The Red Chair’s visit to the Cowichan Region was nearing an end but there were a few more stops to make before he departed for Victoria.
Just down the road from his home away from home at Cobble House B&B, Red and innkeeper Ingrid stopped by for a tour and tasting at Unsworth Vineyards. Marketing Manager Sarah was waiting to welcome Red and to show him around. While it was not quite outdoor terrace weather yet, Unsworth is still a lovely spot even in winter, with chickens in the vineyard (sometimes eggs are for sale), their garden ready to go to supply the Unsworth Restaurant in the old farmhouse, a great dinner spot for Cobble House guests, a lovely little waterfall and bridge, some local arts and related products in their Wine Shop, and some great award winning wine of course! Unsworth recently attended the Vancouver International Wine Festival, where they received some great recognition! Thank you Sarah for welcoming the Red Chair!
An afternoon outing took Red to another specialty Cowichan food producer, but of a very different kind. The Vancouver Island Salt Company is Canada’s first sea salt company, harvesting sea salt from the ocean at Cherry Point right here in the Cowichan Valley. They produce Canada’s first fleur de sel, pure sea salt, as well as sea salt infusions and are winning awards with their products, such as the Producer/Supplier of 2015 at the Vancouver Magazine 26th Annual Restaurant Awards. Owner Andrew showed Red the salt shack and the room where they flavor and package the salt, and Red even climbed up on the water truck (with a little help)! It’s a simple operation producing another outstanding Cowichan product. Thanks for welcoming Red, Andrew, and he did appreciate the red shorts!
Red spent the rest of the afternoon at Cobble House hanging out with the other Cobble House chairs, as they threw him a farewell tea party! Such fun to hang out, so much to talk about, and enjoy some great lemon and chocolate cake! The following morning he said goodbye and then accompanied innkeeper Ingrid to her regular Thursday morning curling game at the local Kerry Park Curling Centre. The other teams were very welcoming and Red made some nice throws to help win the game! He had not known too much about curling before, but it’s obviously very popular in Canada, so something else he learned about during his first Canadian visit, and another new winter sport to try! After the curling game Red headed down the Malahat Drive to Victoria, with one final stop in the Cowichan Valley, at GBS Glass Blowing. There were so many wonderful glass items to see in their studio and Grahame made a wine glass right while Red was there to see it happen, really cool! Red recognized the same oil lamps he’d seen on the table at Cobble House! To top off his stay in the Cowichan, they had a new puppy at the glassblowing studio, so one more new friend on Red’s journey!
As he has every time since his travels began back in 2012 in Cape Cod, Red was sad to say goodbye to another wonderful Bed & Breakfast and lovely innkeeper hosts. Bed & Breakfasts sure are the way to travel, to get the most out of his visits to all the communities he’d passed through, with all the insider knowledge the innkeepers have about their region. Red has had a fascinating journey already, seeing so much beauty around North America and meeting great folks wherever he went, and his travels are not over yet! Next stops in Canada: Victoria and Ucluelet, the BC Innkeepers Conference, and then on to Alaska! Safe travels Red, and thanks for being our guest!