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 new sister publication covering 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.
LONG TABLE | For their final long table dinner of the year The Courtney Room is partnering up with the Okanagan Crush Pad for a family-style feast. This is going to be one of those events that has a sort of warm and fuzzy festive feeling when lots of good food, wine and company come together. Find out more.
WINTERBRAU | The 8th annual Winterbrau beer fest is returning to Canoe Brewpub for two afternoons to spotlight some of BC’s best beers, along with free chef-created canapés and eclectic, Balkan-inspired musical entertainment. A total of nearly 30 breweries (plus a cidery) are included in the line-up but each day’s roster is slightly different, so do your research and grab your tickets here.
GIGS | A good show in a dark bar is a great way to escape the winter weather for a couple of hours. On November 9th there are two: Lightning Dust and Louise Burns are both playing gigs in Victoria. Tickets for each are ridiculously cheap (under $15!) and yet somehow still available. Good luck choosing which one to go to!
SHOP | November might as well be the official month of the craft fair. There are four in particular we think you should know about. On the second last weekend of the month the Owl Designer Fair is continuing its 10+ year tradition in Victoria’s Fernwood neighbourhood; the Abeego Makers Market is taking over the Abeego HQ; up in Courtney more than 40 local artisans and businesses are confirmed at the Stagnhare Christmas Market; and then, a week later, the Da Vinci Centre is hosting Craft Cartel for three more days of handmade shopping fun.
GET BEER-DUCATED | Feeling thirsty for some beer knowledge? Good news: beer night school at Moon Under Water Brewpub is almost in session. The first in the five-part series is a tasting, Q&A and discussion of the basic beer styles led by the brewery’s Brewmaster and Master Distiller, Clay Potter. Sign up here.
EAT STAY PLAY | Eat Play Stay Cowichan is making an excellent case to spend some time eating and drinking in the Cowichan Valley this month, with promotions across the area varying from super affordable to splurge-y. A couple of our picks are a 3-course Winemaker’s Brunch at Blue Grouse this Sunday (it’s only $40 with wine pairings!) and a 5-course dinner collab between the Ainslie and Merridale Cider the following Sunday in Duncan. Full list of events.
ART | Weekends in Duncan are a good idea if you want to take in some local art. The Ou Gallery has two exhibitions showing this month: Nanaimo-based painter Yvonne Vander Kooi’s series Passage is open to the public every Saturday through the 16th, followed by another solo exhibit of works by Victoria’s Fern Long, kicking off with an opening reception on November 23rd (5-7pm). Find out more.
WINE DINNER | Over at Unsworth Vineyards, winemaker Dan Wright and chef Maartyn Hoogeveen have put together a super-sounding five-course meal to enjoy along with their new wine releases. From beignets to bouillabaisse and brussels sprouts, the dinner is full of comforting fall foods and flavours utilizing the bounty provided by their farmer-friendly CSR program. Find out more.
POP UP | Chef Kyle Roerick is putting in some time on Salt Spring Island this month with two pop-ups at Francis Bread on November 8th and 10th. First off is a Parisian bistro-inspired night of snacks and natural wines; then, Roerick is preparing a special Memories of Trinidad dinner that pays homage to his father with a heartwarming combination of family recipes and inspired new dishes. Find out more.
FILM | Mondays are rough but if you can fight the urge to hole up in front of a personal screen at home then I suggest heading to a Monday Night Movie screening at the Tofino Theatre (aka Clayoquot Sound Community Theatre). The socialization component is low and there’s something comfortingly quaint about silently communing in a dark theatre with your neighbours. Next up is Wild Rose (lead Jessie Buckley kills it); followed by Where’d You Go, Bernadette (I haven’t heard great things but, c’mon, it’s Cate Blanchett for crissakes!); and wrapping up with the remarkable documentary, Maiden. More info.
OYSTER FEST | There really isn’t a time of year when Tofino isn’t a great getaway, but the Clayoquot Oyster Festival makes a November excursion especially attractive. The 21st annual event is a one-night-only, all you can slurp affair featuring chef-created oyster dishes, drinking and dancing. Tickets available here as well as in-person from Mermaid Tales Books.
BRUNCH | If you’re in Tofino, you’ve got to swing by Lil’ Ronnie’s Backyard BBQ to fill up on some authentic, badass BBQ. As of November 2nd they’re launching a brand new ‘Debaucherous Brunch’ menu, available every weekend during the winter season (their Pacific Rim Highway location is open year round). Also available all winter long: $3.50 beers to wash it down. Find out more.
OPENING SOON | Although their official opening date hasn’t yet been announced, Tofino’s first zero waste grocery store, Frankly, is supplying us with steady feelings of anticipation via a consistent string of Instagram posts. You can keep up to date on their progress yourself over here.
TOFINO EATS | Later this month, La Mezcaleria’s Chef Mariana Gabilondo is paying a visit to Tofino to collaborate on a special a la carte and cocktail menu at 1909 Kitchen. If there were ever a way to eat and drink yourself to warm weather, then tacos and a flight of mezcal is probably it. Full menu here.
WINTERLIGHTS | The fourth annual Winterlights festival begins on November 29th at the Tofino Botanical Gardens. There’s nothing like getting bundled up for a brisk night walk through the twinkling art displays to embrace the winter season. More details.