Tried a new patio today for lunch. We motored down to Tigh Na Mara to check out the patio at the Cedars Restaurant. It quite delightful and cool and appears to be semi permanent since the tables  are on what used to be grass. Nice tables, nice umbrellas. But it was empty. Guess everyone is at the beach. 


We ordered an adult beverage and after perusing the menu we ordered. No crab cakes here so my favourite girl chose the Shrimp Croissant which she thoroughly enjoyed. I opted for the BLT which was a winner with a large portion of grilled chicken and tasty bacon. The Fries were really good too. The menu included Chowder, Halibut & Chips, Burgers etc. Not cheap, but that is to be expected at a hotel. 


Our server was a charming, attractive and efficient young lady. She only had us as customers so service was good. Apparently the patio gets busy in the evening. The bar appetizer menu is available after 2 and it includes their excellent Popcorn Shrimp which we have nibbled on  previously.  On  Tuesday and Wednesday the still have the half priced appetizers in the bar. 

Thinking of outdoor dining? Check out this patio at Tigh Na Mara. 

Just saying…


We are so fortunate to live on Vancouver Island where there is such an abundance of fresh local meat and produce available. Fruit, vegetables, meats, wines, spirits, we have it all. We can go directly to farms, or buy at the various farmers markets. But if it’s meat you are after here are two businesses you need to check out if you have not already.



If you haven’t shopped at HILLIERS GOURMET FOODS you really must give it a try. Located not far from Qualicum Beach on Highway 4,the Alberni Highway, it is a European style meat store. They make their own double smoked  bacon and it is excellent. They made the breakfast sausages for our Canada Day Brunch and they were maybe the best we’ve ever enjoyed. 

Where else can you buy fresh Pork Bellies?  When I figure out how to cook them, I’ll buy some. 

The selection of in-house made sausages is large too. 

If you are a foodie you need to check this joint out. 

Speaking of meat, the other wonderful meat market in the area that is a must go, is NESVOG MEAT & SAUSAGE COMPANY in Nanaimo.  This place is like Mecca for Carnivores. It is a family run operation in business since 2005.  It’s large and busy. On our last visit there were at least 8 staff behind the counter taking orders.  They are courteous and efficient. Be sure and take a number and wait for it to be called out. 

The inventory on display is amazing. Steaks? Take your pick.  Sausages made right there! Many varieties. We like the spicy Italian Sausage which is great with Pasta. All manner of Pork, too. Ribs, Chops, Roasts. And Chicken galore.  

Want something marinated? Try the Maui Ribs. Best we’ve had. They also do Maui Steaks. And several kinds of delicious looking Kabobs as well as  several varieties of chicken wings. We put the Buffalo Wings on our bbq the other night. Excellent.  Sliced meats and other deli items can be had also. How about stuffed Portabello Mushrooms?  Right there and ready to go. 


More than meat there is an excellent cheese section and a host of oils, mustards, rubs, crackers, breadsticks, etc., you will want to browse through. Not up to making dinner? The ready to go meat pies are very good as is  the Shepherds Pie and the Lasagne. Usually available are fresh berry pies in a small size perfect for two. 

The main store is in TERMINAL MALL on 19A about a kilometre or so past the Departure Bay turnoff if you are heading into Nanaimo. They have a Second much smaller store on Bowen Road near Northfield Drive but the main store is the place to go.

If you have not tried Nesvog, please do so soon. Check out their website

Just saying…


How we have missed TROLLERS on the dock at the Nanaimo Boat Basin is beyond me. We’ve driven by it dozens of times in the seven years we’ve lived on the Island but had never stopped.  Luckily, on Tuesday some old boating friends from the States were returning from an Alaska trip and stopped to overnight in Nanaimo.  They called and asked if we could come in for a visit. Where can we get good Fish & Chips they asked.  I told them I thought there was a joint right on the dock. And there was.   So we met them at TROLLERS.


What a pleasant surprise! This joint has really good food.  And our American friends loved it.  Trollers is not fancy to be sure.  Rather it’s really casual.  Order at the window and wait for the food to be delivered.  Disposable cutlery and baskets but good food.  From Halibut, Ling Cod & Salmon to Fanny Bay Oysters, Calamari, Crab Cakes, it all looks good.  Our friends had Cod & Chips and Onion Rings and enjoyed it all.   We had already had dinner so we shared a one piece Cod & Chips.  Our server said they have the best fish & Chips in Nanaimo and I believe she is correct.

Go on a sunny day and sit outside at a picnic table.  Very casual. Indoor seating is available in case of rain.

