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On the way to the Okanagan Highlands, stop in at Bean Scene’s rustic-industrial headquarters in Kelowna for an Espresso Graf. Owner and gentle giant John Anderson roasts small batches of his signature beans in a vintage fire-engine-red Probat – it’s the Bentley of five-kilogram coffee roasters – retrofitted with an award-winning eco waste removal system he helped develop. Meanwhile, his wife, Deb Synnot, splits her time between whipping up saucer-size cookies (perfect for the drive up to the hill) in the commercial kitchen and pulling shots in the front. Ask nicely and she just might give you a primer in creating latte art.

1615 Dickson Ave., #100, 778-484-5445

Bean Scene latte artBean Scene latte art


Craving extra time in the tasting room? Skip the crowds and tour the Okanagan’s wineries during the off-season. At Tantalus Vineyards, peruse the collection of Edward Burtynsky photographs while sipping their world-renowned, old-vine riesling. Opt for lunch overlooking Boucherie Mountain Bench at the family-owned Quail’s Gate winery. The restaurant’s ingredients are sourced from local farms and an on-site garden, and each dish is paired with an estate wine. For something a little out of the ordinary, visit Summerhill Pyramid Winery, which applies the principles of sacred geometry to its craft, aging all its biodynamic wines in a four-storey pyramid, complete with hanging crystals. (The sparkling Cipes Ariel is pretty magical.)

Quail’s Gate, 3303 Boucherie Rd., 250-769-4451 
Summerhill Pyramid Winery, 4870 Chute Lake Rd., 800-667-3538
Tantalus Vineyards, 1670 DeHart Rd., 250-764-0078


Whether you’re waiting for the kids to return from boarding lessons or letting lunch settle before hitting the slopes, duck into From Far and Wide Canada Goods Store, where owner and silversmith Leisa Davies sells her recycled silver jewellery under the label Little Jems. You’ll also find a well-curated assortment of artisanal Canadian souvenirs and giftware that won’t end up collecting dust. Standouts include MacAusland’s lap-size woollen point blankets, Meyer lemon and lavender marmalade from Salt Spring Kitchen Company and faux moose-head wall mounts, made from upcycled sweaters and sustainable wood, by designer Josh Title.

Bigfoot Lodge, Big White Mountain, 250-765-7666

Sundance resort roomSundance Resort 


Spend a day coasting on Big White Ski Resort’s prized champagne powder. (East Coast skiers, bring your boots but leave your skis behind; you’ll be glad you opted for a wider set of high-performance rentals.) Then head back to your craftsman-Canadiana suite at the slopeside Sundance Resort to thaw out in the deep soaker tub or by the fireplace. For a dip with an impressive above-the-cloud-line view, make a run for the outdoor hot tub and heated swimming pool, and relax your muscles while looking out onto the snow-capped Monashee Mountains across the valley. 

255 Feathertop Way, 250-765-9131

Stuart Park ice rink, KelownaStuart Park ice rink, Kelowna


For the best in hillside fare, hop on the gondola or strap on your skis and head down to the Happy Valley Day Lodge, opposite Canada’s highest altitude skating rink (1,585 metres above sea level). Inside the lodge, Kettle Valley Steakhouse’s popular Long Table Harvest Dinner, which seats 20, features executive chef Bryce Broadhurst’s weekly takes on haute farm-to-table Canadian cuisine. It’s elegant, family-style dining: the maître d’ expertly carves the roast tableside, and everything save dessert – decadent dulce de leche apple bombs, apple pie’s 2.0 cousin – is plated to share. Bonus: Kettle Valley’s wine list is unparalleled in its selection of Okanagan bottles, and the Harvest Table is developed with pairings in mind. 

5025 Big White, Big White Mountain, 250-491-0130



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Comments… or add another

Stan Klassen

Monday, February 3rd 2014 20:41
Love the profile on the Okanagan ... well done!
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