The Roost

“If you go back to the Greeks and Romans, they talk about all three – wine, food, and art – as a way of enhancing life.” – Robert Mondavi

 

Who on the Saanich Peninsula — and beyond — doesn’t know about The Roost?!

    

There are plenty of chicken motifs around, but none wears it more proudly than these gorgeous kings of the roost!

Maybe because it’s close to home and close to the Panorama Rec Centre with indoor and outdoor tennis, maybe because my visitors can easily find it — it’s the place I frequent the most for casual dining or just coffee.
Not to mention that the food and coffee are reliably good!
Baked quiches, meat pies, Mac ‘n’ cheese bakes………..

    

……………muffins and cookies, fruit pies and tortes, and so much more!  Everything is house made and SO good!

Get your coffee and snack and enjoy the fare and surroundings at the outdoor front awning-covered tables, or in the picnic area…….
      

        

…………….or in a separate “room” created with hedging……..
     

……or in the iconic bus which has its ever-present, faithful driver, watching over the tables behind him.

Or have breakfast, lunch or dinner served to you inside the Bistro………

……with the familiar smell of good quality, fair-traded coffee and the changing artwork by local artists surrounding you.
    
On this occasion, some of the pieces on offer were chicken paintings by Catherine McLeod,

and landscapes by Mary Pearson.

You can dine outside near the fireplace in a screened-in area,

or around the rear of the building in a secluded, sunken dining area…..

……the sunken dining area from the other side………….


………….adjacent to a pleasant water feature.

On this occasion I had the spinach & pear salad

and my husband had the ham & cheddar sandwich with a Caesar salad.   Perfect!


The Roost sits (give me credit for not saying that it roosts!) on about ten acres of farmland owned by Hamish, below.
That’s a combine behind Hamish’s right shoulder, and the dust behind his left shoulder is from another combine, harvesting the wheat that will be made into flour which will be used to bake so much of the great fare offered at The Roost.

His daughter, Sarah, grew up here, and now she and her husband, Dallas Bohl, own and operate The Roost.
But clearly, this is so much more than just a coffee stop, or even just a local restaurant.
This auger moves the wheat up into the grain bin for storage until it’s needed.
The tractor is a working piece of equipment……

…….as is this vintage Chevrolet truck.
    
The wheat is milled and finished on-site and is used to bake the breads offered at The Roost.

In addition to milling their own wheat for flour, this family keeps chickens for fresh eggs and meat…………..

………sheep for milk, cheese and meat,,,,,,,,,,,,,

……..and bees for their honey.
The honeybee boxes are in the fruit portion of the farm, which includes the blueberry bushes behind the boxes……

…………green apple trees…………..

…………..red apple trees……………..
    

……..strawberries, black tomatoes…………..

…………and grapes.  Oh, the grapes!  Rows of vines hanging full of grape clusters!
The Roost farm produces both red and white wines, available in The Bistro with your meal, or for sale to go.

Tastings of The Roost’s wines are available here, as are other mementos and gift items,


just inside the main Bistro entrance — next to the piano.

This is also where you can sign up to paint your own chicken!
Indeed, The Roost is so much more than what meets the eye!

There’s the large outdoor tent for private functions………….
  

……another area for private functions……..
………a games area with a bull riding simulator for kids of all ages………..

………………..and a ping pong table, plus a soccer billiards game.

And then there’s Hamish’s private collection of vintage cars and tractors…………

—————and the pumpkin carriage in the back corner!

And if you haven’t already figured out that this family loves having fun, and loves providing a venue for others to have fun, you have got to see [….ominous music here…..]……..

………the Dungeon!
What lurks behind those imposing doors, you ask?

The first room is deceptively benign, with its long tables (crafted by Hamish) ………..but look to the far end, behind the door with steel bars where there should be windows………
   

…………standing guard over the wine aging barrels beyond his right shoulder is a full suit of armour, and behind that is a somewhat uncomfortable-looking standing squeeze box……..

…………..and a true, functional rack!…………..

   

…………….and a throne to which none wishes to ascend, and the remnant of some hapless one, hanging on the wall!
Do you see the humerus?!

    

Full of tasty, wholesome, home-grown food and drink — plus plenty of room for a good time — Welcome to The Roost!

 

Roost Vineyard Bistro & Farm Bakery
9100 East Saanich Road
North Saanich

250-655-0075
www.roostfarmcentre,com

Sun – Thur 8 – 8,  Fri & Sat 8 – 9

 

Cottage Bakery & Cafe

“When I was 16 and arrived in France, I discovered chocolate mousse.  I was crazy about the bread, too.  Every morning, I’d go to the bakery and get a fresh croissant.  It made me feel very sophisticated.”  —  Jerry Hall

The folks in the Fairfield area of Victoria must feel very sophisticated indeed!

They line up every morning for the fresh croissants at the Cottage Bakery & Cafe, and the latecomers leave sans croissants.
This ham & cheese croissant was all air and butter and cheese and ham!  Such a tough choice to make among the chocolate croissant, cheese croissant, and the plain croissant.  Good thing I arrived early enough to have a choice!
Of course, the Cottage Bakery has breads…………..

……………..and pastries…………….

………………..and savoury baked items………………….

……………..and salads……………..

