Skip to Content (Press Enter)

English / Français

1. Fol Epi Café Patisserie

Start the day like locals do – at the city’s favourite bakery. The Yates Street branch focuses on French-inflected pastry; get a galette with the first summer strawberries or a picnic-in-waiting with sandwiches on organic baguettes from the original location’s wood-fired oven. For nouvelle génération Vancouver Island cuisine, including a stellar lamb tartare, book a table at the adjacent Agrius (one of Canada’s Best New Restaurants 2016).

732 Yates St., 778-265-6311,

2. Magnolia Hotel & Spa

If there were a perfect size for a hotel, this property makes a case for 64 rooms, cushioned in grey and pearl tones, with harbour views and an intimate lobby. Under hands-on GM Bill Lewis, the friendly front desk is all about enabling exploration; staff have personally curated a series of maps and will lend you a bike for shopping the Victorian and Edwardian storefronts of Cook Street Village, pedalling to Government House for views of the Juan de Fuca Strait and dodging peacocks in Beacon Hill Park. They’ll also book you a plant-based healing treatment and hydrotherapy session at the polished Spa Magnolia next door.

623 Courtney St., 250-381-0999,


Photo: Lyndsey Eden

3. Olo

Fan Tan Alley in Canada’s oldest Chinatown leads to the centenarian building that houses Olo, Chinook jargon for hungry. Brad Holmes and Sahara Tamarin, formerly of the award-winning Ulla, showcase Pacific Northwest foodways: foraged, farmed, fished and distilled. Don’t miss alder-smoked salmon with a touch of birch syrup, ethereal crisped skin, sorrel, yogurt and onions. Even the down-to-earth options, like burgers, are chef-finessed.

509 Fisgard St., 250-590-8795,

4. Horticulture Centre of the Pacific

Here’s how your garden could grow if the climate was as enviably Mediterranean as Victoria’s. Get ideas for your backyard while wandering themed plantings, such as ornamental grasses, fuchsia and the oxymoron that is the big bonsai garden. There are also workshops on medicinal herbs and native species. Cute on-site café Charlotte & the Quail serves rosemary lemonade; while you’re sitting on the porch, the café’s eponymous cat may pass by for a pat.

505 Quayle Rd.,,

5. The Natural Connection

Forest bathing, based on the Japanese concept of shinrin-yoku, seeks health benefits from mindful time in nature. You’re in good hands with outing leader Ryan LeBlanc, who is Coast Guard-trained, well versed in local flora and has never owned an umbrella. You might begin your hike at Thetis Lake with a series of stretches before finding a mossy rock to sit on (foam pad provided) for a guided meditation to attune your senses to the elements.


Green tea

3 More ways to go green

Look for the neon elephant sign to find Little Jumbo, which raised the bar on Victoria’s stellar cocktail scene. Try the Have-A-Cado, with avocado, tequila and a hit of serrano peppers.

506 Fort St., 778-433-5535,


Be Love’s health-minded menu offers “high-vibrational food,” like an earth-sea salad of local seaweeds; the wheat grass elixir is summer in a glass.

1019 Blanshard St., 778-433-7181,


Matcha and yerba maté are among the refined selections at Silk Road Tea in Victoria Public Market, a food hall in the former Hudson’s Bay building.

1701 Douglas St., 778-433-278,



Please leave a comment

HTML tags will be removed
Web addresses starting with http:// will be converted to links