September 14, 2005 | Tips from Us >
Qualicum Beach, Shopping
Find more information about Qualicum Beach - Shopping
If you're in the Qualicum Beach
area on Vancouver Island
, stop in to Smithford's Island Time Gallery in Qualicum Village. Their motto says it all ... "If you don't need it, we've got it." Smithford's uses their space to great effect, displaying unique and charming artwork by local and BC artists inside the store as well as in front, back and side garden areas. On display are fantastic folk art sculptures for the house and yard, beautiful hand-made furniture, jewellery, clothing, bath products, you name it. Smithford's merchandise isn't cheap, but products aren't outrageously priced considering their quality and unique nature. Allow yourself an hour or so to browse as there's lots to see, and you're guaranteed to leave with a smile on your face!
August 17, 2005 | Tips from Us >
Duncan, Wineries & Vineyards
Find more information about Duncan - Wineries & Vineyards
My husband and I went wine tasting with some friends recently in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island's east side. We got off to a late start and only had time for a few stops, but had a wonderful afternoon. The valley, along with other parts of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands
, has a rapidly-growing wine industry and produces some excellent, award-winning wines. Finding our way from one winery to the next was made easy by the "Wine Route" signs that now direct visitors from the highways to the wineries throughout the province. We started at Merridale Estate Cidery in Cobble Hill just south of Duncan and tasted some amazing ciders made from freshly-pressed apples grown on the estate. Personal favoutites were the Scrumpy and the Traditional Cider. We also visited a few wineries, the highlight of which was Godfrey-Brownell Vineyards in Duncan. Even though we arrived late in the day (after 6pm) we were warmly welcomed and were even treated to a basket of bread and a plate of some delicious Vancouver Island cheeses. The wines were excellent (particularly the Merlot and the French Oak Chardonnay) and the setting is serene and lovely.