Photo courtesy of The Drake Hotel
When it comes to accommodation, many food lovers choose their hotel as much for its culinary offerings as for its rooms with a view. At these three properties, you can have your cake (not to mention diver-caught scallops and flame-cooked organic veggies) and eat it, too.
The Drake Hotel, Toronto
Located in Toronto’s artsy West Queen West neighbourhood, this 19-room boutique hotel has special programs for food fans. On Monday evenings, guests rub shoulders with restaurant folks from across the city at local food writer Ivy Knight’s themed 86’d Monday event, which in the past has featured everything from pickle smackdowns and films on foraging to samplings from Ontario breweries. On Treat Yourself Tuesdays, there’s half-priced wine from a carefully curated list of international and Ontario bottles. And all year round, the hotel’s funky dining spaces offer memorable dining experiences; the rooftop Sky Yard serves incredible craft cocktails like the brown-butter maple old fashioned, the lounge features live DJs and an open-concept raw bar, and, at Café, the Southern fried chicken and waffles are worth getting out of bed for at the crack of dawn. Rates from $249.
Blythswood Square, Glasgow
This five-star property has 100 rooms, a 10,000-square-foot spa and a fabulous private cinema decked out in tweed of every pattern and hue. It’s also a prime dining destination. In the afternoon, diners look out onto lush Blythswood Square gardens while sipping fine loose-leaf teas (or Möet & Chandon Champagne) and polishing off tasty bites such as mini coronation chicken tarts and pear-and-stem ginger sponge. (Junior pinky-raisers can choose from the Little Darlings Afternoon Tea menu.) In the evening, the à la carte menu features several Highland-raised beef choices grilled over lumpwood charcoal on the Josper Grill. And 2015 Scottish Chef of the Year bronze-winner Zoltan Szabo cooks updated Celtic classics for his seasonal Market Menu, too: think black pudding with white wine cream, soft-boiled egg and pancetta and pea shoot salad. Rates from £159.
The Inn at Bay Fortune, Prince Edward Island
In the early years of his career, celeb chef Michael Smith spent some time in the kitchen of the Inn at Bay Fortune, a five-star, 15-room property on eastern Prince Edward Island. Last year, Smith and his wife, Chastity, bought the inn and Chastity redesigned its rooms, adorning them with island art and antique furnishings. The new decor isn’t the only noteworthy element at this luxe destination—the dining experiences are just as impressive.
During Oyster Hour, guests can enjoy all-you-can-eat P.E.I. oysters while exploring the hotel’s grounds, and in the open-concept Fire Kitchen, diners feast at harvest tables while watching the kitchen team (a.k.a. the Fire Brigade) at work, cooking many dishes on a 25-foot wood-burning grill, smoker and oven. Every vegetable served is grown on the property, and guests can wander the on-site organic farm. Rates from $200.