Old England Inn

There is a place near where my parents grew up, called the Old England Inn. Well, it's called the "English Inn and Resort Now". The other day when I was driving by, I saw that there was a rezoning sign. After panicking a bit, I read an article in the newspaper saying they're wanting to tear down some of the out buildings and the replica of Anne Hathaway's cottage to subdivide. I decided to walk up and take some photographs....

A little history. The manor house was originally called "Rosemeade" (so pretty!) and was built in 1906. It was built in a Tudor style (which I absolutely adore). In the 1950s/60s it became a bit of a tourist attraction... quaint, quirky, and kind of kitschy. Tudor+history+kitsch = amazing. They used to have tours too. 

My grandparents stayed at this hotel when they were newly weds. My mother worked in the kitchens here in high school. My dad was a waiter at the same time. He did this dressed in a doublet and knickerbockers... as the restaurant was themey. I remember eating there as a small child and having a kids menu that featured knights and ladies, and being served by a lady in a long dress that laced up the front with big sleeves. The inside was full of beautiful carvings and grand rooms. It was truly awe inspiring for a kid. 

I forgot to mention, my parents were married there in on a sunny winter day in 1986. My mum threw her bouquet from a window in the grand hallway. I always thought I would get married there too when I was older.... unfortunately it has fallen into disrepair. 

They stopped offering dinners (which is terrible, as the restaurant is walking distance to my parents house, in a large residential area with poor dining options), the grounds are overgrown and unloved-looking, and they repainted the house (probably with great expense) a taupe and rust colour, which is so bland compared to its white and black Tudor glory. They took out the beautiful carved staircase and replaced it with a finger-print infested glass railing. They added leather couches and made it look modern... too modern. It just seems like someone had the wrong vision for the place, and now it has failed... the reviews are terrible... poor service, gross rooms, bad breakfast, and owners that didn't seem to care about their guest's experience. It's such a shame to see a place with such potential being mismanaged.

There's so much family history here, it breaks my heart to see that some of it might get torn down. I'm hoping that they can restore it to its former glory, with a nice family restaurant to walk to, updated rooms full of happy paying customers, with the unique and well maintained grounds its so well known for.

Cemetery Part II

I had no idea that such a beautiful place existed in my city. Victoria is old (older than Canada in fact, with settlement starting in 1843.. which is pretty impressive considering you can't get much more west than us!) Our downtown is filled with charming old buildings, but for some reason I didn't think we'd have a cemetery to match. I started out near the ocean, where the smaller, more simple headstones are. They're beautiful and peaceful in their own way, but I hoped to find at least a few stunning examples of the workmanship of the old days. Then I came across her...

Wow. This is probably one of my favourite photos from the day. I can't quite describe her expression... she doesn't look peaceful or protective... more stricken... it's rather haunting actually.

I may have squealed when I came across this. (as in appropriate as heel clicking, I know.) From the headstones, I believe the demographics in Victoria were probably heavily English Protestant, and, as I studied religion a lot in my history degree, I believe that protestants usually back away from the gaudy and opulent..... This lovely gentleman and lady are Italian. Absolutely amazing! 

Also a large Scottish Population! (Like my ancestors!)

This fellow was my age when he died over 100 years ago. So sad.

Even more hauntingly beautiful in silhouette

I love how nature always finds its way into things crafted by humans.... so beautiful.

Such a sad story!

Cemetary Part 1

Chinese New Year

I went downtown for the Chinese New Year Celebrations this year. Chinatown is my favourite place in Victoria. I love the old buildings, the alleyways, the bustling markets and the delicious food. My favourite spot is "The Bubble Tea Place" by Dragon Alley. (Okay, how cool is the name Dragon Alley!?!) During the stress of University, I'd go and sit by the window in this AMAZING building, enjoying a bubble tea amongst the delicious smells of tea and incense. This place rocks.

For those of you who have never had bubble tea, it's a tea based drink with a mixture of fruit flavours with tapioca balls and "fruit jellies" in the bottom. You can get it milk based too. I prefer the fruitier ones myself. The straws are huge, so you drink the tea and eat the jellies and tapioca at the bottom. If you're ever in the area, go check it out, it's always good to try new things!

 Here are some of the photos I took:

The Bubble Tea Place

I love the architecture, the "Gates of Harmonious Interest" and the lovely lanterns

Dragon Dance outside the Chinese Traditional School

New Meets Old

My favourite seat at the Bubble Tea Place

The Famous Fan Tan Alley

It was amazing how many people came out!

Victoria's Chinatown is the oldest in Canada, which is pretty neat. I love being able to share my beautiful city. :)

Thanks for reading,