Harrison Uncorked Wine Fest returns April 21-23, 2017

Returning for a second year of sips and suppers, Harrison Uncorked Wine Festival pops the cork April 21 – 23, 2017 throughout Harrison Hot Springs, B.C.

Harrison Uncorked brings together the village’s eateries with the region’s local wineries and farm fresh fare for three days of wine-makers dinners and tastings.

Uncorked by Day offers afternoons of tasting at the Harrison Memorial Hall. Fifteen local wineries are on hand for tastings with small bites by from Muddy Water Cafe with cheese & meat from FarmHouse Natural Cheeses and Hopcott Meats.  Old Settler Liquor Store is on hand to help take home your favourite sips.
Tickets for Uncorked by Day are available online for $45 each day, with $5 going to support the Harrison Festival Society. 

Uncorked by Night is a series of winemakers dinners in the restaurants in and around Harrison Hot Springs.  Pairing a restaurant and winery for a tasted experience each evening of the Festival.
-Harrison Corner Cafe with Backyard Wines
-Morgan’s Bistro with Orofino Vineyards (Friday) and Kettle Valley Winery (Saturday)
-Rowena’s Inn on the River with Fort Berens Estate Winery
Reservations for Uncorked by Night are required and should be made directly with the restaurants.

Even though it’s #justuptheroad, to be able to fully enjoy Harrison Uncorked Wine Festival, consider staying overnight at one of many great resorts and inns around Harrison Hot Springs.

Birds Of Prey Viewing at Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival in Harrison Mills

2013 FVBEF Poster_cropThis weekend, on November 16th   and 17th, witness the world’s largest gathering of bald eagles, the 18th Annual Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival. Centered around the hamlet of Harrison Mills, the Festival celebrates the Season of the Eagles .

The regal raptors are drawn to the region by the millions of spawning salmon that travel up the Fraser River to tributaries, like the Harrison River which along with the Chehalis Flats are home to a broad range of wildlife including trumpeter swans, ducks, seals, bears, coyotes, deer and the great white sturgeon.

The ancestral homeland of the Sts’ailes First Nation, who are working in collaboration with the District of Mission, The Salmon Stronghold as well as the Hancock Wildlife Foundation to welcome visitors and share the history of their region.

The Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival, kicks off the Season of Eagles with events spread across the next four weekends.
November 16-17; features designated eagle viewing sites at Kilby Historic Site and Pretty Estate Resort which has a newly opened Bald Eagle Observation Platform – “The Pretty Walk”,  in addition the weekend features exhibitions, lectures, displays, activities and boat tours with Fraser River Safari.
November 23; the Sts’ailes First Nation and Pretty Estates Resort, host the first annual Salmon Celebration with more eagle viewing, artisan market, “Sasquatch Dancers”, talks and Salmon luncheon.
November 30 – December 1; Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa plays host to a photo workshop as well as Fraser River Safari rides.
December 7 – 8; wrap up the season with more viewing around Harrison Mills with viewpoints at Kilby Historic Site, and “Pretty Walk” at Pretty Estates Resort (home to Sandpiper Golf Course, Rowena’s Inn on the River and Sandpiper Golf Course)

For further details and full schedule visit Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival online at fvbef.ca

Valentine’s Tees & Teas at Pretty Estates

Looking for a perfect romantic getaway this Valentine’s Day? It’s closer than you think!

ROwena's English-style manor house

Just 90 minutes outside of downtown Vancouver or 35 from Abbotsford, is the scenic luxury of Pretty Estates. The lush, verdant 160 acre estate is home to Rowena’s Inn on the River, River’s Edge Restaurant and Sandpiper Golf Resort, where guests will find everything they need for a great getaway.
Comfortable, boutique accommodation are found in the beautiful English-style manor house, the original home to the

Beautiful heritage accommodation in the Inn

Pretty Family, or in the self-contained rustic cabins-in-the-woods. A sumptuous breakfast is served in the manor house solarium or brought to your cabin for a romantic breakfast in bed or in front of the wood burning fire.
After breakfast, walk across the yard and

Rustic Cabin in the woods

tee-off for a round of golf at Sandpiper golf course, while exploring the beautiful grounds and scenic vistas across the Harrison River.

