A Heavenly Rest in B.C.'s Wine Country
by Judith Lane
Contributot to Travelink Publishing
Hosts Jane Matejka and David Anderson have perfected the art of hospitality at what is possibly one of BC's finest small inns. The Cedars Inn is a slice of heaven, steps from the sandy shores of Lake Okanagan and a few minutes from the bustling heart of Kelowna.
High cedar hedges allow a peek-a-boo view of an impeccably restored 1907 heritage home and beautifully landscaped gardens. Max, the cat, and lord of the manor, is on hand to greet arriving guests.
Step inside the house and you are welcomed by David and Jane, who love to watch the expressions on visitors' faces as they first view The Cedars interior.A veritable jewel box of colours: ruby red, topaz gold and jade green fabrics cover classic furnishings and are complemented by polished wood antique desks and tables, offset by a palate of pale walls and ceilings.
Splendid. Guests have free run of the two downstairs seating areas, both with original rock fireplaces, an upstairs reading room, the formal dining room where breakfast is served, and a sunny garden patio.
There are three guest rooms. The Terrace Room features an iron half canopy bed and French doors that open to a cobblestone terrace. The cozy Cedar Room upstairs has hardwood floors, fine French linens and Paloma Picasso fabrics and wall coverings.
And The Garden Room - better known as the 'honeymoon' suite, that shows off an ultra-romantic, four poster bed, chaise lounge and fabulous bathroom, complete with huge claw foot tub and separate shower.
As you might expect from hospitality perfected, all rooms have robes and slippers, candles, CD players and books, with TVs and VCR available for in room use. There's an inviting hot tub and swimming pool as well as courtesy bicycles for more industrious pursuits.
And with a little advance notice, Jane and David will even arrange for private dinners and prepare picnic lunches. For a day of touring, what could be better?
The Cedars was so comfortable, I had to prod myself to get out and take advantage of what the area has to offer.
I visited several nearby wineries, all of which have tasting rooms and tours. Mission Hill, Cedar Creek, Calona Vineyards, Summerhill Estate Winery and Pinot Reach Cellars are all worthy stops, just a few minutes drive away. I saw, I tasted and I took home two cases of wine. Liquid mementos. For those who prefer to tour and taste and not drive, The Cedars recommend Okanagan Wine Country Tours which offer a variety of wine experiences.
In addition to local wineries and restaurants, Jane and David have some great "in-the-know" places to visit such as the Okanagan Lavender Herb Farm where in excess of 100 varieties of organic lavender are grown. Pick a bouquet, sample some lavender jelly or take home some Herbes de Provence. Another favourite is Elyssium Gardens, home to acres of beautiful plants growing in their natural habitat. To get to the sales area, stroll over grassy expanses of lawn and past beds of colourful, thriving plants. Here, high on the windy bluff overlooking an expanse of the valley, you'll feel just a little closer to heaven.
The food at The Cedars is nothing short of spectacular and I ate every morsel put in front of me. Evening appetizers (a Cedars Inn treat of local tastes) were savoury and sensational while breakfasts were, quite possibly, the best I've ever eaten! They began with jugs of steaming coffee fresh organic Okanagan juices and a feast of fresh breads and biscuits. Then I enjoyed mouthwatering eye-openers: a rum marinated fruit cup, stuffed French toast, a fritata divine, and more. The presentation was a feast for the eyes. The food, like ambrosia from heaven!
It's not surprising that The Cedars, A Garden Inn has received a five star rating, the only such accommodation outside of the Lower Mainland to be so recognized. Truly the art of hospitality perfected. Truly heaven.
If You Go:
The Cedars, A Garden Inn
278 Beach Avenue
Canada V1Y 5R8
Toll Free: 1-800-822-7100
Fax: (250) 763-1109
Web Site: www.cedarsinnokanagan.com
By car from Vancouver: about 3.5 hours, 400 kilometers
Regularly scheduled flights from Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto
© Travelink Publishing - All Rights Reserved