Local, homegrown, real food is my thing. In my spare time, I helped create a farmers market in my town – for lots of reasons, but I have to admit much of my motivation comes from a selfish desire to shop in that special way that reflects the landscape and lifestyle of where I live. I crave those experiences when I am at home just as much as when I travel.
In my professional life, I can’t overstate why I think hospitality and spa properties should think differently about the food chain (that is the chain by which food makes it to most of our tables). Using their resources to to feed their guests with better tasting, local, healthier and more responsible food is not just good for marketing and PR but also for the environment. And it helps us understand where we are and what a place is all about. Travelling being able to immerse yourself in the local landscape, not just physically but also in the way you eat, move about, and generally see everything is transformative.
Check out this amazing view from the Sooke Harbor House in Vancouver Island Canada.
Sooke Harbor House sits on the Strait of Juan de Fuca and looks south across the water to the majestic mountians of The Olympic National Park in Washingon. There, they grow their own food and serve an abundance of wild caught seafood. The temperate climate on the warm water’s edge helps them to cultivate a huge rare herb and edible flower garden well into the winter.
On the opposite side of Canada, in Port Rexton, Newfoundland is The Fishers’Loft Inn. The garden that overlooks the bay and rugged natural beauty are captivating. While eating beautiful meals created from locally foraged berries and mushrooms paired with produce from the garden and greenhouse – you might see a whale or an iceburg float by.
More than anything I want to go make a visit to Eigensinn Farm. It is located northwest of Toronto near the shore of Lake Huron. There is an exclusive (and expensive) small restaurant called Haisai that is heralded as one of the best in Canada (if not the world). The food is created by Chef Michael Stadtlander and ingredients come from the garden and Eigensinn farm outside. There is also a Solar powered bakery that features a rather interesting bread oven (I can’t decide if I am offended by the oven or if it is somehow lovable – see for yourself what you think).
I love the rugged individualist attitude that seems to pervade. People travel from all over the world to go there. Forbes has listed it as one of the most expensive restaurants in the world (though at $250 for a tasting menu, I think I have seen higher prices).
images: Courtesy of Sooke Harbour House, The Fishers Loft Inn, Courtesy of Berlin International Film Festival, Aircanada, and Bridal Pulse