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- 98%History Buffs
Member Reviews (4)
- Camille'sMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 6First to ReviewAug 25, 2013
Camille's is located in Bastion Square, in the heart of Old Town Victoria. It is nestled into the cozy nooks of heritage building across from the Maritime Museum. Gayle and I dined here during our last night in Victoria and very much enjoyed the food, the service, and the comfortable, casual and romantic atmosphere within this historical setting.
The restaurant was first started by Camille Slevan and his wife Elizabeth in 1987. They ran it for not much more than a year before ill health forced him to sell. When the present owners came in, the name remained.
The building was built in 1898 and designed by Francis Rattenbury, a noted architect of many of Victoria's finer structures including the Empress Hotel and the Parliament Buildings. Originally it was called the "Law Chambers" building and housed six very luxurious lawyers offices, two on each floor. The building was across the street from the Court House (now the Maritime Museum), so it was a logical location for the young towns' premier legal minds to be housed. Each suite boasted a working fireplace and a spacious walk-in vault that are still in the building today. The vaults and fireplaces are still here, as is the small back dining room that originally housed records storage. The old, prominent and huge beams still pretty much hold the building up to this day.
Like other Victoria Landmarks (e.g., Pioneer Square), this Building is rumored to be haunted and a number of "ghostly" encounters have been reported by various occupants over the years. Could it be that the Law Chambers were built near the site of Fort Victoria's original jail house and gallows, and that many hanging victims might be buried under the very ground beneath? Victoria also has a long history of crimes of passion and unsolved cases. Maybe that explains the 2 small neck bites that Gayle mysteriously got here and that I now have to keep a clove of garlic handy? Just Kidding My Lady!
Gayle and I had a wonderful meal here and we were well taken care of by who I think was one of the Owners. Camille's also uses local ingredients (and sources) as much as possible, with the Owners also dabbling in artisan chocolate (of which we received a sample). My only quibble was that the wine pricing between glass, carafe, and bottle didn't seem to mathematically add up. At the same time, the recommended wine pairing for our food was spot on. We also sat at a nice table, that featured a divider that gave us a wonderful degree of comfort and privacy. The background music was also of the right volume and selection. I further enjoyed the piece of art on our wall, although our host was more apologetic about some visible electrical cords (and her planned upgrade) that were just above the piece.
The food was excellent. In fact, Gayle and are still raving about the fruit crumble/home made ice cream with liquor dribble dessert that we shared and almost couldn't finished. For the main courses, I had a marvelous halibut dish, while Gayle relished here lamb course. We also shared a generous appetizer that included a salmon salad and a companion dish (See Picture). All that and at a price (with tax and tip) less than Afternoon Tea at The Empress! We left happy, full, and wishing that we could stay in Victoria just a little bit longer.Recommended for:History Buffs