Restaurants / Dining Archives

Kamloops Wineries Awarded Eight Medals at Okanagan Wine Festival B.C Wine Awards

Kamloops Wineries Awarded Eight Medals at Okanagan Wine Festival B.C Wine Awards


Kamloops, BC, October 3, 2016 – Kamloops wineries shone brightly last Thursday when the Okanagan Wine Festival announced the results of the 2016 British Columbia Wine Awards marking the kick off to the 36th annual Fall Okanagan Wine Festival now in full swing.
 

A panel of ten expert judges from Canada and the U.S worked for four days to determine which wines were worthy of medal recognition. Competing for that recognition were a record 624 different wines from over 90 wineries across the province.


Among this year’s entries were two Kamloops wineries which combined earned a total of eight medals. Harper’s Trail Estate Winery won a gold medal for their 2014 Pioneer Block Riesling and a silver for their 2014 Cabernet Franc. Monte Creek Ranch Winery was awarded a gold medal for their 2014 Riesling icewine, a silver for their 2014 Cabernet Merlot and handful of bronze medals for their 2014 Ranch Hand Red Reserve, 2015 Reserve Chardonnay, 2015 Hands Up White and their 2015 Hands Up Red.


“This is a tough competition and represents some of the best wines in BC,” says Kamloops Wineries Association Director, Trish Morelli. “There were a lot of wines entered and to have two local wineries win eight medals is an incredible outcome and really helps to showcase the quality product coming out of the Kamloops Thompson Valley region,” says Morelli.


Additional notable recognition for Kamloops wineries came last week with the announcement of Cornucopia’s top 20 wine awards in Whistler, BC. Judged against 167 high caliber domestic and international wines, Harper’s Trail Estate Winery was named to the esteemed top 20 list with their 2014 Pioneer Block Riesling. In the 2014 competition, another Kamloops winery, Privato was awarded the prestigious top red wine at Cornucopia with their 2012 Pinot Noir.


The award winning Kamloops wines from Harper's Trail , Monte Creek Ranch and Privato are available directly from the wineries or from select retail outlets in the province.


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For more information, or wine specifications please contact:
Trish Morelli
Kamloops Wineries Association
www.KamloopsWineTrail.com
Trish.morelli@gmail.com
(604)788-8997
#KamloopsWineTrail, #ExploreKamloops

Downtown Kamloops is "Alive After Five"

For Immediate Release

Downtown Kamloops is "Alive After Five" - August 22 to September 2

August 15, 2016, Kamloops, BC: Downtown Kamloops officially becomes the place to be this summer as local merchants, eateries, cafes and retailers open their doors until 9pm weekdays nightly starting August 22nd through September 2nd.  Coined “Alive after Five”, this summer celebration embraces all the things we love about Kamloops’ downtown – live music, sidewalk dining, warm temperatures, natural gathering spaces all in the spirit of supporting local, distinctly Kamloops experiences.
 
“This initiative is the result of a new collaborative group called Focus Downtown, which includes the Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association, Kamloops Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Kamloops, Rocky Mountaineer, Venture Kamloops and City of Kamloops and supported by the downtown merchants to unveil a Kamloops experience to our destination visitors that we, as locals, cherish,” says Gay Pooler, General Manager for the KCBIA.  “Our downtown in itself is an experience and the support of the local businesses enhances its vibrancy to welcome visitors and locals alike.”
 
“Kamloops’ downtown is our secret gem, that we need not keep secret any longer,” adds Monica Dickinson of Tourism Kamloops.  “Its charming ambiance, great shopping choices, exceptional dining options and proximity to Riverside Park all bundled with a fantastic summer forecast is the perfect mix for an exceptional experience.”
 
“Alive after Five” is only a snapshot of a longer term plan for Kamloops’ downtown.  This preview will kick start planning for future summer-long initiatives seeing downtown merchants staying open later. This exciting movement will positively enhance Kamloops’ destination offerings ranking Downtown Kamloops as a “must do” activity on any itinerary and will encourage incremental overnight stays in the city.
 
