There are many stunning newer and more modern accommodation options on Vancouver Island, but Cowichan Bay’s Old Farm Bed and Breakfast has captured a chunk of my heart. The 104-year-old three-storey home was designed by self-taught architect Samuel Maclure, a leading creator of high-end homes for Victoria’s elite during the early part of the 20thCentury.
The Old Farm is located just off Cowichan Bay Road, overlooking two immaculately groomed acres of lawns and gardens and the confluence of the Koksilah and Cowichan Rivers. The peaceful sweeping views combine with the generous-sized rooms, heritage architectural details and a number of original fixtures to offer a peaceful respite from the modern world. The estuary serves as a bird sanctuary, and our visit yielded up a sighting of three playful otters scampering across the sand at low tide, headed who-knows-where.
While the Old Farm radiates all the charm and grace of a well-built home from a century ago, it has undergone some upgrades to ensure the comfort of guests. The rooms are decorated in Laura Ashley motif and offer small comforts such as wicker chairs and very large closets, part of the original design. We enjoyed a dazzling view from our bedroom, which was very quiet despite the bed and breakfast being located so near the road.
Breakfasts at the Old Farm are traditional and hearty – no high-end cuisine here, but more what you might have expected at a farmhouse table. In addition to a huge slab of cheese, several different breads, coffee and juice there was a large platter filled to overflowing with sausages, bacon, fried mushrooms, pan fries, fried tomatoes and onions and omelet. It was enough to feed an army, and certainly kept us going well into late afternoon. Our friendly hosts ViviAnne and Laurids joined us for conversation as we were tucking in to our generous meal.
A wander on the property brings still more delights. There is a spacious gazebo with yet another lovely view, perfect for a quiet cup of coffee, reading or just hanging out. There is a hot tub on the grounds, and a stroll along the sloping path along the back lawn takes visitors right down to the estuary flats and the old dock. There is so much old-world charm at the Old Farm – for those who enjoy taking a step back in time to a slower, gentler era this is a good fit.
The Old Farm Bed and Breakfast is located at 2075 Cowichan Bay Road, about a mile from the village of Cowichan Bay. Information on room availability and rates can be obtained by visiting their website at:
GPS co-ordinates are:
N 48 44.718 W 123 38.588