Cold Stone’s ice cream, made in-store daily, inhabits a quantum flux between soft-serve and traditional ice cream, with a rich, creamy texture that whispers tales of its super-premium quality as it glides over taste buds. Ice-cream voyeurs can create their own ice-creamplosion from old favourites or unheard of delights ($2.89–$4.59 with two mix-ins), eliciting taste tests of dozens of silky flavours such as cake batter, cotton candy, and piñata. Each ice-cream creation generously welcomes up to two of the shop's dozens of mix-ins as traditional as Oreo cookies and chopped nuts or as quirky as pie crust. Those willing to bequeath the invention of creamy concoctions to the professionals can try a Cold Stone Signature creation, such as the almond-studded and caramel-slathered Coffee Lovers Only or the Peanut Butter Cup Perfection with Reese's peanut-butter cups, fudge, and a side of endorphins ($3.99–$5.75). Once concoctions are chosen and perfected, they're scooped cold into freshly made waffle cones or bowls.
Situated just south of Cowichan Lake, March Meadows Golf Club’s nine-hole course invites golfers to play a scenic layout replete with mountain views. The course features cedar-lined doglegs and creek-split fairways, such as those on the second hole—the course’s most difficult—which forces players to unhitch the oxen from their golf carts and ford a waterway to reach the green. The charming course summons budding players to its fairways each year for a Junior Golf Tournament sponsored by Canadian Golf Hall of Fame member Dawn Coe-Jones, who began playing golf at March Meadows when she was 12.
After rounds, players can head to the clubhouse’s restaurant to feast on casual grill fare. The on-site pro shop showcases the latest golf gear, apparel, and rocket-propelled three-woods.
Course at a Glance: * 9-hole, par 36 course * Course rating of 71.4 * Slope rating of 124 * Three tee boxes * See the course layout
Making sushi is an inherently quiet and intense process. Chefs tightly roll seaweed and rice around fish and veggies at One More Sushi. The meditative calm is cut by the sounds of crackling grills covered in teriyaki sauce and meats. Hot oil bubbles up around tempura-battered veggies and even bananas, and pots of miso soup pour forth steam like a fax machine built in the 1800s.
Nestled amid the vibrant scenery of Cowichan's wine country, Arbutus Ridge Golf Club's 18-hole, par 71 course weaves through 6,193 yards of fairways and greens kissed by breezes moving inland off the waters of the Saanich Inlet. Named one of Canada's Ten Best Golf Courses for Value by Westjet's Up! magazine in 2009, the course's front nine weaves alongside the seaside community of Cobble Hill before ascending a ridge to a plateau on the back nine, where players can soak in sweeping views of Salt Spring Island and name new constellations in the divots peppered across the course below. Though players encounter many par 4s and reachable par 5s, Arbutus Ridge concludes with three treacherous holes, including the 214-yard, par 3 17th hole, where golfers must overcome swirling winds to land tee shots on an island green. Golfers can prepare for rounds with a stint at the club's driving range or by scouting sand traps' self-defence mechanisms while watching the club's online course videos.
Arbutus Ridge cares about the condition of its course and the nature that surrounds it, and because of its efforts toward sustainable practices, the course has been certified by Audubon International. After rounds, course patrons can retire to the Satellite Bar & Grille, which overlooks the Satellite Channel and serves a seasonal menu of West Coast?influenced French bistro fare, with offerings that include halibut, salmon, and tenderloin steak, which pairs well with a glass of Jean Van de Velde's tears.
Course at a Glance:
For patrons bound for Steeples Bar and Grill, the experience begins before the restaurant comes into view. A scenic drive over the Malahat and through Goldstream Provincial Park offers a feast of vistas, and then the restaurant's steeple—an artifact of the restored church where it has taken up residence—peaks through the trees like a giant toddler playing hide-and-seek.
Beneath it, beams that were hand-hewn generations ago hint at present-day staff members' attention to detail. Amid casual, cozy surroundings including shuttered windows, guests dine on upscale dishes such as steak encrusted with black peppercorns, seared tuna, and creamy tarragon fettuccine replete with king prawns. The drink menu complements meals with daiquiris, martinis, and draft beers.