In mid-April, I was lucky enough to attend the Osoyoos Oyster Festival. In its sixth year, the festival offers eight unique dining experiences, featuring oysters from across Canada, and award-winning South Okanagan wines, ciders, beers and spirits.
Osoyoos is the gateway to the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys. Just shy of five hours, the drive from urban Vancouver, along Hwy 3 (Hope/Princeton) takes you through the majestic mountains and deep valleys of Manning Park, and ends with Canada’s only desert, Osoyoos.
I arrived in Osoyoos on a sunny Friday afternoon and checked into Walnut Beach Resort for the weekend. My first event that evening was the Beach BBQ & Brews at Watermark Beach Resort; new to Osoyoos Oyster Festival and held on the resort’s stunning beachfront. This BBQ-style buffet featured seafood and traditional BBQ fare paired with South Okanagan’s brew, craft ciders and Canadian Whisky cocktails.
Freshly shucked Effingham Oysters from special guest and former World Champion Oyster Shucker, Patrick McMurray- also known as “Shucker Paddy.”
Delectable BBQ’d oysters prepared by Chef Jeff Van Geest of Miradoro Restaurant.
BBQ Sablefish from Walnut Beach Resort Chef Natasha Schooten and a generous pour of Glenfiddich whisky!
Beachfront dinner with an impressive view of Okanagan Lake.
After a beautiful evening of oysters and wines, I was looking forward to the morning yoga session the following day. Guided by Watermark Wellness coordinator Kelsi Bissonnette and taking part outdoors on the lake side of the Watermark Beach Resort, the yoga was the perfect relaxation before my next event.
The Deep Sea Garden Party was held on the lawn of the Walnut Beach Resort. The Garden Party featured delicacies from both land and sea which were paired with wines and beers from local wineries and craft breweries.
My third and final event; Art of the Pearl Gala was held at Spirit Ridge Resort. This fun social soiree was inspired by the ocean and its bounty. We enjoyed oyster creations served up by local chefs, paired with Okanagan wines.
We wined and dined in Osoyoos with more than ten Okanagan restaurants partaking in this gala including Mica Restaurant, Liquidity Bistro, and Nk’Mip.
If you were like me, when you think oysters, you naturally envision West Coast. Who knew that Osoyoos had such a great festival. I had such an amazing time attending for the first time and I look forward to attending again.
My trip was made more comfortable by driving the 2017 Ford Escape – Titanium Model. The Escape was loaded with features like GPS, twin panel moonroof, lane assist, and had outstanding fuel consumption. This compact SUV basically drove itself.
* Accommodations, meals and car were complimentary and opinions are completely my own.