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Travel, Food

You can have a fancy picnic while eagles soar by at this insane Vancouver Island hotel (PHOTOS)

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Lindsay William-Ross Jul 27, 2017 4:02 am 1,378

Some meals are just more memorable because they meld two ingredients: Where you are and what you’re eating. It’s a perfect combo at Villa Eyrie on Vancouver Island, where their culinary program is out of this world, and their stunning location is pretty much all views all the time.

Situated at the top of the Malahat off Highway One just south of the Cowichan Valley, Villa Eyrie is a prime resort property with a new lease on life, thanks to new ownership and renovations.

Villa Eyrie

Spread your picnic out in the amphitheatre (Lindsay William-Ross/Daily Hive)

If you can tear yourself away from the windows or balconies of your suite with sweeping panoramas of Finlayson Arm (seriously, you might break your photo finger snapping pic after pic at all hours of the day on this breathtaking view), you can arrange to have a picnic lunch at the peak of the property in the grassy amphitheatre.

Villa Eyrie

Picnic in the clouds (Lindsay William-Ross/Daily Hive)

Prepared by the team of the hotel’s Summit Restaurant, led by Executive Chef Terry Pichor (previously at Sonora Resort), get ready for one of the prettiest and tastiest spreads to tuck into, all packed into a picnic backpack for you. Work up an appetite by hiking to the spot, or drive, and then set up your blanket and sit down for a feast.

Villa Eyrie

Lindsay William-Ross/Daily Hive

While sandwiches, salad, fruit, and treats seem simple, with fresh, seasonal touches like BC berries and rhubarb, and housemade dressing, this isn’t your typical grab-and-go picnic. But holy cow, the view! It’s pretty much like the clouds are your canopy, you will easily lose count of the eagles soaring by (and smaller feathered friends) in the vast airspace over Saanich Inlet. (Eyrie, after all, means “eagles’ nest.”)

Villa Eyrie

Watching the birds go by (Lindsay William-Ross/Daily Hive)

Of course, with a talent like Pichor running the food show here, once you take your appetite into the restaurant itself, no matter what meal, you’re in for a serious treat. Pichor, a classically-trained French chef, has elevated the food at Summit as spectacular as the physical elevation itself.

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Villa Eyrie

Weekend brunch (Lindsay William-Ross/Daily Hive)

While you are lucky enough to dine there as a hotel guest, Summit is drawing people from other inns and motels in the region, along with locals who are driving in from Victoria, Nanaimo, and elsewhere around the island.

Brunch basics like pancakes get an elegant kick up with the bright flavours of lemon and ricotta, while their Eggs Benedict has an array of customization options (like smoked salmon and avocado) to nestle the beautifully poached Lockwood Farms eggs.

Villa Eyrie Summit Restaurant

Scallop Crudo (Lindsay William-Ross/Daily Hive)

At dinnertime, the menu sings with the flavours of the season, presented artfully and often featuring elements like herbs and edible flowers from their onsite garden, located steps from the kitchen itself.

A duo of starters like the Market Crudo (in this case scallops) and the Cucumber Strawberry Salad will use the “whole radish”–sliced fresh in the salad, and the snappy “pods” in the crudo.

Villa Eyrie Summit Restaurant

Cucumber Strawberry Salad (Lindsay William-Ross/Daily Hive)

Entrees range from pastas (available in half portions if you want a lighter pasta course) to BC beauts like Chinook salmon and local lamb. Desserts are playful and round out the meal nicely.

With the option of doing multi-course family style meals and tasting menus, you can let Chef Pichor drive (Villa Eyrie is tied to the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit now, so driving is apt) while you sit back, relax, and enjoy the view.

Villa Eyrie Summit Restaurant

Pasta with side stripe prawns and peas (Lindsay William-Ross/Daily Hive)

Oh, yeah, did we mention the views? Swoon!

Villa Eyrie

Sunset over Finlayson Arm (Lindsay William-Ross/Daily Hive)

Villa Eyrie

Lindsay William-Ross/Daily Hive

Villa Eyrie Summit Restaurant

Look for local pours like this bubbly from Unsworth at Summit Restaurant (Lindsay William-Ross/Daily Hive)

Villa Eyrie Summit Restaurant

Brunch (Lindsay William-Ross/Daily Hive)

Villa Eyrie Summit Restaurant

Mealtime views (Lindsay William-Ross/Daily Hive)

Villa Eyrie summit restaurant

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with fresh strawberries (Lindsay William-Ross/Daily Hive)

Villa Eyrie

Lindsay William-Ross/Daily Hive

Villa Eyrie

Address 600 Ebedora Lane, Malahat, BC

Instagram@villaeyrie


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Lindsay William-Ross
Lindsay is a former Daily Hive Food Editor. A fourth generation Vancouverite, she has also lived in Toronto, NYC, and LA.

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