|Marvellous Markham House
By Chris McBeath
It was a gentle and enthusiastic welcome. Virgil's big brown eyes, wagging tail and air of proprietorship told us that he had done this before.
Greeting guests to Markham House is a job he takes to heart and as he led the way to his companion hosts, Lyall and Sally Markham, we began to realize what a special place we had found.
Nestled into its ten-acre hillside, this Tudor-style home is bordered by towering firs and flowering perennials. Beside the trout pond, a hammock swings its lazy invitation. A golf tee and Bocci ball are set up on the picturesque lawns while intriguing pathways lead to mossy bluff lookouts and secluded havens for reflection.
Inside Markham House is equally inviting. The guest lounge leads to a covered verandah where afternoon tea is served while in the old-English style living room, guests can snuggle up in front of a blazing fire. The garden views are as English-looking as they can get and are surrounded by massive evergreens which provide them with a special seclusion and tranquillity.
Although we had come to hibernate and enjoy a romantic interlude from the city's hustle-bustle, we quickly realized that staying at The Markham was a gateway to all sorts of activities. Biking, golfing, water sports and whale watching are all close by. Wilderness beaches offer opportunities to beach comb, picnic and hike while Victoria, only thirty minutes away, is always a delight to visit. But tempted as we were to try these things, we stuck to our plans.
Like house guests in Tudor England, we slept late, enjoyed sumptuous breakfasts (the melt-in-your-mouth lemon-apricot scones are to die for) and in between chapters of books we had never found time to read, took strolls through the landscaped gardens. On many occasions, Virgil would lead the way, wagging his tail at the privilege of being asked and making us feel like the gentry of a bygone era.
These days, such gracious moments are few and far between yet at The Markham, they seem to be a raison d'etre.
If You Go:
The Markham House 1853 Connie Road,
Victoria, B.C. V9C 4C2
Website : www.markhamhouse.com
Hosts: Lyall & Sally Markham
Vancouver and other lower mainland travelers: B.C. Ferries accommodates travelers from Tsawwassen or Horseshoe Bay terminals to Swartz Bay. General Information for sailing schedule is 1-888-BCFERRY (223-3779)
For our State-side Neighbors: Either the Victoria Clipper, The Princess Marguerite, or the Washington State Ferries will meet your needs Nearing Sooke, approximately 30 minutes west of Victoria. Call for specific directions
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