Tripping Further Afield In and Around the Similkameen Valley with Derek Gray

The Chef at Row Fourteen restaurant in Cawston takes us on an autumnal excursion of his Similkameen Valley locale.

Tripping Further Afield In and Around the Similkameen Valley with Derek Gray

Further Afield Trips asks locals in a town well beyond Vancouver’s city limits where to find the best places to eat, drink, chill, and have a good time. Think of it as the country cousin to The Dishes.

In this edition, Derek Gray, Chef at Row Fourteen restaurant in Cawston, takes us on an autumnal excursion in and around his Similkameen Valley locale…

Good morning! Let’s start the day with a walk/hike in nature. Where should we go?

A brisk morning hike up to the Keremeos Columns, a provincial park that actually sits on private land. A cool feature showing the volcanic history of the Okanagan.

Keremeos Columns Provincial Park
Keremeos Columns Provincial Park, Keremeos, BC

Is there somewhere along the way we can stop for coffee?

The farm store by Honest Food Farms or Klippers Organics farm store are two great choices the Similkameen Valley has to offer. Both are located just off of Highway 3 in Keremeos and Cawston.

Honest Food Farm
156 Becks Rd., Keremeos, BC
Klippers Organic Acres
625 Mackenzie Rd., Cawston, BC

Now we’re starving! Where should we eat? (breakfast/brunch or lunch)

For brunch head to Tree to Me Inn’s Pippin Bistro and grab the souffle pancakes. If you fancy lunch, jump in the car and head to Osoyoos to La Marqueza for Mexican tacos. Make sure to grab the beef tongue, a family favourite of ours.

Pippin Bistro & Market
1217 Highway 3A, Keremeos, BC
La Marqueza Mexican Tacos & Market
8306 Main St., Osoyoos, BC

We’ve got some free time for an afternoon adventure. What do you suggest we do?

Book your bike rental via Similkameen Sip & Cycle, and do some mid afternoon wine tours in and around Keremeos and Cawston. I prefer to head down to the red bridge and take a dip in the river during the warmer months of the year.

Similkameen Sip & Cycle
2145 Wooden Rd., Cawston, BC
Red Bridge
70 Ashnola Rd., Keremeos, BC

Where should we head for a post-adventure beer, glass of wine or cocktail?

I don’t drink but I do enjoy a good coffee or smoothie. Head into Penticton and grab something from Wayne & Freda.

Wayne & Freda
Winnipeg St. and Estabrook Ave. Intersection

Now we’re hungry again. What’s the plan for dinner?

We are headed to Elma in Penticton to enjoy Chef Derek Ingram’s Turkish inspired cuisine.

994 Lakeshore Dr., Penticton (Opening soon)

Any tips on a good spot to take in the view and watch the sun go down?

The top of Mount Kobau is a great place to enjoy the sunset. Considered one of the best places to enjoy stargazing in our area, as well.

Mount Kobau
Mount Kobau, Cawston, BC, Canada

Let’s warm up with a nightcap or hot drink before we turn in for the night. Where do you suggest we go?

I don’t really know. If you grab a bottle during one of the wine tours, it’s best opened and enjoyed in the comfort of your vacation rental. I usually drink decaf at night.

It’s time to catch some shuteye, where do you suggest we stay?

Hard to choose just one. Orofino winery has great modern inspired rooms, plus you are staying at their vineyard. Similkameen Wild is a retreat on its own, with a pool and gracious hosts. Or, if you’re a food history nerd and enjoy bread, you could stay at FarmersDotter and learn about how an Allan Scott brick oven was planned and built by him right here in Cawston.

Orofino Vineyard Guest Suites
2152 Barcelo Rd., Cawston, British Columbia
Similkameen Wild re-Treat Resort
306 Sumac Rd., Cawston, Chopaka Crossing, BC
2036 Osprey Ln., Cawston, BC

Anything we absolutely have to pack in our suitcase while visiting?

If you own a pair of binoculars, it’s well worth the room in the suitcase. During certain times of the year you can see mountain goats hanging out on the cliffs outside of Olalla.

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