“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
Left Vancouver and headed on to Hwy 99 going South, then taking the exit onto Hwy 17 towards the Tsawwassen terminal of BC Ferries (30 minute drive) sailing on the Coastal Celebration (90 minutes) to the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal.
This is a busy route on weekends and during the summer months and it is always best to make a reservation for the sailing time you want to avoid a possible lengthy wait. We had a reservation for our early morning sailing which allowed for on time arrival in Victoria where we then enjoyed a beautiful weekend in the provincial capital.
Once we arrived into the downtown area we went over to Government street to visit Milano Coffee, one of my favourite mainland cafes that had recently opened in Victoria. Here we enjoyed a couple iced americano’s before heading over to the hotel.
Arrived to the beautiful Delta by Marriott Ocean Point Resort which was home for the next couple of days. Tucked along the waterfront, the downtown hotel features minutes walk to the British Columbia Parliament Buildings and the Fisherman’s Wharf along the Inner Harbour. The bedroom has plush beds and stylish décor including large desks with ergonomic chairs and plug-in panels and a Flat wall screen TV.
Visited 10 Acres Commons for the first time for a casual farm to table lunch, it was a sunny spring day and the patio is where we sat. We shared a selection of dishes starting off with the Dungeness Crab and Shrimp Cakes, Halloumi & Tofu Tacos and the Quesadilla with jerk chicken, with a tasty pineapple habanero chutney.
The next dish was the standout, Chickpea & Madras Curry with hazelnuts, sultanas, 10 acres Farm vegetables; also the tried the tasty Chicken Burger-with half salad/half yam fries, and quenched the thirst with a refreshing Basil lemonade.
We spent the afternoon walking around the harbour and then took in an IMAX showing of the Great Bear Rain Forest at the Royal BC Museum.
For dinner we visited Olo Restaurant, a few minutes walk from the hotel, a spot I was truly excited to visit.
Here Lawrence and I each enjoyed the Tasting Menu, allowing us to try a variety of different dishes from their Farm to Table menu which celebrates the ingredients.
Standout dishes and pairings included the Albacore Tuna Tataki; paired with the Lock & Worth BC Riesling – bright, loved it. Also loved the Potato Gnocchi with pea purée, green peas, black garlic sauce; which was paired with the Italian red 2013 vintage. Ending the meal was the outstanding Flourless Chocolate Cake made with Victoria based Sirene chocolate with mascarpone ice cream, candy cap crumb, currant, and spruce.
The next morning we walked over to Floyds Diner in James Bay for breakfast. This is their newest location to open and I am happy for it’s ideal location close for the tourists and James Bay locals. This was a fun spot perfect for families or for those that want to enjoy a fun breakfast.
I had the heavenly Banana bread pudding French toast (1/2 order) along with Frankie’s fruit, granola, yogurt bowl; while Lawrence had the Hash Hudson Chicken & Waffles which he loved that had eggs benny on top of the chicken and waffles.
Located in Oak Bay is Marina Restaurant with an incredible view of the surrounding marina and beyond, surprisingly this was my first time visit over the many years that I had visited Victoria. Such a stunning location, here we enjoyed some tasty dishes including the Cedar Planked baked brie; Saanich Beetroot Salad, Fresh Catch Steelhead Trout, Kung Pao Chicken & Gado Gado Salad.
After lunch we headed back in the city to get some outdoor exercise with a visit to The Pedalar bike rentals and off we went pedaling our way around Beacon Hill Park and the beaches. For $15 per hour this was a great way to work of some of the calories we had been consuming at each meal and see more of the city we had yet to see by car. They have a great assortment of bikes to rent including E-bikes.
For dinner we walked through Chinatown, arriving at Saveur Restaurant which was a nice short walk from our hotel. This contemporary French restaurant specializes in offering farm to table artfully plated tasting menus along with a-la carte option as well.
Standout dishes and pairings included the Halibut on a bed of pumpkin seed butter, stinging nettle purée, crispy fried wheat berries, Meitaki mushrooms which I loved and perfectly paired with the lovely French Chablis; Pork Belly and Scallop dish with a black garlic reduction, turnip purée, pickled turnips, pickled mustard seed was another delicious dish and perfectly paired with the Rathjen Cellars (North Saanich, BC); 4th course : The Beef Duo, short rib and filet, celeriac purée, red wine reduction, mustard greens was a tasty dish, again perfectly paired this time with a big bold Italian red; and we both loved the outstanding Green tea pistachio ‘brûlée bar‘ rolled in crushed pistachios, white chocolate pieces around, yuzu soy caramel that finished our meal.
After another wonderful night’s sleep on the plush beds in our room, we worked out in large fitness room that had a great selection of machines and free weights.
For breakfast, we visited Lure Restaurant for breakfast, located on the main level of the Delta by Marriott Ocean Point Resort. Here I had an Iced Americano to accompany my Buttermilk & Lemon Pancakes with a side of warm Candied Salmon; while Larry enjoyed the Oatmeal and fruit along with the Westcoast Breakfast.
As Afternoon Tea is one of mainstays that I love about a visit to any city known for their tea experiences, we headed over to the Pendray Tea House for their Westcoast Tea Service with tasty sandwiches, scones and desserts.
Stay tuned for my next Field Trip outside of Vancouver.
By: Richard Wolak
Disclosure: Delta by Marriott Ocean Point Resort provided us with complimentary accommodation, and meals. Tourism Victoria provided us with complimentary meals, tour passes and the bike rentals. BC Ferries provided the ferry transportation. As always, all opinions and photos are my own.