There is ample parking in the parkade nearby and its a short stroll down the ramp to Trollers.  Next time we have a Fish & Chips craving we are heading there even if they don’t serve beer or wine.  Check out their website for the menu and hours.  By the way, they also have some Gluten Free items.

just saying…







Lunch in Campbell River

Fabulous sunny day on the island so a drive with the roof open was in order. Took the old highway to Campbell River with the plan of attending Wings & Wheels, a plane and car show at the Campbell River Airport.  

Before the final destination lunch became important so we parked near the big marina and headed for the Rip Tide Pub.  We didn’t quite make as right next to it is a MOXIES and their patio looked inviting. 


The menu looked good and the food going by looked really good. My favourite girl chose Chicken Fingers which were excellent. A large order so I felt compelled to help her out. Huevos Rancheros seemed a good choice for me. They were perfect. Pulled chicken between two tortillas with tiny black beans, rice and avocado topped with two fried eggs and a delicious spiced sauce. Different than I’ve had before but I’d order again in a nanosecond. 

The service was prompt and friendly and the servers and bussers  were well trained and efficient. 

The Rip Tide Pub next door is also very good and we have noshed there several times. 

If you are hungry in Campbell River, you can’t go wrong in either of these eateries. 

Oh, the plane and car show. It was pretty good some great cars but the best part was touching a B25 MITCHELL BOMBER from WWll.  Didn’t get to see her fly but just seeing her up close was pretty cool. There were almost 10,000 built in the US. There are more than 100 still around the world and about 45 are still airworthy. Amazing after more than 70 years. 


By the way it was HOT at the airport. 31C! 

Just saying…


Since I was in a quandary about what to do for lunch, we hopped in the car and headed to Courtenay. Took the old highway as usual. Had heard good things about a joint in Courtenay called the WHITE WHALE PUB so decided  to give it a try. 


It’s a pretty nice place done in standard pub decor, white plaster and dark beams along with dark furniture. Also has a nice deck hanging over the river where you can observe Kayakers paddling by. With all the trees around the rivers edge it feels like a grotto in the bayou. Quite charming. Quite Large and quite EMPTY. 


The servers were friendly and prompt. We decided to order drinks and share an order of  Fish & Chips.  The fish was Ling Cod which was very tasty although the portions were on the small side. Excellent batter and  an interesting tartar sauce.  

The glass of Island Lager was cold and good but pretty small for $4. The cheapest glass of wine was $10 for 5 ounces. A little pricey.  $18 for a Burger?

I guess they figure they can charge more because all their ingredients are locally sourced. Or maybe the prices are the cause of a small crowd on a sunny summer afternoon  


You can check out their story, the menu etc., on the website.

My favourite pub, the CROW & GATE PUB is much better value as is the Lantzville Pub. But it was a nice change and a lovely drive. 

Just saying…


In the past couple of weeks I have enjoyed two books about our West Coast. The first was


 by Adrienne Mason, a Tofino resident. She traces the history of Long Beach covering the people as well as the flora and fauna. I was particularly interested in the history since she mentions my grandparents who lived at the beach in the 1920’s. The author provided some history about them about which I was unaware. She also details the activity during  WWll when a sizeable air base was built between Tofino and Ucluelet. It’s an entertaining  read and if you enjoy Long Beach you will enjoy this book. I downloaded it from Amazon Kindle but you may find it in hard copy at your favourite bookstore. 

Our good friends Phil & Marilyn Clark cane to stay with us a couple of weeks ago and brought me a book written by Marilyn’s sister in law Pat Ardley. 

GRIZZLIES, GALES & GIANT SALMON..Life at a Rivers Inlet Fishing Lodge

It is quite a tale. Pat Ardley and husband George, he from Lake Cowichan, she from Winnipeg built this lodge from scratch starting in their 20’s and ran it for 40 years. This couple were amazing pioneers!  She explains how they built the lodge, all on floats, how it grew to become one of the premier lodges on the coast. The hardships, the challenges, the satisfaction is all there. It’s a wonderful story. 

If you want to inhale another breath of the West Coast, pick it up. 

Finally, Peter Mayle has a new book coming out. Mayle is the author of the famous A YEAR IN PROVENCE , which launched a series of books by him of life in the south of France. His first book inspired us several years ago to rent a small apartment in the little village of St. Thibery, in Languadoc Province.  We stayed for two weeks and absorbed the small town French culture if the area. It was wonderful. 

Peter Mayle’s latest book is 



It will be released on July 26 but you can read a promo for it right now on Amazon. Can’t wait to read it. We have read almost all of his other books and enjoyed them completely. 

If, by chance, you have not read any of his books, well,  Giddy Up. You have missed some fine entertainment.

Just saying…