Canada ’08: Gasthaus on the lake, Peachland
Last night I had the pleasure of taking the short drive down to Peachland from Kelowna for dinner. In truth, the choice of restaurants in Kelowna is most daunting. Not for any negative reason but conversely for the huge range of good quality eating in the city. It’s almost impossible to make a decision where to eat some days.
With a little more time on our hands on a Sunday evening, we chose to cross the newly-constructed floating bridge over Okanagan Lake at Harvey and head on through Westbank to our eventual destination, Peachland and specifically Gasthaus on the lake.
Highway 97 approaching Peachland is an absolute joy to view. Another jewel in the Okanagan crown. British Columbia is well-documented as being a beautiful Province – perhaps the most wonderfully scenic Province in the whole of Canada, and the views over Okanagan Lake at this point prove that it is relatively easy to view the most stunning scenery only minutes out of the city of Kelowna. Down to our left rose the mountains that surround that huge and impressive body of water. To describe it as a picture postcard view barely even does it justice. It’s a view that you always imagine you might encounter in Western Canada and does not disappoint even the most hackneyed soul of a traveller.
Dropping down from the Highway we quickly found ourselves on the long and attractive lakeside drive that is Beach Road in the town. Some may say that Peachland is a one-road town and there’s some truth in that, but what a road that is! The tree-lined bay offers a short beach and the wonderful relaxing sound of the waters of Okanagan Lake gently lapping in rhythm with nature. An odd appealing jetty juts out unobtrusively into the shallow waters and invites.
Gasthaus on the lake is an interesting eatery. It offers a fine dining restaurant to the right as viewed from the road and the prettiest patio reminiscent of so many outdoor Mediterranean gardens, redolent with lush vegetation. To the rear lies the pub area which is as magnificent as it is cosy and inviting. All soft-hued wood and an extremely grand fire place dominating which would look well placed with an oxen on a spit in it. On the evening we visited the pub was empty due to diners enjoying yet another balmy evening and this is where we were seated ourselves.
The Gasthaus is a German oriented restaurant and this is another factor that makes it interesting. It’s not a young business by Canadian standards and has been around since 1991. Advertised around were posters for the upcoming Oktoberfest celebrations next month and Winter Medieval evenings. It was easy to imagine what a pleasure nights like those would be at The Gasthaus.
Our very polite young waitress hailed from Westbank a few kilometres up the Highway. She took our orders courteously and efficiently although apparently new in her job. A warm night served me well for an appetite for a German beer or two. A country which consistently provides quality produce in that field. I tried a Warsteiner and was not disappointed with what tasted like an authentic German bier and was most refreshing.
Happily, out on the patio we had a choice of the pub food menu and a wide selection of fine dining from the restaurant provided by a second menu. I chose Bratwurst and Sauerkraut to start and three slender and succulent sausages with a large quantity of tasty Sauerkraut were placed on the table under the open porch where we sat. After another cold Warsteiner I decided upon the half duck served with German dumplings and red cabbage. Although I found the dumplings somewhat bland, the duck was a triumph. Beautifully cooked and around the size of an American Eagle! Truly it was a little too much to eat but I dug in manfully and finished it all. Sadly there was not a single spot left for dessert so I satisfied myself with another Warsteiner and searched for oxygen…
Another recommendation then. From other reviews my expectations had not been the highest for The Gasthaus. It scored well however for its pretty scenic setting, choice and quality of food and variety of dining experience availables in differing environments. It’s original menu also offers plus marks. A nice evening in a memorable setting.