On Tuesday, we drove the long way to Chemainus from the Saanich peninsula. It was a very nice drive, I must say. There wasn’t that much in the way of traffic, the highway was fully functional, the weather good.
Michael and I had been to Chemainus about two decades ago, and our memory of it was fond. We thought we’d see what’s changed.
We stopped in at the information place, and the lady there was keen to tell us all about Chemainus and its murals, although it’s not reason we visit places. We like to poke around in the shops, take a few back roads and see what we find. Well, we found a piece heaven this visit!!!
We stopped in the Chemainus bakery which was hosted by a brand new and ethusiastic staff member at the front counter. This lady loves to chat and was happy to explain the place. This bakery has been around for 65 years, and in the 65 years, has been sold and bought by three families. Each time ownership transfers, the recipes go with the place, so the baked goods sold today, are what were sold 65 years ago.
At first just looking for a place to sit down and have a coffee, we started off timidly by sharing a lemon square. It was very good, the coffee, the tea and the square. Feeling a bit braver, and after hearing that the quiche were still warm, we decided to forgo lunch elsewhere, and shared a quiche. It was amazing. By this time, we were making friends with our counter-person (who by the way is from Ladysmith, then Chemainus, then Edmonton, where she had three kids and a husband, then left the husband, and after pining for Chemainus moved back just two years ago) and getting fully brave to the wares of this place, we had seconds in our coffee and teas, and bought, for our evening tea, two sourdough buns (which were the best sourdough buns we ever eaten), and two…..I must allow time for the heavens to open, angels to sing, and harps to play…..
Oh my dear god. These were the best pastry ever to enter our bellies. How to describe? Looks a bit like a cinnamon roll, but inside there is a layer of almond paste, and a drizzle of icing on the outside. I kid you not, last night I had a dream that Michael and I returned to the bakery to get more. In my dream I even had a chat with the counter-person, and she had a good laugh at us, and said “told you they were good”. So overwhelmed with the taste, texture and stodginess of it, I completely forgot to take a picture. I scoured the net and can’t find something that resembles one. So, dear reader, you must go to Chemainus yourself and find this bakery in old town, and buy a Copenhagen – buy several! Buy some for me!
After this experience, we strolled through the rest of Chemainus, realized the time, and headed back towards the Mill Bay ferry. This is called the Most Beautiful Short Cut in British Columbia. It shaves off 45 minutes of our travel time between Chemainus and the Saanich Peninsula. In fact, the dock on the other side is found in Brentwood Bay which is a five minute drive from the Butchart Gardens, which is exactly where we ended up after our journey for a cup of tea and a stroll. How convenient is that?
The picture of the boats is the little harbour at Chemainus, not Mill Bay. All this great photographer managed to capture at Mill Bay is her husband exiting the car to look at the seals and explore the ferry.
Just a few more pics of us at the Butchart Gardens yesterday. The first is us in the Japanese Garden.
The second is quite obviously a rose, but one must consider that I have viewers in Edmonton who are under snow and may very well have forgotten what they look like!