For further details on participating merchants, visit www.downtownkamloops.com
 

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Media Contacts:

Gay Pooler
General Manager
KCBIA
P: 250.372.3242
C: 250.318.0184
E: info@kcbia.com
Monica Dickinson
Director, Industry Relations & Communications
Tourism Kamloops
P: 250.372.8000
C: 250.819.0151
E: monica@tourismkamloops.com

Local Farm Serves up Farm to Fork Dinners

Tricia Sullivan with lambs born on Sullideo Farm in 2015.
Image Credit: Sullindeo Farm via Facebook
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With bureaucratic red tape out of the way, a north Kamloops farm is looking forward to putting a meal in front of visitors.

Sullindeo Farm on Dairy Road is now allowed to serve farm-to-plate dinners, and co-owner Tricia Sullivan says she’s looking forward to getting back in the agri-tourism game. She says the farm had been doing on site dinners years ago when they found out they didn’t have all the administrative documents in place.

“We already have been doing Rock Mountain Railway dinners 3 years ago,” she says. “I would like to have them return.”

She says similar events are big in other parts of Canada, with dinners in Albertan grain fields selling out at $180 a plate.

Now that city council granted a temporary permit for her farm, Sullivan says she looks forward to the return of farm dining guests.

Sullivan hopes the farm can help educate people about how food gets to their plate and says promotion of local food is particularly important to Kamloops because around 44 per cent of the land is covered by the Agriculture Land Reserve. As the farm produces meat as well as vegetables, she says almost all ingredients to be used are grown on the 10-acre property.

The farm had to stop its previous dinners after complaints from one neighbour about a different neighbourbrought government intervention, she says. After applying to the Agricultural Land Commission and the city for permission to resume the dinners council voted on Tuesday, May 17, to provide a temporary permit allowing eight dinners a year for up to 30 people.

Christmas Trees and Wine Sampling, The Perfect Combo

Hello! My name is Andrea. I am the new Communications Coordinator with the TK team! As an Albertan transplant, I am on a mission to experience as many local products and attractions that Kamloops has to offer and along the way share a unique perspective with you all!

On Thursday, I spent the afternoon with Terri from Divine Wine Tours exploring BCs’ newest wine region otherwise known as the Kamloops Wine Trail. Terri picked us up in her beautiful vehicle which had a few hidden treats for those who would play adult bingo. Our first stop on the trail was Woodward farms and Privato Vineyard & Winery.  I thoroughly enjoyed the French architecture  feel as we entered the tasting room, notes of oak and sounds of Christmas greeted me.  We sampled a few delicious wines, my favorite being  Privatos’s award winning Rose wine. After sampling I took a peak at the most beautifully groomed Christmas tree selection I had ever seen! John Woodward’s expertise in forestry really shines through. I suspect it’s one of the few places in BC you can purchase wine and Christmas trees!

 

Next stop on the tour was Harper’s Trail Winery. Kamloops’s flagship Winery has a cozy western feel as you enter the tasting room. Terri had prepared an amazing snack platter of olives, cheeses, crackers, and delicious meat. Vicki Collet, co-owner of Harper’s Trail  graciously showed us around the temperature controlled room which has a variety of French and US oak barrels. What is  new on the horizon for Harper’s is a batch of bubbly...stay tuned. Within the tasting room you can purchase a variety of local product including delicious wine jam, the perfect complement to any meal.

 

Last stop for the day was Monte Creek Ranch Winery. Kamloops's newest winery. Situated at the far east end of Kamloops lies the uniquely designed stone building home to a variety of unique products such as Monte Creek’s very own honey and opportunities to purchase local jam and cook books. We were offered a tour to see the Barrel room and to check out the local artist who has been in house all summer long creating beautiful paintings from different aspects of the vineyard. He was getting his collection ready to showcase at Monte Creek’s open house the following day.

