Dinner at the Q

Ask anyone living or visiting Victoria about iconic landmarks and inevitably they will mention The Empress Hotel. Completed in 1908, this historic hotel just underwent a beautiful renovation in 2017 and is well worth visiting whether it’s your first time or your hundredth.DSC_0002

Dinner at the Q is an experience. Executive Chef, Morgan Wilson & restaurant GM, Albert Kirby have created both a wonderful menu and a warm ambiance that won’t disappoint. During our visit to the Q, Chef Ken Hookham was on hand and kindly took the time to introduce our many courses; he also provided us with an excellent commentary on their in-house food preparation.

One of the amazing appetizers: Beluga lentils, beets, tomatoes, and homemade granola, on a chick pea puree

The Q prides itself on its locally sourced food, with fresh vegetables from the Saanich peninsula and Whole Beast meat products. We were fortunate enough to try the slow-cooked Bison Short Ribs, the roasted Sun Gold Lamb, as well as the roasted Kuterra Salmon.


SPICY CLAM & SAUSAGE GEMELLI – local clams, n’duja, tomato sauce, ricotta salata

The grand finale… dessert, of course! The Q features a number of desserts ranging from cheesecake to their famous Empress Cake, or a selection of their house churned ice creams or sorbets. We chose the hazelnut chocolate torte along with the creme brûlée – a sumptuous ending to a wonderful meal.

Hazelnut Chocolate Torte and Grand Fir Creme Brulee

Thanks to Chef Hookham, our waiter, Lorne, and the staff at the Q Restaurant for an unforgettable culinary experience.DSC_0023

Ashley (1)
Ashley enjoying an Empress 1908 gin martini

See you at the Q for an outstanding culinary experience – bon appetit!

Love is in the air!

dsc_0353Looking for ideas to celebrate LOVE? Apart from ensuring that you surround yourself with people you love, food, wine, and chocolate are some of the best options for celebrating Valentine’s Day!

Valentine Table decor is easy to do… especially after a trip to the dollar store! Lots of red and white, candles, garland, etc.

As Charles M. Schulz once said,”Love is all your need. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” If you’re looking for a great chocolate dessert, check out my previous blog post with a recipe for the “Chocolate Decadence Cake” Always a hit with any crowd.DSC_0013Looking for great beverages to serve at a Valentine’s Party? Here are a few fun suggestions.



The new Bailey’s Strawberries and Cream is so tasty, simply served over ice. Check out their website for more ideas.   Another great choice is “Say Yes” pinot gris by Dirty Laundry vineyard. Also perfect for the month of love is Secret Affair also by Dirty Laundry Vineyard.

Try out the Empress 1908 Gin… depending on your mix, it produces various colours for the perfect Valentine’s Day drink!

Hope your Valentine’s Day is LOVE-ly!IMG_0170


SHINE Fashion Tea

IMG_8566 (1)The first ever SHINE Fashion Tea took place this past weekend at the beautiful Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria, B.C. After months of planning, our committee was thrilled to see this event come together.  Thanks to corporate sponsors, tickets sales and a successful silent auction, we were able to raise funds for B.C. Children’s Hospital.


Todd Talbot (of Love It or List It fame) and his wife Rebecca were our M.C.’s for the afternoon and were utterly charming.


Afternoon tea at the Empress is always a delightful experience!

Music provided by the talented Craig Henderson Trio
Fashion provided by Karl Lagerfeld, Michaels Kors, Connally McDougall & Alex S. Yu
These ladies took on the best hat challenge!

We were proud to be part of this fundraiser for B.C. Children’s Hospital who do such great work for sick kids. If you missed the event this year, stayed tuned for next year!