Rebecca Minkoff bag, top, sweater & jacket c/o Joe Fresh,
sunnies c/o Sole Society
A bit later getting to this today because apparently, I had so much fun in Victoria this past weekend that I’m now sick with some awful head cold! Hardly got up this morning but once I was up and had hopped onto my laptop, even with this horrible racking cold and runny nose, I can’t help but smile while looking over these snaps because it was honestly a weekend for the record books, definitely thanks to the amazing people at Hotel Grand Pacific and Harbour Air! Click through to read my first city guide and our first day of the trip!
On Friday, as soon as Matt wrapped up work we wandered down to the breathtaking views of Coal Harbour and boarded our Harbour Air plane, which would take us to Victoria in literally 30 minutes (for two UVic alumni who used to spend hours upon hours commuting by ferry, this quick trip was honestly near-unfathomable for us). Once we took off on our seaplane, the views were beyond – from coasting over Lions Gate to seeing the ferries weave through the islands, in less than half an hour I saw literally the best that the West Coast has to offer. We landed right in Victoria’s inner harbour in no time flat and then our hotel was quite honestly a hop, skip and a jump across the harbour. Easiest travel experience ever, hands down.
We had the most relaxing night just unwinding at Canoe Brewpub (been going there for beer for years but their food is just as amazing) followed by an incredible farm-to-table meal at OLO, all capped off with a beer at one of our favourite old haunts, the Garrick’s Head Pub. We got an early night in at our incredible suite at the Hotel Grand Pacific (jacuzzi + four-poster bed + a view of the Parliament buildings = amazing) and then rose bright and early to get the most incredible brunch ever at Jam Cafe in historic Chinatown.
After a little jaunt through the city again, we came back to the hotel for what can only be described as the most amazing massage ever at SORA spa. If you haven’t tried a Thai stem massage then believe me, you need to. It was so relaxing I hardly made it to our afternoon tea afterwards (I was in a full-on comatose, blissed-out state, was something to see) and I loved that it infused so many traditional Thai techniques into the practice, including the use of this hot Thai stem package of sorts that has special herbs imported directly from Thailand, used for detoxifying the skin and loosening muscles.
Once we did make it to The Pacific Restaurant in the Hotel Grand Pacific, we were in for a real treat with the special Chinese New Year version of the hotel’s famous afternoon tea. We both died over the steamed bun, duck purse, coconut tart and prawn roll, and it was all perfectly accompanied by Silk Road‘s incredible tea (the jasmine tea was our favourite!). Definitely worth experiencing this West Coast and Asian infused high tea the next time you’re in Victoria!
We had a couple hours of sunshine left so we headed to Chinatown to try to find this one place I used to love for super cheap and super cute fans (couldn’t find it, boo!) but once we gave up the search, we consoled ourselves by trying out each of the amazing coffee spots in the hood (and there are many so we were pretty wired). If you’re in Victoria, be sure to check out the famous but nearly hidden Fan Tan Alley!
I’m all about the transitional looks these days as both Victoria and Vancouver have been enjoying some unseasonably persistent sunshine, but the bite’s definitely still in there. As always, layers were my friend – a thin long-sleeved shirt topped with a thin sweater and denim jacket for the base, a huge chunky scarf to warm things up and my favourite customized Poppy Barley riding boots to keep my toesies warm. Loved this look too because it was so easy to transition into a night out look (well, as dressed up as a night out look gets in Vic) with some ankle boots and delicate tank top, with the jacket layered under my oversized menswear coat!
Stay tuned next week for Part II of this little Victoria city guide. The trip was honestly such a special one, not only because it was our 7 year anniversary, but because it was so amazing to go back to a city that holds so many incredible memories and was the site of basically all my late teen-early 20s growth (and I don’t know about you guys, but that period was definitely one of my most poignant stages in terms of growing into who I am). I love the city so much, and especially on the second day (sharing it next week!) when we got to go back to UVic, I definitely teared up a bit.