Sunday, March 3, 2013

A Dreamy Weekend in Penticton

I've always wanted to check out the Dream Cafe and when I discovered a Chilean guitar player was going to be performing in the Penticton restaurant in February I thought immediately of calling a few of our amigos to join us.  

Penticton is almost an hour away so I figured if we really wanted to enjoy ourselves and not have a long drive in the dark with unpredictable weather conditions, hubby and I should try to find a place to stay overnight.  I suggested we combine a late Valentine's Day present with an early Anniversary present and stay at one of the many B&B's you can find on the internet.  We found a lovely place called Cormier's Studio, run by two very talented artists, Kena Cumming Cormier and Lawrence Cormier.  

We arrived in the afternoon and one of the first things Kena did was offer us some wine.  I had a very nice glass of the 2010 Meritage from Noble Ridge Vineyard, and hubby had a Chardonnay.  Kena encouraged us to look around the house and studio and left us to our own devices.


The house was lovely and very modern.  Colourful paintings and beautiful metal sculpture covered the walls. There are three suites for rent on the main floor and a large open kitchen/ living room area upstairs along with the owners' more private living areas.



Our room was quite spacious and very nicely decorated.  Everything seemed brand new. There was a small kitchenette with microwave, bar fridge and coffeemaker (coffee and the fixins were also supplied).  


There was also small private patio and my mind was soon thinking of reasons to visit again, perhaps for a few days in the warmer months.  There's lots of summer activities I've been wanting to do in Penticton. 

I'm not sure why I didn't get more photos of the metal sculpture because there was some really beautiful work.  I especially liked the smaller wall pieces depicting old buildings, barns and birdhouses.


Mike gives us his best "bass face" (yes, we know it's a cello).
Though the B&B feels like you're on the outskirts of town, it's an easy five to ten minute walk down the hill to "Colourful Front Street" in the downtown core.  It's easy to fill an afternoon poking around Penticton's main drag. I love all the murals and public art, the  architecture and style from different eras and the neat little coffee shops and stores (yup, I went shopping).  






Gotta love this vintage sign!

My favourite spot on Front Street



At The Book Shop you'll find 5,000 square feet filled with rooms and shelves and all kinds of books, magazines, videos and DVDs. You could spend a couple of days in here with no problem...at least I could.  Later that evening, Nano Stern told the audience he had whiled away a few hours here and almost missed his sound check.



We really enjoyed the concert.   Our friend Hector arranged for the tickets and happened to mention he was from Chile so we ended up with a table right in front of the  stage.  Nano Stern is an excellent musician and has a beautiful warm voice. He performed mostly original tunes, an old English folk song and played a couple of traditional Venezuelan tunes.  As I recall the English folk song was the only one that wasn't in Spanish.  He's also a talented entertainer.  I'd certainly see him again.

The dinner at the Dream Cafe was very good and the service was excellent. I'd give it a 7.5/10.   I had the prime rib special which was cooked just the way I liked it.  The vegetables were delicious but I was a bit disappointed in my potato.  The waitress had said it was garlic mashed potato.  I had ordered the prime rib because I thought it would go best with the garlic mashed potatoes (love them!).  Unfortunately the chef had decided to add a twist, in the form of nutmeg.  If there was any garlic in the potato it was overpowered by nutmeg.


Breakfast the next morning was truly delicious.  We started with a fresh fruit salad filled with pineapple, kiwi, strawberries, mango, papaya, strawberries and blueberries.  It was yummy!


For the main course;  baked eggs with chives on potato latkes with some tasty, tender ham and warm tomatoes with fresh basil.  Everything was perfectly cooked and delicious.


Kena told us there was no rush to leave, but we had things to do back at the homestead.  After we packed our stuff and headed on our way, we decided to detour about a minute's drive up the hill to check out one of the nearby walking trails.  



I just wanted to see the view so we didn't go far.  It was windy and chilly, but we'll look forward to seeing a little more of it on our next trip.  I'm looking forward to touring the nearby Summerland and Naramata wineries, tubing on the canal, biking this end of the kettle valley trail, finally going to an Alfresco Dining event at God's Mountain and having a more leisurely poke through The Book Shop.  We'd definitely stay at Cormier's Studio again. The food was great, accommodations lovely and Kena and Lawrence were very welcoming and friendly.  It's no surprise they have 32 "excellent" ratings on Trip Advisor.

2 comments:

  1. A note of interest on that Elite restaurant: It dates back to when my mum was young - at least the '60s if not the '50s, and hasn't changed a jot since then. Admittedly, it's been more than a decade since I entered it's vintage doors. My mum and grandma used to love it and insisted on visiting for their Boston cream pie whenever we were in the area. I hated it. Especially that everyone seems to "know" to call it "E-lite" instead of the more obvious pronounciation. Funnily, though, my first reaction when I saw your pic was, "awe, good ole' E-lite! I sure miss that crazy place!" May have to visit one of these days, for old times sake ;-)

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    1. I wasn't confident enough to even say 1950's or 60's so thanks for the info! As charming as it looks we didn't venture in. It feels like a twilight zone episode or a Stephen King short story waiting to happen, with the original, 1950's Boston Cream pie. LOL!

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