You flash your ankles at anyone who’ll look, prefer a giant slice to a petit four, and mingle in mixed company without a chaperone. Not so Victorian?
Not to worry. With its evergreen forests, unstuffy restos, and colorful shops, neither is Victoria.
Breakfast on the cusp of Canada’s oldest Chinatown. At trendy MoLé, raw and vegan foods are rounded out with hearty meals like the house Benny in a smoky paprika cream sauce.
Silk Road’s laid-back but educated approach to tea showcases infusions like the blossoming Everlasting Kiss or Japanese sour cherry. Duck into the natural spa for a Mandarin manicure or green tea facial.
Lunch at quaint Lucy’s in the Square (1296 Gladstone Avenue; 778-430-5829) in Fernwood or grab house-made prosciutto, patés, European cheeses, and baguettes from Choux Choux Charcuterie to picnic on the waterfront.
Lower Johnson (LoJo) brims with hip boutiques like Rebel Rebel (585 Johnson Street; 250-380-0906) and Hemingway (560 Johnson Street; 250-590-8774). In Trounce Alley you’ll find posh She She Bags (616 View Street; 250-388-0613) and She She Shoes (616 Trounce Alley; 250-383-1883) as well as the crafty Button & Needlework Boutique.
Tuckered? Head to bed at The Oswego Hotel, where modern rooms overlook the city (including the Parliament building) and the sea. Inn at Laurel Point provides seawall paths, a Japanese garden, and ponds for scenic strolls.
Venturing outside the area is worthwhile, too. The Butchart Gardens and Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse make a great day trip. Goldstream Provincial Park offers temperate rain forests and bald eagle sightings. And Seaflora’s seaweed harvesting tours and thalasso therapy lessons prove a fun afternoon.
Of corset’s up to you which you bustle off to.
Hot and bothered for more? Then get to Summer Trippin’.