Constructed 112 years ago by the town’s founder, J.M. Robinson, Naramata Inn would welcome some of the Okanagan’s very first tourists and go on to weave a colourful thread throughout Naramata’s history. With a culinary team led by Chef Ned Bell, the Inn is still making headlines under its new ownership.
As seen in
Two years ago after celebrating their tenth wedding anniversary, Ned and Kate looked at each other and said, we need to be back here.
“Naramata is magical and of course the Inn is extraordinary,” says the Okanagan-born chef Ned Bell. “The Naramata Bench is pretty famous worldwide for its wines, but the orchards are here, the gardens are here and the farms here. There’s a community here.”
For the couple who met and married in the Okanagan, coming home was “part of the long-term plan but was never written in stone. It was just more of a dream,” says Ned.
Business partner Paul Hollands (of A&W fame) helped make that dream come true. He shares Ned’s enthusiasm, “Naramata is like no place else in the world. Being right on Okanagan Lake and surrounded by mountains, orchards and vineyards, it is blessed with an amazing agricultural bounty.”
Hollands joined Ned, Kate Colley and Maria Wiesner to refurbish the historic Naramata Inn. With charm and character fully intact, the updated look is elegant and warm with its 12 period-style rooms, each with an outdoor patio.
At its heart is a regional-driven restaurant.
“Supporting local farmers and small producers has never been more important,” says Ned. “I want to highlight these amazing ingredients with the tender love and care they deserve, right here where they’re grown.”
Ned dubs his menu “hyper-local and hyper-seasonal.” Each season’s selections are sourced solely from food grown, caught or raised in the Cascadia region, from the Monashee Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. (With no lemons or limes, the team forages flowers from sumac trees to add a bit of tartness.)
“I know where every single ingredient comes from. I know the farmer, the fisher, the grower.”
Bell’s local pledge is integral to the Naramata Inn’s identity. “I want you to only be able to have this meal here. When it comes to the commitment to this region, that is second to none.”
The food, matched by a comprehensive list of Naramata and Okanagan wines, is served in the stylishly updated heritage dining room and on the gracious verandas looking out to the charming grounds.
“We’re on an acre of land, and being an anchor tenant in the village: what the elm trees look like matters; what the grounds out front on the boulevard matter,” says Ned. “We’re a restaurant with rooms.”