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Honeymoon in B.C.


Katie Nell
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My fiance and I are eloping to BC in late August of this year, and we are starting our trip off in Kelowna, where we will also get married, just the two of us. We are planning on three days in Kelowna, three days in the Whistler area, and four days in the Vancouver and Victoria area. We are from Kansas City, KS, and so only know about BC from what we read on the Internet and in the guidebooks.

What I need your help with at the moment, is a place to have our wedding dinner in Kelowna. I've read the past topics and 'best of' guide, and I know about some of our options. In your opinion, what would be the best place to do this at? Obviously, we want the food to be excellent, regional food would be awesome. We also would like it to be somewhat romantic and private, if possible. We are staying at the Lake Okanagan Resort, and I don't know the location of the actual ceremony yet. It may potentially be the city park. We have a wedding planner since we know nothing about the area, but I trust you guys to help me with the dinner part... she is going to make the reservations for us and make sure that we will be able to sit in a more private part of the restaurant. So, do I go with Fresco or Bouchon? Or is there another option that I don't know about? It's difficult to tell the "mood" of the restaurants online, so I'm trusting this to those of you who have been!

I probably have the Vancouver part of our trip covered from all your previous topics, though I may have questions as it gets closer to the actual trip. And I am anxiously waiting for the results of the BC Paper Plates Awards, since I haven't read much about Whistler yet.

One specific question I have right now is about any artisan cheese makers, perhaps in between Kelowna and Whistler, or between Whistler and Vancouver? I noticed in one of the topics someone mentioned Gort's Gouda and it looks lovely, but I don't think we will be that far north. Does anyone know of a similar experience in the areas we will be in?

Thank you so much for any help you can provide... I really, really appreciate it! I cannot wait to visit your beautiful country... I can barely sit still at work thinking about our trip, and we still have a ways to go! Thanks again!

"Many people believe the names of In 'n Out and Steak 'n Shake perfectly describe the contrast in bedroom techniques between the coast and the heartland." ~Roger Ebert

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Katie,

For your wedding, DO NOT DO city park. The city park in Kelowna is far from beautiful. I am going to recommend that you get married in one of the local wineries. If you had the wedding at Quail's Gate (Westbank) you could also do the dinner there at there restaurant. It is in a beautiful setting.

Okanagan Lake Resort is on the Westside of Kelowna, not close to downtown. It's romantic though, and Quail's Gate is also on the westside.

Just a thought.

Also FYI Fresco's is more regional (very good) and Bouchon's is French.

I'll pm you with more.

How exciting!

Edited to add:

Cheese in Kelowna at Carmelis Artisan Goat Cheese

Phone: (250) 764-9033

It's out in the Mission, so you could do a nice trip through Summerhill Winery, Cedar Creek and St. Hubertus and then to the Cheese Farm (not 100% sure if they're open for touring).

Edited by Vancitygirl (log)

Gastronomista

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Katie,

I'm sure that you have studied the Okanagan and Vancouver threads, however there are more OK Valley nuggets buried here.

Quail's Gate would be an elegant venue both for your wedding and reception. Mission Hill (you'll find a link above in the blog) offers a number of different on-site venues, both indoors and out, however they do not 'do' wedding ceremonies on site - great reception facilities though.

Cheers,

Jamie

Edited by jamiemaw (log)

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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Fresco definitely if you're going have your ceremony in Kelowna, although I wouldnt say it's a particularly romantic venue, nor with any views, but it would be the only choice in town.

I vote for a winery also, Mission Hill would be stunning, and the food should be good - I'm not for Quails gate as I don't believe the menu http://www.quailsgate.com/oldvinesdinner.htm is anything special and we didnt have a particularly memorable experience dining there.

Naramata Heritage Inns & Spa http://naramatainn.com/dining.php is a lovely place (and perhaps a better choice than staying in the city - there really isn't anything in Kelowna, you have to drive to get to any wineries) So if you're there for a few days, you'd be better off staying either down Naramata, (check out Joie, Blasted Church, Elephant Island) Osoyoos (NK' MIP Cellars (Inkameep) or Burrowing Owl, one or both of them have private accomodations, and are gorgeous wineries - NK'MIP had a very interesting menu).

As for the rest of your trip - cut your Whistler down to a day or so, and spend more time on the island with 2 days max in Victoria, then go to Tofino & Sooke (Sooke Harbour House)

Let us know how everything goes!

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I guess I should clarify one thing... when I said Kelowna, I didn't necessarily mean in Kelowna. We will have a car and are willing to drive to another location if you think there is a better option, as long as it is not too far away. We already have reservations at the Lake Okanagan Resort, so we are still committed to staying there, no matter what happens. And, I'm sure we will eat at Fresco at least one night, whether it's our wedding night or not, so if there is a more romantic restaurant for the actual night, that's fine too.

I mentioned the city park because that is what our wedding planner mentioned, but I will take your advice to heart... NO CITY PARK! :wink: It didn't really sound like a locale that I would be interested in, but I was willing to hear her out. Privacy is definitely the biggest concern for the ceremony... after all, that is why we're eloping! Our "wedding planner" is basically just making sure we will have a wedding commissioner, a photographer, my bouquet, a location, and restaurant reservations.

Also, it will be just the two of us, so do you think the wineries would be open to accommodating us since we are doing it so small?

