Thursday, March 22, 2007

A (very) brief culinary tour of Victoria

Post-Oscar Party, Michelle and I hopped in a cab to the train station, and then boarded first a PCL coach and then a ferry to Victoria. I have to say that it seems they save the oldest and least-impressive ferries for the last trip of the day. I've never taken the trip in complete darkness before, and it was strange and absolutely freezing outside. We passed by the legislature on the way to the hotel (the Grand Pacific, and let me tell you, it was both Grand and Pacific).

The following night we were at the Mining Day Gala at the Royal BC Museum. It was held in the First Peoples Gallery, which was amazing. We were served drinks when we entered – this was the Hybrid, a concoction of gin and green tea with a copper stirring stick. It was quite bizarre to have copper in a drink.

I didn't take too many pictures of the food, as the lighting was low, and I was too busy enjoying it, but I have drawn some pictures. Most food was taken around by waitstaff, but there were some buffet areas Рone for oysters, one for crudit̩, and this great station of cheeses.

The following morning we luxuriously slept in, so we headed out into the city for a late spot of breakfast. I wanted a croissant. We found this funny little place called the Bun Shop. I was attracted by its sign which advertised 'Afternoon Tea'. Everything about afternoon tea is appealing to me!

It was apparently a Victoria institution, as the owner seemed to know everybody who came by. Sadly, it was on its last day of operation – the husband and wife had run it for over thirty years, but were retiring. But it was lovely. I had a scone and tea and Michelle had a bagel and tea.

For lunch we went to Pagliacci's, also a Victoria institution. We went there for the first time on the now-famous tubing expedition trip. No doubt Meg and Erin can describe it better than I, but Pagliacci's has a lovely atmosphere, with loads of photos on the wall, lots of bustle and comfort, and lots of sunlight slanting in those large windows. We both had pasta dishes – Michelle had the Hemingway Short Story and I had the Last Chicken in Paris. I can only speak for mine, but it was fantastic. Creamy and delicious. And the caesar salad was amazing. I wish I could show you some food from there. But here is Michelle with some empty plates.

Mmm, Victoria. It was great. Too bad we had the same ferry on the way back!


moyrad said...

It's hard to believe we did all that in 3 days. The food at the reception was wonderful - i think my favourites were the cheeses and the lambsicles. We had a lovely tea experience if a little sad. And Pagliacci's - wonderful. And I got to spend it all with Laura.

Meg said...

The bun shop? Where's that? Weird that I've never heard of it. Oh well, now I'll never get to experience it. But there certainly isn't a shortage of Tearooms in Victoria.

The food at the gala sounds amazing. Can we go out for oysters sometime soon?

And that cocktail looks delicious – let's try that the next time we have a gin night...

Oh, and I feel your pain with the end-of-the-night ferry. Those old ones always feel like they're on the verge of falling apart. But there is a cozy lounge on the top floor where the buffet used to be. The bathrooms are my least favourite part – they feel so ship-like, in a creepy kind of way.