Last week I went back to Canada for the first time since we moved here. Braden wasn’t able to make the trip, so I made the long haul by myself. It was interesting to return and see so many people, but not actually be in Vancouver. I flew straight from YVR up to Kelowna for an amazing wedding at The Cove Lakeside Resort. The resort is about a 45 minute drive from the airport and right on Okanagan Lake, which is beautiful. You can drive up from Vancouver in about 3.5 hours…worth the drive!
Kelowna is a bit like Canada’s version of Napa (but in my opinion prettier). The hills surrounding the lake around filled with award-winning wineries. The land is perfect for growing grapes and the day before the wedding a group of guests went on a little wine tour to three wineries near the resort. Our first stop was Mission Hill Winery, which has beautiful grounds and a prominent location with an iconic tower overlooking the lake. We did an $8 tasting, which included 4 pours selected for us. I think you could have gotten your tasting fee back if you bought a bottle of wine, which I didn’t do (probably should have – for $5 or $6 more I could have gotten a bottle). Our second stop was Quail’s Gate Estate Winery, a smaller winery, with a long history in the area. I liked this one a bit better because it felt smaller and more intimate. We also did a tasting here, which was $5 for 4 flights (although they were relaxed and I think we tried 5) and their pours were on the generous side. Here, too, they waived the tasting fee if you bought two bottles of wine, so I picked up two bottles ($36 total) and we were on to our third stop. Our final destination was Volcanic Hills Estate Winery, which is just up the street from Quail’s Gate. Here we also did a tasting for $5, and they let you choose whichever 4 you wanted off their menu, which made it feel fun and personalized. I had heard good reviews of the Gamay Noir from my Aunt, so picked up a bottle (a really great award-winning wine for just $15) which negated the tasting fee. I couldn’t afford not to buy the wine! We sat on the winery’s patio and enjoyed an amazing lunch from their restaurant, Blu Saffron. Especially given the large size group, the food was incredible. Everything came out at the same time and I heard nothing but rave reviews. I had salmon, because you don’t get much of that in Hong Kong and I loved it. My friend had a burger that he said was the best he’d ever had! If you are looking for a lunch spot in West Kelowna I highly recommend it. The patio is awesome and it’s a bit less well known than other wineries in the area so it has a less commercial vibe.
The Cove Lakeside Resort was an awesome wedding venue and great place to stay. They have 120 rooms, so there’s plenty of space for lots of guests, and there are a variety of rooms. They have traditional one bed rooms, one bedroom suites and two bedroom suites. The suites also have a pullout couch and kitchen. It would be such a fun place to stay for a week with friends if you have a family. I didn’t take any photos of the room because my parents had already unpacked by the time I got there, but all the rooms I saw are really nice. Here are a few photos of the resort.
When you arrive at the resort they have a beautiful portico and large parking lot (also more parking underground). They even have bikes that you can rent! The resort has a lot of amenities, like a restaurant, conference rooms, and a spa. The restaurant hosted a brunch on Sunday which I was too full to attend but heard was delicious, and the spa services we received (hair and makeup for the wedding party) were excellent. A friend also enjoyed her manicure so much, she scheduled one for her husband! This resort was so great to stay at, they have so many packages available for guests, and everyone who worked there was very friendly. I would absolutely go back!
We went to The Bonfire, the resort’s restaurant for dinner on our final night. The food was so good, and I also had a very unique experience (scroll down to check out the video) courtesy of the awesome waiter, Yousef!
Click below to watch the video!
The bride and groom had dinner at this restaurant one night before the wedding and Yousef sabred a bottle of champagne for them. I wasn’t there, but of course I heard all about it. When we went for a dinner he sabred a bottle for a table near us, so when he came by I said how much my friends had enjoyed seeing him do it for them. I left the table for a minute and when I came back there was a bottle and glasses on our table, and he said I was charming and he wanted to teach me how to do it. Yikes! He makes it looks easy, and I was so nervous, but it was really really fun. I need to practice so this can be my party trick!