One of the best parts about writing about food is that other foodie friends often think of me first when they are planning an outing which involves an interesting meal. Recently this happened to me when a food writer friend of mine was popping over to Vancouver Island to work on a newspaper piece about some of the Island’s eateries.
How excited was I when she extended an invitation for me to join her on the first night of her journey, which was taking place at Sooke Harbour House?!
“Pack a bag and an appetite” she said. “We’ve been set up in the Raven Room overnight and there will be a multi-course meal with wine pairings.”
She didn’t have to ask me twice.
I barely ate all day in anticipation of the fresh, eclectic, home grown meal Sooke Harbour House is famous for. I was not disappointed! When we sat down at our beautiful window seat in the dining room our host for the evening, Vincent Lamontagne, offered us the choice of ordering from the menu or having the chef surprise us with a tasting menu. Clearly we chose the surprise option!
Each course featured produce, herbs and flowers direct from the Inn’s property and on site gardens. Excuse me sir, there are violets in my amuse bouche! 🙂
Fresh seafood (you’ve never had octopus so tender!), complex flavours, and all British Columbia wines completed our meal. Nothing like discovering delicious treats available just a road trip away.
After dinner we had the opportunity to chat with Chef Robin Jackson about his food (and life) philosophies. Very much a hands on chef you can just tell by his relaxed discussion that he has a true passion for what he does.
In the morning we were treated to a tour of the property and green houses by Byron Cook, head gardener. After 23 years, he is a wealth of interesting information.
Hey wait! There’s those violets that appeared in my plate last night.
Truly a delicious and very West Coast affair. In the past I have shied away from Sooke Harbour House imagining it as pricey and unattainable but upon perusing the menu and wine list I found it to be a reasonable choice if looking for a restaurant experience a little out of the norm.
You just have to be up for the drive from the city…
Or…dining with someone you care to share a room with. 😉