And just curious... why do you recommend cutting our days down in Whistler? Just because there's so much to do on the island? My vote was for less time in Whistler, but my fiance is entranced with it... mostly I think he's just interested in the fly fishing!

Thanks again for all your help!

Edited to add: Oh, it will also be on a Thursday night, if that makes a difference on anything!

Edited by Katie Nell (log)

"Many people believe the names of In 'n Out and Steak 'n Shake perfectly describe the contrast in bedroom techniques between the coast and the heartland." ~Roger Ebert

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Well...if you don't know B.C. and are contemplating only 3 days in the Okanagan, 3 days in Whistler and 4 days Vancouver and Vancouver Island - then yes 3 days in Whistler are too much - relatively speaking.

I mean there really is not that much to do in Whistler for 3 days in mid-summer (despite what the Tourist Board will have you believe) - and 4 days for Vancouver and Vancouver Island is ridiculously brief. So yes, I would cut down Whistler to 1 day (or skip it altogether) and add the extra days to your Vancouver and Vancouver Island stay.

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Well...if you don't know B.C. and are contemplating only 3 days in the Okanagan, 3 days in Whistler and 4 days Vancouver and Vancouver Island - then yes 3 days in Whistler are too much - relatively speaking.

I mean there really is not that much to do in Whistler for 3 days in mid-summer (despite what the Tourist Board will have you believe) - and 4 days for Vancouver and Vancouver Island is ridiculously brief. So yes, I would cut down Whistler to 1 day (or skip it altogether)  and add the extra days to your Vancouver and Vancouver Island stay.

I absolutely would not skip Whistler. I have met very few (if any) tourists who have not enjoyed their time in Whistler. Having said that, with your limited time here in BC, 3 days is probably too much, unless you are going fishing or playing golf. The drive to Whistler is spectacular on a clear day!

Please remember that there is no right or wrong in regards to peoples suggestions; only their opinions.

Derek

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We are staying at the Lake Okanagan Resort, and I don't know the location of the actual ceremony yet.  It may potentially be the city park. 

Add another voice that says NO to city park. A couple of thoughts ... how about Knox Mountain. It may not be very lush and faerie-tale like, but the views are amazing! During August the tourists kinda have the run of the rest of the city, so finding someplace quaint and quiet may be a challenge.

One specific question I have right now is about any artisan cheese makers, perhaps in between Kelowna and Whistler, or between Whistler and Vancouver?  I noticed in one of the topics someone mentioned Gort's Gouda and it looks lovely, but I don't think we will be that far north.  Does anyone know of a similar experience in the areas we will be in?

Another vote for Carmelli's. GOAT-gonzola!

The comments about staying away from Whistler I'm going to guess are coming from that part of us that is just tired of the place. Is it touristy? Yup. But it's also an incredibly beautiful place, and I think any trip to BC would be incomplete without it.

I can think of a number of better fly-fishing places than Whistler, but I'd have to kill you if I told you about them. :raz: Besides, I don't think you had tenting and mosquitoes in mind for your honeymoon.

A.

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Between Kelowna and Vancouver, if you are looking for cheese, you must pull off the highway and head to Agassiz/Harrison. It would only take you about 25 minutes to get to the Cheese lady

Debra Amrein-Boyes is doing beautiful work, and has just come out with a beautiful new quark cheese that is too die for. Her butter is also incredible and she is well worth a visit.

FarmHouse Cheeses

Don't try to win over the haters. You're not the jackass whisperer."

Scott Stratten

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My vote was for less time in Whistler, but my fiance is entranced with it... mostly I think he's just interested in the fly fishing!

Thanks again for all your help!

Edited to add:  Oh, it will also be on a Thursday night, if that makes a difference on anything!

Fly fishing is indeed a fine Canadian tradition, Katie, especially on one's honeymoon. The point of this story though is that you'll have a great time wherever you find yourselves around here - the topography is pretty convincing evidence that you're not in Kansas anymore . . .

Please get married in our garden at Treetops (link upthread) at the top of the apple orchard. If the proprietor is in residence he may be easily convinced to buy you a cleansing ale after the cermony. Go for a swim. Play tennis. if you're particularly well behaved, you may be escorted down the street to pick some tomatoes at Milan's. Or to fetch some wine at CedarCreek.

Have a drink at the Eldorado Hotel on Lakeshore. Order the lobster cocktail. Enjoy the view. Go for a boat ride; admire the McMansions recently built for hockey players. Perhaps if the Canucks played with those schticks they'd score more. Goals, that is.

Downtown Kelowna is underestimated by many outsiders. Enjoy the galleries. Fresco is a lovely spot but there are quite a few alternatives. The Waterfront Wine Bar is particularly lively as is La Bussola. The rooftop bar at Earls is a useful vantage point for studying local flora and fauna. Or toss some wedding confit at Bouchons. Pick up some housemade gravadlax and good bread at La Boulangerie in Pandosy Village and head to Gyro Beach for the afternoon.

The Cove Beach Resort in Westbank, five kilometres south of Mission Hill, will be open by the time you arrive. Have lunch on the dock. Go for a swim.

Have a meal either at Quail's Gate or The Terrace at Mission Hill. Both offer sweeping lake views; the tour at MH is worthy.

