Be Your Own Secret (Foodie) Santa!

I love to cook; it’s my job as well as my hobby. This year, however, I feel the need to kick back and take more time for myself. But because food is a huge part of my family’s enjoyment of the holiday season, I refuse to compromise on taste, flavour or quality; I’m pleasantly surprised to find we won’t have to.

Butchart Gardens
What sets your mouth watering more than the aroma of spiced nuts? Or a carefully crafted charcuterie plate with cranberry mustard, potted smoked salmon, and rosemary lavash? Follow this up with aturkey roulade, purple, gold, and orange caramelised carrots roasted in Babe’s honey and cashew cream, and smashed buttery fingerling potatoes served with rich turkey gravy. All this after a beautiful starlit walk through the decorated, festive Butchard Gardens – definitely my idea of not compromising. Click here for details.

The Fairmont Empress
Victoria is synonymous with The Empress. This year choose between two different experiences; a Pacific Northwest-inspired festive five-course dinner with featured wines at The Q Restaurant or the Christmas Day Dinner Buffet in the Crystal Ballroom where you will enjoy chef attended carving stations, seafood, classic Christmas dishes, and a children’s buffet accompanied by live piano music. Visit their website to book your own memories.

Image courtesy of The Empress

The Coast Hotel – Blue Crab
Fancy a seafood inspired Christmas? Head to the Blue Crab at The Coast Hotel for their signature chowder of fresh clams, leeks and bacon. Or forgo fowl for a dish of Oceanwise sockeye salmon and butter poached wild prawns in a lemon buerre blanc. Of course, there will be oven-roasted turkey with buttermilk-mashed potatoes and caramelised Brussels sprouts for the traditional devotee. Check out the full menu here.

Don Mee’s
For something delicious yet completely different, let your taste buds lead you to Don Mee’s for Cantonese/Szechuan dishes that will leave you wanting more—more crispy Peking duck braised to a beautiful mahogany colour with Chinese pancake, more five-spice spareribs, more steamed Dungeness crab with green onion, just to name a few. See their full menu here.

Chateau Victoria – Vista 18
Enjoy the best views of the inner harbour and the downtown area’s twinkling holiday lights from the 18th floor of the Chateau Victoria Hotel at Vista 18. Enjoy a Holiday Lunch Buffet of carved fryer tuck roast local chicken, steamed buttered potatoes and fresh winter vegetables. Finish your meal with various cakes, tarts and petit fours while you take in the breathtaking scenery. 

With these worthy choices in mind, you should find plenty of opportunities to be your own secret Santa this year, and leave the hard work to the elves!

— Kirsten Taylor

Feature image courtesy of The Empress

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