What better way to getaway from the daily grind of work that a quick trip to the Island, to visit our charming capital Victoria, BC. Enjoy a little rest and relaxation and even a bit of shopping at some of Victoria’s many unique boutiques.
Put on your comfortable walking shoes and join me as we hit the ‘sleepy’ streets of Victoria!
First stop Bastion Square, if you can try to make it there on a Friday as it is a market day, which is always worth a visit. It is also open studio day at Elate Cosmetics studio giving you a chance to visit their beautiful space. If you are looking for some locally made skin care while you are there, Elate carries the Miiko Skin Care Co line. The line is woman owned, toxin free, and made locally in Victoria. Bastion Square is also home to some of Victoria’s local artists and their wares; beautiful jewelry, woodwork, and even seaweed pressings and archival seaweed prints.
With many options for food in Bastion Square, Rebar Modern Food is a local favourite for a quick bite. Try the roasted yam quesadilla with a local brew, but leave room for dessert; their mixed fruit crumble with walnut streusel is tops. This spot is very busy as it is also in the square but is worth the wait.
Just around the corner on Government Street is Lush housed in a beautiful heritage building with wall-to-wall brick and wood giving it an industrial loft feel. If your hotel did not have great toiletries, this is your chance to pick up one of their many tempting shower gels, soaps or maybe a mask for some down time later like their Mask of Magnaminty face and body mask.
Next stop – Chinatown, this is the oldest Chinatown in Canada and one of the oldest in North America. Definitely one spot to visit here is Silk Road Tea Company; their flagship store is located on Government Street and opened in 1992 and they have since added a location in Kitsilano. This store is beautiful and offers so much more than just tea! Silk Road Tea Co also has a full skin care and body care line that is gluten, soy, dairy, dye and artificial fragrance and petrochemical free. Their spa has also been voted Canada’s Best Organic Spa. If you are planning an eco-spa day with friends, be sure to book early and stay for some tea at their tea bar once your service is completed.
Make sure you head down Fan Tan Alley, Canada’s narrowest street. In the alley, you will find hidden gems like Saltspring Soap Works and Devil May Wear an eco-chic women’s clothing boutique that uses sustainable and locally sourced materials to create their fashions whenever possible.
If you still want to do some more shopping, The Milkman’s Daughter is located just down and across the street from Silk Road Tea Co. This is the sister store to Smoking Lily where you can find the same ethical and funky fashions locally made with love. One piece you should invest in is the Le Petite Anglaise skirt which is perfect for travel and so comfortable you will want to wear it every day; this piece is available at both shops.
Get some walking in and learn more about Victoria’s sometimes dark past; the perfect way to do this is via a guided walking tour through Discover the Past. There are multiple routes to choose from, and there are also daytime walks available. All walks originate in the inner harbor Visitor Information Centre at 812 Wharf Street. I find this is a great way to see more of the city and learn about some of the heritage buildings and their history, see some amazing architecture and gain some new insight into the city’s history as a whole.
For a nightcap, be sure to hit Spinnakers Brew Pub to enjoy a sip on their deck overlooking the water and Songhees Walk, the perfect place for a stroll afterward. Before you go, be sure to visit Spinnakers shop downstairs to pick up some homemade dog cookies for the fur kids.
Victoria is such a great getaway even if you are limited for time. The city continues to grow and is becoming a gastro destination as well thanks to the city’s great variety of microbreweries and restaurants. The ocean breeze is very welcome at night during the summer, and the winters there are mild, so take some time out for Victoria’s splendor.
Event Announcement! I will be at Raw Vancouver on September 28th at the Harbour Event Centre. I will be doing makeup applications and sharing beauty advice at this cool arts and culture event. Also showcasing will be a great array of musicians, photographers, painters, and makeup artists. Further details and ticket purchase details here.
Peace, Love, and Lipstick!
Next week: Makeup Trends for Fall