Island Road Trip – Roost Farm Centre 

ROOST FARM CENTRE (9100 East Saanich Rd., North Saanich, BC)

A couple weekends ago, the Brit and I hopped on a ferry for a mini birthday (his) holiday on Vancouver Island. As with most of my travels anywhere in the world, there was a mechanical delay. (Surprise!) Silver lining: we got to capture the sunset at the beginning of the eventual boat ride and spend the rest of the journey inside (read: warm), planning our activities for the next day.

The delay made us very late for our dinner reservation (we got there 30 min before closing – see note below), but that leads me to my recommended start to a trip to Victoria: Roost Farm Centre.

A recommendation from one of my executives at work, Roost is a gem. Located on 10-acre farm located 10 minutes from Swartz Bay and right next to the airport, it is bistro, bakery, and winery. With a focus on keeping it local and sustainability, Roost takes “farm to table” to another level. Everything is made on site; mostly from ingredients grown or raised on the property. Absolutely my kind of place.

When you walk in, it’s enormous and cosy all at once. Yes, a barn can be cosy. Red checked table cloths, mason jar vases, and poultry-themed artwork displayed everywhere.  You won’t run afowl. Ha. Sorry.

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Speaking of chicken, my Maman makes an excellent roast chicken, but I’m not afraid to say that the meat in the  Chicken Curry I ordered edged hers out (by a small margin). The Brit had the BBQ Chicken Pizza, and same deal. Super tasty.

Wine wise, they make a lovely red, but they don’t sell it bottled. Which is a shame, because, again, lovely. But they do sell their other varietals.

Our waitress was incredibly nice and when she saw how crestfallen I looked at not being able to buy a bottle of the red, we were given a taster of their The Laird’s Ginger Sweetheart. I don’t like dessert wine. But apparently, I like it when it’s made with Siegerrebe (see-geh-RAY-buh – took me while…) grapes and a hefty dose of ginger. My sips made me wish for apple pie and vanilla ice cream. So, naturally, I bought a bottle. 

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We went back to the Mainland via Departure Bay, but next time we take the ferry over, Roost will be visited in the daylight. (Roost makes all of their bread and pastries from their own wheat. Hello, fresh bread.)

Note: We discovered that many places on the Island close early, even in the city. This is one of them. Roost closes at 8pm M-F and 9pm Sat/Sun. 

More Island road trip posts coming soon!

If you are killing a chicken and cooking a chicken, it has to taste like chicken. Veal has to taste like veal. You have to be able to identify what you’re eating. One of my worst experiences is when I can’t tell what I’m eating. It is a waste.

~Joel Robuchon~

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