Christmas tea

Kick-start the festive holiday season with Christmas High Tea at the Neverland Tea Cottage

Getting festive doesn’t always mean spending days planning and shopping, to culminate with spending hours at the stove.

Every year our region’s talented chefs and caterers come to the rescue with offerings of luxe holiday meals for take-out, pickup and delivery, with some festively festooned restaurants offering dine-in options. With minimum fuss and clean up, and lots of merry to go around, here are some of the offerings available in the South Okanagan this year.

Looking at all the Christmas lights is a great way to conjure up a festive mood, and so is the whimsical Christmas High Tea at the Neverland Tea Cottage in Naramata. It’s a delicious and relaxing 90-minute respite with savoury fancies and sweets, and an extensive all-you-can-drink tea menu. Guests can enjoy the high tea until Dec. 21, with take-out treats available on Dec. 22.

Okanagan Crush Pad lights up the vines and keeps things festive with their Winter Wine Experience seated amongst the cellar’s stainless-steel tanks and amphora, lit up with sparkly lights. Enjoy wine flights with cheese and charcuterie with time for wine shopping. Reserve for Dec. 10 and 11 at www.okanagancrushpad.

Brodo Kitchen is pulling out all the stops with their festive heat-and-serve holiday dinner. The main event of maple-and-sage roasted turkey thighs gets tasty backup with traditional stuffing with bacon and thyme, and baked butternut squash and Brussels sprouts tucked in with charred bell peppers and caramelized onions, topped with crispy Parmesan crumbs.

Carbolicious cheddar-and-leek whipped potatoes pair with a rich herb-infused turkey gravy, and a cranberry and orange sauce provides bright, tangy sweetness. Finish with rustic apple pie panna cotta with a candied walnut-oat crumble. Orders must be in by Dec. 15, for a pickup date of Dec. 23. To order, visit www.tastebrodo.com

The Nest is serving lots of holly-jolly with their classic roast turkey take-out dinner for two, four or six people. Front and centre is brown-butter-glazed turkey with herb-and-apple stuffing, sides of whole roasted squash with maple syrup, butter-drenched whipped potatoes, and a vanilla and rosemary-scented cranberry sauce followed by a family-style dessert. (There is a vegetarian option, too.)

Elevate the experience with their signature cocktail kits: cranberry-rosemary margaritas, vanilla-maple whisky sours, mimosas or Caesars.  Order by Dec. 19, through www.thenestpenticton.com

Brasserie Provisions offers an alternative with their Christmas Brunch for Two. Delivered Christmas Eve, kick off the morning with a mimosa kit complete with French bubbly and fresh orange juice, while a deliciously rich croque monsieur casserole heats up in the oven. Their version of the classic hot French sandwich is filled with smoked ham and Gruyere cheese, luxuriating in a creamy-cheesy Mornay sauce, topped with crispy hash browns, with a roasted tomato sauce for dipping. The sweet finish comes with house-made dark chocolate, toasted pistachio and salted caramel cups – nap optional! Quantities are limited, order through their website, www.brasserieprovisions.com

Tantalize your yuletide tastebuds with Flambe Catering’s dinner for two. Dig in to brined and herb-roasted turkey (both white and dark meat) and baked ham with honey-Dijon cream. Buttermilk-smashed potatoes make a great moat for rich house-made gravy, while roasted root veggies provide essential vitamins, and a green cabbage and fennel slaw with toasted walnuts tossed in an apple cider vinaigrette contributes crisp counterbalance. Rolls and butter mean a sandwich later on. Add on scrumptious brown butter pecan tarts. Orders must be in by Dec. 22 for delivery – or pick up – on Dec. 24. Check out www.flambeathome.com

Tradition reigns with The Hooded Merganser’s annual take-out Christmas Day dinner. Roasted turkey, both white and dark meat, roasted root vegetables, Brussels sprouts, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and gravy (with vegetarian options). Extras include sticky toffee pudding with caramel sauce, candied pecans and whipped cream, as well as wine pairings. Order by phone, 250-493-8221, by Dec. 24 at 4 p.m., for pickup Dec. 25, 4-6 p.m.

Miradoro Restaurant at Tinhorn Creek Vineyards makes things delightful and decadent with their Christmas Eve dinner. Don your best ugly Christmas sweater for a traditional tuck-in, served family style with seasonal, organic and local fare – from roasted Yarrow Meadows turkey with all the fixings to pumpkin pie with housemade vanilla gelato.  Priced per person, reservations are required be email to info@miradoro.ca

The Bear, The Fish, The Root & The Berry at Spirit Ridge Resort rises to the occasion with their Christmas to-go menu. The classic gets a spin with roasted turkey breast and rolled turkey leg, with cranberry-sage stuffing, pan gravy, cranberry-wojape-buttered mashed potatoes, and market vegetables. A salad of roasted apples with spiced nuts and a maple-cider vinaigrette provides seasonal comfort, followed by wow-worthy “jingle bell roc”' cheesecake with gingerbread and eggnog Chantilly. Call to reserve, 250-495-4660, for pickup Dec. 25, noon to 7:30 p.m.

With fork and pen in hand, and a passion for culinary adventure, Shelora Sheldan, writer, cook and curious traveller, goes in search of the delectable.