 

All in all it was a fabulous afternoon. I was amazed at how exceptional our local wine product is and I highly recommend that you check out the Kamloops Wine Trail. Locations and hours of operations can be found at http://www.tourismkamloops.com/flavourstrail

 

Happy sippin,

 

A Summer Daycation in Kamloops, BC!

What I wouldn’t do for an afternoon in Kamloops soaking up the sun, hitting a patio, enjoying conversations over a glass of vino and tasty eats. No kidding, we found just that in the heart of downtown. 

 

I have to say this was my first and definitely not last trip to Moxie’s Grill and Bar in Kamloops. As a vegetarian it’s not always the easiest of tasks to find a mainstream eatery that offers many options but there was literally too many to choose from that we’ll have to go back.  So my partner-in-crime chose to indulge in the chicken enchiladas and I experienced the fish tacos but subbed the fish for soy protein (a-mah-zing!). I love that you can sub almost any dish with soy protein - next time I think I'll try the red thai curry bowl with soy protein...Mmmm.

What a great atmosphere - more of an upscale pub feel with moderate pricing and sports on the tube. Even the hallway to the powder room was quite quaint with bookshelves placed in contemporary brick-laid walls.

For hours, menu and more info head to their website here.

Following a delicious afternoon we took a short skip, hop and a jump over to Riverside Park (ok it was across the street, so maybe just a skip) and took a stroll down the River’s Trail to Pioneer Park with the hound!  The beach, sand and the cool Thompson River on this mighty hot afternoon felt so refreshing for us all. 

Still fueled up from a powerful lunch we ventured up to Peterson Creek about a 15 minute walk from downtown and hiked up to the waterfalls. It's hard to believe we have all this within minutes of the downtown core.

The lovely views and lightly misted air from the waterfall was the perfect end to a fantastic afternoon hike in the sun.  Now, if only I could press the repeat button!

~Moto Meghan

The Newest Regular...Keep the Bannock Coming!

Searching for a new restaurant in Kamloops where you can make yourself a regular?  Search no further!  A few weeks ago my wife and I, together with a friend, visited the Painted Pony Café on Victoria Street.  We're in love!!!  From charming ambience, to friendly and efficient staff, and let us not forget the food. . . The food!  While our friend indulged in a Pony favourite, Indian tacos, my wife and I each chose one of the featured bannock sandwiches – pulled pork and salmon.  The Indian tacos are filled with house made chilli, cheese, fresh shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, green peppers, onions, sour cream, and fresh salsa, served a top warm, golden bannock.  The sandwiches were equally phenomenal – slow roasted shredded pork with the house BBQ sauce and coleslaw for me, salmon, fresh lettuce, and the incredible caper mayo for my wife.  And with both, the bannock!!!  Crispy and golden on the outside, soft and warm on the inside.  Truly, a delight!

The menu features proteins ranging from chicken, salmon and beef, to elk, deer, bison, and quail, and an assortment of unique choices for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Among others, desserts include Indian ice cream, bannock pudding, and pies by the slice, made in house by Grannie.

It's high time First Nations cuisine made its way to Kamloops, and the Painted Pony does not disappoint!  Whether you're out for a Sunday drive, looking for a new culinary experience, or need to know what all the fuss is about, visit the Painted Pony Café at 705 Victoria Street, Monday-Saturday 9:00am-9:00pm, Sundays 10:00am-2:00pm.     

~Kirstin McLaughlin

A Taste of Fall in Kamloops, BC!

Top 5 Reasons to Hang Out in Kamloops this October!

Top 5 Reasons to Hang Out in Kamloops this October!

  1. Adams River Sockeye Salmon Run:

Head to the Adams River, which flows into Shuswap Lake 60 kilometres east of Kamloops, to witness a four-year peak of this world famous sockeye salmon run. From Oct. 3 to Oct 26, Robert Haig-Brown Provincial Park comes alive for Salute to the Sockeye, an unparalleled opportunity to see one of nature's greatest spectacles as an estimated 3 to 5 million sockeye culminate an epic journey from the Pacific Ocean to the Adams River, turning the waters a deep crimson colour.

