Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Diversion: Sooke Harbour House

The Sooke Harbour House deserves more blog time than the one sentence I allotted in my last post. This lovely hotel combines nature, food, art, and relaxation anytime of the year (my four favourite things in life) and is just a short 40 minutes drive from Victoria, BC. Overlooking the Olympic Peninsula, SHH is remarkable for so many reasons but my focus was on the culinary philosophy and offerings from this luxurious but whimsical destination.

Decorative details showcasing SHH's devotion to food

Both the exterior and interior of what is essentially a great big oceanfront house reflects SHH's devotion to all things food, celebrating the journey that food takes from the field or ocean to the plate. Even in the winter, wild greens flourish and end up in my Seventeen Leaf salad (I counted just to double check). Undoubtedly, the summer months would offer a more bountiful harvest of edible flowers, herbs, fruits, and vegetables but we were impressed by what was available during this cold dreary March, especially the 8 foot tall walking stick cabbage.

Demonstrating the field to plate philosophy

As a city mouse, not a country mouse, having a wood-burning fireplace in our room, the Passion Flower room (appropriate since my all-time favourite pastry ingredient is passionfruit), was a novelty. Every nook and cranny of the house is covered in local artwork inspired by the natural vistas and wildlife from land and sea. The wall of crabs in the dining room was particularly amusing, especially because of Eric's birthday cake.

the SHH dining room wall of crabs
There is very little negative to say about the SHH, except that I did not like the deconstructed apple strudel which concluded the seven-course tasting menu. Exceedingly sweet, it was a far cry from the impressive trio of sorbets we had the night before, pairing local flavours such as apricot and sage in creamy form. Ignoring this minute detail, our weekend at the Sooke Harbour House was the perfect romantic getaway to celebrate four decades of Eric's existence with outstanding local cuisine and beautiful surroundings.

1 comment:

Leslie said...

very cool place. too bad it is a million miles away from tampa