I love restaurants in Vancouver and life in the city but there is a little place located in the Southern Gold Islands called Mayne Island and it has my heart. It’s a place I can go, unwind and everything feels ok in the world. Our family friends have a cabin on the island and one of my good friends also has a cabin down the road too. Mayne is a small town full of beach days, hiking and even geocaching. From arriving to leaving you’re on “Island Time,” without anywhere to be or a care in the world. I’ve had some of the best days hanging out on Mayne.
Mayne Island is very community based town with one grocery store, a few scattered pubs, one Home Hardware and everyone knows everyone. They hold a Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings in the towns centre. I say town centre but it’s just where the grocery store and a couple little shops are along the way at Miners Bay. At the Farmers Market, islanders sell their local produce, artwork and baked goods. Everyone goes crazy for the pork and apple pie .One of my favourites from the stand was bean tacos. I mean tacos at 10am, you can’t go wrong there. After the market, there is a fish boat that pulls up around noon and stays until 2pm, selling freshly caught seafood. We always get crab and have “Crab Night” as we call it on Saturday nights.
Although we enjoy cooking, it is always nice to go out for lunch or happy hour from time to time. The Springwater Lodge serves up the best fish and chips that I have ever had. From the time when we get to Mayne to when we finally get to indulge in the fish and chips, my mom and I don’t stop talking about them.
Located in Miners Bay, The Springwater’s deck is one of the best. It is over looking the Active Pass where the ferries sail through, the sun sets, and sea life is all around. With a pint in hand, a full stomach and the beautiful view, you can’t go wrong.
The Springwater was established in 1892 and began hosting lodgers in 1895. Word on the street is that it is the oldest continuously operating hotel and bar in BC. The rumour on the island is that the Springwater is haunted by the ghosts of the miners who passed through long ago en route to the mainland.
Above the pub is where the old lodge used to be. Usually it is closed off but there is a slight chance my friend Gen and I may have suck up and checked it out. White walls, broken down doors and damaged floors. It basically looked like ghosts lived up there. Every sound I heard, I jumped, scared that a ghost was present.
The Mayne Inn, located at Bennett Bay, my favourite beach on the island, is also haunted. The Mayne Inn has been bought and sold more than thirty times over the past hundred years. It was purchases from the Crown to Thomas Bennett in 1892 and they owned and worked on the property until 1910, hence the name Bennett Bay. At the Mayne Island Graveyard, there are many of the Bennett’s memorials throughout the area.
The Mayne Inn was transferred to the Franco Canadian Brickworks Company in 1911, where they began construction of a brick works complex developing the deposit of blue clay along Bennett Bay. When World War I began, the Bricksworks closed and it became the Canadian Boarding house. It later was renamed to the Arbutus Lodge in the sixties, the Mayne Hotel in the seventies and the Mayne Inn in the eighties. Land developers have preserved the historic in as a centre piece for the Mayne Inn Resort. Now there are many cabins around the Inn for tourists as well as a restaurant with on outside patio with a view of the Bay.
One of the new additions to Mayne is Mayne Island Brewing. With a passion for home brewing and an expert palette with over 22 years in BC wine sales, Michael Garratt opened Mayne Island Brewing Company. Mayne Island has been the home to Micheal and his wife Annette along with their two children, Jasper and Grace, since 2005 so it was the perfect place to start the business.Michael does the brewing and tasting and Annette hand prints all the merchandise as well as running the office and tasting room.
They produce over 15 styles of brews in small batches. My favourite Mayne Island Brewing beer is the Blonde Ale which is a Belgian styled single at 6% which is inspired by the Dutch Girl Blonde.
Mayne Island Brewing has also won a few awards over the past few years:
1st for Punch’s Barrel Aged Farmhouse at the BC Beer Awards 2019
3rd for the Beet Buck at the BC Beer Awards 2018
Silver for the Barrel Aged Brown at the Canadian Brewing Awards 2018
You can grab their beer at the brewery itself on Mayne or they are also found throughout Vancouver and Whistler. During the summer, the brewery has many out door seating as well as a drive through to quickly pick up your beers to grab and go.
Now I’m not encouraging you to go to Mayne because I love the little quiet Island but if you do end up there on your travels, don’t forget to grab your fish and chips by the water or see if you can find any ghosts hanging around.