 

  1. Fall Motorcycle Excursion:

Hit the road on your motorcycle to explore the Kamloops area along quiet country roads. Whether its gold rush history, ranch lands, or remote wilderness, Kamloops is central to a stunning variety of two-wheeled - and if you prefer, four -wheeled - excursions. The Motorcycle Circle Tour Maps offer a range of self-guided itineraries. The Thompson Shuswap Explorer is a 270 kilometre route that winds through golden rolling grasslands and lush forests, ranch land and quaint rural towns, taking you from Kamloops to Armstrong and Salmon Arm and back along Shuswap Lake, within easy striking distance of the Adams River.

  1. Spookloops:

    1. Tranquille Farm Corn Maze, Tunnel Tour Theatre and Market

Get your Halloween fix in a city that has turned this spooky season into a destination event. As the darkening days of October dwindle, Kamloops will echo with the calls of ghosts, goblins and ghouls as the city transforms itself into “Spookloops.” From fascinating tours of the city’s spooky historical spots to a mind boggling, night time wander through a mystifying corn maze, the city boasts a huge variety of family friendly ways to celebrate the end of the harvest season and onset of wintertime.

In the spirit of Halloween, Tranquille Farm Fresh, located on the shores of Kamloops Lake for the past 149 years, offers tours of the property’s historic underground tunnels and corn maze where guests can wander among ten foot tall corn stalks and unravel clues in search of the right path and the key to the maze.

  1.    Boo at the Zoo

The BC Wildlife Park is renowned for its season themed events, and come Halloween the park offers the perennial favorite, Boo at the Zoo, featuring a kid’s haunted house, freaky family farm, spooky light displays, a haunted maze and trick or treating. In addition to these special events, regular exhibits will be open to the public with opportunity to spend some time with fantastic critters and creatures native to Western Canada, from the orphaned and now resident black bears, Hamilton, Numees and Tuk, to wolf siblings Aurora and Cassie and recent arrival, a Kermode or Spirit Bear named Clover – all part of the centre’s rehab and conservation program.

  1. Night SUP:

And if you love the black of night and possess an adventurous spirit, try the new nighttime Stand-Up Paddle boarding excursions. Already a popular daytime activity in this region, the self-guided 1 hour evening sessions take place from 8-9PM nightly on the quiet surface of Heffley Lake under 2000 lumens of light power … and a few million stars.
  1. Fall Harvest at Kamloops Farmer’s Market:

Come autumn the bounty of Kamloops's rich and diverse farming sector also comes alive – punctuated by fields of orange pumpkins and golden grains. The Kamloops Farmers Market takes place in the city’s downtown every Wednesday and Saturday until the end of October, where several dozen vendors sell everything from certified organic vegetables to sausage, jam, honey and other preserves and artisan and crafter stalls are found on the adjacent Stuart Wood Elementary School yard. If you prefer the farm brought to the table, after exploring the spooky side of Kamloops why not unwind at the Noble Pig, the city's only craft brewpub and celebrate Oktoberfest with one of their specially brewed seasonal ales.

For more information on Kamloops visit www.tourismkamloops.com or call 1-800-662-1994.

 

 

Explore Kamloops With Kids

explore kamloops with kids

We’re just back from spending a month out of the city at our family cabin on a lake near Kamloops, the first, and hopefully not the last, time we do something like that as it was an amazing family experience.  And as beautiful as the lake was and as hot and gorgeous as the weather was we did venture into town to break up the amazing “monotony” of picking wild strawberries, kayaking, swimming, riding our bikes, playing Clue and Ruckus, and then swimming some more.

kayaking

The thing we found about exploring Kamloops is that there was so much to do and so little time. We could have been out and about exploring daily but the pull of the lake (and the heat!) meant we only fit in a fraction of what we’d have liked to have done.

