Destination: Vancouver Island
Sooke Harbour House
My husband and I have made several pilgrimages to Sooke Harbour House, an hour’s drive southwest of Victoria and home to one of Canada’s most acclaimed restaurants. We never tire of it. The Harbour House is a rambling white-clapboard inn set on a wind-whipped promontory facing the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The inn’s legendary owners, Sinclair and Fredérique Philip, are known as pioneers of terroir cuisine (the idea that food’s flavor comes from its soil and climate), and have transformed their backyard into nearly two acres of herbs, vegetables and edible flowers. A six- or seven-course culinary adventure unfolds each night in the inn’s candlelit dining room. Each of the inn’s twenty-eight guest rooms is different; most are spacious suites with slightly improvised decor that I find completely charming: cotton slipcovered sofas, kilim rugs, a fireplace, an antique chest piled with books. This is the sort of place where nothing is too perfect, but everything is exactly right for the setting. The atmosphere and seclusion conspire to let you do absolutely nothing—or at most, to pour a glass of...
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