mosaic “It is not easy to find places where the climate conspires with man and the soil to produce comfort, culture, beauty, health and profit in one combination.” —Promotional brochure that lured early British settlers to the Okanagan
Ireland England Walles London
Koroscil found a wealth of information. “They wrote voluminous letters to their families now popular heritage attractions. The strong British presence in the Valley paralleled trends in the province, where nearly one in three people were of British stock in the 1920s. While the pace of direct immigration from Britain has ebbed since then, many Okanagan residents still trace at least part of their ancestry to the British Isles. Facing page clockwise from left: London icons include Big Ben clock. Sharon Loban in front of her store Little Britain, in Kelowna. Sharon with the main ingredient for their Marmite sandwich. Pioneer John Carmichael Haynes.
Forget mushy peas. If you’re hankering for tasty English food, the Okanagan offers several scrumptious options. One is Shady Rest British Fish & Chips, a tiny Kelowna shop that offers fresh-cut fries and artery clogging battered fish. For festive fun, check out the Two Chefs restaurant in Peachland, which boasts old-country mainstays like shepherd’s pie and roast beef with all the trimmings. The lakeside restaurant’s twice-monthly pub nights feature sing-alongs amid decor that includes photos of the royal family and flags of the realm. If you’re craving spotted dick or a Marmite sandwich, check out the Little Britain specialty store at Cooper Road and Enterprise Avenue in Kelowna. “It’s a little taste of home for people,” says Sharon Loban, who started the business three years ago after meeting fellow Brit Mandy Cataldi on an Okanagan beach. The gals stock everything from teas and sweets to sausages and tinned goods. “I was really tired of driving to Vancouver for my baked beans,” Sharon says with a laugh. The shop has become an informal networking spot for the ex-pat community and has a growing clientele of Canadians nostalgic for foods they enjoyed with parents or grandparents.
dictionary Think you speak English? Try translating these: crisps, petrol, sweeties, the loo, lorry, jumper, tellie, knackered, bangers, wellies. Answers: Potato chips, gas, candy, the bathroom, truck, sweater, television, extreme fatigue, sausages, rubber boots. If you scored 9-10 right: you’re ready for tea with the Queen; 7-8: those Agatha Christie mysteries have paid off; 5-6: Monty Python’s Flying Circus just hit the ground; less than five: Bloody hell!
Clare Sucloy Owner, A Touch of English B&B You can hear the English lilt when Clare Sucloy picks up the telephone at her Glenmore bed and breakfast, A Touch of English. “My husband is Canadian, so I’m the touch of English,” she explains with a laugh. Clare is known for her afternoon teas, served with homemade scones, and guests can chose between four bedrooms — the Devon, the Essex, the Norfolk and the Berkshire, her home county. Lucky visitors might get a ride in her Triumph Roadster, a family heirloom that she shares with her sister in Victoria. “I always tell her she owns the back end and I own the front end,” Clare says with a laugh. Clare was working as a secretary at the Canadian High Commission in London in 1974 when a free ticket to Canada came her way. “I fell in love with Vancouver, the West Coast, and that was it,” she says. She opened her first bed and breakfast 14 years ago in North Vancouver. She and her husband, Kelly, moved to Summerland five years ago and then relocated last year to Kelowna. Clare says she mixed with the horsy set at her girlhood home and attended school with Lady Diana’s older sister, Sarah. Now she enjoys hosting visitors from her homeland and devising new breakfast menus. “You can stay 22 days,” she says. “Then I start repeating.”
Photo by portia priegert
okanaganlife.com november-December 2010