Piano whiz Misha Piatgorsky will be entertaining at Blue Grouse this weekend. (Submitted)

Piano whiz Misha Piatgorsky will be entertaining at Blue Grouse this weekend. (Submitted)

Lexi Bainas column: Break out the pearls, enjoy super food, wine, and entertainment

It’s a foodies’ delight, paired with a double serving of the Medfords in a British mood

Michele Jedwab, who’s always quick off the mark to get her news to me, says Medford Singers’ pair of 2018 spring concerts are entitled Pearls, Pomp and Pageantry: Last Night of The Proms.

Hoo boy, I don’t know about you but after seeing some of the pictures and videos from that huge event in London’s Albert Hall, attending is on my personal bucket list.

Now, though, we can enjoy the excitement closer to home with the fun-loving Medfords.

The choir, conducted by Simon Leung and accompanied by Michael Gaudet, is celebrating all things British this time so look out for songs such as ‘Rule, Britannia’, William Blake’s ‘Jerusalem’ and ‘Land of Hope and Glory’. However, it’s not all bombast. Soft, reflective selections include the beautiful ‘All in the April Evening’ and ‘The Lord is My Shepherd’.

A well- known classical work, ‘Zadok the Priest’ by Handel, rounds out the choir’s afternoon but there will also be soloists singing a variety of songs.

So, everyone, get in the mood. Bring your flags, drag out your pearls, then look forward to a rousing afternoon of fun for all.

The concerts will take place in Lake Cowichan at the Lake Cowichan Secondary School, Saturday, May 26 at 2 p.m. and at Duncan United Church, Sunday, May 27, also at 2 p.m.

Tickets available at Remax Lake Cowichan and Volume One bookstore in Duncan. They’re $17 in advance or $20 at the door. Children 12 and under get in free.


We’ve heard this week about “A First on First” as Westholme Tea Co. partners with Hudson’s on First to offer Canada’s first “Teamaker’s Dinner” on Thursday, May 24.

Now that’s a lot of firsts.

Designed to mark the spring tea harvest with an original culinary experience in Canada, the intimate event will combine the distinctive and authentic experience of Westholme’s rare Canadian teas with Hudson’s locally-sourced fine dining. The long table dinner will offer a five-course pairing menu uniquely featuring fresh tea leaves, processed tea and culinary innovations using the Camellia Sinensis tea plant — grown on the tea farm since 2010.

Together, tea maker Victor Vesely and executive chef Corbin Mathany have designed a taste adventure they hope will shift guests’ perspective on tea — down to the dinnerware. Each tea will be served in Westholme’s specially-made, handcrafted teacups, encircling the experience in tea culture. The dinner is set to draw in tea connoisseurs and curious foodies alike for a truly rare experience.

“Spring is the season to truly showcase the possibilities for tea production in Canada,” says Vesely, founder at Westholme Tea Co. “What better way to celebrate an exceptional local product than pairing it with award-winning local fare. We are excited to be partnering with Hudson’s on First to offer this tea culture and culinary first in Canada.”

“Hudson’s on First is proud to uniquely showcase the extent of local ingredients available in the Cowichan Valley,” comments Mathany. “This one-of-a-kind partnership is sure to inspire the senses and showcase some of the extraordinary products coming from the region.”

Also, from May 25-27, visitors to the tea farm will be the first to enjoy the new release of Tree Frog Green, Swallow Tale Oolong and White Mist Canadian teas, and check out what else is on offer there.

For tickets to the First on First TeaMaker’s Dinner, contact Hudson’s on First at 250-597-0066.


And from down in Cowichan Station, we learn that on Sunday, May 20, there will be a special music, wine and food event taking place at Blue Grouse Winery.

With music by famed pianist Misha Piatigorsky paired to local food by Deerholme Farm (and friends) and fine wines, served overlooking the Blue Grouse Vineyards where they grew, it promises to be an evening celebrating the community of the Cowichan Valley. A donation will be made from the proceeds to Nourish Cowichan to provide healthy meals for students in the valley.

The event is going to include a well-crafted dinner featuring local lamb roasted over vine cuttings, Oak Bay Seafood spot prawns, Pedrosa Farm asparagus, Haltwhisltle “happy” goat cheese, True Grain bread and Whole Beast charcuterie, and many other treats from the Islands forests, fields and oceans.

The cost is $150/person (plus $15 gratuity and fees). Vegetarian options are available by request.

Limited tickets are available so check to see if any are left.