Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Travel ideas from Destination British Columbia, August 2013

Here is a captivating collection of Food and Wine Fresh Story Ideas from Destination British Columbia.

Destination BC is on Twitter. Follow us at @TourismBC.

Vancouver, Coast & Mountains: Vancouver's Cafés and Coffee Shops Offer a Taste of the City: Caffè latte or buttery croissant? Silky chocolate or freshly roasted brew? Check out these three delectable Vancouver coffee shops and cafés, and you may just choose them all.

To start, settle in at the newly opened, and decidedly Parisian, Faubourg. Long a draw for locals in the Kerrisdale neighbourhood, this second shop, set across from the Vancouver Art Gallery in the city's downtown core, promises sweet and savoury offerings that include decadent créme brûlée, pain au chocolat, flaky croissants, baguettes and breads. And while you contemplate whether the delicate mille feuille, chocolate pastry cream-filled eclairs or signature white chocolate and passion fruit ganache macarons make the trip home with you, try the tiramisu or feel the seduction of the brioche with jam and butter. Ooh la la.

Continue your edible journey to Gastown, and you'll find a café with a cause: East Van Roasters. Nibbles of organic bean-to-bar chocolate and sips of fair trade coffee roasted and prepared on site will tempt at this Rainier Hotel locale. (Hand-rolled truffles, single-origin chocolate bars and even sipping chocolate will ensure you linger even longer.) There's a bonus, too; this not-for-profit draw provides training and employment for female residents of the Rainier Hotel, ensuring this is one indulgence you'll feel good about.

Cruise up to Main Street and you'll discover what the locals there already know: 49th Parallel is serious about its brews. Here, richly roasted treasures are sourced from every corner of the globe, with Master Roaster Michael Piccolo personally ensuring that each batch of green coffee is roasted to the 49th Parallel standard. Want to take it up a notch? Coffee connoisseurs can test their know-how and fine-tune their skills with small-class instruction that includes pulling the perfect espresso, preparing pour-over coffee and mastering latte art. So, enjoy a single-origin espresso macchiato or an Ethiopia Yirgacheffe specialty drip coffee. Better yet, pair it with a made-from-scratch-throughout-the-day Lucky's Doughnut, and savour your cuppa with an apple bacon fritter, PB&J or salted caramel treat.

To read more story ideas from the Vancouver, Coast & Mountains region, visit

Thompson Okanagan: Explore All That Is Edible at Covert Farms: Set on a 243-hectare (600-acre) expanse north of Oliver, Covert Farms is home to a bounty of offerings, from the leafy greens and seasonal fruit at the organic country market to the reds and whites at the homestead's own winery. Indeed, the farm, with views of the Okanagan's famed McIntyre Bluff, offers ample opportunity to stock up: you can pick and pluck your way through over 60 different crops until mid-October (seasoned staff can lead the way) or, should you prefer your produce bunched and ready to slip into your canvas bag, opt instead for the market's fresh field tomatoes, onions, sweet corn, muskmelons and table grapes. More one-on-one? Team up with a farmer and you'll tour the vineyards, fields and tucked-away places in snappy style, thanks to Covert's vintage 1952 Mercury truck. Or simply sit back and take it all in during their Final Harvest Dinner, October 10, which pairs Chef Derek Uhlemann with Winemaker Gene Covert for a multi-course menu that salutes farm-fresh organic crops and toast-worthy vintages lovingly produced in this desert sagebush setting.

To read more story ideas from the Thompson Okanagan region, visit

Vancouver Island: Forage for Mushrooms With Brother Michael: Yellow and white mushrooms. Chanterelles and lobster mushrooms. The elusive matsutake, or pine, mushroom. No, it's not a shopping list, but a sample of the edible gems to be unearthed during a Fall Mushroom Hunt with Benedictine monk Brother Michael and Chef Bradford Boisvert of Amusé on the Vineyard. October and November are prime for the picking in the Cowichan Valley's thick forests, north of Victoria, where Brother Michael, along with Chef Boisvert, leads the crew on a hunt to seek out and identify choice edible mushrooms. (Brother Michael's enthusiasm for the pursuit began as a hobby, an exploration that, with the sale of his treasures to local restaurants, raised funds for Duncan's Solo Deo Monastery.) Once the prizes have been plucked, all participants return with their finds to the 115-year-old farm house near Mill Bay that is home to Amusé on the Vineyard, where Chef Boisvert guides the group through proper cleaning and preparation techniques. A tasty exercise that results in a three-course, mushroom-themed lunch (think lobster mushroom bisque, candied jelly tooth fungus and caramelized chanterelle mushroom ice cream), complemented by local reds and whites. And with herbs, edible flowers and apple, pear and old-growth walnut trees peppering the heritage property, it's also the perfect locale to revel in your edible education.

