With so much to do in Victoria and it’s surrounds you’ve got to prioritise searching for a decent coffee to kick start the day!
That’s why you need to stop in at MOSI Bakery-Café & Gelateria. Here you’ll find coffee crafted by baristas who know what they’re doing, next level pastries and well priced brekkie.
The modern yet quaint interior adds to the ambience of this Italian inspired countryside cafe. Take a seat outside on the sunny deck or cozy up under the fairy lights inside.
If you happen to be driving past on a sunny afternoon, don’t miss the opportunity to try their incredible gelato.
Nestled next to Tod Inlet is the mystically beautiful and ever popular Butchart Gardens. It was first used as a limestone quarry but once that valuable resource was exhausted the sunken garden was then created in 1912 by Jennie Butchart.
Jennie had envisioned a beautiful garden for when she were to have visitors come, so began hauling top soil by horse and cart to make her dream come to life.
Over the years the gardens grew, with the Butcharts creating a Japanese Garden by the seaside, the Italian Garden, and the stunningly fragrant Rose Garden.
You never would have thought a quarry could eventuate into the masterpiece it is today.
With over 600 staff, 70 of who are gardeners, it’s no surprise how smoothly run and immaculate the grounds are.
Throughout the year, different species of flowers are replaced to ensure there is always something of interest in its prime.
The gardens are laid out in such a way that you flow effortlessly through, with the option of taking secret little detours along the way.
The gardens welcome up to 1 million visitors a year. The 55 acres is enough space for everyone, though I do recommend avoiding weekends and also arriving in the morning.
You could spend as little as a couple of hours here or the whole day.
After a busy and mind stimulating morning, where better to eat lunch than in the gardens themselves.
The Blue Poppy is a large, greenhouse-like café between the Italian Garden and the entrance offering a range of generously sized sandwiches, soups, and salads made from fresh seasonal ingredients.
Perfect for whatever the weather decides to do; it’s the place to escape the rain or feel the sunlight through the skylights.
Don’t try and find it in the winter months though as it’s transformed into an indoor garden!
Still have an appetite?
Not far from the gardens is the Church and State Winery. Inside this beautiful wooden building with its warm earthy atmosphere you’ll find their tasting bar and wine shop.
Complete with a view of their gorgeous vineyards where they often hold yoga sessions, they also offer tastings of their award winning creations. This isn’t offered everyday however so make sure you check their website to get an update.
Just around the corner you’ll find something which will catch your eye. If you’re visiting at the right time of year, it’s more likely the abundance of sunflowers out the front will draw your attention.
The Urban Bee Honey Farm is a gorgeous freestanding wooden building full of the sweetest of nature’s treats.
With flavours ranging from hot pepper infused, wildflower, blueberry and the unusual Whiskey Infused Honey, there will be a flavour to suit everyone’s taste buds.
You can even have a sneak peak of their busy bees in their beehive.
A short hike to finish off your afternoon is the Niagara Falls Trail located in the Goldstream Provincial Park. At only 1.3km in length and an elevation gain of 25m it’s a complimentary hike to do after all the waking earlier in the gardens.
Named after the Niagara Falls in Ontario, this smaller version stands at 47.5m tall but a little narrower than the original. If you continue the trail you’ll find yourself at the Goldstream Trestle, but make sure not to cross it!
If you’re looking for a slightly longer trail, don’t go past McKenzie Bight in Gowlland Tod Provincial Park. A 3.5km round trip with just 145m elevation gain, this dog friendly trail will take you to a scenic beach area hidden along the shore of Saanich Arm.
Take the steep Cascade Trail past the falls and return via the McKenzie Bight Trail.
The trail will take you through stunning forest areas over a charming wooden bridge, past a rushing creek and cascading waterfall before reaching the beach.
If you’re seeking a favourite of locals, and one of the few restaurants that offer a more sophisticated dining experience a level above your typical Victoria diner, then be sure to book a table at the Artisan Bistro.
The high quality menu has been produced with thought with a fair price and perfectly sized portions packed with original flavours.
The modern, spacious, and inviting restaurant has an understated yet pleasant feel. The staff are attentive but unobtrusive, and always approach your table with a smile.
With plenty of room on the patio, it’s worth taking advantage of on warm evenings.
I was provided with entry to Butchart Gardens in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this article are my own and not influenced by the company.
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