Pure Lovin’ Chocolate

“I have a very big sweet tooth and I love treating myself to something that I wouldn’t necessarily eat during the tournament such as a nice-sized cake.”
— Maria Sharapova
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But what could the tennis star possibly have if she wanted

chocolates and vegan and soy-free treats and was gluten intolerant?

Faster than your favourite search engine, here’s the answer:

Chocolates from Pure Lovin’ Chocolates!

The owners of Pure Lovin’ Chocolates are a mother/daughter team, Cyndy and Leah Blackburn.

Started through digestive necessity and desiring fine chocolates,

the Red Seal certified daughter, Leah, and her mother

developed these fine morsels of wholesome delicacies

based on Fair Trade and organic ingredients, such as chocolate and coconut cream.

 

Check out the various confections, such as (clockwise from the top) Hazelnut Hearts, Hot Chili Truffles, and Lemon Ginger Truffles………………… clockwise-from-top-hazelnut-hearts-hot-chili-truffles-lemon-ginger-truffles

 

……………………Pecan Caramel Cups  (top),   Coconut Almond Cups  (front)……..pecan-caramel-cup-rear-coconut-almond-cup-front

…………..Raspberry Truffles  (L),  Peppermint Cremes  (R),…………………….

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…………..and my personal faves:  Maple Cremes and Peanut Butter Cups.
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As the notice on the door under “Owner Operated”  proudly advises, “The person who built this business works here.”           That says a lot!sign-on-door

Pure Lovin’ Chocolates also offers packaged delicacies:
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and also on offer is their organic Chocolate Caramel Sauce.
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Check it out, either in Fan Tan Alley south of Fisgard or off Pandora Avenue entering Fan Tan Alley.
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Pure Lovin’ Chocolate
#102, 3 Fan Tan Alley 
Victoria
250-590-0414
www.purelovinchocolate.com

Open 11 – 6 Mon- Sat,  11 – 5 Sun.

The Pier Bistro

“Sit in reverie and watch the changing colour of the waves that break upon the idle seashore of the mind.”  — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

And what better place to do so than at The Pier Bistro!

Pier view

Located at the very end of Beacon Avenue, Sidney’s main street, right out on the end of the pier is where you’ll find the aptly named Pier Bistro.

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There’s indoor seating for blustery days, but we were here on a gloriously sunny day and chose a waterside table.  We watched the waves lapping in the sun, boats out on the water, seagulls lazily soaring by and even a proud mother duck and her six ducklings paddling by just beyond our table.

The Pier’s crab cakes were made to just the right done-ness, with just a bit of a spicy bite to them, but not so much that you become suspicious of what’s being hidden.  Good flavor!

The Spicy Thai Salad was refreshing with interesting greens and lots of cashews.

The piece de resistance was The Pier Bistro’s eggs benny, which is a Crab Benny, served on a crab cake instead of a biscuit.  Unique and delicious!

Come here when your company arrives from landlocked locations – they’ll be impressed!

The Pier Bistro
2550 Beacon Ave W, Sidney, BC
(250) 655-4995
Tue – Sun  9 am – 9 pm
Mon  9 am – 4 pm

Saigon Char-Broil Vietnamese Restaurant

“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.”
Oscar Wilde, A Woman of No Importance

Our meeting was at 6:30pm at the library by Tillicum Mall and we were caught in the excruciating crawl of rush hour. Plus we were ravenous and had been looking forward to trying out a new (to us) restaurant, so when we arrived at the Saigon Char-Broil we were ready to be impressed!

Do you want a fast and delicious meal before the movie begins or after a tiring day of shopping or after sitting comatose in rush hour traffic?

Come to Saigon Char-Broil Vietnamese Restaurant. Opened just over a year ago this tiny restaurant delivers the goods and then you do feel capable of forgiving the traffic!

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We ordered their most popular dish, # 6 Rice Noodles and Springrolls with marinated lemongrass and a choice of chicken, beef, pork, prawns, tofu or pork & garlic loaf. I had the chicken…

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and my friend had the beef.

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In minutes the bowls were placed before us and consumed with great pleasure. The beef was pronounced tender as was the chicken. The cost of #6…12.95 (plus tax).

