Day 9: Victoria Island; Tea at the Empress

Published: October 6th 2018
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Victoria, BC

Friday, October 5

Our first, and only, day of inclement weather. Rain. No big deal. We have the umbrella and our coats to keep us warm and dry. It won’t be a long day in Victoria, as we depart around 4ish.

Christopher and I get our tickets for the shuttle, get on the warm bus and head into town. We stop on the main shopping street in Victoria (this could be a problem) and get out of the rain asap. Conveniently, the bus stopped directly in front of a store featuring Irish wool and linen. We are always on the lookout for linen napkins as we no longer use paper napkins in our house. Eliminate paper waste, and the water used is the same as used for our towels; we mix our towels and napkins together. Win-Win.

The shop was nice and warm and our saleswoman couldn’t have been nicer or more accommodating. We purchased a total of eight napkins: four in a red pattern and four in a blue “Versailles” pattern. HAPPY!

We still have time before Tea, so we continue to walk along Government St. We just stroll from store to store and find a square, which reminds us both of The Cannery in SF (circa 1977). Quite a variety of entrepreneurs here in Victoria, which is encouraging. Stores featuring natural cosmetics and essential oils, natural fibers and local designers using earth friendly materials – I think it’s excellent- particularly given that these entrepreneurs are typically younger. Wasn’t what we were looking for, but I hope others are purchasing their wares.

Back to the main street and we both react to the same store The Black Goat…..cashmere. UhOh. In we go. We spent the better part of an hour, perhaps more, trying on sweaters, coats and vests. There were piles and piles of cashmere sweaters: v-necks, zip fronts, cable knits, crew necks all our cast offs. The beautiful walls had been decimated once we got to trying on sweaters. The clerks were quite attentive and very focused on making a sale. I detoured from what she was showing us headed over to the cabinet and helped myself to a pile of sweaters which looked interesting. BINGO! Wine ¼ zip with grey trim around the placket. DONE. Christopher bought it’s cousin in green. We are both quite happy with our purchases and realize the time….we have 10 minutes to Tea. Gotta MOVE!

Tea at The Empress Hotel Lobby is to be experienced. This is our second time and we just love the experience, selection of teas and nibbles. We all met at the hotel, except Stephen who, is seems took a tour of Butchart Gardens. He arrived just as we were being seated, timing is everything. Our server explains the process and provides with a selection of teas – teas selected; four heating bases are placed on the table and our tea pots arrive and gently placed on the heating bases. This is quite a process! Our nibbles arrive and we all, quite literally dive in, a civilized as possible!

We sat and chatted, sipped tea nibbled on the best scones ever before moving on to the savory and sweet portion of our towers. Stephan shared his trip to Butchart Gardens – we’d been there on a previous trip. Spectacular gardens. Sharing the pictures, we notice a car….it seems he hired a Daimler to take him and another couple to the gardens. NICE! Sweet ride.

We finish our tea, settle the bill and head back to the ship. On the bus, Lee says she’s going to Martini’s for a prosecco….any takers? Eventually we all showed up at the bar for sail away. Why not? Eventually we were able to partake of the freebies offered when we set sail. All told, I’m guessing we were at the bar for a good while. As is should be.

Dinner was the grand dining room. We finished the Amarone last night in Toscana, so both Christopher and I are off wine for the evening….after all we just had cocktails and such in Martinis! While at dinner the captain comes on for a weather update. UhOh.

40 knot winds from the north. Batten down the hatches, this boat is going to rock and roll. We finished dinner and head off to bed – and hope for a restful night.


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