Many people head south into the wine country, and Naramata is gorgeous. The Cobblestone Wine Bar at the Naramata Inn can be useful, although the rooms can be a little pokey, and because the walls are thin, only semi-private. Be prepared if you head farther south into Oliver and Osoyoos - it can be very hot. Some visitors spontaneously combust. But as others have pointed out, the wineries are lovely.

Cool off by tubing down the canal in Penticton, or have a burger on the beach at any one of the interchangeable cafes.

To the north of Kelowna, and often overlooked by whinies, Kalamalka Lake and Ellison Park near Vernon are also attractive. Beside Ellison Park, the newly developed Outback Resort is getting going but is still a bit of a construction site.

Explore Peachland, which takes approximately 7 minutes. Have a beer and bratwurst at Gasthaus. Admire the local citizenry.

Walk on Chesterman Beach in Tofino. Take in the clam bake in front of The Wickinninish Inn. Have lunch in the garden at Sobo.

In Victoria, have lunch at Canoe looking over the Inner Harbour. Alain Leger is cooking very well there now. Dinner at Brasserie l'Ecole, Zambri's, Paprika Cafe or Rosemeade.

At Whistler, fly fish on The River of Golden Dreams. Walk into Cheakamus Lake. Take the gondola up the mountain for lunch. Take a walk around Lost Lake. Although the nude dock is in disrepair, so are we.

Sit on our dock on Alpha Lake. Go for a swim. Pat the dogs cheerily. If the proprietor is in residence, he may be easily persuaded to buy you a cleansing ale.

Click heels twice.

Edited by jamiemaw (log)

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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The comments about staying away from Whistler I'm going to guess are coming from that part of us that is just tired of the place.  Is it touristy?  Yup.  But it's also an incredibly beautiful place, and I think any trip to BC would be incomplete without it.

Touristy is definitely not what were going for... I always find myself disappointed by places that tout themselves as a tourist destination, so we will re-examine that portion of our trip. I think we will for sure still go, but maybe cut it down a bit. We were just hoping to get in some fly fishing, white water rafting, and hiking, and thought this might be the place to do it.

I can think of a number of better fly-fishing places than Whistler, but I'd have to kill you if I told you about them. :raz: Besides, I don't think you had tenting and mosquitoes in mind for your honeymoon.

Oh, come on... not fair... I'm dying to try out my new fly rod that my dad made me! (Her name is Dottie!)

And I guess I didn't get the inside joke on the paper plate awards... I thought it was going to be more like an egullet 'best of,' like the one we recently had on Kansas City... http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=82584 So... any restaurants in Whistler worth getting excited about?

"Many people believe the names of In 'n Out and Steak 'n Shake perfectly describe the contrast in bedroom techniques between the coast and the heartland." ~Roger Ebert

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Click heels twice.

Very poetic Jamie, but I don't think I'll want to click my heels, because that would take me home! :sad:

"Many people believe the names of In 'n Out and Steak 'n Shake perfectly describe the contrast in bedroom techniques between the coast and the heartland." ~Roger Ebert

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I mean there really is not that much to do in Whistler for 3 days in mid-summer (despite what the Tourist Board will have you believe) - and 4 days for Vancouver and Vancouver Island is ridiculously brief. So yes, I would cut down Whistler to 1 day (or skip it altogether)  and add the extra days to your Vancouver and Vancouver Island stay.

...unless you guys are avid downhill mountain bikers....then 3 days isn't enough :biggrin:

The most westcoast/BC moment I ever had was being in Whistler in the summer watching these ridiculous mountain bikers tearing down the ski hills doing jumps. One in particular was ripping it down the slopes and doing 360's off these jumps. I recall saying "wow, that guy is NUTS!" and the guy pushing the stroller next to me smiled in appreciation.

The biker got to the bottom, took off HER helmet and proceeded to pick up the baby in the stroller making kissy noises. The guy who was pushing the stroller smiled at me and said "my turn!" - kissed his wife and took the bike up to the chairlift.

What a mom!

"There are two things every chef needs in the kitchen: fish sauce and duck fat" - Tony Minichiello

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Whistler is nice and all but I am not aware of (other than skiing the glacier - although not sure you can in August) an activity in Whistler during the summer that you can not partake in a place other than in Whistler in the summer. I think a day and a half is all you need. I think that if you were to rent a place for a night or two right on Alta Lake it might be quite romantic (avoid staying in the Village IMHO). I am probably the worst person to offer advice about outdoor activities though since my days of seasons passes at Blackcomb are long over and I am also still diging the rocks out of my hands from the last time I mountain biked in the summer up there. You can always hike up to the base of Black Tusk near Squamish which I have done a few times and take a nice dip in the glacial lakes if you dare.

Around Kelowna, the other ideas thus far are great and brougt back fond memories of summer hockey schools in the area and tube rides between Okanagan lake and Skaha lake. Friends of the family also owned Sumac Ridge at the time and the golf course that used to be on the property was a hoot to play (very beat up but that was many years ago). Golf is one thing that the area is very well known for. Perhaps in August the residences at Burrowing Owl will be done and you can stay there - not sure when they are supposed to be done.

If you do decide to travel south of Kelowna to the places some have noted (i.e. towards Penticton, Summerland, Oliver, and Osoyoos you may need to drive back on the number 3 as doubling back would probably take more time to go the number 5), although in the summer the road is fine (not so in the winter). Just keep it in mind and I would advise you drive the road during the day as it is not very well lit at night. I have relatives in Keromeos and I can not think of anything better than driving the number 3 and eating so much fresh fruit as you went along that you were going to burst. :smile:

Edited by mkjr (log)

officially left egullet....