……………….and decadent cakes, like this layered carrot cake, yet they’re not too sweet.  Perfect!

The patio is a sunny way to break up a morning — or afternoon.

I was attracted to the flowers at the patio’s edge………..nothing to do with the fine baking, but a lovely complement.
   

I strayed ‘way off my comfortable chocolate path and tried the macadamia nut shortbread.

Not much left, is there?!  So yummy!

The Fairfield community surely knows what a gem they have in their midst in the Cottage Bakery & Cafe.

It’s surely worth a stop!


Cottage Bakery & Cafe

1267 Fairfield Rd, Victoria
778-433-2412

Mon – Fri 8 – 5:30, Sat 9 – 4

French Oven Bakery

A party without cake is just a meeting.  — Julia Child

 

Walk anywhere within 20 metres of the French Oven Bakery in downtown Victoria and the aroma of fresh baking will surely lure you in, as it did us.

French meringues tempt in various flavours.

I suspect it was the aroma of the cinnamon knots that beguiled me.

 

For anyone with a sweet tooth, this is bliss!

Desserts are as appealing to the eyes as they are to the tastebuds.

              

The French Oven Bakery also offers frozen pizza doughs and frozen prepared pizzas, plus a line of preserves, spreads and jams from Bonne Maman.

 

The selection of breads and rolls is ever changing, plus some are available to be sampled — yes, please!

        

Check out the French Oven Bakery in the Victoria Public Market building on Douglas Street.  You simply cannot leave empty-handed!

 

French Oven Bakery
1701 Douglas St, Victoria
778-433-6938

www.frenchovenbakery.ca

Mon – Sat 9 – 6,  Sun 11 – 5

 

Crust Bakery

“Baking and love go hand in hand, for as one bakes a tasty treat and fills the room with its sweet aroma, the true joy is to take what has been made and share it with another.”
Heather Wolf, Kipnuk Has a Birthday

We arrived at the door of Crust Bakery, located on Fort Street, already overwhelmed by the collection of pastries, breads and baked goods that were displayed in the front window.  Every item looked so wonderful. Oh, what to choose! what to choose!

Crust 4Though the bakery was busy the clerk was kind enough to write what I had ordered on the pastry box. And thank goodness for that because I do not want to forget the Lemon Passion Fruit slice! Tarty with a hint of sweetness; perfect for an afternoon tea break or a light dessert after dinner.

Crust

I also ordered a loaf of the  sour dough bread and a croissant: both were delicious! The croissant with its layers of buttery pastry and the sourdough with a chewy outer crust and a rich, satisfying flavour were welcome additions to our Sunday brunch meal.

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IMG_5732…and Crust Bakery’s most popular item…their Creme Brulee…. so delicious!!

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Crust Bakery
730 Fort Street

Victoria, BC
(250) 978-2253
 
M-Sun: 8-5:30
www.crustbakery@ca

Fol Epi

Food, glorious food!
Eat right through the menu.
Just loosen your belt
Two inches and then you
Work up a new appetite.
In this interlude —
The food,
Once again, food
Fabulous food,
Glorious food.

 Lionel Bart, Oliver Twist

 Fol Epi: Literal translation……wheat and grass, my translation…… delicious and amazing.

 

One the left side: Pastries that include many flavoured macarons, maple walnut butter tarts, lemon tarts with fresh berries, exquisite fudgie mousse cake, pain au chocolat, buttery croissants and more….

Fol Epi 2

One the right side: Breads…whole wheat, baguettes, rye, boule, ciabatta and more….,

Fol Epi

Middle: order from five or so different wood burning baked pizzas. They arrive piping hot and delicious.

Fol Epi 3

Not into pastries? Try the organic ice cream with their homemade sauces and toppings: chocolate, caramel, toasted almonds and more…..

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Delicious, fabulous, glorious foods!

 

Fol Epi
Organic bakery
101-398 Harbour Rd.
Victoria, BC,
250-477-8882

AND a brand new store at  700ish Yates Str.

www.folepi.ca

M-Sun 7:30-6:00 pm

 

 

Hot Chocolates & Cakebread Artisan Bakery

“Out of love I made you a cake. Also out of milk, eggs, flour, sugar, and vanilla.”
Jarod Kintz, The Days of Yay are Here! Wake Me Up When They’re Over.

Mum and I decided to do a mini vacation to the beautiful land of Courtenay. On the recommendation of a friend we visited this WONDERFUL bakery and chocolate store!

As I stood in line to order my hot chocolate I asked the lady behind me ( a regular) what she would recommend from the cake section. She stated that her husband always had the carrot cake and that the chocolate cake was the signature dessert of the bakery. So I ordered both!!

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The bakery and chocolate shop sell housemade gelato and chocolates, breads and buns, cakes and pastries, and flavoured olive oils and balsamic vinegar (which you can sample with pieces of their freshly made bread).

 

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Mum and I ordered the gelato, salted caramel chocolates, two slices of cake, three bottles of the raspberry balsamic vinegar and two paninis to go. ALL so delicious!!

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Hot Chocolates & Cakebread Artisan Bakery
368 Fifth Street
Courtenay, BC
1-866-468-2462
www.hotchocolates.ca

M-Sat 8:00-6:00
Sun     10:00-5:00