Photos from an afternoon gathering last Friday at Summerhill Pyramid Winery in Kelowna amongst interesting people and the most delicious Asian Fusion food...with a twist.
A sampling of creative Chinese, Korean and Japanese delicacies put together by chef Yan Cowan of Lucky Dragon Catering, who is considering to franchise. And lucky us; we were invited which was an unexpected but welcome surprise considering I had booked a reservation at the bistro for myself, my boyfriend and my next door neighbour who happened to be in Kelowna at the same time.
It was a feast for hungry eyes!
Yan (the caterer who prepared all this food) Chris (her commercial realtor friend) and Stephen (proprietor of Summerhill Pyramid Winery – the best all organic winery ever).
Although the Summerhill Bistro is always excellent, it’s not every day that you get to be part of a most yummy experiment.
The foodie in me will always appreciate times like this. Friends old and new make it all that much more worthwhile.
What can be better than spending a weekend over wine, food, fun and friendship?Not much!
That’s exactly how I spent last weekend – with my dear long time girlfriend Margeaux. We go back to working together over thirty years ago first selling advertising at an established Canadian film publication. Wanting to branch out, we convinced our boss to fly us to Toronto once we didn’t think there’d be a twice to cover the Genie Awards (recognizing the best of Canadian cinema – now merged with the Gemini Awards to include Canadian television…but to my non-Canadian friends, you’ve probably never heard of either). By some sheer godsend in between partying with celebrities like Donald Sutherland & Kim Cattrall at the event, our commentary and photos ended up getting published in the magazine. Later we worked on a Canadian Mad Max style film together But I digress…
Margeaux met me halfway (well almost) in Oliver, British Columbia – Canada’s wine capital.
She drove from Castlegar, BC and I had spent the night before in Lake Country, Kelowna with my boyfriend so I was not too far away. The drive from Vancouver to Oliver takes about 4 ½ hours and we were lucky to stay with a friend on Thursday night and watch the sunset while drinking champagne on a sailboat. I had to set the scene. Sundown was also the end of a holy Jewish holiday; Yom Kippur. Breaking a fast with champagne? Winenot?
Margeaux had booked a perfect B+B in Oliver that appropriately goes by the name Uncorkedrun by Ian & Judy Born, a couple originally from small farming communities. Uncorked is located within a 15 minute (if that) drive of 40+ wineries in either direction and a lakeview location with a saltwater pool you can use from May – October.
It’s quiet here and all 3 private entrance rooms have en-suite bathroom and flat-screen TV. The beds are king-size, super comfy with new mattress and deluxe bamboo bedding. After all, you need a good night’s sleep for next day wine tasting. There’s a BBQ, shared lounge with efficiency kitchen and a coffee tray was left outside the room in the morning with the little extras (milk, cream, sugar) and full homemade breakfast included.
I was not expecting a menu from which to choose what we’d prefer for breakfast. That was a pleasant surprise. Dietary restrictions noted. Judy’s homemade farm fresh breakfasts are beyond. Coffee, juice, fresh fruit salad, free range local eggs, home grown tomatoes, homemade jams, etc….It was exceptional. As was her advice on which wineries were her favourites (she works at one twice a week which we visited – to be blogged about separately).
As a local, Judy provided plenty of relevant information about small lot wineries (producing less than 5,000 cases) that are excellent that I would probably have passed by had she not mentioned them…including tipping us off to some wineries that are now run by big corps and foreign investors. A few other well known ones that are overblown and such. After our weekend we really appreciated her guidance.
Aside from our drop in to District Wine Village and a vintage shop on Saturday, we managed to visit 7 wineries in total. Two well known wineries where we had dinner and 5 distinctive small lot fabulous wineries we’d never know about had Judy not circled them on our wine map. And as usual, the wine and conversation flowed and the time went way too fast. We decided to do this sametime next year. We’ll stay here again if the rooms are available.
The first of an open-ended number of Wine Wednesday posts for the unforeseeable future.
Just spent 3 unforgettable nights and days in Oliver; The Wine Capital of Canada, home to nearly half of British Columbia’s vines and more than 40 wineries. While there, my friend Margeaux and I were at the official opening day of the first wine village in Canada, aptly named District Wine Village. It’s a unique on-site vineyard built around a huge Ampitheatre with a local community mindset, celebrating artisan production and craftsmanship in wine, beer, food and entertainment. You don’t have far to go from one tasting to another and I hear the venue for live music is amazing. Unfortunately we didn’t stay for the concert as we had dinner reservations elsewhere that evening.
