Since I’m celebrating the 10 year anniversary of Miss604 on November 13th, I figured that a retrospective series was in order leading up to the event. Over the last 10 years I have personally published over 6,240 posts while family and friends have contributed over 200 guest posts. I’ve decided to pick out my Top 10 posts in various categories and showcase them this week.
Top 10: Food Experiences on Miss604
My best food experiences over the years have been selected based on the menu, the scenery, and the company that was with me:
10. Treetop Tapas and Grill
The ideal girls weekend checklist: Stay at an awesome resort by the sea (check). Spend all day at the spa (check). In your spa robes, visit the bistro for all-you-can-eat tapas and some cocktails (check). You can do all of this at Tigh-Na-Mara’s Grotto Spa and Treetop Tapas and Grill. My stay at Tigh-Na-Mara in 2009 with Keira was definitely made for this list.
9. ART Restaurant at Four Seasons Seattle
There are many excellent places to dine in Seattle, and we usually gravitate towards those of the “brewpub” variety however it was at ART Restaurant at Four Seasons that I first had what have become some of my favourite flavour combinations. John and I enjoyed Crab wrapped in cucumber, sunchoke bisque, pan seared halibut with fiddleheads, and Giorgio’s Limoncello. It was this limoncello that led to me ordering it on special occasions at Nook in Vancouver (usually on my birthday).
8. Nanaimo Bar Trail
In a stroke of pure genius, Chelsea Barr of Tourism Nanaimo created a list of all of the places in downtown Nanaimo where you could get Nanaimo Bars and Nanaimo Bar inspired confections, drinks, and desserts. I first experience the self-guided Nanaimo Bar Trail in 2010 and again in 2013. Highlights include the gluten free bar at Mon Petit Choux and the Nanaimo Bar Martini at Modern Cafe.
7. Brunch at Reflections
While it’s only open seasonally, Reflections at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia is a lovely oasis in the city where you feel like you found a secret patio between downtown towers that’s just for you and your party. John and I enjoyed a very cozy brunch in one of their cabanas on a rainy afternoon, complete with champagne and strawberries, while we snuggled under a blanket and the outdoor fireplace roared. It was definitely one of the most romantic brunches I’ve ever had.
6. Circle Farm Tour
Every Vancouverite who truly believes in supporting local producers and eating local ingredients needs to check out a Circle Farm Tour. These self-guided routes lead you from farm to artisan, to farm. Maps are provided for Harrison Mills & Agassiz, Langley, Pitt Meadows & Maple Ridge, Chilliwack, and Abbotsford. One of my Circle Farm Tour Highlights was doing the Slow Food Cycle Tour in Harrison/Agassiz in 2012 and the farmer + media dinner earlier this season.
5. Afternoon Tea at the Fairmont Empress
You have a slice in New York, poutine in Montreal, fish and chips in London, and when you’re in Victoria, you enjoy Afternoon Tea at the Fairmont Empress. While craft beer culture has taken the city by storm, the classic and timeless tradition of afternoon tea is a must-do. I’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy it twice, once in 2010 with Keira and in 2011 with my family, which included a mini Princess Tea for my niece.
4. Araxi Longtable Series
Get a table long enough to seat a few hundred people and set it up in a clearing on the farm where most of the ingredients for dinner will be sourced. This is the epic event that is the Araxi Longtable Series. John and I have covered two long table events, the first at North Arm Farm in Pemberton and the second at Lost Lake in Whistler. Both featured BC-fresh dishes served up on location by Executive Chef James Walt and his team and paired with BC wine.
3. Tacofino Food Truck
No Vancouverite’s list of food destinations would be complete without mentioning our famed food trucks and street vendors. The very first of which I visited was Tacofino Food Truck, and I’ve been back several times since. The food is delicious but Tacofino is also a meeting place at lunch hour, where I find Keira or John downtown and we take a moment out of our day to enjoy the city and devour devilishly good fish tacos. Everyone has a favourite food truck, and this one is definitely mine.
2. Ka’anapali Fresh Festival Maui
The best food festival I have attended in my years of blogging is the Ka’anapali Fresh on Maui. Over several days we attended seminars, tours, and tasting events that served up local, Maui fare using the best ingredients the island has to offer. At the market there were farm-fresh eggs, pineapples, smoothies, broccoli, bok choy, green beans, kale, pohole (young fern shoots), and offerings from the Alii Kula Lavender Farm. We had MauiGrown Coffee, Maui Blanc Pineapple Wine, Moloka’i purple sweet potato gnocchi, and of course SPAM hash from the breakfast buffet at the hotel.
1. Hastings House on Salt Spring Island
Apple juice from the orchard, edible flowers from the garden, lamb from the meadow, and spot prawns from the waters off Salt Spring Island. Hastings House, situated on the hill between Ganges Harbour, surrounded by forest and meadow, is one of the places on earth where I am the absolute happiest.
Our first time at Hastings House was in 2011 and last winter we spent a few winter nights there again, holed up in the manor overlooking the harbour and tending to the crackling fireplace. Hastings House also hosts a Chefs Across the Water series where they fly in Canadian and international chefs to cook pairing dinners using Salt Spring Island ingredients.
For its amazing scenery, dedication to local produce and ingredients, its afternoon tea to its evenings sipping wine by the inglenook fireplace in the manor, Hastings House tops the list when it comes to culinary experiences for me. A very honourable mention goes to Harbour House on Salt Spring just down the hill from Hastings House. When in season, 80% of their food served comes from the island.
More themed Top 10 posts will follow this week and be sure to get your tickets to the #Miss604is10 anniversary party: