shopping

Victoria's Top 5 Winter Activities

Now, before you head out to these awesome events, make sure you’ve got a copy of TASTE MG with you! You never know when you’ll need to take a martini minute or a beer break before heading back out to this busy, festive season. Oh you shopped late? Don’t want to go home and make dinner? Taste Mag. Seriously. It’ll end arguments and stop you from making hangry decisions. Ok, now go have fun!

Festival of Trees 

Need a quick Christmas fix? Take a stroll through The Bay Center for the Festival of Trees! From sponsors and organizations to local businesses and individuals, the Victoria community comes together to decorate Christmas trees any way they can! The result is a ‘forest’ of wacky, beautiful, crazy, imaginative trees all to help raise money for the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. This indoor coniferous forest is sure to have you humming ‘Oh Tannenbaum’ in no time.   

November 15, 2018 - January 7, 2019. Free admission.

Gingerbread Showcase 

Move over Granny, these gingerbread sculptures are not your traditional confectionary casas. Created by both professional and amateur local chefs, these detailed, imaginative structures are a treat for your eyes (and nose!). While you’re soaking up inspiration for your own spicy, decorated domicile make sure you vote for your favourite and crack open that wallet to support Habitat for Humanity Victoria.

November 16, 2018 - January 7, 2019. The Parkside Hotel and spa. Free admission.

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Pancakes in Pajamas

‘Tis the season to be cozy, so why not stay in your pajamas and join Santa for brunch at Hotel Grand Pacific with the whole family? Be sure to leave time for decorating cookies and making holiday crafts too! There will be a raffle for a chance to win WestJet tickets or a one-night stay package at Hotel Grand Pacific. All proceeds from the event support Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island.

Sunday, December 16, 2018 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Free Horse-Drawn Trolley Rides:

Ever wanted to take a ride in a horse drawn cart but thought it was just too touristy? Well here’s your chance! Every weekend until December 20th, there are free horse-drawn trolley rides that tootle around downtown letting riders take in the festive scenery of old Victoria. It’s a great addition to a staycation weekend or a chance to rest after a day of Christmas shopping.

* Pre-set route: Store St. at Chatham St., Johnson St. near Warf St., Langley St. at Bastion Square and Government St. at Fisgard St.

November 28, 2018 to December 20, 2018, runs Saturday from Noon - 4:00pm; Sunday Noon - 3:00pm. Free admission.

Shop Local!

This season, make sure to check out our incredible local shops before you hit up the chain stores! Silk Road has an incredible line of health and beauty products, cute home ware, delicious tea (obviously) and a spa! The geniuses at Violette Veldor have curated an incredible selection of jewelry for every taste. Trounce Alley is home to the always fashionable, She She Shoes and She She Bags. Search Fan Tan Alley’s Heart’s Content for the most awesome collection of Mod, punk and alternative fashion and accessories. Let your third eye lead you to Triple Spiral, they’re sure to have something for that cool, crunchy, yogi in your life. And audiophiles will love a gift from The Turntable...well maybe a gift certificate. Mosey outside downtown for the littles in your life and check out Red Rover for quality consignment kids clothes and accessories – you’ll find seriously cute stuff for seriously cute prices. For the gourmands on your list, create your own gift basket chock full of local goodies! Maybe some hand crafted charcuterie from Whole Beast Meats, a great Sea Cider, local beer – think Phillips, Driftwood, Hoyne, C12 and a chuck of cheese or two from The Little Cheese Shop – et voilà!

Kicking the Fall Cold - Silk Road Style

There is so much to love about this time of year, from cozy sweaters and glowing pub windows to pumpkin pie and crunchy leaves. But there is one thing that the cold weather brings that isn’t so great - the dreaded fall cold. And man, it hit us hard this year. Red noses drip like leaky faucets, pounding headaches and endless hacking plague Victorians as the chilly season sets in. I’m no exception. I might be over the worst of it (cross fingers and toes), but the cough is hanging around like a one-night-stand that hasn’t got the memo – and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere…awkward. So I bundled up and went to get the supplies for my anti-cold arsenal. First stop: Silk Road.

I love this shop. Not only does it have all the bagged and loose teas that you could ever want but add the lovely merchandise, the organic beauty and wellness products and the adjoining spa, it is a veritable Valhalla. But today is a get in, get out, get better kind of trip. After perusing the teas and wellness products and asking the incredibly helpful and knowledgeable staff a few questions, I made my purchases and bustled home as fast as my sore body would allow. Now I have to admit, it’s only been two days so I’m not 100%, but I do feel a lot livelier and the rattle in my lungs has subsided considerably. Success! Here’s what I tried:

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There is a reason this tea is at the top of my list, it’s a life-saver. It’s soothing and peppy all at the same time. With ginger to boost immunity, lemongrass and citrus peel for a gorgeous zing, green tea for a smooth boost of energy and rooibos to help soothe that headache it’s a winner and I can’t stop brewing pot after pot. The awesomely wise people at Silk Road also shared a few recipe ideas with me: make a Ninja Twist by adding a teaspoon of honey and a ton of fresh lemon to soothe that sore throat and eliminate that icky mucus. Or add equal parts of apple or pear juice and a cinnamon stick to make it a sweet and spicy treat dubbed The Fortress.  

Lullaby Wellness Tea

Sleep is an essential part of the healing process, and lets be honest, hacking a lung every 15 minutes isn’t really helping. This lovely floral tea is a blend of soothing peppermint, calming chamomile, lovely lemon balm, lavender and rose petals. Two cups of this bad boy with a book and a blanket and get ready to zzzzz; plus keeping this blend on hand is a good idea to combat those non-cold related stressful days and sleepless nights.  

Ok so we’ve got the tea, awesome. Insides are all warm and taken care of, but I wanted to kick this cold and kick it hard so I decided to also give their Cold and Flu roll-on a try. With powerful and pungent eucalyptus, tea tree, conifer and bergamot balanced with calming lavender and peppy citrus this little roll on packs a huge punch. I rolled it on my temples, forehead and sternum and ka-pow! Breathed freely. Plus the cough subsided, which made me feel like less of a leper when I was out running errands. Silk Road also carries a Cold and Flu diffuser oil which would be incredible beside the bed for easier breathing during the night. If you don’t have a diffuser (I do not) you can add a few drops to a carrier oil, I use jojoba but grapeseed, avocado, olive and many others work just as well. Then add your concoction to a bath or rub it into your chest or on your shoulders…aaahhhhh.

Make sure to also check out the Sweet Dreams roll-on and diffuser to help boost the potency of the Lullaby Wellness Tea and get some much needed shut eye. With lavender, ylang ylang, spearmint and clary sage essential oils you’ll be well on your way to dreamland. Plus, you can keep it on hand for the more stressful times to make sure you stay balanced, rested and healthy!

 

Make sure to check out Silk Road to explore their entire collection of teas and wellness products and don’t forget to try their limited edition blends!

Photo credit: Isabelle Archibald. Follow Isabelle on Instagram