History taken from their website (link below):
Many business ideas are born over glasses of wine and that is exactly what happened with Okanagan Falls born and raised, long-time friends and neighbours, Max Brock and Matt Kenyon. Max had previously travelled throughout the US and had seen the model of winery clusters in other wine regions and wanted to bring the model to BC, the first of its kind in Canada. Together, they created a concept to launch this one-of-a-kind village in wine country. Expanding on this concept was to include Matt’s love of beer and food resulting in the inclusion of a craft brewery and a restaurant on site. Sadly, Max passed away before breaking ground. The District Wine Village project continued on, and is now being built in honour of Max and his family.
Michael Daley, an industry veteran was brought on as Director of Operations to bring the project to fruition, and the vision to life in further planning and the building out of the village. The rest as they say is history.
Well actually it starts at home. However if you have an opportunity to have as good or bettera meal in a restaurant that resembles your grandmother’s home, then look no further. The owner appropriately refers to it as “my apartment café” as the exact location was her home.
Noticed the heritage building with the inviting sign out front by accident during the summer when I was on Main Street. Unfortunately the restaurant was closed at the time. A few of the surrounding business owners who were sitting out front raved about the regular lunches that are served only by RSVP and then received at the takeout window. Elizabeth; the owner and chef, used to reside at what is now the restaurant, specializing in lunch and brunch menu. I called to make a reservation and was told they were opening for dinner (and would continue to on occasion for private parties) starting September 10th. Voilà! Went with my friend Janice on a lovely evening where we sat outside. The inside is very tiny with only a few tables that were already reserved. Lucky for us the weather cooperated. The food is local, sustainable, creative, comfort food. Of course I had to check it out.
Because travelling with dogs can sometimes be a pain for finding overnight accommodation.
La Quinta Inn & Suites – now owned by Wyndham are reliably dog friendly, clean, comfortable, cost-effective, all no-smoking rooms, free Wi-Fi, continental breakfast (sometimes full depending where you stay) and friendly service.
OK let’s be honest, while The Four Seasons it is not; your dogs probably won’t notice the difference well Layla might and if you’re looking just to overnight on your way to let’s say Palm Springs when the border finally opens and you want a very comfortable bed and a no-charge fee for your pooches – this is the place. If you’re a member you can receive regular room upgrades to larger suites which is what I usually take advantage of. I’ve also stayed at Best Western Plus and the only difference is that they charge for your pets and have a bit more on the menu in the morning. I don’t know about you but none of these breakfasts at either place are my cup of tea. A coffee and yogurt to get me going is usually sufficient and a stop somewhere along the drive for something more substantial is the norm.
Here are a few properties that I can vouch for:La Quinta in Eugene, Oregon is completely revamped with indoor pool, gym and you’ll find the Willamette River right outside the door with a great green space for walking your furry friends. Or if you have time you can run or bike along the many miles of trails. It’s very pretty and peaceful here.
La Quinta in Redding, Ca, off the Cypress exit on I-5 in Shasta County. Located near the Sacramento River where you can explore National Recreation Areas within a five minute drive to Whiskeytown or the scenic world-renowned Sundial Bridge. They have a fitness center, outdoor pool and breakfast. Plus a little courtyard to walk pets and enjoy a coffee before taking off.
If you absolutely must overnight in Bakersfield, all I can tell you is to make sure you stay at the La Quinta at the North end of the city (not the South end god help you).
Another positive beauty product review because I only write about what I like.
All Seeing Opulent Eye Cream is my favourite eye cream to date. I’ve been using it for several months now on the advice of a knowing friend with beautiful skin. What’s a girl to do? I’m almost running out and I’ll make sure to re-order. Thought you’d like to know. You’re welcome!
WHAT IS IT?
Taken from their website…
All Seeing Opulent Eye Crème is a thick, rich, luxurious crème that effortlessly sinks into skin and is specially formulated to nourish the tender skin around the eyes. Dry skin, fine lines, and wrinkles will enjoy an influx of moisture with this caring crème.
WHAT’S IN IT?
All Seeing Opulent Eye Crème is made by whipping herb-infused Jojoba, Tamanu, Shea, Borage, and Avocado oils with refreshing Rosewater and Aloe Vera. We then infuse this mixture with an entire palette of nourishing essences to soothe and infuse the delicate skin around the eyes. Dry skin, fine lines, and wrinkles will enjoy an influx of moisture with this caring crème, which is perfect to wear under make-up (and may also be graced upon the entire face).
