If you’re trying to beat the winter blahs, few things can top a beach getaway. But who says you have to go somewhere hot? A winter beach escape can be just as fun — especially if there’s wine and delicious food involved.
That’s exactly the draw of the Parksville Uncorked Wine and Food Festival. The ninth annual event, hosted by the Beach Club Resort and Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort, runs from Feb. 23-26 and it’s the hottest ticket in town.
“The weekend is all about sampling the best of B.C. at two beautiful resorts,” says Tigh-Na-Mara marketing and media relations manager Luba Plotnikoff. “It’s the perfect way to get over the winter blues and experience the Island’s best four-day culinary festival in a beautiful location with endless sandy beaches and tranquil hikes.”
The festival kicks off with Parksville Untapped, a chance to wet your palate with some of the best beers, ciders and spirits in the region including Parksville’s Mount Arrowsmith Brewing Company. The following night is all about wine, with a large array of wineries pouring at Swirl and chefs serving up gourmet bites.
“Both events feature more than 100 products from 30 to 60 wineries and breweries so it really gives people a chance to try new things and to talk to people who know their product,” explains Beach Club Resort food and beverage director Ian Lane.
Both events attract hundreds of people and tickets go fast. But the culinary adventure doesn’t end there. There are also two winemakers’ dinners, which are always a big draw.
“The winemakers’ dinners are an exceptional evening out and priced far below what they would cost in bigger cities,” says Lane. “It’s a chance for the chefs to shine.”
With so much to sip and savour, the best advice is to pace yourself. But the fun isn’t just at night. There are also dozens of hiking, biking and beachcombing opportunities at this popular seaside escape.
“It’s the ideal location to reconnect with nature,” says Plotnikoff. “From giant old growth forests to miles of sandy beach, there’s no end to the exploring by car, on foot or bike.”
And after all that exploring and imbibing, you might want to book a spa treatment at the Grotto Spa — voted Canada’s best spa and the top ocean spa experience in North America — to really turn those winter blahs into ‘aahs.’