Prancing Horse Retreat Bed & Breakfast

573 Ebadora Lane P.O. Box 11, Malahat, British Columbia V0R 2L0
Innkeeper(s): Elaine & Alan Dillabaugh

Vancouver Island’s Arbutus Ridge: Beautiful and Challenging Golf 13 May 2013, 4:18 pm

People travel for a variety of reasons.  For some, the reason is to take part in their favorite activities, whether they be indoor- or outdoor-based.  If you’re an outdoor lover who enjoys hitting the links, we’d like to tempt you with one of our very own Vancouver Island courses:  Arbutus Ridge Golf Club.

Located just 20 minutes from The Prancing Horse Bed and Breakfast Retreat in Cobble Hill, the course has been specifically designed around the scenery and vistas of this part of the Cowichan Wine Country.  The front nine is played among mature trees and beauty of the seaside community, and the back nine rises onto a ridge above, where you’ll enjoy views of the nearby sea, islands, and mountains.

And what is this name:  Arbutus?  This course is named after the Arbutus Tree, a broad-leaf evergreen tree of the heath family, found only on Vancouver Island and the very southwest shore of mainland BC.  The tree can be easily recognized by its leaning trunk, multiple large branch divisions, reddish peeling bark, and either the white/yellow clustered flowers in the spring, or the berry-like fruit in the fall, which the birds love.  These trees can not be transplanted – they grow wild where they choose, and are therefore a protected species.  The Arbutus Golf Course has an abundance of these trees growing along the fairways, and you can also see arbutus trees right here at our bed and breakfast – our decks are even built AROUND some of the trees!

The most unique thing about the Arbutus Course is their dedication to sustainability and environmental friendliness.  They actively measure their carbon footprint and value the wildlife around, and on, the property.

The course itself offers anywhere from 5100 to almost 6200 yards of play and a 70-72 par, depending on which tees you choose to drive from.  A Quick-tees option offers just under 3100 yards of play for an abbreviated or beginner game option.  Each hole has sand hazards, and half have beautiful water features, making for a very sporting game.  Play is varied, and it has been said that you’ll likely use every club in your golf bag when you play here!  The most interesting, and probably the most challenging, hole on the course is the 214-yard 17th hole, whose green lies on an “island,” almost completely surrounded with water!

This course has the honor of being ranked #2 on the 2012 Reader’s Digest list of Top 13 golf Courses in Canada, and has been selected as one of the best places/destinations to play from a number of golfing magazines.  They host a variety of Championships, and hold a number of awards for both their instruction, and their sustainability practices.  Don’t let the challenging nature of the course scare you either, as they also hold the distinction of being a beginner-friendly course as well!

Far from a “golf course restaurant,” the Arbutus Ridge Satellite Bar and Grille provides both delicious French Bistro fare (with a little southwest influence), and a gorgeous view of the Satellite Channel from their hillside location.  Featuring seasonal fare using local ingredients whenever possible, and wines from six area wineries, you will experience culinary delights!  The Satellite is also a great choice for a “destination” dining location, even if you don’t enjoy playing golf!

With reasonable pricing, Arubuts Ridge also offers Golf/Dining pricing, and a variety of specials throughout the week.  Please note that this course is “proper golf attire only,” with no denim allowed, and all shirts must be collared or high-neck.  Tee-times may be booked online – please plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before your scheduled tee-time for check-in and preparation purposes, so that you can tee off at the proper time!

You can even plan a Golf Academy getaway at Arbutus Ridge!  The GBC Golf Academy offers one-on-one lessons, 1-3 day Golf Schools, and clinic programs.

So why not consider a day (or part of a day) on the links during your Vancouver Island bed and breakfast vacation?  After a delicious breakfast here at the Retreat, you can enjoy a morning of golf, lunch there at the restaurant, and even plan an afternoon of other area activities.  But no matter what you choose to do, we welcome you to your home-away-from-home here on the Malahat summit!

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Annual B.C. Food Event: Vancouver Spot Prawn Festival 1 May 2013, 8:38 pm

The 2013 Spot Prawn season has arrived.  And with it comes the 7th Annual Vancouver Spot Prawn Festival to be held May 11, 2013 at Fisherman’s Wharf, on the west side of False Creek in Vancouver, British Columbia.  With easy transportation to Vancouver via ferry and air, this is a unique way to enjoy food and fun if you are staying at Prancing Horse Retreat on Vancouver Island!

Just a note for those who do not know: do not be put off by the thought of eating this “odd creature.”  In fact, British Columbia Spot Prawns are actually a species of large shrimp that are unique to the Northern Pacific area.  When cooked, these large shellfish retain a firm texture and a pleasantly sweet flavor.

It may be surprising to know that until recently, this readily-available crustacean was solely exported to Japan to be enjoyed there!  It wasn’t until 2006 that they were introduced to local palates by none other than Steve Johansen (of Organic Ocean) and noted Chef Robert Clark at the very first Spot Prawn Festival here in the Cowichan Valley, heart of culinary-rich Vancouver.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Now this delicious food is enjoyed by more and more people in Canada and the United States!  Boiled, grilled, sauteed, baked, and broiled, Spot Prawns are enjoyed in an endless variety of dishes.

The Festival benefits The Chefs’ Table Society of British Columbia: a non-profit partnership between local chefs to exchange information, support and promote sustainability for the betterment of our economy, and to uphold a standard of excellence for regional cuisine.

And what can you do at the Festival?  You can purchase fresh prawn right off the boats ($12 per pound) and meet the fishermen, watch (and taste) cooking demos by noted local chefs, visit the family/kids’ area with displays of fish and other sea creatures and hands-on activities, listen to music on two stages, try your luck at the Festival Prize Raffle, and get your hands on some great festival swag!

While it is free to attend, tickets are available IN ADVANCE ONLY for the Spot Prawn Boil:

Single Admission for All Ages:  $12.00  (320 remaining as of publish date)

  • Adult Ticket includes:  1 plate from the Spot Prawn Boil (with sides, sauces and Terra Breads), complimentary water, and admission to wine and beer sample tent (additional fees and proof of age may be required).
  • Child’s Ticket includes:  1 plate from the Spot Prawn Boil (with sides, sauces and Terra Breads), complimentary water, and admission to the children’s area, games and activities.

Festival Combo Tickets:  $25.00 (30 remaining as of publish date)
Includes: 1  plate from the Spot Prawn Boil (with sides, sauces and Terra Breads), complimentary water, a festival T-shirt, and a souvenir insulated shopping tote bag.

Even if you don’t make it over to Vancouver for this Festival, you can still enjoy Spot Prawns:  Chef Martin Harrison features these and other locally sourced seafood in the menu at The Masthead Restaurant.  After you have savored our local cuisine, return to our beautiful Vancouver Island Inn with our gorgeous views for a fantastic night’s rest.  Plan your visit today – we look forward to seeing you soon at Prancing Horse Retreat!

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