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One thing to consider is the route you take from Kelowna to Vancouver, assuming that you are driving. The quick, sanitized, and dull route is via the Coquihalla to Hope, and then onwards to Vancouver. The more interesting, longer, and slower route travels south along Okanagan Lake to Osoyoos, and then west to Hope. Where the Coquihalla is a new highway for efficient travel in and out of Vancouver, the southerly route travels through orchards, wineries, and beautiful lake scenery. Many people have described the wondrous things between Kelowna and Osoyoos, so I'll leave their descriptions to tempt you. From Osoyoos it is a beautiful mountain drive to Hope, although at the price of a narrow, winding highway as opposed to the Coquihalla's divided highway. I personally prefer the southerly route, although I typically use the Coquihalla because I'm travelling between destinations, rather than travelling for the sake of seeing what's there.

If you're looking for something a little out of the ordinary while on Vancouver Island, you might look into Soule Creek Lodge in Port Renfrew. It's approximately two hours west of Victoria, along the west coast of the Island. I don't know if they can offer fly fishing, but they're big on big salmon! If you make it out that way, don't miss the tide pools at Botanical Beach during low tide, it's a great place to spy on unsuspecting sea critters.

Most importantly (and prematurely), welcome to BC!

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...In Victoria, have lunch at Canoe looking over the Inner Harbour. Alain Leger is cooking very well there now. Dinner at Brasserie l'Ecole, Zambri's, Paprika Cafe or Rosemeade....

I'd add Cafe Brio to the dinner suggestions - and move Zambri's to a lunch option. (For what Zambri's now charges for dinner entrees and wines, you're not getting an interesting room, just the same wobbly chairs.) :blink:

Memo

Ríate y el mundo ríe contigo. Ronques y duermes solito.

Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Snore, and you sleep alone.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I would add my vote to the Naramata Heritage Inn & Spa as a location. I visited this building when it was still an unoccupied building on the shores and could see the potential. It is a beautiful 1930's Art Deco inspired building right on the shores of the lake and an incredible spot for a wedding.

In terms of places to visit on your honeymoon, I would recommend the Long Beach Lodge resort and spa (they have a website). I went there last year for Valentine's Day and it was one of the best vacations I have had. The accomodations were fabulous (comfortable beds, in room fireplaces and beach front views) and the food was fantastic - I had the best dungeness crab (the meat was white white) that I have ever had and paired it with the Blue Mountain Striped Label Pinot Noir (my partner was having the rack of lamb) for dinner. It is up there in the top ten of life experiences for me :biggrin:

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  • 5 months later...

Belated report, as usual!! Warning: This is very, very long-winded… feel free to skim and look at the pretty pictures! The pictures are spotty, because usually I'm hungry, forgetful, or some kind of combo of the both! :smile:

Well, we (my new husband, Chris, and I) just got back from our honeymoon trip to British Columbia, and I think the post-honeymoon depression is setting in… in fact, I know it is! We had a wonderful time and I truly consider you guys lucky to live in beautiful BC! If you saw a girl crying on the Air Canada flight to Calgary on Saturday morning, September 9th, yep, that was me! :sad: At any rate, we could not have asked for a better wedding or honeymoon!

We arrived in Kelowna on August 30th, and since we had gotten up at 3 am Kansas City time and traveled to Chicago to Calgary to Kelowna and got there about 3 pm BC time, we were pretty much dead on our feet tired! We decided to have dinner at the Hotel Eldorado and make it an early night, since the next day was our wedding day (more on that later)! We tried a BC extravaganza and shared the raw oysters, lobster cocktail, and salmon and clam chowder. (The whole hotel, which the exception of our room, smells of chowder and it is lovely! I so wanted to bottle that smell and send it to my dad… he would have loved it!) The raw oysters were, well, raw oysters… I don’t think they’re bad, they’re just not my cup of tea, but it was the first of many for my husband! The lobster cocktail was fantastic, but really how can you go wrong? And the chowder, oh, the chowder, I dream about it now! Honestly, this is the first time I’ve ever liked clam chowder… it is just wonderful with the salmon and the sweet corn… yum!

The next day, Chris went and got me breakfast at La Boulangerie while I slept in… what a nice boy he is! He brought me back an almond croissant, some kind of an apricot pastry, and a financier… they were all extra rich and extra good. And now here, here is where we made our first, and really only, mistake of the trip… I would rather just leave this part of the trip out, but I know if I do, that Mr. Maw will rat me out!! We were driving around the town of Kelowna, scoping everything out, and we got hungry. Of course, I had all my notes with me, but we decided to be adventurous: big mistake, HUGE! We decided to eat lunch at Rose’s Waterfront Pub… go ahead, laugh, I’ll wait……………… ……………………………….. Anyway, we had the shrimp and crab wrap, which was essentially faux canned shrimp, faux crab meat, mayo, and pre-shredded cheese… yum, right! We also had the mushroom soup, otherwise known as Elmer’s Glue. And the worst offender of them all, the Poutine… frozen French fries with more of that Best Choice pre-shredded cheese, or whatever the Canadian cheapo brand is, and jarred beef gravy! (Sorry if I made anyone gag… I kind of am right now!) When we told Jamie and everyone where we had eaten for lunch that night, they all died laughing and said that they’d never met anyone that had actually eaten there!! Even the marriage commissioner was laughing at us! Oh well… at least we got our first mistake out of the way early!! Never to sway from the egullet notes again!

