Lunch at The Emerald Lounge

    Jasmine Holmes February 4, 2020

    It was a huge relief to step out of the freezing cold and into the warm, welcoming hearth of the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge.

    It had been a stressful day; I was rushing, my car hadn’t started in the -40°C weather, and I’d fallen on the ice a few times (nothing new for me, but my ego and the bruises still hurt). But all the worries of the day melted away instantly as I was led to a table at The Emerald Lounge, cozily situated next to a big crackling fireplace in the middle of the open-plan dining hall. I unwrapped myself from the layers of scarves, coats and jumpers and was instantly served a selection of organic teas that my companion, Danika, had kindly ordered for me while she had a hot chocolate (the perfect way to warm up during a cold snap).

    The Emerald Lounge has a relaxing atmosphere, with elevated log-cabin décor and a huge floor-to-ceiling window displaying a spectacular view of the mountains. The menu offered a delicious array of choices, but I knew instantly what I wanted; the Orecchiette Mac & Cheese. The ultimate comfort food on a chilly winter’s day.

  • Danika ordered the Blueberry & Cucumber Salad with almonds, nutritional yeast, lemon basil vinaigrette and prawns. It looked super fresh and flavourful. The appetizingly colourful, healthy ingredients were lightly tossed together and served on rustic dinnerware that added a homely charm to the dining experience.

    Sitting comfortably by the fire at The Emerald Lounge with some good food and the stunning backdrop of snowy mountains behind me was a great way to unwind for an hour or two. I was looking forward to exploring the rest of the Fairmont and visiting the art gallery and spa downstairs. Though I had arrived flustered, cold and hungry, I left feeling relaxed, toasty-warm and ready for the rest of the day.

    Our orders were made fresh and arrived quickly. The delicate orecchiette shells were loaded with a silky Boursin cream sauce, foraged wild mushrooms, seasonal herbs and garnished with crispy, purple kale leaves which added some extra flavour and crunch to the dish. Piping hot, rich and delicious – this enhanced, earthy version of mac & cheese was all I hoped it would be! The portion size was very generous, enough for me to take away some leftovers to reheat in my hotel room the next day.

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