Months ago, I was invited by Jenn Houtby-Ferguson, Director of Sales & Marketing at Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa & Conference Centre to attend Parksville Uncorked for the first time. I’ve always been interested in getting more involved in travel and tourism and she thought that inviting me to cover the event as a freelance writer would help me learn more about the industry and gain an opportunity to become more well-known as a writer who can cover tourism/hospitality & culinary related events.
It was a beautiful, sunny day when I finally arrived in Parksville and it didn’t hurt that my suite also gave me an amazing view of the beach and the water. It was the perfect environment to be in for a wine & culinary festival, even if the weather wasn’t warm enough to actually spend any time on the beach.
As I got settled into my room and starting preparing for the first event, writing down questions I’d planned to ask Jenn and Wendy Sears, Director of Sales & Marketing for the Beach Club Resort, I was definitely excited for Parksville Untapped. I knew from speaking with Jenn and looking at my media package that Parksville Untapped was the beer & cider event that they had added to Parksville Uncorked. While I’m not a beer drinker (save for a few brands that I can tolerate), I was looking forward to the gourmet fare that was promised as well as the different types of cider.
So with my stomach rumbling with anticipation, I arrived at Parksville Untapped fully expecting to enjoy myself. And, I wasn’t disappointed. I was able to sample a smorgasbord of great food supplied by both resorts, Tigh-Na-Mara & The Beach Club as well as other food vendors like Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.
From an incredible chocolate fountain with beer cupcakes (yes, the batter & the icing had beer) and strawberries to porcini mushroom risotto balls, Tuscan sausage & amazingly decadent truffles, the food did anything BUT disappoint. Out of all of the food, I would have to say that strawberries swirled in the chocolate fountain and the shrimp “spoons” chilling on top of the ice sculpture were my favorites. I also loved the truffles as a final dessert.
When it comes to the beverages, I did find an ice luge carved into a beautiful sculpture that was serving Ephemere Pomme beer, which was quite enjoyable to sip. It was also a novelty to hold my glass up to the sculpture and watch the beer flow through the ice into my glass. Surprisingly, I also found a cider that I enjoyed, which is not usually that simple. I loved the Merri-Berri cider from Merridale Cider and I made a point of writing down the name so that I could pick up a bottle on my way home.
Thanks to Jenn & Wendy, I also learned a lot about how Parksville Uncorked started, how the festival has benefited the resorts and the Oceanside region and it’s made me all the more excited for next year! You can read my article in the Parksville Qualicum-Beach News on it here.
I’ll have Part 2 up by dinner time and you can hopefully enjoy a sip of wine with dinner and my post as reading material. 🙂