Vancouver Island’s Butchart Gardens Offers Beautiful Fauna and Delicious Food

Don’t just visit for the flowers, stay for a delicious dinner or afternoon tea
Vancouver Island’s Butchart Gardens

Shaena Engle

Butchart Gardens' "Sunken Garden" was completed in 1921.

Created in 1904 in Brentwood Bay on Vancouver Island, Butchart Gardens houses over 55 acres of majestic gardens. During the summer, guests can enjoy concerts, fireworks, and a night illumination display into the evening as visiting hours are extended until 10 p.m.

In addition to thousands of varieties of plants and flowers, the gardens also have several dining options on the property. In 1947, the Benvenuto Garden Teahouse opened, serving spring and summer afternoon tea and fall and winter high tea. Today, executive chef Travis Hansen utilizes local ingredients to create a seasonally inspired tea menu including a berry trifle; house-made sausage roll; roasted onion and asparagus quiche; sandwiches that include egg salad, smoked salmon, maple glazed ham, chicken curry, and English cucumber and cream cheese; and desserts like a chocolate brandy napoleon, an orange poppy seed loaf, French meringue, and a chocolate truffle. Candied ginger scones with strawberry jam and Devon-style whipping cream are also served.

Seasonally inspired dishes featuring ingredients from local farmers and fisherman are served in the Dining Room overlooking the Italian garden.  Standout dishes include scallops with roasted peaches and bacon, Cedar Falls smoked trout, pork chop with ham hock and bean succotash, salmon and poached egg with hollandaise, and rack of lamb with blue cheese ravioli. Desserts include rhubarb ricotta pound cake, a chocolate marshmallow brownie, and tiramisu.

The property’s Blue Poppy Restaurant serves casual fare in a conservatory like atmosphere with large windows and skylights overlooking the gardens. On Saturdays and for special occasions, gourmet picnics are available to enjoy while watching events and concerts.

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