That night was our wedding night! We got married at Mr. Jamie Maw’s lovely orchard and it could not have been more perfect for us! (We got a little too relaxed sharing a bottle of BC wine in our hotel room right before and were a little bit late, but luckily there weren’t too many guests waiting on us… I believe the Quail’s Gate Riesling was the culprit!) It really could not been a better setting, a more romantic evening, a more relaxed wedding, or a more private event… just the way we wanted it. It was so nice of you Jamie, to offer your orchard; that day was just what we had imagined it would be. Jamie poured a bottle of champagne all around and toasted us, and then we took more pictures at the vineyard next door, at what I think was called Lover’s Lane, and then some more at Knox Mountain. Then, we were off to dinner at Fresco.

We arrived at Fresco about ten minutes late for our reservation, and even though I phoned ahead to let them know we were going to be late; the hostess did give our table away to another couple. She said that the couple “wouldn’t take no for answer” even though there were several other tables in the restaurant; she also knew it was our wedding night. I don’t want to dwell on the negatives because everything else was wonderful, and in the moment I didn’t let it bother me, but looking back, I can’t help but be a little irked! Jamie had also sent over a bottle of wine to go with our dessert, and when that happened, the hostess came over and said, “Oh, when I found out Jamie had sent you over a bottle of wine, I just knew I had to come over and find out who this lovely couple was!!” Guess I should have mentioned that I knew Jamie earlier!! :wink: Oh well… the rest of the evening was lovely so it definitely didn’t overshadow it! <<Forgive me, as I’m writing this part of the trip in much later, so the details are fuzzy. All of the food at Fresco was really terrific and probably our best meal all around. I had the grilled wild pacific salmon filet with potato & celery confit, artisan cheese, and walnuts with an apple cider glaze… the sweetness and nuttiness were really a perfect pairing with the salmon, a really excellent dish. Chris had the butter poached wild sea scallops with fennel and herb risotto, warm vegetable salad, and a Dungeness crab cracker. The scallops, not surprisingly were extremely tender and perfectly cooked. We had the Signature chocolate dessert with the browned butter ice cream… I love anything with browned butter, and well, chocolate could be my middle name! Fresco ended up being a perfect way to end our wedding night… very romantic, good food, and good company!>>

The next day, I was feeling slightly hung over, so Chris once again went and got me breakfast… did I mention that I’m not a morning person and how much I love this man?!? :wub: Anyway, Tim Horton’s wheat bagel with cream cheese is excellent hangover food if you’re in the need… I’m blaming Jamie for that one! Our plan was to tour some wineries, so after I felt a bit better, we headed off to Cedar Creek Winery. We also went to Carmelis goat cheese, and that was so much fun! We bought a ton of cheeses and sampled even more… the paninis smelled so good, but we had already made reservations at Quail’s Gate for lunch, should have had a snack, dang it! We then went to lunch and Chris had the special which was halibut and noodles in a ginger miso broth and I had the Chilled Roasted Red Pepper Soup and the Salmon Cakes. Emphasis is on the chilled because our waitress wanted to make sure I knew that was cold!! I must look either dumber ;-) or younger than I thought!! She warmed up to us after a bit though, and brought us some complementary bread even though they don’t usually serve it at lunch, and boy was I glad she did! The bread was lovely, very fresh and warm, and was served with a soft butter with sun-dried tomatoes and olives in it… really fantastic! (We both wish that restaurants would put more effort into their breads. If you’re going to serve crappy bread, then just don’t serve it at all… we don’t need it that bad!) Chris loved his halibut and my soup and cakes were good. Quail’s Gate was probably my favorite winery; I loved the quaintness of it, and the patio was wonderful to eat lunch on. We bought a Foch for my parents, so we’ll see how they like it! After that, we went on to Mission Hill Winery and it is quite impressive; this was Chris’s favorite winery. The restaurant also looked really good here and their view is amazing! We bought a Riesling here to have on our first anniversary, if it lasts that long!

For dinner that night, we went to Waterfront Wine Bar for a late one. We both were in the mood for something comforting and this place really hit the nail on the head. We shared the roasted free-range chicken breast with roasted vegetables (the most amazing roasted tomatoes I’ve ever had!), the cheese plate which included a Carmelis cheese, and the chocolate bread pudding. I’m not normally that into bread pudding, but Chris talked me into it, and I was glad he did… very rich and satisfying! We really enjoyed this place and wish we had more casual but elegant places like it in Kansas City.

The next day, we were headed to Whistler early in the morning, so we stopped off at La Boulangerie again and got a regular croissant, a pain au chocolat, a palmier, and a loaf of French bread for our lunch. I almost had tears in my eyes as we drove away and I realized that my palmier was not like Canucklehead had described it in this post… there were no two palmiers, no jam, no palmier sandwich at all! The palmier was still good, but obviously you can understand my being a little heartbroken! I got over it when I moved onto the pain au chocolat! We knew there wouldn’t be too much on the way to Whistler so we had picked up some salami from Illichman’s before we left town, and we ate that, some dill and onion soft goat cheese from Carmelis, the French bread, and some grapes we picked up from a roadside stand. The salami was excellent… I think we got spicy and Hungarian if I remember correctly. This kind of combo is one of my favorite simple meals to have.

