Sip and Savour Vancouver Island
Food and drink on the islands is an intoxicating mix of our wild and creative sides. Out here, on the edge of this world, we are the guests of this benevolent host. Our artisan’s imaginations contribute an additional element to the whole experience that has become an exceptional food and drink culture.
Prepare to be surprised. A sample in a winery tasting room will imprint this place on your palate forever – the earth, the salty air, plus the ingenuity of the vintner is in every glass.
Local here means abundance from the ocean, first and always respected by our native peoples. Local means heritage apples brought by the first European settlers and soft cheese from the milk of goats who really do gambol in pastoral farmlands. Local is beer crafted by curious people who experiment, especially with island grown hops. Like everything grown on the islands, the climate, soil and geography of this place create distinct flavours only known here.
Farmers, chefs, vintners, brew masters, mead and cider makers, butchers, cheese makers, bakers, distillers, chocolatiers, foragers, all work together to bring forward their best. Read on for a quick overview of our culinary specialties and a few suggestions for creating a personal visitor’s food and drink experience.
Qualicum Beach Inn
The Qualicum Beach Inn and C-View Restaurant- the perfect blend of romance, charm and culinary pleasure!
Our restaurant provides awesome ocean views, the finest in West Coast cuisine and an impressive wine cellar. Our Chefs are continually sourcing the freshest local ingredients and seafood is a speciality.
In the warm weather you can take advantage of our full dining experience on our expansive, landscaped patio complete with fireplace and, yes, those ocean views.
Stay for a night or two in our newly renovated boutique hotel that is a reflection of the values and character that make Qualicum Beach such a unique place.
You will find beautifully appointed rooms across from the beach and within walking distance to Qualicum Town Centre. Rooms have a patio or balcony for relaxing and watching our famous sunsets. They also include complimentary wifi, 50” HD TV, Nespresso coffee maker, iPod docking station, luxurious bathrobes and parking is free.
The Hotel is complete with a Fitness centre, indoor pool with outdoor sunning terrace, hot tub and sauna.
Host your next Event at the Qualicum Beach Inn! Our Conference room is the perfect venue for meetings, corporate and special events. The room opens to a covered terrace and patio with lovely views and the room itself is fitted with the latest wireless audio visual equipment and 90” television. Food and beverage service is available in the conference room, on the terrace and licensed patio.
Discover what our guests are raving about: “Qualicum Beach Inn is a gem!”
Merridale Cider, Bistro, Orchard Spa, & Distillery
Merridale is a delicious destination in the Cowichan Valley—an apple orchard, craft cider house, small batch distillery, and wedding and event venue.
Learn about the production of cider and spirits through a tour. Stroll the orchard while the kids search for faeries living amongst the cider apple trees, and then step up to the tasting bar for a guided tasting of our cider, spirits, or fortified ciders. Shop for local artisan items in the farmhouse store. Celebrate a special occasion with family and friends at a unique and beautiful venue. Experience glamping on Vancouver Island with a stay in one of our yurts. Check our website for upcoming special events, like our Sunday Pizza Nights. Pets are welcome!
In our bistro, enjoy local cuisine, a large patio overlooking our orchard, and, of course, apple cider hand-crafted just steps from the bistro’s kitchen. This authentic Vancouver Island restaurant combines cider pairings and seasonal menu items inspired by nearby Cowichan Valley farmers, vintners, and cheese-makers. Bring home delicious baked goods made fresh that morning in our brick oven.
Merridale is located in Cobble Hill, in the Cowichan Valley, on the southeast coast of Vancouver Island, about 40 minutes north of Victoria and 1 hour and 20 minutes south of Nanaimo. Open daily.
Sea Cider Farm and Ciderhouse
Sea Cider is a farm-based cidery located on the Saanich Peninsula just minutes from Victoria, on Vancouver Island. Our ten acre farm is home to over 1,300 apple trees, made up of over 50 varieties of heritage apples.
Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse has also become one of the top agri-tourism attractions in Victoria and Vancouver Island. Relax at our ciderhouse, and drink in the panoramic water views overlooking our orchard across the Haro Straight to James Island. The Ciderhouse is open for tastings and tours year round 11 to 4. Sea Cider is also the perfect venue for large and small weddings and corporate events and family functions. Enjoy a flight of ciders paired with organic cheese and other local delectables. Top off your visit with a tour and browse our selection of hand crafted farm product.
Reconnect at Tigh-Na-Mara, Vancouver Island’s Natural Choice for your next getaway, retreat or corporate event. Located in picturesque Parksville, BC, Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort & Conference Centre provides rustic charm in the heart of nature. Experience the comfort of handcrafted accommodation nested in a 22 acre forest above 3 kms of sandy beach. Enjoy the Grotto Spa voted the #1 Spa in Canada, two unique restaurants, free wifi, indoor pool, fitness facilities, plus the warmest ocean swimming waters in Canada. Our extensive seasonal Recreation Program offers families opportunities to reconnect, discover, explore and enjoy memories to last a lifetime.
Recently named the #1 Spa in Canada – The Grotto Spa at Tigh-Na-Mara believes in offering guest experiences that go beyond the expected. Guests enjoy treatments with a focus on West Coast natural ingredients and all treatments 60 minutes or longer include complimentary access to the Grotto Mineral Pool, invigorating cool-splash
waterfall and whirlpool on the day of their visit. The Grotto Spa is also home to a dining experience unlike any other. The Treetop Tapas & Grill is reserved exclusively for robed spa guests to enjoy tapas samplings from the chef’s menu. Choose to try one or two or indulge in “Endless Tapas, sampling as many items as you wish from the chef’s presentation. With fresh local seafood, spa inspired anti-oxidant cuisine & delectable desserts; the tapas sized portions are perfect for sharing. With 20,000 square feet of spa bliss, we give relaxation a whole new meaning.
