Monday, August 13, 2018

The Ploughshare

After early shop at Uptown Mall in Victoria, we head home in search of coffee. We stop at The Ploughshare where the regulars are greeted warmly by first name. It's counter service and you help yourself to coffee $2 the first cup and $1 refill. Couldn't resist trying a Many Berry Granola Square, which wasn't quite what I expected but tasty none the less. This 1953 Chevy Bel Air pulls up and hubby's in "car talk" mode in a flash. No shortage of car culture on Vancouver Island. Recommended for a quick coffee.

The Ploughshare Cafe            Open weekdays 7:30 am to 4:00 pm
4649 West Saanich Road         Saturday 8:30 to 3:00 pm
Victoria, BC V8Z 3G8              Sunday 9:00 to 3:00 pm

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Torque Masters Auto Extravaganza

A variety of vintage vehicles are lined up to enter the car show held annually on Beacon Avenue. There's something for every auto buff from military vehicles to muscle cars. The Lion's Club is serving up pancake breakfasts and the Shriner's gave me a balloon dog in hopes of convincing me to buy a $5 raffle ticket, the grand prize being a souped-up Mustang.  No dice.  For me, the "best in show" was this customized late 50s Rambler station wagon with reclining goddess hood ornament.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Dominion Astrophysical Observatory

Friends of the DAO (Dominion Astrophysical Observatory) hosted a free "Star Party" this evening at the self-proclaimed Centre of the Universe. Many activities and presentations were scheduled for all ages to learn more about the DAO, its Plaskett telescope,  and astronomy in general.

In 1914, Victoria was selected as the site for what was then to have been the world's largest reflector (72 inches). The location was deemed ideal due to its moderate climate and stable city size.  The First World War caused delays in construction and the telescope did not become operational until 1918. By that time, the Plaskett telescope was eclipsed from being the world's largest by the Hooker telescope at the Mt. Wilson Observatory near Pasadena, California.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Artisan Bistro and Penna & Co. Kitchen Shop

Our search for wiper blades for the smart car takes us to Broadmead Village shopping centre, about 20km due south of Sidney, just off Pat Bay Highway.

We stop for brunch at Artisan Bistro where we're served by the enthusiastic and efficient Kayla. If you need to train serving staff, observe her in action to learn how it's done properly.

I opt for the breakfast special bennie - poached eggs, avocado, tomato, smoked cheddar and Hollandaise on a croissant, exquisite at $17. Hubby enjoys the Traditional Breakfast, substituting avocado for sausage or bacon. The scrambled eggs are properly prepared, by restaurant standards, $14. Total with tax and tip, $46. Recommended.

Artisan Bistro
Broadmead Village
350-777 Royal Oak Drive
Victoria, BC V8X 4V1
Open daily: 8 am to 9 pm

Before leaving the mall, we notice that Penna & Co. kitchen shop has a 20% off sale. They've got all the high-end brands (Le Creuset, Peugeot, Bodum) and lots of chef toys. I felt like a kid in a candy store and purchase a USA Pan square cake pan, baking rack, a couple of sporks made in Sweden and other goodies.  Staff are very knowledgeable about their products. Recommended.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

The Urban Bee

You can't help noticing the colourful hives and fields of flowers across West Saanich Road from The Urban Bee. Inside the shop is a vast selection of honey, beeswax and bee-themed items from tableware to jewelry. 

We enjoy coffee and baked treats served up on china dishes made to resemble vintage enamelware. The honeyed almond cookie and blueberry muffin were both delicious. Unfortunately, I haven't got the itemized receipt but coffee was about $2.50 a cup and the total including tax about $12.50.  Recommended. 

I purchase a package of three different sized Goldilocks Wraps, which I've wanted to try for some time. They're a locally made eco-friendly alternative to plastic bags and cling film. A tea towel and wooden honey dipper also come home with me.

It's fascinating to watch the bees in the open hive and as they fly in and out through a transparent tube in the wall.

Urban Bee Honey Farm
6440 West Saanich Road, Saanichton BC

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Roost Vineyard Bistro and Farmhouse Bakery

We cycle out to the Roost for hubby's birthday lunch. I'm proud of myself as I conquer a fair sized hill in second gear. No Polkadot Jersey yet though. En route we stop to pick blackberries which grow so abundantly in the area, people consider them as garden pests.

The Roost offers two options, table service and full menu in the bistro and counter service for baked goods and drinks. We chose the former and are quickly seated. I ask for cranberry juice but the server comes back and says they won't have any for a few minutes, I ask for water instead (their loss). Hubby channels Rick Nelson and chooses the "Garden Party" pizza that comes topped with tomato sauce, mixed mushrooms caramelized onion, roasted garlic, mozzarella, Edam and fresh dill, $17.25. I order the soup & salad combo picking lentil tomato soup, spinach & berry salad and Russian Rye bread, $9.75. Everything is fresh, tasty and well presented. Total including tax and tip $32.60. Recommended.

The Roost Vineyard Bistro and Farmhouse Bakery
9100 East Saanich Road, North Saanich, BC
Open daily from 7 am - 8 pm

PS: Blackberry & Apple crisp with plain yogurt I made with the berries we picked.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

BC Aviation Museum Open House

A superbly run open house with admission by donation and lots to see and do. I loved seeing seniors teaching kids how to use the flight simulators and teenaged volunteers helping with parking and other tasks that helped things go smoothly.

There was a fine collection of military vehicles, helicopters, planes of various types and eras, many interesting displays of all things aviation related.

This 1936 McLaughlin Buick Roadmaster Phaeton stole the show for me. It is one of three ever built. Coal magnate James Dunsmuir ordered them specially made for three of his nine daughters (he also had three sons). Eleanor Dunsmuir owned this particular car which was used to chauffeur President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on his official visit to Victoria in 1937. I believe he is the only sitting US President to visit Vancouver Island.