When Kinsley proposed a mommy and daughter trip, I immediately thought of Victoria, B.C in. Canada. It sounded like a perfect weekend getaway offering history, high tea, bug zoo, vintage shopping and royal gardens. The best part, it’s only a three hour ferry ride from Seattle, so no fret there!
Victoria has always been a special place for Peter and I. We had our mini honeymoon there nine years ago and it was very romantic. This city has an old British charm and super immaculate. Seriously, it’s so clean you literally can eat off the ground!
I couldn’t wait to show Kinsley around our favorite spots. The downtown is small that we can walk everywhere. However, her little feet were not used to walking. So she suggested a pedicab for some of the longer walks.
We were there for two full days. Here’s where we EAT, PLAY & STAY:
Tea at The Empress Hotel: I’ve heard such great things about their high teas and they lived up to my expectations. It’s all you ever wanted to feel fancy and exclusive. Everything was fit for a royal princess. We even played the part by dressing up to the nines and put on feathery hair decorations. The trays of delicious treats and finger sandwiches were served along with your choice of tea. Kinsley is “allergic” to sandwiches, so she was stoked that she got double trays of dessert. (see picture on the left)
Ferris Grill: Peter and I came here for dinner on a whim when we visited. They had the best oyster menu in town with options of baked, freshly shucked, smoked or pan fried. We had a fantastic experience and I wanted to relive what we ate. They even have a kid’s menu with pasta and chicken strips. Bonus: The happy hour CAD$1 oysters are not to miss. Can’t beat that!
Kid Sister Ice Cream: Located at Fan Tan Alley, it’s one of the cutest ice cream store I’ve ever visited. The story behind the name of the store was when I fell in love with it. The owner’s wife was the “Kid Sister” growing up. He wanted to celebrate her, by decorating the place with her childhood toys. They serve fresh locally sourced ingredients in nostalgic flavors like tutti fruity, vanilla, double chocolate and salted caramel. Brings everyone back to being a kid again. Such a great story!
Pendray Inn & Tea House: The Gatsby Mansion where stayed for the night, served the most delicious breakfast in their dining room. Everything is made fresh daily. We had trays of scones, quiche, fresh berries, smoked salmon and french toasts. It was my favorite part of our stay. We didn’t try their high tea, which gives us more reason to come back!
Foo: Serving asian street food for the past nine years, their most famous pork belly over rice was not to be missed. It was our first meal and we were hungry. It was the perfect portion for us to share. If you know Kinsley, she never turns down pork belly. Atta girl!
The Patch Clothing: A vintage shop with a curated selection of women and men clothing and accessories. I love a good vintage shop. The last time I was in Victoria, I found many cute vintage pieces that I still own. So this time I was on a mission. All the items in the store were neatly categorized, which made it easy for me to find this John Molloy hand knit cardigan for CAD $45. Score! (see above picture for the sweater)
Rook & Rose: A floral boutique design company selling fresh flowers, apothecary, terrariums and accessories in both their brick and mortar and e-commerce. This place is my haven. When I walked by the store front, the floral scents drew me inside. Once you’re in there, it gets better. There’s so much to smell, touch and feel. I wanted to buy the entire store!
The Victoria Bug Zoo: Kinsley was excited to check out the slimy creatures, but made clear to me she didn’t want to hold one. She was happy they were all in their cages. We saw caterpillars, praying mantis, beetles and lots of other bugs. They give free guided tours and teach the kids to learn how to be nice to those little sluggers.
Fan Tan Alley: A narrow street of six feet wide, is located in one of the oldest Chinatown’s in North America. It used to house opium dens and gambling joints, is now filled with cute shops. Its a tourist spot, but definitely a place you don’t want to miss. It reminds me of Doyer Street in New York City. So much history in one tiny street.
Market Square: One stop shop, offering local eateries, boutiques, jewelry shops and more! We spent most of our time here poking around and find cute souvenirs. I love wandering around and this was the perfect place for us to hang out. A little bit of something for the both of us.
Gatsby Mansion: An extension to the Huntingdon Manor situated in this century year old estate, is a bed and breakfast with quaint and beautiful rooms. Their garden is manicured to perfection! The location is right in front of the Clipper terminal, so very convenient.
Oh, and must I mention the Queen Anne Suite, a room decorated all in blue with the prettiest view of the water (as per Kinsley’s request). We loved everything about it from the chandeliers to the velvet curtains. It got the “royal” approval. The staff was friendly and helpful. I would stay here again
Magnolia Hotel: We stayed here during our honeymoon and I still have the welcome letter from the manager. It was a lovely place to stay and they have a fantastic spa. It’s located near downtown and easy to get around. The price per night is moderately priced.
The Fairmont Empress: Built in 1908 and located in the heart of downtown Victoria, this is the epitome of all hotel stays. The historic building is decorated beautifully inside with some modern touches while keeping some of its Victorian details. It was a expensive for us to stay there. Instead, we decided to have high tea and stayed at the Gatsby Mansion. A way better financial decision.
All in all, Kinsely and I had an amazing time with memories to last a life time. Spending quality time with her was priceless.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway with your significant other or a fun trip with the family, make sure to plan a visit to Victoria. It’s well worth the trip!