Professional comedians lob punch lines from the stage during weekly comedy nights at Hecklers Bar and Grill. Deep-fried Mars bars sizzle in the kitchen between chuckles or jeers. Seven big-screen TVs and a full food menu keep customers coming back even when stage lights are dark. Wings headline Wednesday nights with more than 50 sauces and flavourings, and waiters also transport mainstays such as beef or veggie burgers topped with bacon, fried eggs, and other fixings. Monthly amateur comedy nights invite would-be wise guys to test out new jokes and homemade Groucho Marx cigars.
At Darband Tea House patrons sip Middle-Eastern teas and coffees and smoke flavoured hookah without inhaling any tobacco, nicotine or tar. Nip at a cup of turkish coffee ($1.95) among Darband's earthy wall coverings and eclectic furniture, or warm over-yodeled larynxes with an assortment of persian teas ($1.95), including green tea, oolong, red tea, and black tea. Hookah smoking combines fruity tastes with the pastime of melancholy caterpillars, and patrons can partake in more than 25 flavours such as strawberry, mint, and watermelon ($9.50/person). Open late and licensed by the Victoria Island Health Authorities, Darband Tea House is the only licensed hookah establishment in Victoria.
Ross Bay Pub, a Fairfield public house that takes quality nosh as seriously as it does Canucks games, makes escaping the elements a cozy and tasty affair. Whether the meal wheel lands on dinner, lunch, or Sunday breakfast, the pub’s creatively classic menu has a solid answer for nearly any culinary question. Small plates make big statements with yam fries ($7) and salt-and-pepper pork bites with sea salt, cracked pepper, and preserved-lemon-garlic aioli ($9.25). Your choice of soup, salad, or fries form a loyal entourage for every burger, including the lamb curry burger, a bewitching menagerie of apple marmalade, Okanagan goat cheese, curry mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, and pickle on a toasted pretzel bun ($11.75). As for pub fare, a roast-beef stew made with Angus beef, Race Rocks amber ale, root vegetables, and Yorkshire pudding, may well be the only meal anyone needs till the end of time ($11), though the baked shepherd’s pie may beg to differ ($12).
Inside its plush, 300-seat theatre, Cinecenta suns the bright stares of students and local film buffs with glowing projections of new, classic, and indie pictures. Ease dorsal ends into a cushion, inhale real butter’s seductive aroma with a medium popcorn (a $3.50 value), and beckon carbonated elixirs to slip up the straw of a medium fountain drink (a $2.15 value) as eyes engage one of a variety of films. Cinecenta's calendar diversifies its silver screen with old school classics, recent box-office wonders, foreign films, and indie darlings. Two tickets (a $15.50 value) enables Groupon holders to invite along a friend, a maybe-more-than friend, or a school of respectful imaginary friends.
Oak Bay Beach Hotel sits on the shore of the Pacific Ocean. But it's more than a convenient outpost for beach lovers, though?it's practically a self-sufficient civilization, and a luxurious one at that. Its guest rooms and suites, for instance, all come with flat-screen TVs and heated tile floors in the bathrooms. Further sumptuous accoutrements are found at the house spa, where visitors can relax in aquamarine outdoor baths with sweeping views of Mount Baker or be pampered by registered massage therapists.
Meals are an equally grand affair. Guests can choose from several dining options: dinners crafted from fresh, local ingredients in the dining room, homemade treats at the cafe, a wide selection of local and international drinks at the pub, or dinner and a show lit by chandeliers at The David Foster Foundation Theatre, where ticket proceeds go towards assisting families with children awaiting organ transplants.