To read more story ideas from the Vancouver Island region, visit

Kootenay Rockies: Cedar House Restaurant Promises Dining That's Fine in the Canadian Rockies: If you're passionate about what's on your plate, then you'll love what they're dishing up at Cedar House Restaurant and Chalets. Making its home just south of Golden on a private four-hectare (10-acre) wooded expanse, Cedar House prides itself as a true fine dining experience, a tasty indulgence that celebrates sustainably sourced fish, natural meats and some of BC's finest wines. And this former residence, with its wood trim and heavy timbers, embraces its surroundings throughout the seasons; in summer, pre-dinner strolls of the gardens and stone pathways, wine glass in hand, are a must while cooler climates will beckon you indoors, where a wood-burning fireplace sets the scene. And while you may wish to devour your braised elk short rib with garden-herb spatzle or pan-seared pickerel with sweet corn and herb purée, don't feel rushed. You could call it a night in one of the draw's seven eco-friendly chalets, complete with fully equipped kitchens, private hot tubs and views of the organic gardens. The best part? Your overnight is just steps away from out-of-this-world Rocky Mountain menus.

To read more story ideas from the Kootenay Rockies region, visit

Northern BC: Come for the Menus, Stay for the Music at Nancy O's: Fresh, made-to-order menus. Good stories, a few jokes and ... live music? Welcome to Nancy O's, a Prince George staple that satisfies the cravings while plucking a few guitar strings. On the menu: vegetarians rejoice! Well, once a week, anyway, during Meatless Mondays, where popular choices include summer succotash and veggie burgers with a little Middle Eastern flair. You'll rack it up Tuesdays, thanks to Nancy O's signature slow-roasted, sweet-and-spicy-rum baby back ribs, corn bread and braised kale, while pulled pork sandwiches paired with a tall, frothy pint will answer the question of what's on Wednesdays. For lovers of all things pasta, cravings will be met with heaping dishes of linguini packed with prawns, scallops and Pacific mussels alongside macaroni and cheese with bacon, creamy smoked cheddar and organic arugula. And if you think that lineup will satisfy, be sure to stay a while — and work up your courage — during the ever-popular open-mic nights, or settle in for musical acts that include Picture the Ocean and Blackberry Wood, and comedians the likes of Darryl Lenox and Johny Buehler. After all, the folks at Nancy O's think that home-cooked meals are best served with a side of showmanship.

To read more story ideas from the Northern British Columbia region, visit

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast: Move Over, Maple Syrup. Moose Meadows Farm Brings on the Birch: While there's no question that maple syrup is a proud Canadian condiment, Moose Meadows Farm's Heloise Dixon-Warren and Ted Traer are doing their part to let you know that birch syrup bears its own luring qualities. And how better to hear first-hand what intoxicates than during an Educational Farm Tour at the bustling draw near Quesnel. Running until November, these tours highlight, among other things, resident critters (alpacas and chickens!), the expansive Christmas tree forest and, of course, illumination into sap collection and syrup production in the farm's own sugar shack. And while you can witness this ritual during Sugaring-Off Season (April), there's opportunity to sample the golden-hued elixir any time of the year, an ideal opportunity to hear more from the folks who literally wrote the book on birch syrup: 2007's award-winning The Birch Syrup Production Manual — Tapping into Syrup Boreal Forest Style. Being that there's so much to say, you may even choose to stick around a while. You could, for example, ring in the winter season with a wreath decorating workshop, stock up on your syrup stash at the on-farm Christmas Market or settle in for a snooze at the Groom's Quarter B&B, complete with a home-cooked breakfast. Featuring a touch of syrup, no doubt.

To read more story ideas from the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region, visit

No comments:

Post a Comment