Maple Palace

“Thousands of red leaves bringing endless opportunities and prosperity.” — from a wall mural at the Maple Palace Restaurant

Having just returned from Phuket and Bangkok, Thailand, I was craving Asian food — especially after the in-flight fare! However, I was certainly not up to preparing it myself, and neither was my husband, so he suggested we pick up take-out from the Maple Palace.

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“Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine…” Casablanca


What a pleasure it was to walk into this gin joint ….. The Victoria Distillers, located by the water’s edge in downtown Sidney. I had taken my nephew and his wife there in March and they raved about it to my brother and sister in law so that when they were in town last weekend the Distillers was their number one destination.

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Deep Cove Chalet Dining Room

All four elements were happening in equal measure — the cuisine, the wine, the service, and the overall ambience.  It taught me that dining could happen at a spiritual level.  — Charlie Trotter, in “Our Cuisine”


Living on the Saanich Peninsula, we are totally spoiled by breathtaking views every day, even in wintertime.

             This is in fact the view from the dining room, looking out onto Deep Cove (west of Sidney) on a foggy, wintry day.
Since this past winter has been so cold, it seems that every time we were at the Deep Cove Chalet we missed the sunshine.  Yet the West Coast’s wintry beauty comes through the world-class view.

The dining room has an abundance of fresh flowers on every table, arranged by Bev, who impeccably manages the dining room together with her husband and chef, Pierre.  Going out to the Deep Cove Chalet is always a treat because of, well, because of all factors:  great views, friendly and personal service, really good food that’s well presented and an extensive wine list.

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CHUCK’S BURGER BAR- Another visit

Whenever possible, I use local, fresh ingredients, just because it tastes and feels better to eat an egg or a tomato or a hamburger that wasn’t flown halfway around the world, that didn’t travel on a truck and get stuck in traffic jams, that hasn’t been sitting in a supermarket’s refrigerator case for days. Kate Christensen

Chuck’s hamburgers are freshly made, freshly grilled and delicious. That is why, son by son,  I am introducing the gene pool to Chuck’s Burger Bar, located in Sidney, across from Sleggs Lumber. (Check out the first post on Chuck’s Burger Bar published in October)

Gene pool #2 did a huge favour for us so I treated him and hubby to burgers.

My son ordered The Guilty Pleasure Burger: Ground bacon patty (yep, ground bacon) with 2 slices of Jensen’s cheese and Chuck’s special sauce.




So good!


and hubby designed his own burger: Angus beef, chorizo sausage, onion rings, Texas barbecue sauce, tomatoes and lettuce. Awesome was the verdict!



and this is Chuck’s version of Caesar salad: Romaine lettuce, bite size pieces of bacon, tomato, slices of hard boiled egg and a creamy dressing.


Chuck’s Burger Bar
2031 Malaview Ave W,
Sidney, BC

(778) 351-2485

Mon-Sat 11 am-10:00 pm


“those of us who read because we love it more than anything, who feel about bookstores the way some people feel about jewelers…”
Anna Quindlen, How Reading Changed My Life
I love bookstores; always have and always will unless robots or androids are behind the counter. A bookstore says to me that I am home, that I am in a safe place.  And that is how I feel when I enter Tanner’s. Tanner’s is a friendly bookstore. The staff are welcoming, the aisles are wide, the sections clearly marked and the books are a mere arms length away.
And the magazines…. I am amazed at the selection this independent bookstore carries.
Are you interested in Cooking, Chocolate, Art, Journaling, Finance, Writing, Wildlife, Model
railroad, Cycle, Boats, Model airplane, Motorcycle,
Men’s Health, Outdoor life, Golf, Skiing, Running, Yoga, Pilates, Knitting, Sewing, Travels, Cars, Home Decor, Tiger Beat,
International Magazines….I buy Maison Chic and The English Home magazine….and would love to buy more. Can one have too many magazines??
plus  Newspapers from Great Britain
a Travel & Nautical Section with great maps, charts and books.
and a Children’s Section which is well stocked with books and games.
Tanner’s stocks Tintin!
Tanners also has an extensive collection of greeting cards, calendars, games- Suduko and puzzles.
and meet the owner of Tanner’s Books …. Cliff.
Thank you for a marvelous bookstore and a friendly and helpful staff!
I adore this statue outside of Tanners.
Tanner’s Books
2436 Beacon Ave.
Sidney, BC
Sun-Sat 8:00am-9:00pm

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!

img_8207         beacon-cafe2


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

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!


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.

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


Beacon Cafe
2505 Beacon Ave 

Chuck’s Burger Bar

Life is too short to miss out on the beautiful things like a double cheeseburger. Channing Tatum
A burger is a work of art? You bet. Sean McNeill, coFounder of McTavish Academy of Art (next weeks post), told me about the newly opened Chuck’s Burger Bar. I hurried over there with Gene Pool #1, all 6’3″ of him, to try out this new burger joint.

A five minute drive from the airport, Chucks is located across the street from Sleggs in the industrial section of Sidney.


