Local Photo Credit: Kari Medig

The Local: The Very Best Patio in the Kootenays

It’s a little lakeside Shangri-la.

You could make Nelson, B.C., your destination for a summer vacation—its boho vibe is a pretty picture-perfect goal for a summer road trip. But to really dig into that maker-faire realness that is the Kootenays, drive past the quirky town, grab the ferry and head over to the east shore of Kootenay Lake.

In the walkable community that is Crawford Bay, you’ll find the blacksmiths of Kootenay Forge firing up wine racks and fire pokers; a barefoot weaver cranking out colourful works of art with her feet at the loom at, yes, Barefoot Handweaving; and a wee little log house that’s home to the most Harry Potter-esque business of adorably craggy handmade brooms. And just down the street, there’s this surprising little spot on the water.

Nelson-born owner and chef Jason Malloff—who worked for years in the two-Michelin-starred Maison Jeunet in Arbois, France—decided that the Kootenays were calling him home, so he brought his version of French-regional-cooking-meets-West-Coast ingredients to Cabin, right on the lake. It’s only open in May to October and it’s here you’ll understand the magic that brought Malloff back to this place.

Grab a lakeside spot on the patio with a steamy bowl of West Coast bouillabaisse rich with seasonal seafood, fresh fennel and a side of crusty homemade bread, sip a lime-heavy gin and tonic, and watch the ferryboats laze on in. You’ve arrived.

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