My mama has been dreaming of Lake Louise for a decade and this August, we were finally able to see the glorious Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise in person! Here are my tips for eating your way through a trip to Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada.
You’ve been traveling all day to get to Lake Louise. You deserve a sweet or two! My family first discovered the culinary joys of Cow’s Ice Cream while on vacation in Whistler, Canada. We were delighted to discover that there is also a Cow’s in Banff, so we did what any rational foodie travelers would do: drove directly to Cow’s from the airport.
And you know, while in Rome, we had to try a Beaver Tail. We’d never heard of this pastry before (it doesn’t exist in Texas) and saw rave reviews online. Beaver Tails taste a bit like doughnuts but the texture is truly unique. That reminds me: hey, Unique Sweets! Y’all need to go to Banff ASAP and do a segment on the Beaver Tail. Just remember you read it here on The Rose Table first. 😉
The Snowflake is described as “the year-round darling” and well, I like darling so I ordered it. You really cannot beat the serene view of Lake Louise while sipping a cocktail at Walliser Stube.
Next up: fondue. Honestly, fondue at Walliser Stube was hands-down what I was looking forward to most about the trip. Fondue is a “thing” in the area thanks to the Swiss settlers. We ordered the garlic fondue which was an excellent decision, if I may. Note to self: pearl onions for dipping when serving fondue!
Being the good German girl that I am, if schnitzel is on the menu, I’m ordering it. Thanks to Walliser Stube, I’m now going to require jam with my schnitzel. Delightful.
And because two huge courses wasn’t enough, we went for broke and ordered a half-order of the chocolate fondue. I loved the addition of whipped cream, though it looked more like chocolate soup by the time I was done with it.
After a meal like that, do yourself a favor and walk around the lake while the sun sets.
The next morning, I had the most delightful breakfast al fresco with my dad at Poppy Brasserie. The waitstaff was a bit out of sorts that we insisted on sitting outside even though it was chilly. We kept explaining to them that when you’re Texas, 50 degrees in August is heaven on earth. They set us up outside with a heater. What customer service! I ordered the spa breakfast – fitting, since I was heading to a massage at the Fairmont Chateau’s spa – and WOW, does that chef know how to poach eggs! I’m a bit of a poached egg snob and these were prepared perfectly.
If I could eat every meal at the Lakeview Lounge, I just might. Just look at this perfect cheese plate we tucked into after a busy morning of relaxation.
You may not know it yet, but I fancy myself a French Onion Soup connoisseur. I can tell you the quality of french onion soup at most every restaurant in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. How does Lakeview Lounge compare to Dallas’ offerings? Incredible. The broth was robust, the onions were caramelized, the cheese was generous. My only qualm was that there wasn’t a more substantial piece of toast supporting said cheese.
Social Media Thank You
So it turns out, if you tweet your every step to @fairmontcll, they will send you a thank you plate of sweets. Have you ever seen anything more charming? Fairmont Chateau, you are the best and I’ll tweet you anytime. 🙂
Back to Lakeview Lounge
Not that we would dine at the same restaurant twice in one day but…if you had a lunch like that, wouldn’t you want to go back as soon as gastronomically possible? We split three tapas amongst the three of us and I indulged in the refreshing Port of Call Punch. Of these appetizers, the flatbread really was the standout.
By now you may have gathered: we are fun people to dine with. If we can possibly squeeze in dessert, we do. We split the Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake but it was the salted caramel ice cream that stole the show. If you’re a fan of caramel, you’ll love this dessert.
After every meal at Fairmont Chateau, I implore you to take a stroll around Lake Louise. I love walking after meal but with views like this, there’s no better way to burn off dinner!
Mountains, and hiking, and bears, oh my!
My mom is not a fan of heights and was such a trooper to go up the chairlift to the top of a mountain. We were fortunate enough to go right over a grizzly bear on the chairlift. We weren’t, however, smart enough to notice. Luckily I was taking a video just in case and caught the whole thing on camera. Shout out to Canon for having such a great zoom. I was able to turn around and get this great shot of the grizzly!
Fun fact: you can actually see Lake Louise from the lookout point!
After all the oohing and ahhing, head over to the restaurant and order fondue. I mean, look at this spread! Does lunch get any better than this?
After lunch, we explored Banff National Park and hiked for an hour to get to a waterfall.
After a full day of hiking all over Banff National Park, you’re going to want a big dinner. Lago is the perfect spot to satisfy hungry hikers. (Just be sure to get cleaned up first.) The highlight of the evening was the Antipasti Experience, which was nothing short of epic. Of these dishes, I honestly think the prosciutto-wrapped watermelon was my favorite, and I don’t even like watermelon!
The Italian Job is quite possibly the best cocktail I’ve ever had. @FairmontCLL was kind enough to tweet me the ingredients but they failed to mention the amounts, so I think I’ll have to play around with it until I get it right.
After a full Italian meal, you’ll be ready for your nightly stroll around Lake Louise. I highly recommend getting hot chocolate at the Chateau Deli at some point. It’s thick and creamy and totally worth it.
In addition to an impressive menu, Fairmont Chateau’s main breakfast spot also features a rather large buffet. I won’t judge you for making multiple trips.
One sad note: my dad and I were supposed to go on a sunrise canoe trip that morning. Unfortunately, the fog was too thick and we were unable to go out on the water, meaning we woke up at 5:00 am for nothing. Good thing I’m a morning person! I’m just thankful the fog cleared and we were able to get out on that eerily green water later that day.
High tea at The Fairview was really the crown jewel of the trip for me. This wasn’t just lunch: this was an experience to be had. Luckily I thought to photograph the menu so my hungry readers know exactly what’s in the pictures.
Strawberry jelly with brie may sound odd, but it’s utterly brilliant.
Dad loved the instructions that came with the second course: “to be eaten left to right.” Of these samplings, I think the first was actually my favorite.
One happy tea-goer!
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is what The Rose Table is all about: chic, delectable, classic meals. You’ll notice I enjoyed rose-colored tea with my fluffy scone, prepared exactly the way The Queen takes hers every afternoon.
Note: the three of us thoroughly enjoyed seafood chowder and salads at the Glacier Saloon later that evening but the lighting wasn’t ideal and the photo didn’t turn out very pretty.
Poppy Brasserie – One Last Time
Since you can never have enough of a truly good thing, we visited Poppy Brasserie one last time before flying back to Dallas. I rarely order waffles but one really must fit in as much maple syrup as one can while in Canada. I still think about this harmonious breakfast, the perfect sendoff.
Visiting Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise? Tweet me your food photos, @TheRoseTable!