Hidden Gem: Island Lake Lodge

You’ll have to drive a little further to discover this issue’s hidden gem, but we promise you, it’s well worth the trip. Island Lake Lodge, just outside of Fernie B.C., marries spectacular views in a rustic setting with luxurious service and exceptional food. Chef Mark Butcher leads a talented team to take fresh local ingredients and showcase them in a way that inspires and delights. The regular menu is complemented by vegan daily market features using what’s most delicious that day.
A daily dessert feature showcases pastry chef, Annabelle St. Marseilles’ exceptional creativity and sense of play.

With two restaurants to choose from, diners can ogle the gorgeous Lizard Range with a post-hike (or snowshoe) beer in the Bear Lodge Bistro or treat themselves to the elegant Tamarack Dining Room in the main lodge. We really loved the grilled Pacific squid featuring Creston stone fruit and tomatillo salsa as an appetizer. Our favourite main was the Fraser Valley pheasant served with a unique ancient grain porridge. St. Marseille’s take on a St. Honore (patron saint of pastry chefs!) cake was really something special with cornmeal shortbread, local haskap bavarois, skyr Chantilly, maples choux and popcorn crème diplomate.

Open for the summer June-September, this is a delightful escape from the city within a few hours’ drive. Catskiing begins mid-December – but as of press time, there’s only one spot left in the 2021/22 season! Make your reservations now for next summer’s adventure. Oh, and a hot tip: treat yourself to the luxurious Spa at Island Lake Lodge before dinner. You’re welcome.