1) Westin Whistler Resort – the pool motto pretty much sums it up
G and I spent the long weekend in Whistler, British Columbia residing at the Westin Whistler Resort. It has been 10 years since we last visited Whistler and the village has grown and matured – me thinks with thanks to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. The village has instituted a push to become a ‘cultural’ destination and we were witness to this as the Whistler Jazz Festival was on during our stay. This coming weekend is the GranFondo cycling race from Vancouver to Whistler (all 122kms) which I’m sure is a ride G and I shall be doing in the coming years.
Ironically, there was even an article on this in the Globe & Mail during our stay. See here.
We had a lovely loft suite during our stay and the Westin team were excellent in every regard. We even were invited to a private reception the evening we arrived. We spent our time, well, doing very little (we’re quite good at that). We did manage to take a 3 hour zipline tour on Saturday morning; dined at the superb “Araxi” Saturday night and lounged in the Avello Spa Sunday to enjoy massages and a milkbath.
Araxi is noted for a couple of things – its use of local sourcing (a real push of Executive Chef James Walt) and its brush with Hell’s Kitchen fame when 6th season winner, Dave Levey, sojourned in the kitchen for but a year before heading off to Europe. Dinner was fabulous with the fois gras appetizer being a monumental standout. Despite the restaurant being VERY busy, and, despite having to wait far too long for our second courses (to be fair, the staff did apologize), and, despite having our waiter unable to identify the type of chili in Chef Walt’s too-die-for yuzu chili paste (utterly unacceptable!), it is a place you should visit if you find yourself in Whistler. Dinner with wine, tax and tip will run you about CAD$275.00.
2) G admires the view; 3) and here’s the view
4) the Westin Whistler; 5) looking down to the living room from our loft
6 & 7) the runs are open! … for mountain bikers
8) the first zip line is right at the village; 9) gearing up
10) G successfully finishes the first line; 11) on the bus going up the mountain for the ‘real’ lines
12) this is a treetop canopy bridge about 70m up in the trees; 13) thanks to Petr and “Barry” at Ziptrek for getting us through safely
15) here you can see some of the lines that criss-cross the two mountains; 16) the views up here – and the air – are fabulous
17) G ponders the lines; 18) this zip is actually over a kilometer long over the river … damn, damn fun!
19) that’s me out there heading toward you; 20) a happy zip-liner
21) here I come; 22) on the final line, I actually went … wait for it … upsidedown! … with no hands
23) Canada Prime Beef Tataki with ponzu pearls and horseradish: 24) Spicy Albacore Tuna Roll with cucumber and crisp shallots
25) Roasted North Arm Farm Beet Salad with buffalo mozzarella, ruby streak lettuce and beet chips, orange, grapefruit and mustard emulsion; 26) the Fois Gras with poached pear
27) Wild BC Salmon with corn, summer squash, leek and chive risotto with Pacific squid, shaved summer vegetables and arugula leaves; 28) BC Halibut with an arugula and herb crust, english pea and mint agnolotti
snap peas, puffed wild rice and spice, lemon and olive oil vinaigrette
29) Orange Blossom Creme Brulee served with flourless pistachio square; 30) Fraser Valley Berries + Chocolate Cake, layers of dark and white chocolate mousse
assorted berries and raspberry coulis
31) an Olympian?….
Next stop … Budapest, Hungary…