The place was busy but we managed to find a table in the back corner. Rustic wood tables formed an L shape around the bar, some high tables and some low tables. An extensive menu was placed in our hands. This is one page of the detailed menu.


Now, here is the deal. One can order from the menu Chuck’s special burgers that he has put together ( Your Hawaiian Pleaser, The Cuban Super Burger, Fancy Schmancy Cheese Burger to list a few) OR one can build their own burger(not literally). Choose from various meats ( Premium Angus Beef, ground Bacon Burger, Lamb, Venison, Turkey, Chicken, and a veggie burger), cheeses, add ons such as grilled onions, mushrooms, pickles, lettuce, tomatoes and various condiments. And Voila! your specifically designed burger.

I chose to build an Angus beef burger with bacon, cheddar cheese, lettuce and mayo…..


Gene pool #1 chose to make a Bison burger with many more condiments, cheese, bacon, avocado and lettuce. When it arrived my son said, “How am I going to get my mouth around that?” He found a way to do it.


We thought the burgers were excellent.

Chuck’s Burger Bar also has a detailed poutine list and a number of starters and salads.

At the time that we ate at Chuck’s Burger Bar they were Cash only and liquor was not yet available.

Chuck’s Burger Bar

2031 Malaview Avenue

Sidney BC


Sun-Wed: 11am-10pm

Thurs-Sat: 11am-12am


Victoria Flying Club- Discovery Flight

Sometimes, flying feels too godlike to be attained by man. Sometimes, the world from above seems too beautiful, too wonderful, too distant for human eyes to see …

— Charles A. Lindbergh, The Spirit of St. Louis,

My youngest was turning 25 and I wanted to purchase a memorable present for him. When I came across the Victoria Flying Club-Discovery Flight, I knew that this was the perfect present for my son.  A Discovery Flight includes a tour of the Flight Centre training facility and a 35 minute flight in a four seater plane.

Braeden holding his Discovery Flight gift certificate.


Braeden had a tour of the flying center and then he and the pilot boarded the small plane to begin the 35 minute ride…


… once they were up in the air, our young man was invited to fly the plane.


While Braeden was up in the air, (his parents) relaxed on the terrace of the Dakota Cafe, sipping a beer and enjoying the Oriental Chicken salad.IMG_7638

The co pilots flew down the east coast of the Island, around Victoria and Langford and up the Finlayson Arm. Braeden said it was an awesome experience: so cool and amazing!


The Victoria Flying Club is located at the Victoria International Airport complex. The Discovery Flight is $94.95 plus taxes and is a wonderful gift for friends and relatives. What a gem!!!!

Victoria Flying Club
101 – 1852 Canso Rd,
Sidney, BC


8:00am – 8:00pm 7 days a week

Charity Shops in Sidney by the Sea

Waste is worse than loss. The time is coming when every person who lays claim to ability will keep the question of waste before him constantly. The scope of thrift is limitless. Thomas A. Edison

Charity/thrift shops abound in Sidney, BC. In a span of a few blocks I visited 5 different shops, each sponsoring a different charity. Through the year I have purchased almost new clothing, hard cover best sellers, DVDs,  a Spode Blue Room plate, coffee and end tables, Sklar Peppler sofa with down cushions, silverware and crystal and the list goes on. I have shopped with girlfriends, husband and by myself. This is enjoyable no stress shopping and in doing so I am supporting a local charity. Join me on a tour of the charity shops of Sidney, BC.

Cat’s Cradle- Second Chances Charity Shop

Cat’s Cradle Animal Rescue was founded to rescue, rehabilitate, spay/neuter, and re-home distressed, abandoned, or neglected cats and dogs considered un-adoptable by reason of health, age, appearance, or temperament. (taken from website)
#101 9780 Second Street
Sidney, BC
Monday – Saturday: 10 am – 5:30 pm (open Thursday until 7:30 pm during Sidney Street Market)
Sunday: 12 pm – 5 pm



And across the street there is……

The Green Door Thrift Store: 

Formally the Animals for Life Charity Store, now under new management. (taken from Facebook page)

9781b Second Street
Sidney, BC

(250) 656-4071



and Saint Vincent de Paul: a Catholic organization of lay people who promote and perform works of charity through personal service. (from website)

9775 2 St, Sidney, BC
 (250) 642-7824

 Mon-Sat: 9-5 pmSun: Closed



then on Fourth Street….a fairly new one has opened…

Our mission: To protect and enhance the quality of life for domestic, farm and wild animals in B.C. (from website)

9768 Third St,
Sidney, BC


and across the street from the BCSPCA is the beloved Beacon Community Services

Beacon Community Services is a community-based, not-for-profit agency. … family, training and employment, adult recreation, housing, and volunteer services. (from website)

 9775 Third St., Sidney, BC; Phone: 250-656-3511

9781 Third St., Sidney, BC; Phone: 250-655-6416

9760 Fourth St., Sidney, BC; Phone: 250-656-6828



I invite you to spend a delightful morning or afternoon perusing the nooks and crannies of Sidney’s thrift stores and thank you for supporting these charities.

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.

Pier Bistro 5
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