Sooke Harbour House welcomed two members of a family today, evacuated from their home 25 km from 100 Mile House, a region currently suffering from devastating wildfires in BC.
Kind-hearted friend Erin Pugh from Victoria brought Kelly Kelsey and her 10-year-old daughter Tayler for a traditional cream tea, as a very special treat.
“I’ve been forced to leave my home along with my daughter and two sons, and we’re currently staying with family in Victoria,” said evacuee Kelsey.
“My husband is a volunteer fireman, so he stayed behind to help with the rescue effort, and is also take care of my horse. He said the smoke is really bad, and he’s had to wear ventilation equipment a couple of times. The fire is 25 km from our home in Forest Grove, and is now 50% contained. It’s scary not knowing what we’re going back to.”
They were warmly welcomed by the staff at the Sooke Harbour House.
“In view of the sad circumstances we wanted to make this a happy occasion to remember, so we invited Erin, Kelly and Tayler to be our special guests,” said Kate Saunders, spokesperson for Sooke Harbour House. “I can only image the trauma of being uprooted under threat from your family home and community, and being forced to leave not knowing what the future holds. Erin contacted me about the visit and the plight of her good friends, so we thought we’d roll out the red carpet and welcome these very special guests to a spectacular Sooke Harbour House Tea by the Sea.”
Chef Thomas Yesdresyski delivered a stunning tiered cream tea, featuring clotted cream scones with house-made preserves, cucumber cream cheese baguette, Earl Grey and lavender macaroons, cakes, honeycomb, Okanagan cherries and more. The tiered presentation was garnished with edible flowers and greens from the Sooke Harbour House gardens. The cream tea was served by the Copper Room staff on the patio overlooking the ocean, and a wonderful time was had by all!
“Our delightful guests spent more than two hours enjoying the delicious Tea by the Sea in the Sooke sunshine, and we really enjoyed their visit,” said Saunders. “We hope that it will be safe for the family to return home very soon, but Erin, Kelly and Tayler are always welcome back next time they visit our beautiful community!”
“Thank you so much for a wonderful afternoon! It surpassed all of our expectations,” agreed Erin, their Victoria connection.
Tea by the Sea (pictured below) is served daily at the Sooke Harbour House between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Reservations recommended due to limited outdoor seating on the lawn and patio. Call 250-642-3421 for information, or visit them online.