It’s a short walk up to the Whistler Farmers’ Market from the Four Seasons Whistler resort. On a summer Sunday the market is crowded with locals and visitors alike, peering at handmade artisan goods, tables loaded with high summer produce, and the impressive green mountain stretching skyward–an odd sight minus the snow and skiers.
Executive Chef Eren Guryel of the Four Seasons makes the trek up the steps to the market each Sunday to gather the best in local fruits and veggies. Sun-warmed peaches and cherries fill his makeshift cardboard carrying tray, and he’ll make a pit stop at his favourite farm stand on the way out to pick out a few fresh zucchini.
Meanwhile, as shoppers slurp on snow cones flavoured with local vendor Frost Bites’ delicious syrups, the Apres Market is getting set up back on the patio of SIDECUT, the Four Seasons Whistler’s restaurant. If you happen to be making the walk back down the steps to the restaurant, a cheery sign will point the way, and the gathering will be unmistakable.
Live music beckons from the pathway to the patio, and a tented area is set up for cooking. Kids (and kids at heart) can knock a few balls around on the mini-golf turf set up to keep up the activities (or book your kids into one of the hotel’s many activities for children, like arts and crafts or cooking).
A riff on the trope of the “Apres Ski” tradition of gathering around to drink, eat, and socialize, Apres Market is FSW’s warm weather retort. And it’s a smart move; what better excuse than fresh BC food turned into lunchtime eats and drinks to tempt the swell of off-season visitors to the natural playground of Whistler to hang out on a Sunday afternoon?
Whistler’s off-season has actually dwindled to be just a couple of quieter turnover weeks in recent years, actually. With so many warm-weather activities, the weak Canadian dollar, and convenient location, resorts like the Four Seasons have enjoying summer months as crowded as peak ski season.
While not everyone is the Neil Patrick Harris family and can spend the weekend splashing in the pool at the Four Seasons, SIDECUT is a great gathering spot for anyone looking to hang out on a Sunday afternoon. They also manage to execute an excellent balance of luxury and family friendliness that creates an inclusive atmosphere.
Under the Apres Market tent, Guryel, and SIDECUT Restaurant Chef David Baarschers and his staff get to work. On this Sunday they are slicing fresh zucchini for comforting panini with goat cheese and fresh pesto made from locally-grown Thai basil. The peaches become toppings for freshly-made crepes, and nectarines a core ingredient in the cocktail du jour–though anyone looking for a locally-inspired tipple would be well-served by Sidecut’s stunning menu of specialty Sea to Sky Cocktails, each of which uses BC ingredients.
Held each Sunday from Noon to 4 pm, Apres Market at SIDECUT is a fun, fresh, and affordable way to enjoy a little local luxury while in Whistler; the food and drink made with right-from-the-market ingredients are each priced at $8. Of course, if you also happen to be checking in to the Four Seasons Whistler for a little fun, Apres Market is one more reason to have you linger at the resort while you’re there.