If you come to Oak Bay, you can’t help but notice the quaint laneways, Victorian architecture, and English influence everywhere you look. However, if you’re looking for the royal treatment, follow our guide below on living like a king or queen for a day.
The South Island has been known to host more than a few royals in its day. While you can find High Teas and British experiences throughout Coast Region, Oak Bay has a few destinations that offer the same great experience without the high price tag or long waits.
Reserve your high tea experience at the White Heather Tea Room. Order an impressive tower of finger foods, hor d’oeuvres, pastries and tea sandwiches to pair with high-quality loose-leaf teas. This lovely and leisurely ritual will make you feel downright regal.
English gardens are readily available in Oak Bay. However, there are a few dazzling spaces you can visit to get your fill of flowers and greenery. Finnerty Gardens is located on the edge of the University of Victoria Campus. This lovely oasis is frequented by students, staff and the public year-round. This space equals instant Zen and relaxation.
The other garden space we highly recommend is the Abkhazi Gardens – home to the community’s own royal family. Here, the backstory is just as romantic as the venue itself. Formerly owned by the Prince and Princess of Abkhazi, this love story includes an escape from the Bolshevik Revolution, time in Shanghai and a World War. When the globe-trotting couple finally settled in Victoria, they developed their one-acre property into the beautiful gardens that locals and visitors now enjoy today. It’s truly magical.
The space is now managed by The Land Conservancy and the gardens can be visited year-round. The Tea Room on site also offers wonderful items in the gift shop and a four-star tea service, including the Moroccan Tea with four courses and specialty gunpowder tea. Entry is by donation.
To cap off your majestic experience in Oak Bay, dine at the Windsor Café. This friendly couple-run café provides a seasonally rotating menu with fresh ingredients and a great selection of wines, cocktails and beers. The cozy atmosphere and garden patio are both great choices to dine on mussels, charcuterie or the soup du jour. For little ones in tow, be sure to ask about the kid’s menu.