Dine like Royalty: Brunch at Banff’s Castle

Banff Dining Guide – May 9, 2017

One of the most iconic spots in the town of Banff is easily the Fairmont Banff Springs.

Originally built in 1888, it’s also one of the most historic. Its halls are rumored to be haunted, and (living) guests include royalty and celebrities – Marilyn Monroe stayed here while she shot River of No Return. Even a casual drink or impromptu dinner at “the Castle in the Rockies” becomes a special event.

The hotel is also famous for throwing their impressive holiday brunches. Their weekly brunch is held in the Bow Valley Grill on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am to 2 pm. Options for kids include pogo sticks, pizzas, French fries, brownies, Rice Krispy squares and more. Adults are sure to indulge as well with eggs benedict options, charcuterie, a salad bar, the made-to-order omelette station, assortment of cooked meats and seafood, the dessert bar… And this is just their regularly scheduled brunch buffet.

For holidays the entire grand hallway is transformed into a dining experience. Overlooking views of the Banff Springs Golf Course and Tunnel Mountain, the Riverview Lounge at the Fairmont Banff Springs houses a brunch fit for kings and queens. The grand hallway is sandwiched between bay windows and a ballroom that houses more than 500 guests at a time. Stations are created to display every food option you could ever imagine.

The buffet holds everything their normal brunch has and then some. Charcuterie options are now accompanied by Canadian cheese, house-made mustards and pickled vegetables. The seafood options are extensive, ranging from east-to-west coast oysters, octopus, and fish. A drawing station and face painting now accompany the kid’s section.

The assortment of cooked meats now also has a carving station, where a chef slices meat right off a cow’s thigh or pig’s belly, and onto your plate. The dessert bar has three chocolate fountains, because one type of chocolate just isn’t enough. Do you want dark chocolate, milk chocolate or white chocolate to go over your fruits and marshmallows? The event has a marimba (a large xylophone) player in the lounge while you browse through your options, and expect to see their harpist – always dressed in a renaissance era gown – as you make your entrance to the hotel.

Although expensive, the options are endless, and come with a complimentary mimosa. The buffet is built to support the more than 1,000 guests that come to indulge. The event is an all-hands-on-deck event for the staff. You’ll see up to 40 chefs in tall white hats there to assist you, and give you thorough information on each food item. Chefs are available to take guests with extensive allergies through the buffet to warn them what to steer clear from. With even the high volume of guests coming to dine, the staff makes sure to assist that guests leave with the full experience.

Brunch at the Riverview Lounge only occurs a few times a year, but what better way to celebrate the holidays with your loved ones and without the stress of cooking? Make your next one historic. The view from and of the hotel itself is one to celebrate.

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