If you’re heading up to the Okanagan Valley this month for an adventure, here are some fresh things that should be on your radar and plotted into your GPS. Got any tips or suggestions for our next road trip? Let us know!
Franke We Salute You is now open! The new plant-based restaurant from former Acorn chef Brian Skinner and his wife Christina is worth checking out. We were just there and it was excellent. For a close-up of its awesomeness, click here.
We recently previewed Tratto, a new pizzeria opening soon in what used to be a marijuana dispensary in downtown Penticton, but you can get an advance taste of its deliciousness with your feet in some summer grass during pizzaiolo Christopher Royal’s weekend pop-up run at nearby Joiefarm in Naramata.
Home Block is now open at CedarCreek Estate Winery. As described in our recent feature, the gorgeous new room with a view is a game changer, elevating the local winery restaurant game to the next level. With the open kitchen overseen by former Espana & Fat Badger chef Neil Taylor and the floor run by veteran front man Michael Ziff, Home Block is all about quiet confidence and skilled execution. If you’re headed anywhere near this part of our province this summer, be sure to make a reservation and go.
We just published an interview with Virginia Bray at Penticton’s Ad Hoc boutique. She suggested a combination of two of our favourite things: a sunset walk up Munson Mountain followed by dinner at Poplar Grove. Sound advice!
Peter van Boekhout’s Sprout Bread is enjoying the end of its first year in Kelowna. A recent visit saw us stocking up on baguettes, sourdough loaves and some very good coffee. Such a welcome addition to this part of downtown Kelowna!
Heading as far north as Vernon? Slip in to Triumph Coffee for a caffeine re-up (iced and otherwise) and some tasty baked goods. It’s also a good and airy place to get some work done, if the road abides.
You have to try the surface-ripened Greybaby cheese at Upper Bench Winery and Creamery. So delicious! We just carved through two big chunks of it and are already pining for more, staring at baguettes like they’re empty promises. (Seriously, if you wouldn’t mind picking some up for us we’d appreciate it!)
Poplar Grove will host an outdoor screening of Sideways on July 6th. A movie about wine screening at a winery with a wine and popcorn concession stand – perfect! Spread out a blanket, grab a crisp glass of rose (or merlot, he-he) and enjoy the ride. Tickets here.
Slackwater Brewing just opened in Penticton. Not only does the two-storey brewery serve their own tasty beer in a large open taproom, it also boasts a stage for live music, garage doors that open on to a streetside patio, games, a dining room, and a rooftop patio. Talk about a beer-drinkers wonderland!
One of the more interesting wines we’ve tried so far this year was an all-natural orange beauty from Sage Hills in Summerland. It’s called Rhymes With Orange, and we recommend a taste (a bottle, really).
And speaking of Sage Hills, we recently interviewed winemaker Keenan Thrussell, who gave us all kinds of recommendations for cool places to check out nearby, including two great places to cool off: Rotary Beach and Garnet Lake!
Chef Jeff Van Geest’s team from Miradoro is putting together a multi-course dinner in Tinhorn Creek’s barrel cellar on July 19th. It will be followed by some serious stargazing in the winery’s amphitheatre, aided by telescopes and astronomers from the Royal Astronomical Society. Tickets here.
Sit down for a special outdoor feast under the cherry tress at Naramata’s Bella Wines on August 9th. It’s being catered by the fabulous Joy Road crew, who are no strangers to al fresco catering. (We just took in one of their long table dinners at God’s Mountain and were blown away.) Tickets and details here.
Beer, pizza, burgers and sandwiches come together at Vice & Virtue in Kelowna. Still in its first year tucked away within walking distance of the lake’s summer crowds, this small brewery restaurant is a no-nonsense marriage of casual and capable. Smoked halloumi sandos for the win!
Naramata’s tiny Creek & Gully Cider is only a couple of weeks old, so get in their and sip on some of their fresh and golden goodness before everyone else does!
Want to really relax on your tour of wine country? Stretch out with a professional yoga instructor at Painted Rock on three different dates in July (11, 18,25). The $20 classes start at 6pm sharp and come with a free glass of Painted Rock rosé.
Looking for a place to stay? Our favourite spots are the guest suites at Burrowing Owl or tucked away in the Similkameen at Orofino’s sweet new digs.
Nearby Scout Members
The following are active supporters of ours and are well worth a visit. (Be sure to say “hi!” for us.) If your company would like to become a part of the Scout Community, please contact us at membership [at] scoutmagazine.ca.