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

Beacon Cafe

“It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long difficult words but rather short, easy words like, ‘What about lunch?’ “  —  Winnie The Pooh  (A.A. Milne)

And with exactly that phrase, we finally had a moment of silence while we looked at the menu and contemplated what indeed would be for lunch!

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We were at a café in Sidney at the corner of Beacon & Second Street — ergo, the Beacon Café!

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The indoor space is cozy, with a fireplace and upholstered seating.  As I went by later that day, folks were sitting at the outdoor tables in the sunshine with their coffees – in mid-November!

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The manager advised that their standard sandwiches – the Ham ‘n’ Egger, Four Cheese Panini, Haro Straight and Beacon Cranberry Brie – are all popular.

And of course, there’s tea and coffee.

img_8174     We agreed on the Haro Straight, a sandwich of ham, Havarti, tomato and lettuce on multigrain bread (baked at Victoria’s Portofino Bakery).

img_8169     Our second shared choice was the lightly grilled Beacon Cranberry Brie, a yummy nod to autumn with turkey, cranberry and brie on sourdough bread.

Both sandwiches were hearty and tasty.

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I picked up a raspberry coconut square to share at home – and guess who did NOT share?!

 

Beacon Cafe
2505 Beacon Ave 
Sidney

Spiral Cafe

“Without my morning coffee I’m just like a dried up piece of roast goat.”
—  Johann Sebastian Bach

And, as if waiting for Mr Bach, we spotted a vintage white upright piano!
Vintage piano
The Spiral Cafe is actually a coffee shop, but music seems to be a big part of the life here.  Live music is featured on weekends and on some weekday evenings as well.

Check out this sidewalk outside the cafe!
Sidewalk outside Spiral CafeThere’s blue glass embedded in the concrete…..in a spiral pattern!
And it’s in front of — the Spiral Cafe!  Coincidence?  I think not!

Tent card on sidewalk      Outside

The spiral theme is on the sidewalk, in the windows and on the signage.
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The walls are adorned with pieces by local artists, lending a colourful and homey feel to the room.

 

Homemade Moroccan split pea soupAs it was lunch time, I had a bowl of the homemade Moroccan split pea soup — so tasty!  It had just the right amount of heat, but not enough to make me overheat.  Just right!

Cheese & herb scone, split           The cheese & herb scone from a nearby bakery was the perfect accompaniment to the soup.

Bliss chocolate ice cream bar              Enjoy! Bliss ice cream bar

Linda chose a Bliss ice cream bar to finish her meal.  Bliss ice cream bars are hard to find, apparently. They’re made in Vancouver and if Linda’s oohing and ahhing are any indication, they’re the best packaged ice cream bars around!

Bliss, indeed!  At the Spiral Cafe!

Spiral Cafe
418 Craigflower Road, Victoria
250-386-9303

Mon – Thu 7 am–9:30 pm,  Fri 7 am–10 pm,  Sat 8 am–10 pm,  Sun 9 am – 6 pm

Caffe Fantastico

I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.”  ~  T. S. Eliot

Caffe Fantastico has a little bit of its own fantastical history.Caffe Fantastico

Owner Ryan Taylor operated a coffee cart around Victoria’s Inner Harbour in 1993.
Five years later he opened the coffee house here in Quadra Village and subsequently he and his wife, Kristy, added the Cook Street Village and Dockside Green (next to Fol Epi) locations.
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Caffe Fantastico’s coffee beans are sourced from all over the coffee growing world, then roasted right here on their premises.
In addition to their various single bean and blended coffees, Caffe Fantastico offers hand-pulled draught Nitro:  espresso with water (so more like an Americano), pressurized which makes it foamy, and makes it look like a Guinness beer, but it’s a chilled coffee.  Different!
And on a hot summer day, I had an iced Americano with cream – yummy thirst quencher!Caffe Fantastico 2

But on a cooler day, I anticipate the first breath of the warm, coffee-infused air that greets me as I enter Caffe Fantastico.  My day is made!

 

Caffe Fantastico
965 Kings Road, Victoria
250-385-2326
www.caffefantastico.com
Sun – Sat 7 am – 7 pm.

3rd Street Cafe

“Alice laughed. ‘There’s no use trying,’ she said. ‘One can’t believe impossible things.’I daresay you haven’t had much practice,’ said the Queen. ‘When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast. “

Located on the corner of 3rd Street and Beacon the 3rd Street Café is one busy restaurant. A waiting line that overflowed on to the avenue, regular patrons and first timers waited patiently for their names to be called. Thank goodness it was a day sans rain because our wait was @ 10 minutes. I felt like The Little Match Girl standing on the outside looking in and resting my eyes on platters heaped with Eggs Benny, hash browns, stuffed omelettes, bacon and sausage. Though the cafe serves breakfast all day lunch items are also available.

IMG_3472This is NOT a place for an intimate conversation because the café is a tiny place with tables very close together and if you choose to eat at the window bar you might rub elbows with a stranger!

But this is the place to order delicious omelettes and an intriguing variety of Eggs benny.

3rd Street Café
2466 Beacon Avenue
Sidney, BC
250-656-3035

M-Sat 7-3        Sun 8-2

Crumsby’s Cupcake Cafe

“A balanced diet is a cookie(Cupcake) in each hand.” -Barbara Johnson

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West Saanich Location

 

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Estevan Location

Cupcakes galore: Petit cupcakes with the most delectable buttercream icing. In house made, there are many flavours and varieties to choose from. I went in and bought six cupcakes: two chocolate and four salted caramel.

Cupcakes

Determined to eat only two a day with my tea…. I gobbled five in the first day…. what a delicious snack!

Crumsby’s does sell breakfast and luncheon items but I go there for the best cupcakes in Victoria!!

Crumsby’s Cupcake Café
2509 Estevan Ave.
Victoria, BC
250-595-2221

T-Sat 7:30am-6pm
Sun-Holidays 9am-4pm
Closed Monday

&

4525 West Saanich Road

T-Sat. 7:30am-5pm
Sun-Holidays 9am-4pm
Closed Monday

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