Estevan Village is a quaint little neighbourhood in Oak Bay steps from the soft sands of Willow’s Beach. The one block retail strip is pure nostalgia with an independent toy store, a pharmacy, trendy shops, and trendy restaurants and cafes. Estevan Village holds a special place in my heart. My grandpa used to live at The Uplands Gate, an apartment building located about 2 blocks away. I used to walk with him (and my mom) through the village and down to the beach when I was a child. Willow’s Galley is a small fish and chip shop that’s been a fixture in the village since 1978 (I’ve read 1980 but the staff told me 78 so…). If you think the building looks like an old corner store you would be correct! I’m not sure how old the building is but it’s been there for a long time.
I spent the weekend in Victoria with my daughter and part of the plan was to retrace the steps of some of my favourite childhood memories. We parked outside my grandpa’s building and walked towards Estevan Village and Willow’s Beach. We stopped at Willow’s Galley for a quick lunch. I had 1 piece of Halibut and chips. The batter was golden and crispy, the halibut was hot and fresh, the chips were hand cut and very tasty. I really like the batter they use. It’s not fancy, there’s no panko, it’s not tempura. It’s just a simple batter. Solid, classic fish and chips from friendly people in a cool location? What’s not to love.
Hayley and I ate our lunch on one of the picnic tables outside but Willow’s Galley is close enough to the beach that you could walk there before your food got cold. Fish and chips at the beach seems like a good idea.
My grandpa passed away many years ago. It’s hard to think about how long he’s been gone. Taking Hayley to “visit him” was very fulfilling. All of the places we visited were just as magical as I remember them. I know that my childhood memories aren’t about the things I had, they’re about the things I did and the places I went with my family. I hope Hayley knows how much this weekend meant to me. Actually, I know she does.
Twitter – @WillowsGalley
Facebook – Willow’s Galley
Web – Nope…