Dine in the Garden at the Hart House

A lakeside table in the beautiful garden awaits at the stunning property of Burnaby’s Hart House in the heart of Deer Lake Park.

My sister in law Aleisha and I decided it was time for a girls night out and the Hart House was perfect for our occasion. As soon as you arrive, you notice the Tudor Revival style mansion which is a preserved heritage building in the city of Burnaby. The “Avalon” which is now home to the Hart House restaurant was built back in 1912 as a family summer retreat. It features a massive tower with mock battlements, corbeled chimneys, cobblestone foundations and decorative half-timbering (*city of Burnaby). As you walk into the restaurant, you are welcomed by the stone wood burning fireplace which is very inviting and perfectly sets the mood for the evening.

Lucky for us, it was a beautiful evening and we opted to sit outside in the gardens. Tables are scattered across the lawn with incredible views of Deer Lake and the Burnaby skyline in the distance. Because every single meal should start with a glass of BC bubbles, we ordered Okanagan Fall’s Blue Mountain Brut which was perfect to kickoff the evening.

We shared appetizers which included an Organic Beet Salad, Mussels & Clams, and Panko Crusted Haloumi. All were amazing but if you go to the Hart House, you have to try the fried haloumi (cheese) as it is so unique and is topped with delicious basil seeds which are made in house. We paired these dishes with a tasting flight of BC wine including the Fort Berens Rose, the Fort Berens Pinot Noir and Riesling from Moraine.


Then, we shared the Wild Mushroom Orzo made with leeks, english peas, ricotta, and porcini pangrattato. We paired this dish with the Fort Berens Pinot Noir and it was a match made in heaven! It was one of those pairings that went so well, it left you closing your eyes to savour the moment and taste the perfection.

For our mains, we shared the AAA Beef Tenderloin which was served with mushrooms, summer vegetables, and the most delicious olive oil mashed potatoes. We also enjoyed the Seared Haida Gwaii Halibut served with pancetta, mussels, saffron, english peas, and yukon gold potatoes with a lemon butter sauce. We paired these dishes with the Time Winery Merlot and Black Swift Hart St. Vineyard Chardonnay.


As a palate cleanser, we were offered house-made green apple sorbet before our dessert, which was house made ricotta doughnuts with a chocolate hazelnut sauce. This was paired with a lovely late harvest wine from Pentage Winery.

What I loved the most about our experience at Hart House were the friendly staff who go out of their way to ensure you are well taken care of! They are very flexible with the menu and drink list and can cater to any guests needs. Being the BC Wine lovers that we are, we wanted to pair each dish with a BC Wine and they were able to offer us smaller pours (2.5 ounces) to allow for an incredible pairing experience.

The Patio + Garden is open on Tuesday to Sunday, from 11:30am-8:30pm (last seating time). Next time I go for a weekend walk around Deer Lake Park, I will be sure to end at the Hart House for Brunch and a mimosa! Trust me, its a must this summer!

Thank you to the team at the Hart House for making us feel like family and providing the best hospitality and service we could ask for!!

Picnic at a Winery this summer!


While summer wine tours may be a little bit different this year, one thing remains the same- a fun picnic at a winery is a must!

If you haven’t had a picnic at a winery, you’re really missing out of an incredible experience that can last a lifetime. Honestly, one of my favourite memories was when I went wine tasting for the first time that ended with a picnic at Tinhorn Creek, over 10 years ago! I still remember purchasing that bottle of Gewürztraminer and selecting cheese from the back fridge behind the wine bar, then sitting in the vineyard for an hour enjoying the simple things in life. It was truly a moment I will never forget.

Now, its your chance to have the same type of amazing experience this summer! I’ve listed the top picnic areas across the Okanagan so you can plan your stop along the wine tour. When I wine tour, I usually select 1 winery around 11am, 1 at around noon (*picnic spot!) and another at 2pm. This allows optimal time to relax, enjoy the tasting, take in the view, and move along to the next stop.

Top Okanagan Pinnic Areas:

Osoyoos | Adega

Oliver |Hester Creek (*Happy hour Monday to Friday from 1-5pm) or Rust Wine

Okanagan Falls |Noble Ridge (*pre-book space here)

Penticton | Painted Rock (*pre book space here) or Poplar Grove

  • Stop at Upper Bench winery for cheese supplies!

Naramata Bench |Origin (*highest viewpoint on the bench), Lock + Worth (*Poplar Grove cheese at the winery!) or JOIE (*pre-book space here)

Summerland | Thornhaven

Kelowna | Mt. Boucherie or Quails Gate Winery

Lake Country | Arrowleaf

Picnic packing list:

Essentials | Blanket, utensils, cutting board or platter, non-alcoholic beverages (*purchase wine at the winery!), glassware, table cloth (*some wineries have picnic tables)

Food | sliced meats (genoa salami) cheese (brie, aged white cheddar and boursin), baguette (pre-cut in advance), crackers and garnish (fruit, preserves, etc.)

Good to know | Buy wine at the winery + ask for ice bucket and glasses, be respectful and clean up after yourselves and be mindful of others enjoying the same space