.
We spent the afternoon walking around the downtown area and browsing some of the shops. In the evening we dined at a newly opened spot which I loved and it was minutes away from our hotel. Wind Cries Mary is located in Bastion Square. A warm and familiar setting for enjoying elevated cabin food fit for modern times. Their dynamic menu utilizes all aspects of the local bounty and is geared towards “sharing”. They are extremely excited to tell the stories about the relationships they have with their local farmers, foragers, fish mongers, craft brewers and wine makers.
Here Lawrence and I shared some of the Smoked Rockfish Fritters to start, followed by the Duo of peace country lamb and my favourite Farm crest farms fried chicken which I enjoyed with a glass of Le Viet Pin Syrah.
We added in some vegetables having the Black beans and collard greens along with the outstanding Cauliflower ‘steak’
For dessert, they only had a couple of selections, we loved the seasonal Summer berries.
After a great night’s rest in the hotel, we ventured out the next morning on foot for Breakfast to another fairly new spot nearby, the Artisan Café located on Fort Street where they serve all day breakfast. French inspired café serving breakfast and Brunch and lunch with a casual and comfortable ambiance. Artisan Cafe showcases everything the island has to offer through local, organic and free range products. I had the delicious Vegan Hash with asparagus, spinach, quinoa, refried beans, avocado, lemon, pico de gallo, and toasted nuts.
Lawrence had the Artisan Benny with crispy pork belly, avocado, brie, and herb hollandaise.
We both then shared the Whipped Cheesecake Crêpes for an indulgence treat with salted caramel, roasted apples, graham crumb.
After breakfast we walked over to the Royal BC Museum to see the Maya exhibit which is on now through to December 31. As we were told this exhibit came to Victoria as the first city in North America from it’s origin.
Afterwards for Lunch we walked over to Nourish, a local spot that had been around for a few years, the restaurant is in an old house that was built in 1888.
Here we both tried the Unity Jun (refreshing beverage similar to Kombucha but made with honey) to start, I then had the Matchalicious made with almond milk; while Lawrence had the Dirty Chai.
For our main dishes, I had the tasty Rooted Grain Bowl while Lawrence enjoyed the Avo-Smash.
In the afternoon we visited the fitness room in the hotel for a workout.
The hotel features some great amenities for guests including an Indoor pool, hot tub and exercise room on the 2nd floor. They also offer complimentary shuttle service to restaurants, attractions, and transportation terminals in Downtown Victoria (or within 5-minutes driving time of the hotel).
We had an early dinner at Clives Lounge which was located inside our hotel, we both decided to try some of their Zero proof cocktails where we tried three of them.
The Blushing Ginger was bright, the Chai milk punch featured notes of cinnamon and nutmeg, and the Cocogito was made a local kombucha.
Here we shared some bites to pair up with the mocktails; the Charcuterie board features a wide assortment of local cheeses and meats; the Grilled cheese fingers were small tasty toasties; Sliders Trio were mini burgers ; and the Warm skillet cookie with bourbon vanilla ice cream was a delicious indulgent creation.
After dinner; we went out on one of the popular Ghostly Walk tours around the downtown area, our tour took us through Market Square and Chinatown, this is a fun activity which is offered a few times nightly, and most of these tours are $15 so not bad for an evening of entertainment along with some excercise.
For breakfast the next morning we dined at Paul’s Diner where I started with an Orange juice along with one of their house-made Cinnamon buns. I then had their popular French toast with soft serve which was delicious; while Lawrence had the Mushroom & Kale Benny and a Blueberry danish.
Before heading home, we enjoyed lunch at Fire and Water Restaurant in the Marriott hotel which was across the street from our hotel. Lawrence and I shared their popular Seafood Salad to start, then I had the Chicken and Avocado burger with salad; while he had the Crab and Shrimp Wrap.
We flew home by Helijet on a beautiful sunny day, the journey took approx 25 minutes landing back in downtown Vancouver’s harbour. Helijet offers frequent service between both Victoria and Vancouver allowing you to book in advance or in the last minute. Your ticket includes complimentary snacks and newspapers inside the terminal.
Stay tuned for my next Field Trip outside of Vancouver.
By: Richard Wolak
Disclosure: Chateau Victoria Hotel and Suites provided us with complimentary accommodation, and meals. Tourism Victoria provided us with complimentary meals, tour passes. V2V Vacations and Helijet took care of our transportation. As always, all opinions and photos are my own.