Blog by Beebe Cline

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Garden City Getaway


Garden City Getaway

Head to Victoria for festive cheer while the Parliament buildings are decked from copper top to bottom in Christmas lights. Herewith, our weekend picks:

Get your nails done while you sail to Swartz Bay. BC Ferries’ new onboard C-Spa offers manicures, pedicures and massages. They take you to a room away from it all, provide gossip magazines and pamper—you walk off polished. From $20, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. sailings, Thursdays through Mondays,


We didn’t know Abbeymoore Manor was the top-ranked inn in Canada on TripAdvisor before our visit, but now we know why. Among many things it’s their breakfasts fit for a foodie (how’s a piping hot poached egg atop a crab cake drizzled with chipotle hollandaise sound?) and the cozy common room outfitted with jazz radio, port wine for the taking and crackling fire. But it’s the generous hospitality that’s warmest of all. From $129,


Opt for the Abbeymoore’s Epicurean Escape package and you get two nights, a gourmet basket of goodies and a gift certificate for one of three restaurants. We opted for nearby Paprika Bistro and suggest you do that same. Their dynamic dishes belie the quaint, quiet neighbourhood the bistro resides in. Sourcing local fare like Cowichan Bay duck and Qualicum Beach scallops, Chef Anna Hunt’s plates are perfection.


Over the last few years a bevy of hip shops catering to the fashion set have popped up downtown. To that list, add Charlie & Lee. The Wharf Street storefront is brick and beautiful, carrying a who’s cool of labels, like The Reformation, Factory and Something Else. Just don’t chide yourself for gifting yourself a little something.