As our busy family was growing up, D and I took regular time away which we called our “marriage” time. Sometimes it would be for a week away to somewhere warm, other times a weekend in Toronto or Minneapolis but more often than not, it was for an overnight at a Winnipeg hotel. I think that this is a great way to do two things: strengthen your marriage (at 31 years, ours is stronger than ever) AND get a chance to see your home-town with the eyes of a visitor.
D was recently asked to be the master of ceremonies for his company’s holiday event which took place at the Winnipeg landmark Hotel Fort Garry.
D had to be at the hotel for a dress rehearsal and so we were able to check in early. While he was busy, I ordered a pot of freshly brewed coffee from room-service. The hotel doesn’t provide the typical little coffee pots in the room and so the solution for coffee lovers is to provide a complimentary pot delivered to your door. On the tray were a couple of individually wrapped biscotti. A lovely treat.
I also grabbed my camera and walked through the hotel. It may sound strange, but it is just what a tourist might do and remember I was a tourist, if only for a day.
I love the little mezzanines in the hotel that give you a birds-eye view of the rooms below.
On the seventh floor, is this exquisite salon where I cozied in to have a little read.
That evening, the hotel put on an amazing dinner for all of the corporate guests. They carved turkey, beef and pork loin which were hot, moist and tender but the real highlight were the vegetables and accompaniments: wild rice, roasted potatoes, whole roasted carrots, brussel sprouts, green beans and spaghetti squash in a mornay sauce. One person seated at our table went up for more of the latter while everyone else moved onto to dessert.
When I made arrangements for that early check in, there was a prompt on the hotel’s answering machine for Brunch reservations. We had heard that the famous brunch that the hotel prepared every Sunday was no longer, but for a moment we held onto the hope that it had not been retired. Sure enough, the sweeping and grand buffet was no longer available but we were offered a special price on the abbreviated Brunch that they served each morning in their breakfast room.
We were shown a table by a lovely deep-silled window and made our way to the omelette station.
Mine was chock full of seafood, asparagus, kale and cheese and I could not have been more content. When the server sees you sit down with your plate she orders up hot toast made from their on-premise artisan bakery. Truth is, we didn’t miss a single item that was once served from their enormous grand buffet costing considerably more than their modestly priced brunch.
Now that’s how you offer up fruit preserves with a breakfast!
The hotel does this and so many little things so cleverly: providing high end shampoo etc. in large dispensers affixed to the walls of the bath and shower, the coffee mentioned above and a trio of gourmet jams and marmalade. Not only does this save the hotel money, it reduces packaging and trash and the highest quality products are provided to the guest. And I wouldn’t have known any of this, had I not been a tourist in my own city.
Kath’s quote: “A simple enough pleasure, surely, to have breakfast alone with one’s husband, but how seldom married people in the midst of life achieve it.”-
Anne Spencer Morrow Lindbergh
Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.