Cutting back through the park we arrived at Fairfield and Cook Street Village. Fairfield is a picturesque neighbourhood with tree-lined streets and you can take a self-guided walking tour which describes some of the buildings of interest along the route. Housing styles typical to the area are Edwardian Vernacular Arts & Crafts (1904 – 1914) British Arts & Crafts (1905 – 1930), Foursquare (1900 – 1920) and Californian Bungalow (1900 – 1929). Needless to say this occupied a good deal of our day, though we found time to browse in a couple of second-hand book stores (always a dangerous pastime) and have a bowl of soup in a cute retro American Diner complete with pictures of Betty Boop.
We wandered back to downtown Victoria through the grounds of Saint Ann’s Academy and the gardens of the Empress. The Sisters of St Ann was founded in Quebec and in 1857 Bishop Modeste Demers of Victoria went to recruit volunteers to educate children in Victoria. He came back with Sister Mary Conception, Sister Mary Angèle, Sister Mary of the Sacred Heart and Sister Mary Lumena who travelled back via Panama over land. Apparently the order went on to establish schools and hospitals throughout the region as far as Alaska and Yukon.
Dinner was booked at The Tapa Bar in Trounce Alley where we had a sharing platter and indulged in a few cocktails. It’s a busy, buzzy restaurant with bright artwork and low background music although the food wasn’t as exciting as on our first visit in 2005. I guess that’s the problem with re-visiting old haunts, you can often be disappointed. Still it’s not often we find a tapas bar so we enjoyed it anyway and who can say no to Fanny Bay oysters and muddled peaches with vanilla vodka?