Last month, I took off for a couple of days of much-needed R&R to our Province’s capitol. Ostensibly, I was there to research a piece I was writing, but I was also there at the end of a very busy semester, to have some chill time.
I was there alone, and that was nice under the circumstances, but there were a few times when I wished I hadn’t been by myself. Victoria, BC, you see, is a very romantic city. There’s a reason folks have been honeymooning here for oh, a hundred or so years, and it’s been named “The Most Romantic City in Canada.”
So, if you are thinking about getting your sweetie something something special for Valentine’s Day, might I suggest, a quick trip across the Straight? The dollar is crap right now, anyway, so going south of the border is out of the question. There’s tons of wonderful things to do in good ol’ YYJ.
Where to stay:
While in Victoria, BC, last month, I stayed at the Magnolia. It’s grand. It’s a boutique hotel, right in the heart of the city. The rooms were incredibly romantic–mine had a fireplace and a view of the Parliament buildings. You can sit around by the fire with your sweetie and drink Bailey’s Hot Chocolate (or wine) and just relax. They also have a spa, and one of the options there is a private room with side-by-side tables for a couples massage. I’m just saying. The staff was also wonderful–super friendly and accommodating.
What to do:
Okay, so you have a home base. And maybe an appointment for a couples massage. What do you fill the rest of your time with? I can think of a few things, but this post is rated PG-13, so let me suggest a few things…
Take a romantic stroll. Government Street will be all decked out in pink-and-white fairy lights for V-day. Go for a hand-in-hand stroll with your sweetie down this charming old street, and end up in the inner harbour. Walk down the steps to the seawall, and maybe stop and make out on one of the benches there while looking at boats and lights.
Stoke the fire with aphrodisiacs. Chef Shirley Lang at Kitchens of Distinction is offering aphrodisiac tasting menus. This dinner focuses on food, drink, herbs and spices that are thought to help to *ahem* get you “in the mood.”
Play some games. Check out The Interactivity Board Game Cafe. They have tons of board games here for you and your partner to go head-to-head on, perhaps while sharing one of their homemade milkshakes with two straws? How romantic.
Learn about Victoria’s Debauched Past. You can take a “Scandals and Sex“ walking tour after dark in downtown Victoria. You’ll see sights and learn all about Victoria’s not-so-prim past, including bordellos, saloons, and gambling dens. Oh la-la!
Have a cocktail. Well, nothing seems to get people in the mood more than a few good drinks, and Victoria is known for its Cocktail Culture (read my article on that subject here). My favourite places to drink in YYJ are Little Jumbo and Veneto. You may also want to check out the brand-new Be Love, as well (how aptly named!). They’re serving Dirty Old Fashioned, a take on the classic cocktail, this one served with Shilajit, an ayurvedic medicine which delivers focus and mental clarity.
Brunch Out. The morning after the night before, you’ll want to sleep in late, but then indulge in mimosas and eggs. Victoria, BC has an amazing selection of brunch joints. I recently brunched at The Village, and the latke bennys were outstanding. For more brunch suggestions, check out Chantal Ireland’s list of the best brunches in Victoria.
So, get out of town this Valentine’s Day, and take your sweetie someplace nice. I promise you, the effort will be worth it.
For more ideas on a romantic (or down and dirty) Valentine’s Day in Victoria, click here.