A Weekend of New Experiences in Kelowna
By Marc Smith.
Of all the places to visit in the Okanagan I have probably spent the most time in Kelowna. It has lots to offer including wineries, beaches, restaurants, and lots of hotel options to choose from.
On this visit I’m looking to add a few things I’ve never done here before to my usual routine. I want to drink wines I’ve never tasted, eat at “new to me” restaurants and whatever else I can find.
It’s going to be a weekend of firsts and I can’t wait to get it started.
Wine Tasting at Kitsch Winery
The fun begins with a wine tasting at Kitsch Winery. The wines are affordable, approachable and according to winemaker Grant Biggs they embody the #OkanaganInAGlass.
Sounds right up my alley. The relaxed atmosphere in the tasting room ensures that no matter what your experience is with visiting wineries you will walk away with a bit of knowledge and a great wine tasting experience.
The 2017 5 Barrel Pinot Noir was my particular favourite followed by the 2017 7 Barrel Chardonnay.
Black Out Blind Tasting at Quails’ Gate
My next adventure takes me to one of my favourite West Kelowna wineries, Quails’ Gate. They have launched a brand new tasting experience called “Black Out Blind Tasting” and I’m excited to see if I can correctly guess the wines they will be pouring.
It sounds simple but the tasting is conducted using black Reidel glasses and honestly you can’t tell if the wine in the glass is white, rosé or red. You have to rely completely on your sense of smell and your taste buds.
I’m proud to say I guessed the right wines twice!
Cost is $25 per person and requires a minimum of four guests up to a max of eight. Reservations strongly advised as this new tasting is quickly becoming popular.
Botanical Body Care Workshop at Okanagan Lavender Herb Farm
Did you know that lavender grows really well in the Okanagan? I had no idea so when I heard about Okanagan Lavender Herb Farm I had to sign up for a workshop.
With a few courses to choose I picked the Botanical Body Care workshop at a cost of $39.95. Everything you need to learn how to make a bath salt blend, an aromatherapy oil blend and a facial toner is included.
What I really loved though was the walk through the garden discovering the beneficial properties of various herbs and aromatic plants and how they can be processed and used in different ways.
Who knew there were so many types of lavender and that each one is different and has its own unique benefits and uses? Great fun for all ages and now I need to decide if I am keeping for myself what I made or gifting them to a friend.
Modern Native Cuisine at Red Fox Club
When Indigenous World Wine opened its tasting room doors I was there and three years later I am back to dine at their restaurant Red Fox Club under the talented culinary direction of Chef De Cuisine Andrea Callan.
Chef Andrea is unveiling her brand new seasonal menu and my friends and I are amongst the first to try it. The biggest challenge I face is what to order. The Venison Pie sounds absolutely amazing but the Striploin with fresh grilled Asparagus and a Baked Potato has called my name.
OMG, I’m blown away with the portion size and the taste. It is beyond my expectations and I believe it will fast become one of the “hot” places to dine in Westbank and West Kelowna. I would drive from East Kelowna just to have this meal again. It was that good.
Dessert doesn’t disappoint either. Chocolate Mousse and homemade Ice Cream with fresh berries served on a stone platter is the perfect plate to share.
Whisky Flights at The Eldorado Whisky Room
Is there a better way to end your day than with a Whisky nightcap? I haven’t discovered it yet and lucky for me Kelowna now has a legitimate Whisky bar at the Hotel Eldorado and it’s appropriately named the Eldorado Whisky Room.
I’m somewhat new to whisky so having a certified Whisky Ambassador on site to help me navigate the cities largest selection of new and old-world whiskies is very helpful.
I choose the Isle of Islay flight that includes Bowmore, Ardbeg and Laphroig whiskies.
The Eldorado Whisky Room is brand new and as such has a few service kinks to work out but if you love whisky and craft cocktails made from whisky then I recommend you give them a try.
Amazing weekend wouldn’t you say? Why do I still feel that there is lots for me to discover in Kelowna? Oh right, that’s because there is LOTS left to explore. I’ve only scratched the surface and can’t wait to experience the rest.
Featured photo: A fun tasting at Kitsch Winery with friends. Photo credit: Marc Smith.