Victoria, with its overabundance of local coffee shops – most of which roast their own beans – has me living a routinely lavish lifestyle these past few months. My daily food and drink intake has since consisted of 50% caffeine and %30 pastries (mostly donuts – the cream filled ones.) Donuts so good, that often customers call ahead to put them aside.
My stubbornness to pay for home internet has also pushed me to live out of coffee shops – which isn’t all that bad considering otherwise, I’d probably never leave the comfort of home. If I’m really desperate for internet, I’ll walk a few blocks and sort of stand to the sidelines where ShawOpen is readily available. Thank god I at least have that going for me.
What’s interesting about coffee shop culture here in Victoria, is that each has its own particular vibe/scene. Combined among the occasionally hair bun, tiny yamaka-esque toque hipsters, you’ll see me hidden away in the comfiest corner with my make-shift studio all set up, occasionally glancing up at the comings and goings of others. Luckily, I don’t have to travel far in order to turn my favourite cafe/tea shop into my own personal studio space. After every hour I usually earn my ‘rental space’ in food and beverages; so as to not look like one of those awkward eye-contact avoiding freeloaders. Reading, Computer-ing, even drawing are all fairly common sights in the bean scene, but beading – that’s when third degree stare downs start to happen. Most days I end up chatting away to strangers, interested and curious as to what I’m doing – which I enjoy, but doesn’t always help when I have a large custom order to fill.
Tucked away from the city, is my favourite cafe enchanted around a secret garden. Its become one of those places I go so often, I rarely share it with others. During my friend Winona’s visit, we spent the whole day exploring the city’s swanky cafes. Featured above is Winona and I in extreme raised spirits from all the caffeine at this point, enjoying some quality food we can’t afford.
One thing for sure: in this beautiful city, coffee culture certainly commands the highest attention than any other food or beverage industry around. Within each cafe there is no shortage of percolated chit chatters and deliciously roasted coffee complimented with pastries that could delight even the savviest Parisian.