The easiest way to figure out what you might like to do with kids while nearby, in, or passing through Kamloops is grabbing a copy of their Kids Map which is easy to find at various locations around town or any tourist centre. Not only does it list all the fun to be had – think everything from butterflies to bears and swimming and science – but it includes lots of coupons for discounts and deals. Our kids took possession of the map and poured over it making their “to do” list and we went from there.

One of our favourite things to do whenever we’re near Kamloops is to take in their Farmer’s Market. If you’re staying in town we’d recommend you be sure to visit the market  – either the bigger Saturday market or the smaller Wednesday market – and if you’re driving through and you can plan your trip to coincide with either market you totally should. Packed with amazing local produce and more, Vancouver farmer’s market goers will be astonished by the great prices and the selection is amazing. Our kids love to take in the Saturday market as they’re fans of the hot bannock which they liberally sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and they enjoy giving me “advice” on how many cherries and raspberries we “need”. The Saturday market also includes lots of crafts and local artisans – think fudge, soap, wooden toys and more. And the Wednesday market is right by the library and Kamloops Art Gallery (the Kids Map includes a coupon for free art gallery admission) so we often make a morning of it, stocking up on our reading and movies thanks to our BC One Card which lets us take out and return books at any library in BC FTW.

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Local Berries!

We’re also big fans of the Canada Games Aquatic Centre which has a big waterslide and a smaller, more kid-friendly Pelican slide in their kiddie pool area which also includes a lazy river and waterfalls. If the weather’s ever inclement this is the first place our kids ask to go as they can swim there for hours. (The Kids Map has a coupon to save on admission!) And we love that they get to burn off energy doing something healthy. Of course once we’re done they always clamour to hit up Menchies which may offset all that healthy swimming, or Chapters where they carefully budget their money to buy books and games.  The waterpark at Riverside park is another favourite on hot days, as is swimming in the river or playing in the park’s playground.

During one of the rainy days when we were there we took the kids to Ruckers (yes, the Kids Map has a coupon!) which is full of arcade type games and was unlike anything we’ve ever done with them before. They left with lots of little prizes and would happily have gone back anytime. Other things on our list if the rain kept up (which is didn’t, sadly in this case) were the Big Little Science Centre and the Children’s Museum.

There’s lots of nature to explore in (and near) Kamloops as well. We spotted marmots, osprey, loons, ducks, deer and more near our cabin while we also visited the Butterfly Garden in McArthur Island Park. Sadly the weed eaters were out in full force during our visit so the butterflies were conspicuously absent but the park is quite an amazing place to explore.

Butterfly Garden

We also visited the BC Wildlife Park just outside of Kamloops. I’m a bit leery of animals in captivity, but just like the Vancouver Aquarium, the Wildlife Park does lots of conservation and rehabilitation and our oldest was enthralled to discover they’re breeding Burrowing Owls. She did a big Burrowing Owl project around endangered animals for school a few years ago and had never seen a “real” one so was very excited to learn more about their work around conservation. We explored the indoor exhibits which included info on rocks, plants and animals  in the lovely cool air conditioning and then ventured out to check out black bears, grizzly bears, elk, lynx, cougars, moose, bison and more. The park also has a miniature train, shows, a super fun playground and a splash park. It’s the kind of place where you could stop by for an hour or two or stay for the afternoon. And if you’re driving through Kamloops to another destination and need to plan a kid-friendly stop on your trip you’ll be very popular if you stop at the Wildlife Park.

BC Wildlife Park

BC Wildlife Park

Kamloops isn’t just for kids either. I’m a fan of browsing the boutiques on Victoria Street and we had a great night out sans enfants for our anniversary, dining al fresco at Brownstone Restaurant where we could enjoy Music in the Park  – free outdoors concerts every night in July and August at the Rotary Bandshell in Riverside part – by proxy.  We also met up with friends one afternoon and “the guys” went golfing at Tobiano and “the girls” (big and small) did some back road exploring and then met them for dinner at the clubhouse on the patio. The course runs alongside Kamloops lake and with sweeping views and it was a great place for a post-golf meal with or without kids. If you sit outside there’s lot of manicured lawn for the kids to run and play on without bothering any other diners while you enjoy a more leisurely meal.