All our accommodation units offer unique log construction, a wood or gas fireplace, kitchenette or full kitchen,
and many rooms feature their own jetted tub. Our pet-friendly cottages are perfect for vacationing families, the ocean view condos are ideal for romance seekers or busy business travelers and the spa bungalows can accommodate
groups, girlfriends and couples seeking a one-of-a-kind spa getaway.
At cedars restaurant & lounge, our inspired chefs are creating local, regional and international dishes from the past and present. The seasonal menu showcases the freshness of the season with appetizers and entrées that embrace rustic dishes with a contemporary spin. Enjoy the restaurant and enjoy the city’s best lounge.
Regroup in the heart of nature with over 10,000 square feet of meeting space to accommodate small and large groups. Oour team is committed to providing service excellence that suits your needs while amenities and
banquet facilities ensure a distraction-free experience.
We welcome all our guests to take time to enjoy our 22 forested acres, 3 kms of sandy beach, many resort amenities as well as exploring the abundance of hiking, mountain biking, golf, marine & outdoor attractions only a short drive away. Reconnect here and create lifelong memories together!
Blue Moon Estate Winery
Our award winning fruit wines are crafted from 100% BC organic fruit, picked at the peak of the harvest and created in small batches. From the orchards and berry patches of our farm and our fellow farmers, come wines crafted from apples, pears, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and black currents.
Next time you’re looking for a dry to off-dry table wine to have with your meal, a refresher for the patio, or a dessert/appertif wine to linger with – surprise yourself with a delicious fruit wine from Blue Moon.
The winery and Blue Moon Kitchen, are located at Nature’s Way Farm, a sweet little blueberry farm, 5 minutes from downtown Courtenay or from the Inland Island Highway and 20 minutes from Mount Washington.
Please see the Food page of this site to find out about our special events at the farm.
Our winery name, Blue Moon, exemplifies the individuality and uniqueness of our wines. We know that our wines are an expression of the harvest and reflective of the fruit and the place that it is grown.
The adventure began in 2004 when George slipped a real estate ad for an organic blueberry farm onto my desk. “Are you nuts?” as I crumbled it up and tossed it into the recycle bin. We had just moved from the high Arctic and I had a “little” garden in mind, not 4,000 blueberry plants and a greenhouse operation! After playing with the idea for about a week in my mind I told George that I wanted to go look at it. He then said “Are you Nuts” but then he humoured me as men do and we drove to look at the farm. The rest is history they say.
It has been ten years of learning plant science, learning patience, growing fruit and 5 years since the selling of our first wine.
I am a Landscape Architect, interested in ethnobotany and herbal medicines and George, an Engineer who comes from a Swiss family who made wine out of anything available and who followed this tradition and made all sort of liquid beverages in University, embarked on a path of passion and risk. George took to the science and chemistry of wine and left me to make things “look pretty.” We both believe life is really short and once should embrace the opportunity to do what you love to do.
We know how important great fruit is to the finished product. We are committed to organic and sustainable farming methods. All of the fruit we use is hand-harvested, allowing us to choose only the very best fruit for our wine. We love to create unique and exciting wines and we try to let this come through in every bottle we produce.
Leave behind all of your preconceptions about fruit wine as you walk through our door. You will be treated to our well crafted fruit wines and a unique experience in our intimate tasting room.
Add a sense of historic romance to your stay by choosing one of our unique, heritage, bed and breakfast inns where personal touches and extra attention to detail match the magical ambiance of your accommodations.
Muse grows grapes under the warm sun of the Saanich Peninsula, north of Victoria. We select grapes from notable vineyards in other regions of Vancouver Island, the Southern Gulf Island and the Okanagan Valley. This fine collection of high quality grapes from varying BC appellations blend, sing and dance together to create exceptional varietals with character, poise and vivacity.
The Ellman’s invite you to visit Muse Winery for a taste and tour of the vineyards. In the summer months enjoy the culinary delights of Bistro Muse, featuring a taste of the Island , while dining al fresco on the terrace in the vineyard. Keep an eye on the skies for the nearby nesting eagles soaring above. The Wine & Gift Shop full of original art, gourmet gifts and goodies, tasting baskets, gift certificates and of course… wine. The Tasting Room is open mid-April to the end of December; just check our website for the current hours of operation. The winery hosts a number of art and music events throughout the year, so watch our event calendar on the website or follow us on Twitter or Facebook to plan your visit. Think of Muse for your next private function. Your guests will be delighted to relax in the Tuscan ambiance of our vineyard setting with gourmet food paired perfectly with our wines. We look forward to seeing you soon.
Vancouver Island Expeditions Ltd.
A visit to Vancouver Island isn’t complete without going on one of our many year-round local food, craft beverage & estate winery tours!
Vancouver Island is rich with fertile land and a mild climate perfect for producing wine, cheese, fruits, vegetables, and much more. Sip by sip & nibble by nibble, we will explore the family owned vineyards, breweries, distilleries and local food producers that make our island such a wonderful place to live.
Let us show you our backyard and help you discover the places that will inspire stories that last a lifetime!
Millstone Winery is located just on the edge of Nanaimo, along the Millstone River. The winery boasts an old plantation style home, and a production facility built from re-claimed timbers. With a love of wine, music and food you can enjoy our wines with thin crust wood-fired pizzas, and live music on the patio (weekends from May-Oct) www.millstonewinery.ca for a schedule of guests