Sooke Harbour House Restaurant
The inn is best known—and deservedly so—for its restaurant, where chef Sam Benedetto works wonders using almost exclusively island ingredients: that means no olive oil, no citrus, no produce that can’t be grown in the inn’s expansive garden. Thankfully, what can be grown here is remarkable: sweet Asian pears; four varieties of kiwi; nasturtiums whose buds can substitute for capers; orange begonias that emit a tart, citrusy juice; and dozens of distinctly flavored geraniums, which taste uncannily of garlic or apple or dill or lime. The daily-changing menu is especially strong on seafood, be it a Dungeness crab soup or sweet Weathervane scallops served with sea asparagus and sorrel. The 15,000-wbottle wine list is overseen by the inn’s charismatic owner, Sinclair Philip—who, along with Jernigan, helped start the island’s Slow Food movement. Toast them both with a glass of smoky-sweet Brandenburg No. 3, an amber dessert wine from Cowichan’s own Venturi-Schulze. Then it’s off to bed with the sound of waves lapping on the rocky shore below.