At the beginning of Spring Break, my hubby and I took a much-needed vacation to the beautiful city of Victoria. The two of us haven’t been away together sans kids for more than one night in a very, very long time. I have a post in which I’ll be sharing more about how this trip helped us “style the inside” of our relationship, but for now, I want to share with you the delicious places we had the pleasure of eating and drinking at in Victoria.
As soon as we got off the ferry we made our way to Cowichan Valley and stopped in for a tour and lunch at Merridale Ciderworks. When we entered, the place was packed! I was honestly a bit surprised because it felt like we were in the middle of the country somewhere. The drive in was so peaceful, with a view of the beautiful, lush forest.
Merridale Ciderworks is nestled in nature and it’s a hot-spot for lunch and cider tasting!
Upon our arrival, we enjoyed a lovely tour of the cellar and orchard. We also got to check out the cool yurts guest can stay in!
After our tour, we had a DELICIOUS lunch at Bistro, La Pommerai located inside Merridales cider house. My husband and I had a big appetite after our ferry ride. We enjoyed a cider and gin cocktail flight paired with our meals which are made with locally sourced ingredients. I’m a gin girl. I loved their distilled gin. I’m not a huge fan of cider but my hubby seemed to like it. He finished his entire flight!
Hubby devoured the braised lamb with root vegetables, two fried eggs, and shoe string potatoes. I had a few bites. It was so tasty!! I ordered a beet salad with beet chips, arugula, pumpkin seeds, goat cheese soubise and local berry dressing.
Naturally, we couldn’t pass up dessert and ended up going with the cheesecake ( my hubby’s favorite). We finished every last morsel and left wondering if the waitress thought it was crazy how much we ate. LOL
Merridale Ciderworks is very family friendly! Kids can hunt for fairies on the grounds while parents sip on cider! It’s a great spot to relax, learn about distilled cider, and it also feels like a mini getaway from the city. They host weddings, live band nights, events, and more. I’ll definitely be back in the warmer months. I want to see the orchard when the apples are on the trees!
Our next stop was located just up the country road where we stopped at picturesque, award-winning, family owned and operated Unsworth Vineyards. Unsworth Vineyards also has a restaurant which is an old restored farmhouse from the 1900’s. We were still full from our lunch so we enjoyed a wine tasting and tour of the Vineyard.
I was a huge fan of their rose, and I loved the taste of the Allegro. I totally should have stocked up before I left but I think I was just so full from eating and drinking so I passed. I totally regret it, though. Luckily, I can look for this wine at some of the local wine retailers at home.
For dinner, we went to Nourish kitchen and Cafe. Situated in the James Bay neighborhood in Victoria inside a gorgeous, rustic heritage home! Not only is Nourish a healthy dining destination with its very own bone broth bar, and fermentorium where preserves and kefir are made, it’s also a coffee shop as well as a place to enjoy some time with friends or alone time in the study area, and parlor area. Nourish will also have its own farm garden soon!
We ordered a few appetizers, two entrees and we didn’t skip dessert! Everything was so fresh, palatable and healthy. We finished everything, and we ate really fast. We laughed about how fast we eat. It’s a total parent thing. “Hurry up and eat before someone has a meltdown”. We laughed and said the next night for dinner we’ll slow down and take our time.
The cashew cheese was to die for! Seriously if going dairy-free can taste like this I’m so OK with cutting it out of my life for good!
Chorizo and smash sweet potato with sauteed kale, and orange pickled onion.
This is what happens when you eat with people you love. You devour every last bite!
For breakfast, we ate at Fire and Water Fish and Chop House at The Marriot Hotel. This is where we stayed for our trip. It was very nice and convenient to wake up, go downstairs and enjoy breakfast here before heading out for the day.
We had the breakfast buffet each morning, My husband clearly likes his meat.
And if you think we’ve eaten enough for the duration of our visit we obviously didn’t think so because our lunch was with A Taste of Victoria Food Tours where we went on a two-hour food and history tasting experience. We began at the Victoria Public Market and made about six tasting stops. Our tour guide walked us through Chinatown, Old Town, and the Inner Harbour. We loved this experience. It was nice to walk around the city while learning about the history, and best of all, we were stopping for food and drinks along the way! Our tour guide Andy was super friendly, and we met another couple who walked around taste testing and exploring with us. We tried meatballs, olive oils, perogies, craft beer, bread, tea, and chocolate!
Our Taste Of Victoria Tour ended in the gorgeous Inner Harbour. I love that we learned so much about the history of Victoria while getting some exercise to burn off the yummy food we were tasting.
I highly recommend trying this tour if you’re in Victoria. I thought it was kind of romantic to walk around holding hands with my hubby while having a tour guide show us around.
Il Terrazzo Ristorante is where we had a very romantic Italian candle lit dinner. We actually slowed down to savor every last bite, while chatting over stimulating conversation. We had the perfect, most romantic spot by the fire on the enclosed heated patio. I love the courtyard setting!
And the food, oh my god. It was mouth-watering and delightful! Everything was just so appetizing and enjoyable from the award winning wine to the fresh seafood. Ah! I want to go back!
Steamed mussels with sun-dried tomatoes, spicy banana peppers, roasted garlic, red onion, fresh cilantro, white wine, fresh lime, asiago cheese, and cream.
Thinly sliced raw beef tenderloin, arugula, shaved Parmigiano Reggiano, balsamic reduction and garlic toast
Roasted butternut squash, asiago cheese cannelloni served on a bed of grilled vegetables and coconut curried lentils. Served with crab cakes, topped with cilantro pesto
Arborio rice with Chilean red prawns, and white wine topped with crispy pancetta, cherry tomatoes, and arugula
Eating and drinking in Victoria sans kids felt heavenly! It felt so gratifying to take our time eating. We actually enjoyed our food as opposed to worrying about someone having a meltdown, or disliking the choice of restaurant.
All in all, it was a very different experience and I loved every minute of eating just my hubby and me.
Couples who like to eat, are my kind of couples to hang with. Who wants to go on a romantic eating trip to Victoria with us?
*This blog post was written in partnership with Tourism Victoria