We stayed at Cooper's Cove as part of a stay and learn-to-cook package. The location, as one previous poster mentioned, is right on a busy road - on the main highway to Sooke. You really do need to be careful getting on and off this road in the dark or in the rain as it can be quite treacherous. It is located adjacent to the Galloping Goose trail - an extension of the Trans Canada Trail. Pretty much everything in Sooke and the surrounding area is within a hundred meters of this trail, though, so I wouldn't consider that a selling point.
We stayed in the 'Arbutus Room' - I suppose they call it this because there are two arbutus trees out the window. The room was pretty spartan. It was clean and basic. There was no TV but there was a CD player with no CD's. No phone. The blinds didn't work so you couldn't close one of them. The whole place was cold.Like really, really cold. You had to warm up your room on arrival and after housekeeping had been and gone as they would turn it back down. Lord help you when you stepped into the hallways - they were icy.
The common area is pretty basic too - a room looking for a theme. It's got some Asian looking lamps and some Navajo fabric on a sofa as well as on a print. A salmon on the wall and some wrought iron candle holders.... sort of a hodge podge of stuff from Pier 1 and Superstore. It too was c-o-l-d. Too cold to really sit around in.
Breakfast was so-so. A few scones and some bread. Butter, compote, fruit salad. Then a poached egg (no choice offered) and a sausage of some sort. It was far from the best b&b breakfast I've had but not the worst either. Coffee was at 8 - breakfast at 9. If you're on a 'romantic getaway' I don't think that schedule would work but it was ok for us.
The cooking class was not so much a class as it was 4 hours of helping to prep your own dinner. I think I chopped an onion - my wife sauteed some. We were asked what foods we don't eat prior to booking and we indicated that neither of us ate Ham. The main course that we were told we would be eating at the start of the 'class' was pork. Ok... we said we didn't eat ham - we didn't say we don't eat 'pork'.... fair enough. But really... c'mon... wouldn't you think to ask if they don't eat ham would they eat pork? One would generally think that such a request would come from a Jewish guest but in our case we just don't eat ham or pork. That started things off badly. The 'chef' got all attitudey Judy about it and was overtly hostile for the rest of the day. We ended up with chicken and that was fine. As another poster mentioned about the owners putting down their choices the' chef' made a point of putting down our food choices and even went so far as to suggest that we needed to be 'deprogrammed' so that we would eat pork. Odd behavior for a host. Oddly his wife (who refers to her husband as 'chef' - something I found kinda creepy) warned us in advance that 'chef doesn't like it if you don't eat your meal'. Chef has an attitude... that's for sure. Especially considering that 'chef' has his certificate from the local community college.
As a host the 'chef' was far from gracious. He didn't like to answer questions about anything and pretty much shut you down anytime you wanted some information. I'm not sure if it was all related to the 'pork' issue but he was just not nice to be around. I asked him to show us how to make an omelette. He initially refused but then when the whole group attacked him with silence he relented. He showed us the correct way which was great... until later when he blamed me for making him use up his last two eggs on an omelette and now he didn't have any to make his desert (zabaglione). Poor planning on his part.... what kind of kitchen keeps precisely the number of eggs they need for a meal for 4 people. It's fortunate we didn't drop any or we wouldn't have had any desert at all.
All in all our stay was 'ok'. B&B hosts should be warm and kind.... these hosts were not that. As a 'teacher' you should be patient and eager to share your knowledge with those who ask. We were made to feel like we were an inconvenience.
I would not recommend a stay at this b&b and I would actively discourage anyone from taking a cooking lesson here.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Cooper's Cove Guesthouse is a Westcoast waterfront property offering four luxurious rooms all with ocean view, private ensuite bath, fireplace and bar fridge.Cooper's Cove Guesthouse is known the world over for the work of Chef Angelo Prosperi-Porta (member of Culinary Team Canada 1994) and his cooking school.If you're longing to share your passion for food in a very special way, complement your getaway with one of Angelo's tantalizing cooking activities.We have been featured on many television programs including the Oprah Winfrey Show and Quiet Places and Places In The Sun.We have also been recommended by Best Places To Kiss In The Northwest and Karen Brown Travel Guides. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Cooper's Cove Guest House Sooke, Vancouver Island