The par 72, Russ Olsen designed course is easily walkable and offers 4 tee positions to allow for all player’s abilities.
Follow up the round with another tea off and book Afternoon Tea in the manor

With it's own private airstrip, flying for a weekend or round of golf

house.  An array of homemade pastries and sandwiches are served along with fresh preserves and cream. The tea service is the perfect way have a relaxing afternoon after walking the links.
Top off your stay with a dinner at The Rivers Edge Restaurant, where you’ll find fresh local ingredients served up in a comfortable, country style atmosphere by the friendly staff.  (read my past review here)

Tea Time!

From February 9th until 19th, Rowena’s is offering packages to make your Valentine’s a romantic retreat. When you arrive at your room and a bottle of bubbly sits on a bed of ice alongside a fruit and cheese platter while a dozen long-stemmed roses aromatize the room. The added touches include a souvenir bottle from Domaine De Chaberton, a gift-wrapped box of handmade chocolates and a welcome card containing  $50  worth of ‘Romance Rewards’  to be used at River’s Edge Restaurant. Visit Rowena’s Inn website to book online or phone 1.877.976.1001.
Pretty Estates is located at 14282 Morris Valley Road, Harrison Mills, BC

River’s Edge Restaurant

photo credit: River's Edge Restaurant

River’s Edge Restaurant is a hidden gem within Sandpiper Golf Resort, beautifully situated on the shores of the Harrison River. The lovely, county cottage style restaurant, adjacent to Rowena’s Inn on the River, is a great spot for a bite after a round of golf, a drink and snack on the patios or a romantic meal. The wood panelled room is lined with French Doors which open onto the large patios, great for summer time views over the greens to the River beyond. On a cool winter evening, like my visit, the room is warmed by the fire place and comfortable seating arrangements.
The food was flavourful, plentiful and nicely presented local fare. In addition it was quite reasonably priced, 2 courses plus cocktails for under $70*. This month River’s Edge is featuring their Harrison Mills Salmon Run menu during the day, being early for dinner I was able to get a taste of this menu. With a major salmon spawning river right out the door, getting the fish ‘right’ was going to be a good test.

Salmon & Crab Cakes

The chef receives good grades! Starting off my friend and I shared the Salmon & Crab Cakes, 3 large (3″) cakes which were almost totally void of filler, just salmon, crab and a small hint of green onion, red peppers and light herbs. Served with a very nice house-made tartar sauce and a fresh side salad of greens, herbs, cheese and local hazelnuts it was large enough to be an entree for a single person. My friend’s starter French onion soup was equally filling and substantial, a hearty

Hearty French Onion Soup

broth with lots of onion, croutons and cheese.
After the size of starters, we shouldn’t have been surprised to see the large entrees come before us. Again, I sampled the Salmon Run menu, having the Seared Salmon Burger, a thick fillet perfectly cooked, meaty but flaky and seasoned just lightly. Served on a toasted bun with lettuce, tomato, pickle and Japanese-style pickled ginger, tartar sauce and lemon as condiments the

Seared Salmon Burger with Tomato & Squash soup

flavour and texture of the fish was fresh and light. Accompanied by a thick tomato and squash soup, it was a filling and warming meal for a cold night.
My companion’s Sandpiper Double Beef Burger was massive and mouthwatering. Two large handmade patties of Lepp Farm Market hormone-free beef were topped with cheese and bacon on a toasted bun. The burger was so large that my friend had to use a fork and knife to eat it. Served with nicely crisped french

Sandpiper Double Beef Burger

fries, it would be a challenge for even the heartiest of eaters.  Overall our meals were very satisfying, tasty, fresh and local.
One criticism might be that the food could have been slightly hotter, but it was a very cold night, the kitchen is in the adjacent manor house and must be delivered along a breezeway connecting the two so probably got slightly cooled by the temperature outside.
Unfortunately, one downfall of having such a filling and satisfying meal was we didn’t have room for dessert, which I’d heard were quite good.
If you’re on an adventure out in the Fraser Valley, golfing for a day or heading to/from Hemlock Ski Resort (just a few miles up the road) River’s Edge Restaurant is a good stop to relax, refill and review the beautiful scenery that is easily missed zipping along the highway.

*while we were being hosted by the River’s Edge, with part of our bill covered, no expectations of this review were made or requested.