As owners of Design by Desire Catering we have to share with you our first trip to Tofino. I was 8 month pregnant with my first child. Marcel had decided that he would like to take one last trip together before we had our baby, and he knew that I had never gone to Tofino before and really wanted me to see it. He had so many memories of when he was in his 20’s that I think, he wanted me to experience it too! Although I am a far cry from my 20”s at this point…Let’s just say early 30’s.
So on a beautiful September weekend we head out on a Friday from the North Shore and catch the Nanaimo ferry, the first hour and 45 min of this 5 and half hour trip. Being that I was 8 month pregnant, cars did not agree with me. I often got car sick. My husband was kind enough to stop at all the tourist spots along the way, to get out, stretch our legs and enjoy some very spectacular views.
Once we arrived, we immediately checked in to our hotel and the first place he took me was Long Beach. I was totally amazed at how beautiful this beach was and how it went on for miles. I guess that is how it got it’s name, I loved watching the waves come in crashing along the beach. I was in awe that the beach sand was real sand. Not that rocky and course pebble like sand that every other beach in BC has. This was soft and silky, the kind you would see in Mexico or some other exotic place that you would have had to board a plane to go and see and feel.
We walked along the shore in our bare feet mesmerized by the crashing waves letting the water get us wet, while we looked out at surfers riding the waves. We found a place to lay our blanket down next to a large drift log and we sat there taking in the warm September sun and catching some of the last sun rays of the day. We actually both fell asleep and when we woke we were starving and decided to head into town to see what would await us.
As owners of Design by Desire Catering we always like to check out and eat at all of the local restaurants, “Shelter” being a favorite. This is now 13 years ago so I have to admit that I don’t remember what either one of us ate that day. But since then we have gone back to Tofino 3-4 times a year. Every single time we get into town we have to stop at Long Beach which is right there before you even head into town. We walk around the beach sometimes in our bare feet and sometimes in rain boots and jackets. No matter the weather it is always awesome and it’s calming and helps both of us begin the first leg of our weekend by relaxing and enjoy ourselves.
From Long Beach we head into town for food at Shelter always having one of their great Caesars, not the one you eat but drink. Then fresh caught seafood or any of their local fares that are unpretentious yet stunning while we sit fireside among the finest company of surfers, artists, locals and visitors who love this place as much as we do.
Over the years as Design by Desire Catering evolves, we are always looking for new food ideas and interesting and sustainable products that we can incorporate in out own catering menus. We enjoy venturing to new eateries, we have a few favorite spots that we want to share with you. Tofino has some of the best coffee shops I’ve ever been to. The Tofino Coffee Roasting Company is a small cafe with the best Americana I have ever had, made by some local people who really believe in doing it small because small means it was done with care. This is how we start every morning.
When you make it up here and I know you will, the Tofino Brewing Co. has an awesome tasting room that we have seen grown through the years. Its open 7 days a week and we either try a flight of their seasonal or we grab a growler and head to the beach to build a fire and enjoy. Sometimes after being out on a friend’s boat Marcel will cook up fresh crab right on the fire at the beach.
Our new favorite afternoon spot is The Fish Store and Oyster Bar, their tapas style menu includes classic seafood dishes with contemporary twists, their goal is to make the amazing products speak for themselves. We get there in the late afternoon sit at the bar and watch them shuck fresh oysters all afternoon for anyone who discovers this little restaurant that sits on the outer edge of town.
Our last trip there we discovered the Picnic Charcuterie. The word picnic dates back to the 18th century and is derived from the French word ‘pique-nique’, meaning ‘to eat an informal outdoor meal with family. This outdoor meal is typically composed of salty cured and smoked meats, pickled vegetables and delicious jams or jellies. It is an inclusive term and involves adventuring with friends and family. I think that this is really what our trips to Tofino are all about, spending time with family and friends. When your getting together with your family and friends and need some help Design By Desire Catering can help you with all your planning and food ideas, making your vision become a reality. Check us out at www.designbydesirecatering.com for your next family event or Facebook to see our contest details for a trip to Tofino.