Friday, September 9, 2011

STAMP #3: Victoria, BC

Prior House
A slow start to the day with a leisurely breakfast and coffee on the verandah with Ian McPhee, the innkeeper at the Abbeymoore Manor. Talked about the demographics of his clientele. Many Americans and Albertans. He says he gets people from all over the world - last week some Finns and often Germans and Dutch. The VHI's packages are great sellers with the gourmet and whale watching the favorites, and the gardens a close second.

Spent 40 minutes touring Prior House Inn across the road. Elegant and refined with a lovely garden and views across the treetops of the Strait. Panelled in white oak and pastel shades throughout. Some rare Venetian chandeliers and matching sconces. Lovely garden too. Candice Cooperrider is the owner.

Albion Manor
Discovered Ian had called my next inn, Albion Manor, and my room was ready. So I arrived just before lunch. What a contrast - very Victorian inside and brightly painted outside. The innkeepers are a Spanish artist and a Canadian chef/carpenter/gardener. They have done all the interior and exterior restoration themselves since they bought the property six years ago. The furniture is dark and heavy, but they have many beautiful antiques and artifacts from other eras. Many pieces created by the artist, Fernando, are included and some have a terrific sense of humour.  He has also painted some small, exquisite figures and Oscar Wilde quotes in out-of-the-way corners outside. My bed is a four-poster and cost them $20K!!

The garden is fantastic and my balcony looks over a pond with waterfalls, a bridge, and many water plants. They have a huge gargoyle they found at a local auction on top of the coach house, now a one-bedroom apartment!The inn is a block from the Inner Harbour.

Had lunch at Santiago's before heading out to photograph the remaining three inns - Humboldt House, the Oak Bay Guest House, and the Dashwood, which is right on the Strait of Juan da Fuca. Amazing views from this one.

Home tomorrow to set to work on the first article.

Images: Julie H. Ferguson 2011

STAMP #1: Victoria, BC
STAMP #2: Victoria, BC