Saturday, December 30, 2017

Beautiful Banff - Day 1

While it's beautiful here, it's well below freezing. A cool -17 F when we woke up this morning. It is so pretty that it's almost easy to forget that there are tiny icicles in your eyelashes every time you step outside. It has also been lightly snowing since we arrived.

We flew into Calgary, rented a car and drove an hour and a half to Banff. We checked into our hotel and headed to the Fairmont Banff Springs for dinner at Samurai Sushi. Due to multiple flight delays, we missed our reservation at one of the six tables, but we did snag two seats at the bar. Brian had the sushi meal at the top and the rest were mine - a salad, rainbow roll, tuna tataki and salmon nigiri.
We headed to the Whitebark Cafe for breakfast before heading to Lake Louise to rent skis. I had a yummy latte and a loaded carrot muffin with toasted coconut on top - so good!
Brian decided to give cross-country skiing a try, so we rented some gear and headed for some amazingly groomed trails near Lake Louise. It was snowing lightly and very cold, but we kept toasty warm skiing. The Canadian Rocky Mountains peeked over the trees for us to see.
After skiing for a couple of hours, we headed to the Fairmont Lake Louise for some lunch. We also checked out the frozen lake, which sadly, did not look turquoise, if you've ever Googled Banff, you'll know what I mean.
We warmed up with some hot toddies, which featured fresh ginger and anise. I had these amazing nachos with smoked gouda, roasted salsa and guacamole. Afterwards we walked around the outside of the hotel and found some ice sculptures like this pelican and castle - so cool!
After walking around town a little bit and buying Brian warmer snow pants, we headed back for showers and headed to Three Ravens Restaurant + Wine Bar for dinner. It's a little hard to find on the campus of the Banff Center, which is a performing art school, but it's worth it. I had this complex dish of roasted heirloom tomatoes, beet puree, ash papparadelle, mushrooms, honey marscapone, puffed rice, oat and nut mix, microgreens and kale. It was a little overwhelming but good.
This has to be one of the craziest desserts I've ever had, hence that look on my face. The Taste of Cacao Barry Chocolate was spicy Ochoa dark chocolate, blackberry Alunga milk chocolate, lemon Zephyr white chocolate, hibiscus coulis, mixed seed brittle, juniper cake, and lime-chocolate mousse. Made my palate jump.
Outside our door at the Moose Hotel, is this little house that you can stay in. It used to be on the property before the hotel was built and later they moved the house, built in 1913, back to where it began. You can read more of the story here, and you can stay in the house!!! If only I'd known!! Thanks for stopping by!

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