That night we went into the village and walked around trying to decide where to eat. As you can imagine, on a holiday weekend, the village was quite busy, so many places did not have room for us anytime soon! We ended up at Apres, where they had a table available. This was probably my favorite space of the trip… it’s very cozy and intimate, but still very contemporary… I’d like to think if I had a restaurant, this is what it would look like. I was a little disappointed because on their website they had advertised a $33 summer 3-course prix fixe menu, and I thought that it would probably be too late for that, but then when we got there, they had a sign outside advertising this deal… not so. I think what we ended up with was a 2-course prix fixe menu at $38, so not even close! I forgave them though, because the food was very good and the service was extremely professional and nice. I had pan-seared Alaskan scallops, lobster tortellini, coriander and lemon emulsion, tomato and Banyuls salsa for my appetizer, and this probably ended up being the best dish of the trip… really outstanding marriage of flavors! Chris had the house-smoked Sockeye Salmon, Dungeness crab salad, potato crepe, and crème fraiche appetizer that was equally as good and also probably in the top three dishes of the trip! So, after these fantastic appetizers, we were really psyched for the main courses, and were subsequently disappointed… don’t get me wrong, the mains were very good, but they didn’t even come close to touching the caliber of the appetizers. I had the duo of dry aged Angus beef: Cabernet braised short ribs “Osso Bucco” and petit filet mignon, casserole of shallot confit, and Hon Shemiji mushrooms and Chris had the pan roasted Lingcod filet with spring vegetables, “Matignon” Clam, and lemon thyme. Mine was pretty good, but Chris’s Lingcod was really bland… we’d never had this fish before, so we didn’t really know what to expect. We were also served a pureed cauliflower gratin on the side that was absolutely outstanding. Nothing really excited me on the dessert menu, so we let it be. All in all, not bad for two of the best dishes on the trip!

The next day, we had our fishing trip, so I had to get up early! :angry: Boo for that! The ladies at the B&B we were staying at were so sad that we weren’t going to be there for breakfast, and I was too! All in the name of love and trout! We didn’t get done with fishing until around 2, and by the time we cleaned up and got to the village, it was around 3, and not a lot was open for lunch. We decided to give Earl’s a try to see what all the fuss was about with these CFD’s. I had the clam chowder and Caesar salad, and it was okay. Chris had the Dynamite Shrimp Rolls and the Thai Chicken Wings; we both thought the shrimp rolls were pretty good and the wings were wings. For us, Earl’s was what I think it is… just a chain restaurant where you can go and have predictable food. You are lucky though, because there are not nearly as many chains in BC as there are in the U.S., especially in the town I grew up in about an hour from KC.

And we were on to Victoria… again having to get up early to catch the ferry and again saddening the poor ladies at the B&B…. we had to reassure them that we would be back someday! They did send us with a very fresh and juicy blueberry muffin and an apple to go though. We were starving by the time we reached Nanaimo, so we stopped at a little bar/ restaurant to grab a quick lunch… I don’t remember the name of it, but it was a decent little lunch. Chris also found a genius way to get around not many restaurants being open on Sundays or Mondays in Victoria… take a gourmet kayaking trip!! We went sea kayaking with Sea Wolf Kayaking that night and had a blast! Our guide fixed us a seafood stir fry that was pretty decent along with a salad and a peach crostada on an island that we kayaked to! It definitely made for a fun dinner! (We later saw the kayaking trips with Edible BC and were a little bit jealous; these ones sound much more gourmet, but we still had fun!)

The next day, we ate breakfast at the Swan’s Brewpub. I had the continental breakfast which was a croissant, vanilla yogurt (really good local yogurt with actual vanilla bean flecks in it- I don’t remember the brand, but I saw the factory in Victoria), a banana, Baby Bell cheese, and an orange juice… not bad for a continental. Chris traded his continental ($7.50 value on the menu) for the Eggs Benedict with pesto and home fries; the pesto was really excellent and tasted very freshly made. For lunch, we went to Nautical Nellie’s, which I have to say, was probably the most pleasant surprise of the trip! I wanted to go there being that I’m a Nell by middle name, and my mom is a Nell by middle name, so I wanted to get t-shirts! (My mom’s first name is Victoria, so it was a double bonus!) Anyway, we anticipated it to be kind of cheesy and touristy, but the food turned out to be quite good. We shared the smoked salmon appetizer with red onions, capers, and sour cream… it was supposed to come with blinis, but they were all out, and asked if garlic bread would be okay; of course, I’ve never been known to turn down garlic bread! I’m not usually a huge caper fan, but man, it is right on with that combo! We also shared the Tasting Box which came with albacore tuna tataki with pickled ginger, sweet hoisin pan seared scallops with jalapeno chutney, lobster and shrimp cocktail with tomato horseradish, and cream coconut curry prawns in spicy tomato sauce… all very good and perfectly cooked. For dessert, we had the Chocolate Eruption, which of course, was tasty! All in all, a most pleasant surprise. Our waitress was extremely nice and very professional as well.

