Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Okanagans - Day 2

(Click on photos for larger image).

I cannot say enough good things about KeriGlen B&B. We woke up at 8am to an amazing breakfast all prepared for us. There was an abundance of fresh local fruits.

The table had its placemats and settings and adorned by beautiful fresh flowers picked from their garden.

We picked an eggs benedict breakfast with the hollandaise sauce on the side. Along with it, we had our choices of yogurts, juices, and teas... and toast with homemade jam.

The food is always excellent. And there was always too much of it. Our breakfasts were large enough that we didn't need to eat lunch each day. Once our tummies were satisfied, we were happy to hit the road.

We drove out to Kelowna, which was about an hour away from our B&B in Penticton. First stop : Mission Hill. That was where Bran and Dan started their engagement shoot.

The view was spectacular. The winery was just as beautiful as I remembered. If you've never been, you must pay a visit.

The next stop : Quail's Gate. I think I loved the view at Quail's Gate even more. The winery itself is not as grand but still beautiful. I could spend an entire day sitting at one of their picnic benches outside... and stare at the view all day long. It's absolutely breathtaking. You ought to wonder why BCer's need to fly anywhere else for an amazing countryside view. This has to be one of the more beautiful places in the world. I feel lucky to call a place like this my home.

We drove back to Penticton and checked out a couple of wineries there before we headed back to the B&B. The view seemed to get better and better. Check out the view at Thornhaven. To die for. If only I could have captured the true essence. You have to be standing there feeling it and taking it all in to truly understand the beauty of British Columbia.

La Frenz is one of my favorite wineries from the Naramata Bench. Their wine consists of both dry and not-so-dry. I'm not a big wine drinker but I enjoy a glass of it now and then when I'm out with my friends. I typically like a wine with a bit more body (not too light in flavour) and more on the not-so-dry side. I hear that as you learn to appreciate wine more and more, you'll tend to go towards dry. It's true. I have learned to appreciate dryer wines. From La Frenz though, my choice is Alexandria (which is less dry).

This B&B doesn't just cook breakfast for you, but dinner too if you choose. If you know Elsie's cooking, why wouldn't you choose dinner also? We had dinner here two years ago, and I haven't forgotten it since. We chose steak dinner again. And oh boy... I tell ya... I wish I knew how to make steak like they do.

I thought these were our appetizers : a veggie plate and red chili pepper jelly + cream cheese spread on crackers. Fred brought it out to us at the firepit to enjoy while he set our dinner table. The pepper jelly + cream cheese combo was oh-so-good. We couldn't stop eating them even though we knew it would spoil our dinner. And guess what? The jelly is, of course ... homemade.  We raved about it to Elsie... "my gosh, that pepper jelly is so yummy!."

So it turns out, that was just a snack before dinner. We were seated at our dinner table. I love eating out on a patio with a view on a sunny day. Dinner started off with a light green salad with mandarin oranges. Then we each got a whole baked zucchini. Fred then gave us each a foil package. Inside were some roasted vegetables of carrots and potatoes and other roots. Ohmigosh.... the vegetables were so sweet. You would have thought they added sugar to their potatoes. But, they were just so distinctly delicious because they were straight from their garden. It can't get any more fresh! SO. Goooood....

There was always a different fancy napkin holder.

We also got a pile of sauteed mushrooms that went really well with our steak. We all ordered it medium rare. When we cut into it, you would have thought it was almost well done as there was not too much pink left. But the thing is, it was one of the most tender steaks I've ever had. I remember Fred talking about how it's all about the choice of beef and not how rare it is. I didn't want to ask if they fed their own cows too... (I'm joking). Dinner was delightful. We were stuffed to the rim.

However, we could not pass up dessert. Elsie made the same thing two years ago - a light and fluffy angel food cake topped with strawberries. They gave us a piece of cake as large as two of my palms! How could I finish it? But the cake was so airy and light, it felt like you were eating... clouds. (That description is stolen from Karen). Omg, it was heavenly. Mmm...

We were all in a food coma. We truly cannot thank Elsie and Fred enough for their warmth, hospitality, and amazing food.
After dinner, we moved on right back to the fireplace area. We cozied by the fire under blankets and let the night waste away. And best of all, we were all in good company.

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