Here are five festive ideas to make the season special

The winter holidays traditionally center around seasonal parties and celebrations where we gather and support local restaurants, farmers, and producers. With the 2020 global pandemic, we must find new ways to celebrate the season. Here are five festive ideas to bring cheer and make the season special:

#1: Think Outside the Box

Many restaurants and businesses are finding unique ways to utilize their outside spaces. From winterized patios with heaters and firepits, to individual dining bubbles and outdoor light displays – these unique outdoor experiences are a fun and safe way to #EatDrinkLocal with your immediate household.

When you visit Merridale Cidery & Distillery in Cowichan for a tasting, a meal or to shop in their store, you’ll see a courtyard with thousands of twinkling lights and holiday displays.

Or, if you’re in the Okanagan, The Curious Café in Kelowna and Junction 3 Coffeehouse in Osoyoos both have igloos where you can combine the best of indoors and outdoors.

#2. Order-in Something Festive

Many local restaurants are crafting up new holiday specials that will bring you comfort and joy.

Support local and order-in Christmas morning breakfast, Boxing Day Brunch or New Year’s Day dinner. Many restaurants are offering festive meals paired with delicious BC sparkling wines or creative craft cocktails.

Beetbox, located in Vancouver’s West End, is offering awesome selections of grab-and-go options that are 100% plant-based and vegan. Menu favourites include the Chick-Un Sandwich, Plant-Based Burger, and Chili Fries.

If you live in Victoria, the historic Fairmont Empress Hotel is offering Festive Turkey to-go. Complete with all the holiday fixings, your family will surely be impressed with your festive turkey dinner!

Located in Vancouver’s Chinatown, Torakufu offers contemporary Asian flavours using local ingredients. We recommend their Finger Lickin’ Chicken, frozen I Love Dumplings and Everyday I’m Brusselin’, Brussels sprout side dish—yum!

#3: #EatDrinkLocal Charcuterie

Baking bread was the big trend this spring – but this winter is all about local charcuterie and cheese boards! Create your own charcuterie board using local ingredients or order a board to-go from your local restaurant. You can also support local wineries, breweries and distilleries with fabulous pairings.

The Okanagan Table in Kelowna offers over 100+ items sourced from local, passionate food artisans to make an extraordinary charcuterie board.

Niche Wine Co. is a small family-run winery that makes handcrafted wines in the Okanagan. They have partnered with Forage Restaurant & Catering in Vancouver to offer a “Get on Board” and “Host with the Most” box that will take your charcuterie board to the next level.

South Granville’s Stable House wine bar and restaurant have a great selection of charcuterie boards garnished with seasonal condiments made in house.

For our vegan friends, Salt Spring Harvest located on Salt Spring Island offers unique végée-pâtés that are also wheat-free and nut free.

#4: Make it a virtual tasting

Try a virtual experience this winter by signing up for an online tasting or cooking demonstration!

Some wineries have expanded to include at-home tasting experiences for you to enjoy. Participating wineries will send your group a virtual tasting pack where you can meet the winemaker or winery team! Check out our friends at Summerland winery Okanagan Crush Pad to book your online tasting today.

Canadian Craft Tours is offering virtual beer tastings of Vancouver’s craft beer scene. Enjoy a happy hour online with your friends or colleagues while learning about the local breweries.

If you’re looking for a culinary experience, Hy’s restaurants, with locations in Vancouver and Whistler, has developed a take away program that shows you how to prepare Hy’s favourites at home. Order your “Hy’s at Home” meal online and follow their chef demonstration videos to prep your meal like a pro.

#5: Shop Local and Buy BC

There are many creative ways that you can #BuyBC and support the local food scene in your community—think restaurants, bakeries, producers, wineries, breweries, cideries, distilleries, farmers, fishers and suppliers—to name a few! Give a shout-out to your favourite tastes on social media by sharing a photo and tagging them. Use the hashtag #BuyBC and include @BCTastesBetter and @EatDrinkBuyBC so we can share your stories with others and spread the love.

It’s all about doing something new and something good to end the year:

Take a moment to create a new tradition in a year where nothing feels normal. As you raise a glass of something BC to mark the end of 2020, take a moment to reflect on the amazing people that make up BC’s amazing food scene.

Happy Eating’s!

thank you sign