This past weekend Warren and I went away on a ‘staycation’ away from the every day in our home town. While Warren was away in Halifax this past winter we decided that every two weeks we would go out on a date night and go to a new restaurant or place that we have never been before.
Our first date was this past Saturday evening and we were going to have dinner at the Dining Room in the Oak Bay Beach Hotel. Warren decided though because it was our ‘first date’ that he would really spoil me and have some fun. He let me know the weekend before that he had booked us a package at the hotel that included car service to and from the hotel in a Rolls Royce, one night accommodation, a dining credit for the Dining Room, and unlimited access to their mineral pools. I was so excited and it wasn’t something that I was expecting.
Warren and I were picked up by our driver Shea at 3:00pm on Saturday afternoon and taken to the hotel. We were greeted by Ryan who was very friendly and helpful. We headed up to our room and were so happy with what we saw. The room was amazing and larger than we had expected. We checked this out and I thought it was pretty cool that I could see through our bedroom to the bathroom. The area could be closed off but it was still really neat.
We quickly changed into our swimsuits, donned our white hotel robes and headed to the mineral pools. We were feeling hungry and since we didn’t have any Paleo type snacks with us we decided to order cheese and crackers from the pool bar along with our wine. We sat by one of the pools, chatted, drank and ate. The view was beautiful and was nice to just relax and feel pampered.
We had dinner reservations at 6:30pm in the Dining Room so after an hour and a half we headed to our room to get ready. We had decided before we left home that we would dress up a bit and put something on that wasn’t from our day-to-day wardrobe. It was a nice feeling and made us both feel good.
When we arrived at the dining room we were greeted by a host who addressed us by our names. That surprised me because the restaurant wasn’t full yet so we could have been anyone. We were seated by the window and I let Warren take the bench seating while I sat in the chair. Why did I do that? Well, when Warren and I were on our first date before he sat with his back against the wall and I sat with mine towards the restaurant. We were so busy getting to know each other and I was tasting new foods, that I didn’t even know the restaurant was filling with people. The same thing happened again to me on Saturday night. It was like all the world faded away except for Warren and I. I love the connection that we have and how he can make me feel so special.
For a starter I had ordered the Qualicum Bay Scallops and Warren had ordered Pressing of Cowichan Bay Duck Confit and Quebec Foie Gras. Both were very good but before we received our starters we received a complimentary starter. It was a baby octopus. Now, both of us looked at the baby octopus and then looked at each other. Our waitress was still standing at our table and we let her know that we hadn’t ordered that. She let us know it was complementary and something new to try. Well, she was right because it was going to be new to try. Warren was able to eat it but I on the other hand was not. I did try but I just couldn’t do it.
We chatted over our wine and ate our delicious meals. I had ordered Double-Smoked Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin and Warren had ordered Herb Crusted Half Rack of Lamb. The service was excellent and the night was wonderful. We had decided to pass on dessert and if we wanted it we would order it from our room.
The following day we slept in a bit, then went for a 10k run along Beach Drive and then had breakfast in our room on the patio. We had pre-ordered before we left on our run because we knew that we would be ‘hangry’ by the time that we got back. Ordering food that is the Paleo way of eating is easier for breakfast. You can make substitutions for a fruit cup instead of toast for example.
After breakfast we headed back to the mineral pools with our books and just relaxed in the sun. It really felt like we were on vacation and not in Victoria. We didn’t have to check out of the room until 1:00pm and since Warren and I need to eat every couple of hours it was feeding time again. But what were we going to have? We went to Kate’s Cafe and they didn’t really have much in the way of Paleo options. I could have paid $7-8 for a salad with mostly just lettuce and no protein but then I would have been hungry again in no time. I also couldn’t justify paying that much money for greens. So, what would I have for lunch? Sandwich it was and it was delicious for a few reasons but the main one was because I hadn’t had bread in five weeks.
So, why am I telling you all this information about what we had to eat? Well, trying to change your eating habits and also eat out is hard to do we are both realizing. I am sure with time and getting to know more ways to make substitutions things will get easier. At the same time though don’t want to be one of those people who goes out to eat and changes the whole dish. It isn’t that I can’t eat the foods due to an allergy or something but it is that I am choosing not to.
For the few meals that Warren and I did stray from eating Paleo we could both feel a difference in our bodies and not for the better. It definitely made us look forward to cooking a meal at home and enjoy our new way of eating.
We are getting to try new meals and experiencing new combinations of foods. It is a good change for us and one that we are happy we made.
How do you adapt to ordering food when at a restaurant if you eat a ‘certain’ way? Share with me any tips you may have.