Summer Garden Party @ The Mahle House Restuarant!

Happy Wednesday Readers!

This past Sunday, Sarah and I were invited to a wonderful event in support of Cedar Opportunities Co-Operative. Also known as COCO Cafe, this co-operative’s mission is to employ people with developmental disabilities within their community;

COCO was founded by a group of families in the Cedar/Yellowpoint/Cassidy areas of Nanaimo, British Columbia, all of whom have adult children with developmental disabilities. The families began meeting in 2007 to explore the idea of creating employment opportunities for people with developmental disabilities within their community. During the initial stages of planning it was decided that, not only would a cafe be a welcome addition to the community, it would also be able to provide a range of different employment opportunities for persons with developmental disabilities in a manner that increases their visibility and integrates them into the community. (via COCO Cafe)

Credit: COCO Cafe

Credit: COCO Cafe

To find out more info on this wonderful co-op, visit their website at

Ok, on to the party…

Guests enjoying themselves! | Credit: Sean Helmn

Party goers enjoying the festivities! | Credit: Sean Helmn

Music provided by Beatle's tribute band "Deaf Aids" | Credit: Sean Helmn

Beatle’s tribute band “Deaf Aids” serenading the garden partygoers | Credit: Sean Helmn

This year marked the 21st Annual Mahle House Garden Party. This year’s event featured a wide selection of wines hailing from some of Mahle House’s favourite wineries from all over BC. Sarah and I arrived at the party not really knowing what to expect – we had never been to the event before, but were excited to see what was in store for us!

Credit: Sean Helmn

Credit: Sean Helmn

Our first impression was of the impressive amount of tents that housed almost every type of wine you could think of. Wineries from the Okanagan (like Quail’s Gate) to the Comox Valley (like 40 Knots) to the Cowichan Valley (like Alderlea Vineyards) were all there to represent some of the best fermented grapes our province has to offer. Now, I’m not much of a drinker, so other than a few taste tests here and there, Sarah had to take one for the team and do the real tasting. What a hard job, eh?

Credit: Sean Helmn

Credit: Sean Helmn

Credit: Sean Helmn

A selection of wine from Fairview Cellars | Credit: Sean Helmn

While tasting a range of whites and Rosé’s, we had the chance to chat with some of the reps to hear all about their vineyards (and wines of course!).

Credit: Sean Helmn

Credit: Sean Helmn

Well, we couldn’t possibly partake in all this wine tasting on an empty stomach – which was when the first whiff of mouth-watering food wafted our way…

Grillin' up a storm | Credit: Sean Helmn

Grillin’ up a storm | Credit: Sean Helmn

Instead of their usual plated meals, this year Mahle House went ‘cocktail-style’ serving delicious homemade canapés. Mahle House spoiled their guests with a selection of mouth-watering hors d’oeuvres; Asparagus & Mushroom Quiche, Dried Cherry Brownies, Lemon Curd & Blackberry Tarts, Polenta with Nanaimo Sausage House North African Sausage, Roasted Garlic Hummus in Peppadews, Rare Seared Albacore Tune with Ponzu Sauce, Curried Chicken and Salmon Mousse sandwiches… the list goes on! Easily, my favourite was the Crab Croquette served with Saffron Aioli. Yumm! Sarah’s favourite, and most elusive, dish was the Pulled Pork & Coleslaw Slider – it was a crowd favourite!

Cucumber Dill Sandwhich | Credit: Sean Helmn

Cucumber Dill Cream Cheese Finger Sandwiches | Credit: Sean Helmn

Pulled Pork & Coleslaw Sliders | Credit: Sean Helmn

Pulled Pork & Coleslaw Sliders | Credit: Sean Helmn

Sarah and I took some time during the event to visit the inside of Mahle House. While exploring the beautifully eclectic 1904 heritage farm-house – the Mahle staff let us sneak into the kitchen for a behind the scenes look:

An inside look of  the eclectic & beautiful heritage farm house | Credit: Sean Helmn

An inside look of the eclectic & beautiful heritage farm-house | Credit: Sean Helmn

Here’s a look at what else we got up to:

Credit: Sean Helmn

Such beautiful partygoers! | Credit: Sean Helmn

What a great party! Sarah and I were so happy to be a part of such a wonderful event, benefitting such a great collective. Thanks to Stephen and Tara, and the rest of the Mahle staff, for their warm hospitality and mouth-watering cuisine!

Sarah along with Mahle House's Tara! | Credit: Sean Helmn

Sarah (left) posing with Mahle House’s Tara! | Credit: Sean Helmn

If you’ve never been to the Mahle House Restaurant before, what are you waiting for?! With a homey atmosphere, and delectable cooking, Cedar’s heritage house restaurant is a must. For an adventurous meal, check out the ‘Adventurous Wednesday’ multi-course meal where the chef chooses all five of your dishes!

Until next time,

Sean 🙂

One thought on “Summer Garden Party @ The Mahle House Restuarant!

  1. Pingback: What’s Up This Week + Farewell Summer Students!! | EXPLORE NANAIMO

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