Monday, November 26, 2012

Pacific NW Holidays: Simply Fresh Dinners


Today's post about Pacific NW Holidays goes a bit north of Seattle - to Vancouver Island.  Robyn from Simply Fresh Dinners joins us today with her take on a luxurious holiday tradition!  I think you're going to really enjoy this one, and may even find yourself planning your next vacation there before you're done.  I have to warn you though, you will leave this post hungry for a delicious, gourmet, locally grown Pacific NW meal for sure!  Read on...


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There is a mystical place on the west coast of Vancouver Island that embodies nature’s most spectacular landscapes and creatures, the unique artistry of local craftsmen, and the blissful pleasures of home grown organic food.  This place is Sooke Harbour House and every year during the Christmas holidays my friends and family visit their restaurant for a meal that can only be described as out of this world.


This romantic getaway has 28 oceanfront rooms and is nestled into the banks of the Pacific Ocean with beautiful views of the Olympic Mountains in Washington State.   I`ve stayed overnight a couple times even though my home is just 30 minutes away.  It`s just that irresistible!




The property is on two and a half acres and beautifully landscaped.  The rooms are true to west coast design and the furniture is made by local craftsman.  I`m particularly fond of the chairs in the restaurant and after my first visit here, I inquired about the designer and was told he lived just down the road.  His name is Rusty Sage and  I went to visit him and  was so impressed with his work that I commissioned him to do my kitchen table and chairs and staircases in my home that I was renovating at the time.  The ones in my kitchen are almost identical to the ones below.







 
Whether you`re curled up watching winter storms or hoping to catch a pod of killer whales swimming by, these rooms are so cozy and romantic.  I love the variety of woods they have used.  Everything is hand crafted.






The inn has a beautiful art gallery and they actively promote local artists from Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.  There is a very large and diverse community of artists in the area from sculptors and painters to jewellers and wood craftsmen and stone masons.   You can also find the art throughout the inn, in the rooms, the restaurants and even in the gardens.



If you`re a foodie, this is the place to be.   Most of the produce is grown right on the property and their seafood is local and fresh.   If you live in the PNW, it is worth a visit just for the food alone.  



The owner, Sinclair Philip, is the Canadian representative to Slow Food in Italy and some years ago was a Slow Food Vancouver Island Convivum leader. His commitment to offering the best in freshness, flavour and creativity is evident in the pictures below.

Sooke Harbour House Salad - Wild & cultivated herbs, lettuces, flowers and blossoms from their certified organic garden.

Early Winter Salad
Robyn has been kind enough to post this recipe today!  Click here to find out more!


Crispy Sidney Lemon Sole, lemon thyme & stoneground mustard spaetzle, basil & argula pistou, savoy cabbage, grilled zucchini & baby turnips, spot prawn & roasted tomato cream, shrimp red pepper salsa


Roasted Berkshire Pork Tenderloin, phyllo wrapped potato & caramelized onion terrine, kale with pancetta, green beans & baby carrots, rhubarb & sundried apricot chutney, rosemary & red wine bordelaise sauce.

Parsnip, Turnip & Borage Soup with smoked Albacore Tuna loin & leek oil.
(caption)

Chocolate torte, rainier cherry compote, white chocolate basil ice cream.

The best way to walk off all that delicious food is to take a stroll along their beachfront.  There are also kayaks available and if you are staying overnight there are plenty of whale watching and fishing charters available.  I am passionate about the killer whale population around Vancouver Island and Puget Sound and there  plenty of opportunities to view them here.  There are also grey whales, humpback and a few years ago a rare blue whale was spotted along this coast.   If you are a bird watcher, there are plenty of bald eagles, golden eagles and blue heron.



Thank you, Barbara, for the opportunity to share one of my favourite places and Christmas traditions with you and your readers.   No matter where you are, the Pacific Northwest is always in your heart and it was a pleasure to revist such warm memories.

Photography
Pictures of the food are from  the beautiful blog  A legg up , http://www.aleggup.com/?m=0
All other pictures are the property of Sooke Harbour House


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I warned you this was going to be irresistable.  :)
I'm not sure what drew me in the most - the food, the inn or the whale sighting!  
Thank you Robyn for such an incredible tour of a place where anyone would be lucky to celebrate a holiday!

9 comments:

Teresa at Splendid Sass said...

I wish I could pack my bags and head there now! Such a charming and quaint place, and the food captured my attention too.
Thank you for sharing.
Teresa
xoxo

carolyn bradford said...

I wish I could pack my bags along with Teresa! This post was so wonderful! I truly grew up sort of close to this area and it is dear to my hear! Even if I hadn't….it still has my heart for some reason! We will definitely have to stay in this wonderful Inn…and eat this incredible food and do some whale watching! Thanks for sharing your wonderful piece of the world with us!

The enchanted home said...

Wow this is simply a dream! I want to hop on a plane and go now.....how spectacular. Thanks for sharing this special destination Barbara, and hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

John F said...

Wow, what an amazing place. It leaves me aching to visit. I can't even imagine spending such a majestic holiday like Christmas in such beautiful surroundings. And the food sure didn't look bad either...thanks for sharing, Robyn.

Leslie said...

Living in the pacific northwest, most of us kayak and are committed to protecting the orcas and other wild life. Sustainable snd organic farming are common and help create some of the finest food in the nation:)

Situated in a breath taking location, I am sure this spot would make the perfect destination at any time if year. Thanks for the grand tour!

Leslie

pretty pink tulips said...

Barbara,
Hellooooo!! This was a gorgeous post full, making me want to finally plan that trip to Seattle and swing north to Vancouver!!

Hope your Thanksgiving was lovely and that you are enjoying your holidays in Seattle!

xoxo, Elizabeth

Haus and Home said...

Wow the views are amazing and those salads look divine!

designchic said...

I just love her blog and this wonderful place...dreaming of this delicious food!!

Robyn said...

I'm so glad everyone enjoyed my Christmas tradition. Thanks so much for your kind words, everyone!

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