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The Tasting Box

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Chocolate Eruption

That night, we had dinner at Café Brio, and I think I probably built it up too much in my mind, but found it probably to be one of the biggest disappointments on the trip. It was good, don’t get me wrong, but a.) nothing really spoke to me on the menu and that rarely happens, and b.) some of what we had was not worth the money. Chris had a duck ragout which he said was pretty good, but not spectacular. I believe he also had another raw oyster, but I don’t remember much about it. I had the Saanich Greens with warm goat cheese, verjus, and wild flower honey which is $12 (CD) and in my opinion, way over-priced. It was just the greens with a tad bit of vinaigrette and about a quarter-sized pat of goat cheese, nothing else. I honestly did not taste any depth to the vinaigrette whatsoever. I also had the Corn, Dungeness Crab, and Leek soup, which was very good, but I definitely left hungry. When it came time for dessert, again, nothing really intrigued us, so we decided to head onto another restaurant a little later in the evening. (I’m sorry, but I’m really tired of seeing crème brulee on menus!!) Maybe if I had gone into the evening with little to no expectations, I would have liked it better, so that was probably my fault. Later on that evening, we headed to Wild Saffron Bistro to try out the Cheese Fondue for two… it was very good and a healthy-sized snack right before bed! All of the dried fruits that accompanied it were gorgeous and plump, and the bread that came with it was awesome with the cheese. It made for a fun end to the evening.

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Dippers

And onto Vancouver, where the serious eating can begin!! (Are you tired yet?!?) We both had the continental breakfast this time, perfect for the ferry ride. We had left lunch plans open because we weren’t quite sure where we wanted to go most, so Chris picked Feenie’s from my list. We shared the ravioli, which I can’t quite remember, but I think was a lobster and sweet corn ravioli… very good. I had the mussels for my main and they were the best mussels I’ve ever had, hands down; obviously, we don’t usually get very good mussels in Kansas, so I enjoyed these immensely. It’s on the menu as an appetizer and I did find it to be a little too much richness for a main. Chris had the special which was an open-faced smoked salmon sandwich; he said he really enjoyed it, but that it was a little too tough to eat because the bread was fairly hard. And then for dessert, the best dessert of the trip: Warm chocolate fondant w/ ancho-chile anglaise, cinnamon ice cream, almond praline and honey tuile!! In all fairness, it does have my favorite flavor combination- chile, cinnamon, and chocolate, but it was still far and away, the best dessert we had on this trip!

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Salmon Sandwich

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My somewhat fuzzy mussels!

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The best dessert of the trip!

For dinner that night, we went to Guu with Garlic. We really enjoyed the food we got, but found the experience to be a little overwhelming. I probably should have gotten advice on what and how to order, because we ended up leaving pretty hungry still! We ordered the grilled snow crab, the chili shrimp, and potstickers. It took us about 45 minutes to get our food and about 15 minutes to eat it! I’m not sure why it took so long to get our food, but the lady and her daughter next to us had food in front of them minutes after they sat down! I’m not sure if they ordered before they came or what, but they had probably 7 dishes eaten before we had even gotten our food and they sat down after us! We wanted to order more because we really did enjoy what we got, but we were afraid it would take another 45 minutes! The girl next to me had ordered a melon soda with sake ice cream and it looked so good that I got one too, and it was really, really good… my kind of girly drink!! Since we were still hungry, we set off in search of dessert. We saw Mondo Gelato and Mum’s Gelato, but then Chris wanted to take me to True Confections when he saw it was all desserts, knowing me well. I had the Boston Crème Pie and Chris had the Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake… huge portions but I thought they were just okay. I also had a hot chocolate with Bailey’s that was very good in the Vancouver chill.

The next day, we headed to Granville Island, my favorite part of the trip! I love farmer’s markets and try to get to one wherever we are on vacation, so this was definitely a dream come true! I wanted to snack on everything I saw but I also wanted to save room for Go Fish! I ended up getting some profiteroles that were quite good. We spent quite a bit of time at Edible BC and spent the majority of our souvenir money here! We bought lots of things for our parents and quite a bit for ourselves! I ended up getting a sugar tower from Maison Cote with lavender sugar, ginger sugar, and basil sugar. We also got the Balsamic jelly from Maison Cote, which was probably our favorite souvenir of the trip. The people at the store were extremely nice and we were able to sample everything we bought. They also packaged everything in bubble wrap for our plane ride home. This truly is a wonderful store and I wish that I had bought a lot more, but our bags were over the weight limit as is, so I’m glad I didn’t!! After this, we went to Go Fish! They definitely do not start taking orders until 11:30 on the dot; we got there early, as everyone says to, and it was weird to have all the windows open but not have anyone even acknowledge you until 11:30! It kind of adds to the whole experience though! I had the Atlantic salmon sandwich with cucumbers and it was fabulous… I was surprised that it was rather fancy for a little shack kind of a place! Chris had the salmon fish and chips- the best fish and chips we’ve ever had, no question! It’s amazing how they get it so crisp on the outside, but then the fish is done just right and is so juicy on the inside! I also got the potato leek soup with “fish” and it was pretty good as well. The view is outstanding, of course! I think I would eat at Go Fish! everyday if I worked or lived nearby!

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I can't quite get the motion down of holding camera still and pushing button!!

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Granville Island

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Potato Leek Soup

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Atlantic Salmon Sandwich

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Salmon Fish and Chips

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Our favorite boat from the view of Go Fish!