Saigon Char-Broil Vietnamese Restaurant
#113-3170 Tillicum Road,
Victoria, BC

778-432-2000

Mon-Sat: 9:30am-9:00pm
Sun 11:00am-8:00pm

Butter Baked Goods Gourmet Marshmallows

“Money can’t buy happiness. But it can buy marshmallows, which are kinda the same thing.” Marthastewart.com

On the urgent suggestion of a friend, (What!!! you have never had Butter Marshmallows… Oh…I couldn’t stop eating them…good to the last one!) Lil and I hurried over to Dig This on 3rd Street, Sidney, BC to purchase a package of Butter Baked Goods Gourmet Marshmallows.

IMG_5664As you can see they would make wonderful hostess gifts, stocking stuffers or ‘I was thinking of you’ gifts.

Dig This carries 3 flavours (there are currently 18 flavours) and I chose the Toasted Coconut. It was delicious! Good bye store bought marshmallows, hello Butter Marshmallows!

 

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Butter Baked Goods Cafe is a neighbourhood bakery in Vancouver, BC. Rosie Daykin’s (owner and baker) vision is to bake and sell “…yummy baked goods you remember from your childhood, made from scratch every day using only the best ingredients in everything produced.” The gourmet marshmallows put her bakery ‘on the map’.

 

found at
Dig This
9813 3rd Street
Sidney, BC
M-Sat 10-5:30
Sun 12-4

White Heather Tea Room

“Yes, that’s it! Said the Hatter with a sigh, it’s always tea time.”
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

 On a beautiful west coast summer day Lil and I visited the White Heather Tea Room. The tables were dressed in white linen cloths and adorned with china cups and saucers, sugar and creamer and white napkins. I yearned for a beautiful garden hat and white gloves to complete the setting.White Heather Tea Room

 

After perusing the menu we decided to go big and ordered The Big Muckle Giant Tea (for two). The highlights of the Big Muckle were the warm (freshly baked) scones, mini cheese scone with smoked salmon, a savoury surprise, tea sandwiches and the fresh baking. The tea was delicious and though we have hearty appetites we had to pack some of the baked items home.

 

White Heather Tea Room

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White Heather Tea Room
1885 Oak Bay Avenue
Victoria, BC

250-595-8020

www.whiteheather-tearoom.com

Tues-Sat. 10:00-5:00

Closed Sun & Mon

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….

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

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

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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

 

 

Brasserie L’Ecole

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” -Virginia Woolf

I assured my sister in law that if we were at the door of the restaurant 15 minutes early in order to line up we would be guaranteed a place. Luckily our stroll through Chinatown was short because there was a lineup of 22 people by the time we walked back to the restaurant. (And we still had a waiting period of 25 minutes before the bistro opened.)

Brasserie L’Ecole is a classic French Bistro establishment with a seating capacity of 50 (which includes the bar). It has a no reservation policy. The L’Ecole portion of the name pays homage to the building being a former Chinese schoolhouse. Though one has to line up outside before the restaurant opens once inside one is treated to extraordinary food. We ordered the Endive salad, with bacon, apple and walnut and the Brasserie Burger with bacon, Gruyere cheese and grain mustard aioli accompanied with Frites- sprinkled with Parmesan, garlic, parsley and truffle oil: all tasty and sublime. We had dined well!

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IMG_3909Brasserie L’Ecole
1715 Government Street
Victoria, BC
250-475-6260

www.lecole.ca

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

bin 4 Burger Lounge

To eat well, I always disagree with critics who say that all restaurants should be fine dining. You can get a Michelin star if you serve the best hamburger in the world.

David Chang

 

Gourmet Hamburgers- check

Locally grown products- check

House cut Kennebec French Fries-check

Freshly made House Salad-check

House made Dip for Fries-check

Buns from Irene’s Bakery

 

What is not to love about bin 4’s menu! 17 uniquely styled burgers including the classic Heritage, the Dirty Bourbon, Mr Bean and the The Angry Bull.

 

Bin 4 bourbon burger

 

The Dirty Bourbon

I ordered the Heritage burger with aged white cheddar, a freshly made salad with a divine lemon champagne honey vinaigrette and piping hot fries…. crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. I chose the roasted garlic aioli dip….one of 9 dips and it complimented the fries beautifully. The gene pool chose the Dirty Bourbon and The Angry Bull with fries for their side. We all agreed that the burgers were awesome!!

bin 4 cheese burger

 

 

The Classic Heritage with Bacon

 

Bin 4
180-911 Yates Street
Victoria, BC
250-590-4154

&

3271 Maple Street (across from Home Sense)
Saanich, BC
250-590-6565

&

107-716 Goldstream Avenue
Westshore, BC
778-265-5464

 

 

 

 

 

 

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