Naniamo, to me has always been the place where you get on or off the ferry, enroute to somewhere more exotic, so I was pleasantly surprised to discover the Crow & Gate Pub, approximately twenty minutes south of this once thriving logging village, now more of a retirement community than a coastal forestry port.
Stepping into the Crow & Gate is like stepping into an English countryside pub, with a Canadian twist, of course. On a rainy, Tuesday afternoon, the pub was crowded with mostly locals, always a good sign, feasting on a variety of upscale pub food. I ordered baked local oysters and really good crab cakes, washed down with a pint of Island lager.
Most intriguing? Look for the old wooden pegs fitted into the massive ceiling beams and if you can find one, extract it and you will find a message from a previous diner. Replace it with your own words – a fun distraction while sipping on a beer and waiting for your food to arrive.
I wished it hadn't been pouring buckets of rain, because the grounds are charming and there is plenty of outdoor seating in the well-kept gardens. The Crow & Gate is a worthwhile detour on your way to other island destinations or a perfect destination pup. You won't be disappointed!
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