We love old houses – we love their character, their histories and, generally, the people who care for, live in and cherish those aged beauties. So when we checked in to Jacquie Gordon’s Heritage Bed and Breakfast in Duncan we weren’t too surprised to feel that instant, all-embracing comfort that old homes seem to engender. That ‘coming home’ sensation was enhanced by Jacquie herself – a diminutive, ageless hostess who greeted us with a warm welcome, conversation and a cup of tea and baked goods in the beautiful sitting room.
We found Jacquie and her beautifully-maintained home on a travel website, where people raved about her exceptional hospitality and about becoming friends by the time they left. ‘Sure’, I thought to myself when I began reading the reviews – I was skeptical that anyone could cast that kind of spell over so many people. Turns out my skepticism was badly misplaced – we stayed with Jacquie two days, and both of us felt compelled to give her a big hug on our departure. She is just that kind of person, and a superb hostess.
The beautiful old home that serves as the bed and breakfast was built in 1929. It displays all the grace and beauty endemic in homes of that era – wood burning fireplaces, covered verandah, sloping ceilings upstairs. And, there is an exquisite garden encircling this lovely old place, treasured and kept up entirely by Jacquie herself (other than the lawns, which are cared for by hired help).
We had a choice of either of the bedrooms at the bed and breakfast. The upstairs room is large and houses a queen-sized bed and two twin beds. The sloping ceilings and two comfy chairs add a certain coziness to the simple arrangement, which opens on to a spacious loft area with some exercise equipment and toys for the use of anyone – child or adult – who might care to use them.
We stayed downstairs in a smaller room with a double bed. A large window looked out on to the garden. Furnished with antiques and tastefully finished with period wall coverings, it was perfectly comfortable – the kind of room that took you back a century every time you walked through the door.
The other half of the equation of the bed and breakfast – the food – was yet another delightful surprise. Jacquie’s early working life centered on home economics, and her culinary skills shine through to this day. Generous quantities were the norm and innovative meals arrived on the table each morning. We dined in the Fireside Room, wood-burning fire blazing away behind us and quiet music in the background.
Jacquie is a fount of knowledge about the Cowichan Valley area and makes a point of keeping up with events in the area so she can let her visitors know what might be going on during their stay. We got sent home with a newspaper clipping about a local (but famed) artist we had expressed an interest in – Jacquie is that engaged and clearly works hard at making her guests’ visits the best that they can be.
So, two days at Jacquie Gordon’s Heritage Bed and Breakfast, and we have fallen under her spell. Great house, beautiful gardens, wonderful food and a hostess extraordinaire. It doesn’t get better than that.
Further information on Jacquie Gordon’s Heritage Bed and Breakfast can be found at the website:
Jacquie Gordon’s Heritage Bed and Breakfast is located at 2231 Quamichan Park Place, Duncan.
GPS co-ordinates are:
Lat. 48.786816 Long. -123.680829
N 48 47.209 W 123 40.850