By Chantal Ireland
Summer Picnics are hard to beat. On blankets in the sand, perched on a rocky edge, or gazing up at the sky through the trees, camera and snack in hand. By bike, skateboard, foot, or car, Saanich has more than 150 parks to choose from, with plenty of beach front options from Cordova Bay to Cadboro bay and points in between. After a hike up Mount Douglas, there’s plenty of space to sit at the top, enjoy the view and eat lunch. Beckwith Park is great for families, there’s a waterpark for the kids, and lots of picnic tables for serving up potato salad and Phillips Orange Soda.
For picnic supplies head to:
Fig Mediterranean Deli – With 47 varieties of olive oil, and shelves filled with treasures from the Mediterranean, it’s one of the best places in Victoria to get olives, Greek food and much more. There’s a full deli with pantry supplies, but also hot food and a full menu. You can outfit a very delicious picnic basket with just one stop at Fig.
Root Cellar – We spend at least half of our grocery dollars here, and for good reason. Daisy and her whole team at the Root Cellar are devoted to food security, local supply, and small producers on the south island and beyond. For a lunch to go, grab Portofino brioche buns, Qualicum Spice cheese, Saltspring Kitchen Co.’s Spicy Tomato Jam and a rotisserie chicken. Or a meat pie, pre-made salads, and every vegetable you could imagine. Hardbite Potato chips from Maple Ridge, local strawberries, and Cold Comfort Ice Cream should all find their way into your basket too. Local first, with many organic options, you can even buy tomato plants and talk to their Potting Shed crew about growing food at home.
Township Coffee – For great coffee in Saanich, with baked goods and sandwiches to go, this is a great spot for a patio espresso, or to stock up for a trip to the beach. Grab an iced coffee and a sandwich or muffins and a cappuccino. They serve up Caffe Fantastico coffee, roasted nearby.
Fairway Markets – With a couple of locations around Saanich, Fairway features the best collection of Asian pantry items, all the things you’d expect at a grocery store, and a good selection of fresh produce. Their International aisle is a great place to find British candies and other hard to find items. Great prices and friendly service.
Hillside Liquor Store, Liquor Plus Stores – If you’re heading to a potluck or a backyard BBQ, these locally owned shops have some of the best selections of craft beer you’ll find anywhere, great BC wine selections, and really knowledgeable staff. Their staff have tried a lot of the craft products and can offer great advice to match your tastes, pair with food, and help you give a great gift. Category 12 Brewing just outside of Saanich has new summer seasonals in cans, grab a four pack of Waveform Witbeer or try some of Saanich’s own craft Tod Creek Cider, also now in cans.