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 (designated driver’s) GPS. Got any tips or suggestions for our next road trip? Let us know!
LANTERNS | For a fine start to your Okanagan weekend (and a truly magical summer send off), plan to stop at the Lights on Lightning Lake Festival in Manning Park this Saturday, August 3rd. Arrive early to make your very own lantern at a day-long lantern-making workshop and BBQ, or plan your departure from the city so that you catch golden hour on the road and arrive at the park in time for the lantern launch across the water of Lightning Lake at twilight. Floating lantern-building workshop and BBQ at Lightning Lake Day Use area 11-2pm. Lantern launch at Spruce Bay Beach at 9:30pm. Find out more here.
HAVE A PICNIQUE | Joy Road Catering will be be popping up at JoieFarm for a series of three-course Sunday lunches this month (August 11th, 18th and 25th). Okanagan terroir-inspired lunch paired with JoieFarm wine on the luxurious green grass of Picnique at JoieFarm? Love this scenario! While you can wait to make your wine pairing choice the day of your lunch, we don’t recommend you wait to reserve a seat. Tickets here.
BELLA | Sit down for a special outdoor feast under the cherry tress at Naramata’s Bella Wines on August 9th. Catered by the aforementioned and always fabulous Joy Road crew, this al fresco dinner promises to be one of the most sublime summer experiences the Okanagan has to offer this month. Tickets will sell out, but if you hustle you can still claim your seat here.
OPEN | Heading to Kelowna? Plan a replenishing stop (or a few) at Chef Chris Shaften’s new plant-focused Orchard Room. The neighbourhood restaurant has been serving up a refreshing menu of locally inspired eats, inventive cocktails, beer and an “orchard-to-glass” cider list for about a month now, and it was recently expanded to include daily specials and a Lil’ Hip Hop Brunch. Check out some of their colourful deliciousness (and amazing wallpaper) here.
NATURE | There is a Traditional Plant Use Walking Tour at the The Laurel Packinghouse in Kelowna on Monday, Aug 12. Learn a little about the flora of the region on a two hour walking tour with a Syilx / Okanagan Nation “knowledge keeper”. Hear about native plants, taste some traditional snacks and meet some interesting people. Details here.
BEER | Sometimes you just need a beer, even in wine country. When the urge hits, take a detour off the wine-y path by hitting up Vice & Virtue Brewing Co. and quench the craving. Let your palate wander further by trying something especially summery like their Strawberry Rosehip Wheat Ale, Mango Milkshake IPA or Raspberry Beliner ‘Vice’.
FESTIVAL | The 5th BC Pinot Noir Celebration hits Kelowna on August 17th. This festival is so much more than just wine. In addition to 35 Pinot Noir producers, the day-long event features food from the chefs at Vice & Virtue, Frankie We Salute You!, Joy Road, Old Vines, Wildebeest and more. There’s probably no better way to get a taste of some of the region’s best flavours this summer, all in one go. Get your tickets here.
LONG TABLE | If you’ve still got room left in your summer budget for something luxurious, then you should seriously consider getting a seat at one of Quails Gate’s four-course long table suppers. Opportunities like this are dwindling along with the daylight hours, and their popular twice-weekly ‘Dinner in the Vineyard’ series wraps up for the season on August 29th. End the summer spectacularly wined and dined by getting tickets here.
SOON | Over in Penticton the opening of the new Turkish inspired eatery Elma can’t come quickly enough! Fortunately, their table settings are in place and final preparations are underway with plans for a soft opening in early August. Get amped, hungry and updated by visiting their Instagram.
COFFEE | Wayne and Freda is open! The new Penticton cafe has a killer patio and an airy interior full of charming details like wall art dancers by local illustrator Helen Eady. Get in there ASAP! Check out the Wayne & Freda website here.
REFRESHING | A cold pint of local cider is a perfectly apropos refreshment after a dip in the lake. On your pre-beach liquor store stop, scope out something from Dominion Cider. Their beautiful labels are easy to spot (you can read up on those here). We recently enjoyed a bottle of ‘Pretty To Think So’ – a tart quaff with wild raspberries – super delicious; or perk up your tastebuds by cracking a can of their Collaboration Ginger cider made with Dickie’s Ginger.
MOVIE | Poplar Grove will host an outdoor screening of Sideways on August 24th. A movie about wine screening at a winery with a wine and popcorn concession. So meta. Spread out a blanket, grab a crisp glass of rose (or merlot, he-he) and enjoy the ride. Tickets here.
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