Kimberley Journals

Postmodern Paradise

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An August 2004 trip to Kimberley by Ben the Grate

Kimberley, BC Photo, Kimberley, British Columbia More Photos
Quote: There is no shortage of self-proclaimed "authentic Bavarian villages" in North America. And the guidebooks suggested that Kimberley wouldn't be my kind of place. Well, they were wrong! This little alpine German community in British Columbia is truly charming.

Postmodern Paradise

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Overview

Kimberley, BC Photo, Kimberley, British Columbia
Quote:
No matter how authentic, these self-proclaimed "Bavarian Villages" usually annoy me. They're everywhere. We've got eight in Texas alone, and you'd be hard pressed to find anything in Texas that resembles Bavaria. So I wasn't expecting much when I deviated off the highway on my trip to Fernie, just to eat at Chef Bernard's, a highly lauded and quirky eatery in Kimberley. I planned on staying 2 hours. I stayed 2 days! The place, despite its kitsch, is charming, and about as authentic as such a postmodern tourist culture trap can be. Perched on the outer rim of the Purcell Mountains, with a view across the Columbia River valley to the Rockies, Kimberley is Canada's second highest incorporated t...Read More

Chef Bernard's Inn

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Hotel

Chef Bernard's Inn Photo, Kimberley, British Columbia
Quote:
Chef Bernard's Restaurant, which is regionally (and they'd like you to think, internationally) famous, has a few small "Vacation Apartments" for rent, both above the restaurant, and around the village. They claim to have one complete with a hot tub, though it was occupied and I didn't get to see it. The rooms are small and cozy, with a more lived-in feel than you get from a lot of hotels and guest houses. I like that. Their rates are EXTREMELY reasonable, especially in summer, when their "jacuzzi apartment" starts at $60CAD. I can imagine that the upstairs rooms might get a little noisy, in winter, when the crowds of young skiers stay late at the restaurant and get drunk ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 13, 2004

Chef Bernard's Inn
170 Spokane Street
Kimberley, British Columbia
(250) 427-4820

Kimberley Inn

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Hotel | "Kimberley Inn (Samesun Kimberley Lodge)"

Kimberley Inn Photo, Kimberley, British Columbia
Quote:
What a find! Samesun is a newbie chain of western Canada hostels that is really giving HI a run for its money. They're currently the ONLY hostel in Kimberley, which is an up-and-coming ski resort which may one day give Fernie a run for its money. The Kimberley Inn is located right on the Platzl, the center of town, which is only a short stroll from the mountain, which rises almost directly out of downtown Kimberley. The hostel is located above the O'zone Pub, a kickin' nightspot, which originally worried me. I figured I'd never get a good night's sleep. I was wrong. My room was directly over the loudest part of the bar, and I never heard a thing. Maybe if they were having a massive headba...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 13, 2004

Kimberley Inn
275 Spokane Avenue
Kimberley, British Columbia
(250) 427-7191

Mozart House Inn

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Restaurant | "Mozart House"

Mozart House Inn Photo, Kimberley, British Columbia
Quote:
The Mozart House competes head to head with the more famous Chef Barnard's two doors down as the best German restaurant in Kimberley. Most folks say Mozart House has better schnitzel. Having not dined on schnitzel at Chef Barnard's, I can't say for sure, but I certainly HOPE this isn't the best schnitzel in Kimberley. Before I continue with this insult, I should say that I absolutely ADORED this restaurant. It sits right on Kimberley's Plazl, and you can dine out on the pedestrian-only street, on the deck overlooking the street, or indoors (away from mosquitoes in summer and chilly wind and snow in winter.) The decor inside is dark and warm, with paintings of the namesake composer on the wal...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 13, 2004

Mozart House Inn
130 Spokane Street
Kimberley, British Columbia
(250) 427-7671

Platzl Inn

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Restaurant | "Chef Bernard's Restaurant"

Platzl Inn Photo, Kimberley, British Columbia
Quote:
Chef Bernard's has been written up in a couple of guidebooks as a quirky sight that makes the town a destination. True to form, I drove 40km OUT of my way to Kimberley just to eat here, and ended up staying in the town for 2 days. It has been voted one of the top 20 restaurants in the Pacific Northwest for nearly a decade, and received 2 Academy Awards from the American of Restaurants and Hospitality Services in 1995. The awards are justified. The place is pretty amazing. The menu is extensive, and while it offers all the traditional German foods, there is a bizarre addition of Thai, and then some traditional pan-European delights. The night we were there, he was featuring a roast suckling ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 13, 2004

Platzl Inn
170 Spokane Street
Kimberley, British Columbia
(250) 427-4820

Hot Springs

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Story/Tip

Lussier Hot Springs Photo, Kimberley, British Columbia
Quote:
Kimberley is located about equidistant from some of BC's best wilderness hot springs, and if you're a hot spring whore like me, there's just not a better springing board for trips to them. Lussier Hot Springs is the most accessible and most popular. From Kimberley, drive north to Skookumchuck about 40 minutes. Continue 24.1km (15mi) from the gas station Skookumchuck to the turnoff for Whiteswan Provincial Park on the right. This road is used by big logging trucks, so turn on your lights and proceed with caution. The excellent gravel road leads 18.3km (11.3mi) to the marked parking lot for the springs. The last section is one-lane high above the Lussier River Gorge. Hair-raising, but beauti...Read More

About the Writer

Ben the Grate

Ben the Grate
Dallas, Texas

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