We went to C that night for dinner and it definitely lived up to hype, in my opinion. We had decided that we wanted to sample a little bit here and then move onto another restaurant. So, I ordered an amusant of the chilled corn soup with cured trout and Chris had the smoked scallop and another oyster. Of course, the presentation was outstanding but the flavors were as well; I love any kind of corn soup and almost always order it if it’s on a menu! I also had the appetizer of a grilled scallop with crisp pork terrine, organic carrots, and black truffle, very good as well- loved the crispy crust on the pork; it was kind of a take on carnitas. Chris had a halibut dish of some sort, which I think ended up being one of his favorite dishes of the trip. We went to Chambar afterwards for dessert; Chris had the trio cheese platter with spiced rhubarb jam and fig bread and I had the Belgian waffle with warm chocolate, raspberry coulis, and vanilla ice cream. I should have written down what the cheeses were, but of course didn’t… they were all really good, one in particular was very strong by itself but was so good with the jam. The Belgian waffle was very good, but I liked the cheese platter better; luckily, Chris is very generous!

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Oyster

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Chilled Corn Soup

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Smoked Scallop

And now we’re at our last full day in Vancouver… boo, hiss!! We decided to go to West for our last lunch. I started with the mushroom soup with truffle oil and thought it was good, but really just a good mushroom soup, nothing more, nothing less. I also had the Queen Charlotte Halibut with fennel marmalade and eggplant puree; this was good, not really my cup of tea, but the halibut was perfectly cooked and lovely. Chris had salmon and gnocchi- the gnocchi was amazingly light, hard to do. We had the chocolate tasting for dessert which consists of a chocolate hazelnut frangelico cake, chocolate nobo tea mousse with a lemon wafer, and a chocolate sorbet, vanilla ice cream swirl with lemon wafer. I thought it was a decent dessert, but looking back, don’t really find it that memorable. My favorite part was probably the little truffle on top of the frangelico cake! All in all, I know everyone has their own opinion, but we liked C a little bit better than West, and now I wish I had tried dessert at C to get a full comparison!

For dinner on our last night in Vancouver, we headed to Wild Rice. From the menu, I knew Chris was going to really love this place so I was excited to go there. We really wanted to go out with a bang so we sampled a lot! We had a scallop chuk stick, mussel potstickers, candied salmon wontons, wild boar with plantain chips, the Atlantic Char special of the night, the dairy-free cheesecake, and the chocolate mousse. I also had several cocktails; my favorite being the Lotus with lychee-infused vodka, lychee juice, lime cordial and ginger ale. I would say that the wild boar was the highlight of the evening- really, really tender and flavorful and went perfectly with the plantains. I liked my dish, but the sauce on it was a little strange- I can’t remember what was in it, but it almost felt like you were eating a creamy cheese sauce, which it wasn’t, but it just didn’t seem to go with the rest of the dish which would have been very good by itself. The green tea pancake underneath the Char was fabulous. They didn’t have room for us at a table, but we sat upstairs at the bar, and it ended up being the perfect way to end our trip. Very cozy and romantic, once we started to close the place down. Every one of the staff was extremely on top of things and very nice. A fantastic evening all around!

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Chuk Stick

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Mussel Potstickers

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Candied Salmon Wontons

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Atlantic Char

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Wild Boar

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"Cheese"cake

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Chocolate "Mousse"

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A gooseberry? We were told this was a gooseberry, but I've never seen a gooseberry that looked like this!

So now we’re back and a little bit sad! We made a pact to eat seafood at every meal and I think we almost made it; although, we will never be able to eat seafood in Kansas again and have it even come close to being as good. That’s the price you pay for having a truly excellent honeymoon with tons of eating, I guess! It’s funny, now that we’re back, it’s the simple things we miss the most… the smoked salmon, the French bread from La Boulangerie, the clam chowder, the fish and chips, that salmon sandwich at Go Fish! Maybe it’s time to go back to Vancouver and do a “fast” food tour! Ah… there’s always next year! Thanks to everyone on egullet for providing us with direct recommendations as well as all the previous postings, blogs, and fun reading. Thanks, especially to Jamie and Eva, for welcoming us with open arms. We will never forget this experience.

** Apologies for the sideways pictures; I was too tired to fix them!

*** Note to travellers... most of the hotels we stayed at were extremely reasonably priced, even during the high season... if you would like more information on them, feel free to PM me! They were all lovely hotels!

Edited by Katie Nell (log)

"Many people believe the names of In 'n Out and Steak 'n Shake perfectly describe the contrast in bedroom techniques between the coast and the heartland." ~Roger Ebert

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Thanks guys! We're already trying to decide if we want to come back next year or go somewhere new! Next time, we think we'll fly into Seattle and drive to Vancouver to avoid the 10-minute layover we had to make it through customs and onto the airplane! :shock:

"Many people believe the names of In 'n Out and Steak 'n Shake perfectly describe the contrast in bedroom techniques between the coast and the heartland." ~Roger Ebert

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Oh - BTW - the yellow fruit with the papery skin is a ground cherry - I think.  Did it taste of pineapple and tomato.  Same family as tomatillo (I think - someone will correct me if I am wrong!)

Yep! Definitely tomato-ey! In fact, I warned Chris after I tasted it not to eat it, because he hates hunks of tomatoes!

"Many people believe the names of In 'n Out and Steak 'n Shake perfectly describe the contrast in bedroom techniques between the coast and the heartland." ~Roger Ebert

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