I love mini cities. You know those cities which are almost as quaint as Cape Cod but it’s not dizzyingly huge like New York City or Manila. I love them. I love how everything is at your fingertips but you can still find a place tucked somewhere for some peace and quiet. And I love them more when they’re by the ocean with very temperate climates! This is Victoria, the capital of the very beautiful British Columbia.
Being a self proclaimed queen of impulsive decisions and spontaneity, I decided to hop on a rental and drive to Victoria after my orientation. Victoria is 316 kilometeres south east of Tofino. It is roughly a four hour drive (4 and 1/2 hours according to Google), easy peasy right?! Nope. Not for me. Equipped with my short attention span and lots of coffee , it took me almost seven hours to drive to Victoria with over four stop overs on the way.
I arrived in Victoria late and very hungry. I needed food and a room for the night. I was usually very well prepared with a list of places to eat that I can choose from. But since this is an impromptu trip, I had nothing. I checked-in to Facebook. Great travelling tip, because you will surely have a friend or two with recommendations! (For your own safety please refrain, however, from checking in at your exact location at the exact time that you are there.) And sure enough a few friends had a few recommendations.
For food, I went to Veneto Tapa Lounge on Douglas St. Great atmosphere for a night of small plates and wine with the girls or even date night. For the night I checked in at the hotel down the road. The city was fully booked! Except for the Fairmont. LOL Veneto offered a 3 course menu for 30 dollars. And I opted for that. They have since changed the menu. #sorrynotsorry But the food is tasty, although I found the menu to be a little bit all over the place — duck confit spring rolls, pasta, creme brulee — y’all get my drift, but maybe that is a good thing! I had also ordered a drink, I forgot what it is (and they also changed their cocktail menu since I’ve been there) but it was fruity, citrus-y and whisky-ey. LOL
The next day I woke up bright and early to watch the city wake up. I walked up down the streets to the harbour and the little plaza. I walked to Chinatown, more like street, and hunted for some kitchen stuff I could bring home with me. I scored a nice heavy cleaver and a scaler. One of my friends had recommended Agrius/Fol Epi and I decided to have lunch there. I had the charcuterie and cheese board, they make their charcuterie in house. I also bought macarons, apple pie and bacon for the road. Everybody knows they are some of my favourite things! And they make their own bacon.
One friend told me about Ottavio Bakery in Oak Bay Ave. ALL OF THE TREATS!!!! If you want to carbo-load in Victoria, this is another place to load up on house made bread and Italian pastries! I got a few cheese filled buns for the drive. And the drive to Ottavio was lined with quaint commercial buildings.
Victoria is most definitely one of those places that I can see myself living in. Maybe I will move here, in the future.
Veneto 1450 Douglas St, Victoria, BC V8W 2G1 (250) 383-7310