Getaway for Christmas at The Empress

Many of the Christmas traditions we know and love were established in Victorian England, and that Christmas charm lives on in the city of Victoria.  Central to Victoria’s Yuletide spirit is the famed Fairmont Empress.  The grand Castle on the Coast is making spirits bright with Christmas at the Empress, the first festive season following its grand $60 Million restoration; events and festivities throughout the hotel.

Friends and relations send salutations over Festive Tea at the Empress, pouring until January 2, 2018. Traditional afternoon tea with famous seasonal offerings and classic desserts is made extra special for Festive Champagne Afternoon Tea including a glass of Veuve Clicquot champagne. On December 16, 17, 23 and 24, live carolers singing Christmas favourites in the Lobby Lounge add even more Christmas spirit to the festivities.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings, until December 23rd, take the chill off and enjoy the Inner Harbour views from the Fairmont Empress’ Winter Veranda. Find a selection of hot beverages and holiday bites while making s’mores around a fire.  If adult libations are more your speed, step into Q Bar for the Season of Joy Drinks, the Empress mixologists are pouring warm and cold modern interpretations of classic festive cocktails throughout the Holidays.

On New Year’s Eve, Q at the Empress and the Crystal Ballroom have a celebration fit for a Queen. In Q, find a five-course set menu, followed by a grand dessert buffet in Lobby Lounge. In the iconic Crystal Ballroom, a modern, Chef-attended festive buffet with live music and cash bar starts the celebrations. After dinner, ring in the New Year with live music at the most elegant New Year’s Eve party in Canada’s most romantic city with a live performance by local jazz and pop singer, Amanda Woods.

 In the morning, start the New Year off right, at Fairmont Empress Resolution Brunch on January 1, 2018 from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm in the Lower Lobby. The best brunch in town, filled with everything sweet and savoury to kick off the New Year and wrap up Christmas at the Empress for another season.

 For complete list of Christmas at the Empress and New Year’s Eve events, visit the Fairmont Empress holiday brochure online.

The Veranda at Fairmont Empress opens for Summer

Photo 2015-05-22, 13 20 07Under the historic “The Empress” sign a the front of the majestic Fairmont Empress sits The Veranda is a relaxing and casual location for cocktails or a meal with a view.

Now open for another summer season, The Veranda, is one of the best locations for people watching, overlooking Victoria’s bustling Inner Harbour Causeway; yachts, tour buses, horse-drawn carriages and hundreds of visitors make their way past.Photo 2015-05-23, 12 21 33

While you’re sipping on your signature Empress 1908 cocktail or Veranda Iced Tea visit with your friends or watch the scenery.  Late afternoon sun sets the tables ablaze or if it’s cool, soft blankets are available to wrap across your lap.

Executive Chef Morgan Wilson and his team have created a light and local menu that has something for everyone; fresh West Coast Oysters & seafood, salads using local Mason Street Greens (from just a few blocks away), savoury fish & chips, sandwiches and new this summer thin-crust pizzas. In a couple of recent visits, I’ve had the Chicken BLT and one of the pizzas. Both were excellent, adding the local greens with the light and savoury dressing made a perfect pairing for the BLT and the pizza went down great with the Veranda Iced Tea.

The Veranda is open from 1130am until dusk, or too chilly.  Reservations are not required.