Here's a little fun fact that will blow your mind: our co-founder, Justine, got engaged in Bali at the same time she had the "Eureka!" moment to start a made to measure footwear company. So here's the mind-blowing part: while we were all in the late-night throes of launching our S/S '13 Flats Collection this past June, Justine was also doing all the last-minute runarounds to prepare for her wedding day. The woman can do it all. So, if anyone deserved a week away, it was Justine. She and her new husband, Conner, took a much-needed honeymoon in Summerland, B.C., a beautiful town on the west side of Lake Okanagan, between Kelowna and Penticton.
Because we love to travel, here's Justine's travel-tell all, a Wanderlust Exposé on where to stay, what to do, and where to eat.
We stayed at Glenoka Farmhouse B&B, which is a 1908 farmhouse on a five acre hobby farm with an orchard, veggie gardens, ponds, chickens and small herds of sheep and cows. Hosts Brian and Elsa and dog Sara served up delicious multi-course breakfasts on the front porch, with homemade jams, juices, granola and baking, and local (sometimes house) raise meat and eggs.
Glenoka reminded me of summers spent as a child on my grandparents' hobby farm, and I think would be a great place to stay with children, and to show them where their food comes from.
DO...Bike the Kettle Valley Trail.
This biking trail was made from the old tracks of the Kettle Valley Railway. Now it's mostly gravel, with an even grade (minimal hills!) and is a great way to get into the BC backcountry. We biked to Penticton and back one day, and from Osprey Lake (near Princeton) to Summerland another day.
...Go to the Beach.
Summerland has a large public beach on Okanagan lake, which we took full advantage of when the sun was out.
...Taste the wine.
Summerland features Bottleneck drive, a scenic route that covers over a dozen wineries. We also toured wineries on Naramata Drive by Penticton and particularly enjoyed Misconduct and La Frenz.
...Go Ogopogo monster hunting.
Claim the $2 million prize by being the first to find evidence of this creature in Lake Okanagan.
Our best meal was at Local's. The food was creative and fresh, with a large focus on local ingredients. I loved my house-made pansotti (filled with ricotta, lemon, and tossed with sauteed zuchinni, pine nuts, chili and garlic). Connor's pan seared duck breast, slow cooked duck fat potatoes, and kale was almost as good...
I also appreciated the unique wine list, which showcased the region's best lesser known gems instead of the standard picks (which is what a surprisingly high number of Okanagan restaurants had).
And if you, like me, have an "Ice-cream for Lunch" vacation-policy, Summerland Sweets serves generously sized cones and could be a daily stop.
-Justine Barber, Co-founder