Heading to the Islands this month? Here are some cool and delicious things going on across the Salish Sea. The round-up comes to us from the Islandist, Scout’s soon-to-launch sister publication. It will cover the food and culture of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Did we miss something? Keep us in the loop via @TheIslandist on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
DRINK ON GALIANO | The Galiano Wine and Beer Festival is a Saturday afternoon open air grazing and tasting event that involves unlimited beer and wine tastings, as well as snacks, music, book browsing, and an art sale. Best part: this is a totally feasible walk-on day-trip situation. The festival venue is a quick 20 minute walk from the ferry dock at Sturdies Bay. Don’t feel like walking? No problem. There will also be a free shuttle service from the ferry dock to the festival site (and back again). Wine, beer, food, art — all great ways to get to know a community! Find out more.
DINNER AT PILGRIMME | Looking to get even more intimate with the Island vibe? Stick around after the Wine and Beer festival for a winemakers dinner. Rathjen Cellars (farm-based winery located just outside of Victoria) and Galiano Island’s famed Pilgrimme Restaurant are coming together to offer a five-course dinner with wine pairings at Pilgrimme on Saturday August 10th. This will be one of those evenings that you’ll remember for a very long time. Get your tickets here.
WIND CRIES MARY | Bastion Square recently landed Wind Cries Mary, the new restaurant from Jesse Dame (background here) in the old Camille’s address. Take a look inside, and dig that hidden courtyard patio!
TASTE | Looking for somewhere to lunch? Our pals at Sherwood just dropped a new summer menu. Highlights include a Ham and Kale Benny, The Sherwood cheeseburger, a fried chicken sandwich, rockfish ceviche and orange olive oil cake. Grab a seat in the sunshine and order-up!
DRINK | Speaking of new menus, Clarke & Co. has a brand new cocktail card launching this weekend. This spirit-forward neighbourhood bar on the corner of Blanshard and Broughton does a top notch job of showcasing local distilleries, wineries and breweries alongside tasty comfort foods like BBQ ribs and sausages.
DUMPLING DROP | Keep a close watch on the Dumpling Drop Instagram and website to find out how to snag some stuffed-dough deliciousness at one of their bi-weekly pick-ups or for details about their next pop-up in Victoria.
REFUGE TAPROOM | First-time restaurateur Darren Ainsley just launched his 54 seat Refuge Taproom in the old Terroir Tea Salon space on Fort Street’s Antique Row. The bar sports some 32 taps — 21 are dedicated to local beer, 5 to cider and 6 to wine. These sips are complimented by a tidy menu of snacks, including a Scotch Egg. Don’t miss the tiny patio out back.
FAMILY STYLE | On the 2nd Sunday of each month you can slip in to The Courtney Room at the Magnolia Hotel in Victoria for a satisfying longtable dinner served family-style. Each dinner takes a different spin as Co-Chefs de Cuisine Brian Tesolin and Chris Klassen team up with a different BC supplier or winemaker for inspiration. Best part: a seat at one of these cool community-vibe dinners will only cost you between $30 and $40 per person.
FARMER’S | There is no tastier way to get to know a region than to spend a morning at a Farmer’s Market, and Vancouver Island has some fantastic options. Our top picks are Victoria’s Moss Street Market (80+ vendors); The Duncan Farmer’s Market (150+ vendors); and The Tofino Market (up to 50 vendors).
FREE-B FILM FEST | This month the Victoria Film Festival sets up in Beacon Hill Park for a series of free outdoor film screenings of six crowd-pleasing classics: Legally Blonde, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Hook, Jurassic Park, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Find out more.
PAUL’S DINER | The new incarnation of Paul’s (from the same folks behind Agrius and Fol Epi) is now open and doing things right after a rapid renovation. The menu transformation sees diner classics given the regional, organic ingredient treatment, and it’s pretty damn delicious. Favourites so far are the fried chicken sandwich and the croque madame. Take a look inside:
HIT THE FLAVOUR TRAIL | The North Saanich Flavour Trails Festival is a go-your-own-way wandering celebration of the senses where local businesses open themselves to the public for a full weekend of eating, drinking and learning directly from the people producing the region’s best food, drink and art. Bike on over to the McTavish Academy of Art for blackberry picking, mural painting and/or a heaping pile of pancakes; explore the 10 Acres farm which produces everything from honey to veggies and wine for their three restaurant locations; and hit up the good folks at Howl Brewing who’ve brewed up a special batch of beer especially for the occasion. Check out the festival schedule for the full list of venues and activities.
DUCK CREEK FARM DINNER | Enjoy an island-grown five course meal created by local chef Danya Smith (Lulu’s Apron) amid the picturesque pastoral surroundings of the Duck Creek Farm, along with live music and a cash bar. Find out more.
COWICHAN SHAKESPEARE | Have a laugh (or two) by getting tickets to the Cowichan Valley Shakespeare Festival which is going all out with not one but two theatrical comedies this summer – ‘Measure for Measure’ and ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ – performed amid an idyllic outdoor setting. Find out more.
TOFINO LANTERN FESTIVAL | The 19th Annual Tofino Lantern Festival will be bringing the community together for a magical and memorable evening of food, entertainment and handmade lanterns amid a one-of-a-kind West Coast botanical garden setting. Such good and magical times! Find out more.
COLLAB DINNER | Chef Paul Moran of Tofino Resort and Marina’s 1909 Kitchen teams up with the good folks from Unsworth Vineyard for a Winemaker’s Dinner in Tofino on August 22nd. Tickets for the 5 course feast are $120 (and that includes wine pairings!). The view is a stunner too. Tickets and additional information can be found here.