In preparation for the theatrical release of Downton Abbey: The Movie, Fairmont Empress in Victoria is celebrating with special Downton features.
The Grand Dame of Victoria, is the perfect location to revisit the memories of the quick tongue of Dame Maggie Smith’s Dowager Countess of Grantham. Throughout September, raise a glass (and pinky) to toast with The Violet Crawley, a Dubonet Cocktail served in a tea cup with saucer, on ice with a cucumber garnish, and a cucumber finger sandwich. Linger longer like the lord of the manor with The Lord Grantham, a tea infused Old Fashioned served on the rocks glass with an orange twist.
For one special afternoon, Sunday September 15th the Fairmont Empress invites guests to join them for Tea at the Empress in the style of the Lords and Ladies from Downton Abbey. Take a stroll back in time, and imagine yourself enjoying Afternoon Tea at Downton Abbey. In addition to the customary treats on the tea tier, a special Downton Abbey inspired Dundee Cake will be served. The grand Lobby Lounge will be adorned with Downton décor and guests can step into a larger than life Downton Abbey photo station. One lucky guest will win two tickets to the premiere screening of Downton Abbey The Movie on September 18th in Vancouver. Downton attire welcome! Afternoon Tea reservations can be made by phone at 250-389-2727.
I recently had an opportunity to follow in the footsteps of royalty as I spent the night at the historic Fairmont Empress in Victoria. In 1919, Edward, Prince of Wales danced until dawn in the Crystal Ballroom and in 1939 parents of our current Queen, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth attended a luncheon at The Empress. In addition, countless Hollywood royalty have graced the storied corridors since the hotel opened its doors in 1908. In recognition of this connection to the Royal Family, The Fairmont Empress, along with sister property Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, has proclaimed April “Royal Month” leading up to the historic nuptials of future King of Canada; Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29th. Break out the hats and gloves and take part in some of the ‘Royal’ events and festivities taking place all month long. One of the highlights, I’d love to do is the Royal Empress Room Dinner, served on The Queen’s China, only ever used by Her Majesty, until this dinner! Even though I don’t have a pedigree and paparazzi isn’t chasing me down, I was treated like royalty at The Empress. As soon as I walked in the doors I felt welcome, this century old property is prime place to spend a relaxing break in Victoria. Although the Inner Harbour, the hub of most Victoria activities lay just across the expansive front lawns, one can find plenty of activities to keep engaged within the walls of this castle, which was perfect on a rainy overnight stay as I experienced.
Willow Stream Spa at The Fairmont Empress provides first class spa services, stop in for curry and a cocktail at in the cool, colonial environment of the Bengal Lounge, lounge on a chaise with wine & oysters while overlooking the harbour on The Veranda and the ‘must do’ for everyone – Empress Afternoon Tea is renowned around the world. Those are just a few of the experiences you can find in The Empress without even checking in! Stay overnight and get the full Fairmont treatment, soak up the history
as you relax in your room and stroll the wide corridors, maybe even bump into one of the hotel’s supernatural guests. There are a least a couple of ghost stories passed on by many guests, although I don’t have one…yet. If you’re wandering, be sure to go downstairs to find the Archives to see the important roll The Empress has played in the history of Victoria. With the great activities happening for “Royal Month” now’s the perfect time to make The Fairmont Empress part of your own personal history too!