Cape Chamomile – Eriocephalus punctulatus
Cape Chamomile has a high content of rare ester and azulene compounds that impart a teal blue hue to soothe all manner of skin imbalances. This rejuvenating essence balances sebum and softens the appearance of scars, and spots.
Blue Tansy – Tanacetum annuum
The beautiful, blue-hued color of our All Seeing Eye Crème is thanks to an infusion of Blue Tansy oil. The high azulene content of this oil makes it prime and sublime for skincare. Blue Tansy has a deliciously sweet herbaceous aroma and enhances relaxation while soothing the appearance red, dry, or cracking skin.
Fall is the perfect time to freshen up your wardrobe.
I hate saying goodbye to Summer however it’s time to begin to embrace the Fall, and what better way to start than with your clothing. Let’s face it – Fall fashion is the best!
Whether you’re headed back to the office or to the classroom, Fall is the time to put away the shorts and little summer dresses sigh and pull out your cozy sweaters and jackets. Let’s take a look at a few Fall fashion trends – courtesy Harper’s Bazaar Magazine (my favourite for fashion).
The future is bright, bold, and primed for attracting attention. Here to herald this message are fashion designers. From Thebe Magugu to Simone Rocha to Nicolas Ghesquière at Louis Vuitton, many presented collections with wild, wonderful prints. Magugu, for example, referenced mysticism in the pattern of a sleek suit; Ghesquière brought the Louvre’s paintings to life; and Rocha went for Baroque with romantic florals. Come fall, we are going to break free from gray and neutral tones, and bring some vibrancy into our lives.
Pictured from top to bottom: Duro Olowu, Colville, Christian Dior, La DoubleJ, Arthur Arbesser, Louis Vuitton, Loewe, Prada, Moschino, Simone Rocha, Stella Jean, Thebe Magugu, and Victoria Beckham.
Back to Black
LBDs are perennial; they’ll never go out of style no matter how many times we can say black is back. They haven’t left and never will. But what does change is the proportion. Some seasons have the ubiquitous style long and covered in appliqués; others have it prim and unadorned. For fall 2021, the trend de jour is short and super fitted. It’s all about the sultry mini. From tuxedo dresses at Fashion East to babydoll silhouettes at Christian Dior, the rule of thumb is to show legs for days, darling.
Pictured from top to bottom: JW Anderson, Schiaparelli, Fashion East, Dolce & Gabbana, Christian Dior, Carolina Herrera, Giambattista Valli, Versace, Tom Ford and Eftychia.
The Suit Coat
The trusted suit has gotten a revamp. Traditionally, the style is composed of a blazer-and-trouser combo; blazer and skirts have also become commonplace. For fall 2021, designers introduced something new into the fold: coats. Instead of fitted jackets, Givenchy, Jason Wu, Proenza Schouler, and more showcased palazzo, paper-bag-waist, flared, or cropped trousers all with elongated toppers. It’s a look that is meant to be worn and fully appreciated outdoors.
Pictured from top to bottom: A Potts, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Zimmerman, Jason Wu, Hermes, Marine Serre, The Row, Proenza Schouler, Balmain, Givenchy, and Chanel.
Sometimes being a tourist in your own city can be very rewarding. Of course it helps if you live in a beautiful city to begin with.
Remember; people travel or used to from all over the world just to be exactly in a place that we tend to take for granted.
On Sunday I was on my way to Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver but remembered along the drive that there is a Farmers’ Market in Ambleside Park, at the foot of 13th Street.
It’s on every Sunday from 10am to 3pm, May through October. Since it was a gorgeous day we stopped there first. I love this market. They have such a wide assortment of organic foods and a nice varied selection of B.C. crafts including jewelry, clothing, wrought iron, garden sculptures, soaps, pottery and much, much more.
Faces of the Farmers Market
Stock at the Market
I must say the market and the whole Ambleside area in general is very dog friendly. I ended up playing ball with Layla off-leash in a sprawling huge park area across from the beach and we hung out on a blanket for quite some time. That was after having lunch at The Boat Shed. And before we listened to live music on the beach and then walked all along the boardwalk.
The Boat Shed at Ambleside Beach. Local fresh cuisine for everyone.
Pavel, our waiter was excellent. He recommended an awesome homemade Mexican cilantro hot sauce to compliment my meal. I took it home.