When we left after our month there were still lots of things on our to do list. We wanted to catch Project X’s production of Alice and Wonderland, stock up on more produce and generally explore at Tranquille Farm Fresh and fit in some horseback riding. Oh well, there’s always next time. Because we’ll be back…

Photo credits
Kayak & berries: Annemarie Tempelman-Kluit
BC Wildlife Park: Kelly Funk
Butterfly Garden: Karla Hoffman

Original Posting here

Food Trucks

What an assignment- sampling Food Truck cuisine on a beautiful summer day!

Somebody had to do it- right? So my colleague Patrick O'Donovan and I trundled to downtown Kamloops. Now we couldn’t possibly sample all of them and expect to return primed for work on a Friday afternoon. So as responsible adults we showed some prudence and avoided rolling around under desks the remainder of the afternoon..

Our first stop was a St Andrews Square where Samidges Food Truck was located. Despite, some impressive menu items including their signature Samidge made up of thinly sliced roast beast, lettuce, tomatoe, sautéed mushrooms, onions, cheddar and mayo on a toasted hoagie while looking and tasting like a cross between a beef dip and a sub, we both chose a Deluxe Dog featuring ketchup, mustard, sauerkraut, banana peppers, hot sauce, onions and mayo.
Go figure! There are times when you just feel like a dog…..in fact wanting it so badly and eating is so fast that the only image we took was way too late!

Samidges Facebook Page

 

Our next truck was located at 5th and Victoria outside the TNRD building. Bellringer Espresso is perhaps the biggest of the bunch in terms of physical size, neatly housed in a converted school bus. Despite room to move inside that also includes a few chairs and tables in the back in case of inclement weather, Bellringer keeps it fairly simple offering hot and iced coffee drinks, impressive organic smoothies one of which I had plus signature sandwiches, special culinary plates of the day and fair trade coffee by the pound. If you want specialty java on 4 wheels, this is the vehicle to hunt down!

www.facebook.com/BellringerEspressoBus

 

 

We next moved on to Riverside Park in downtown Kamloops to find the Pig Rig. Cat & Joe’s precisely featuring southern BBQ and perhaps the best succulent smelling food truck yet. Who could resist pulled pork tacos? Patrick couldn’t and if we had of done this day’s trip in reverse, I would have been right with him….come on- BBQ pulled pork topped with slaw and in between Tequila Habanero sauce and chipotle aioli on a “Fresh is Best” corn tortilla- how could you resist? Well… I did but it wasn’t easy. Even reading the chalk board menu with the Ripped Pig pulled pork sandwich with beans and fries as their “Big Gun” dish wasn’t easy resisting.

www.facebook.com/CatJoesPigRig

 

 

Next it was on to Eats Amore the following day- no way could we pony up to  more food on one day unless we were doing dinner as well….speaking of dinner, Eats Amore will be located downtown on select dates for dinner. But today our minds were on lunch fixings with offerings such as pasta, salads and 2 signature sandwiches – Italian Delight and a Meatball sub. I had the Meatball Sub that featured local grass fed beef- it was yummy! Patrick had the Italian featuring whipped bourzin, lots of local arugula, fresh mozza, prosciutto and balsamic drizzle.

Eat Amore specializes in homemade pastas, salads, sandwiches, and deserts. To the best of their abilities they serve S.S.O.L. Food, (seasonal, sustainable, organic and local) in all dishes.

www.facebook.com/EatsAmoreFoodTruck   

 

FYI- On July 26th, Privato Winery and Vineyard will be hosting their annual local grazing Farm2Chefs event! This year they are featuring talented chefs from all around Kamloops. More information available at http://www.farm2chefs.com/

 

For Kamloops Food Truck summer location listings, visit the Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association website at www.kcbia.com/downtown-kamloops-food-truck-calendar/