Christmas in November in Jasper is an event held every year at The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge and a glorious celebration of food, drink and decor. It’s a place you can go to get back to nature (literally you will see wildlife everywhere), breathe in the fresh mountain air and allow yourself to get caught up in the festivities.
We were invited to attend this event, now in it’s 27th year, and partake in the tradition of getting ourselves immersed in the spirit of Christmas. How could we say no? It wouldn’t be easy with no family nearby to help with the kids, but we managed to have someone look after the dog, the sister cats and take the kids. We are fortunate to be surrounded with such great friends.
We were allowed to pick the sessions we wanted to attend (squee). If you’ve followed my journey, you will know I started watching cooking shows when they only appeared on PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) back in the 70’s. It was my favourite Saturday past time. In the 80’s my mom started buying me Canadian Living Cookbooks which featured Elizabeth Baird. From there TV as we know it exploded into what we call the Food Network. My love for cooking shows has never faltered and to this day they are my number one pick to watch anytime the TV is on and the remote in my hand.
The line up of presenters was nothing short of spectacular. With so many presenter options it was kind of sad you couldn’t spend time with all of them. Our sessions included one of my all time favourite Canadian Chefs Elizabeth Baird. She used to do a show with Emily Richards and the two of them team up to present at Christmas in November. Roger Mooking is a pretty cool dude in person, the super friendly and talented Micah Dew (Mixologist) we got to meet on our first night and enjoy a cocktail session with him. Love Connie & John from Charcut so I wanted to see them present, found it pretty cool to meet the spectacular married duo Anna and Michael Olson, been a long time fan of Christine Cushing, and watched Dale MacKay become the first Top Chef Canada Winner. All the presenters at Christmas in November are fun, friendly and boy can they make cooking look easy peasy.
Upon arrival you enjoy a welcome dinner in the evening. The next day you are in 3 sessions. When you are not in sessions you are eating. Important tip, do not eat breakfast and do not eat for two days before arriving. They will feed you in each food session and then again at breakfast, lunch and dinner. You will need to roll your way back to your room. Sometimes you even find treats left in your room like milk and cookies. Delicious & more eating.
The next day more sessions. Just to be clear, you have 2 full days of sessions and one final session the morning of your departure. You do not have to register for every session if you want do partake in other activities. They do have a few other activities planned for you. Or you can explore the Lodge.
Down in the Beauvert Promenade (lower level) they have a recreation and health club, fitness centre, hair salon and spa. Stop in to Fitzhugh’s To Go for a special coffee, Grizzly Paw Beer or pick up a bottle of Prosecco for later. Take your coffee to go and wander through the Mountain Galleries or browse the selection at the Fairmont store, affectionately called “Call The Kettle Black” during the festivities. If you brought the kids, they will enjoy the Kid’s or Teen rooms complete with table games to occupy any age.
If snow covers the ground there is a large array of outdoor winter sports to partake in should you choose to arrive a few days early or stay a few days later. Your last evening at Christmas in November will be a full on Gala. They treat you so well and it’s so beautifully decorated, it’s like being at a wedding. Each evening they have a band playing fun dance tunes and in between you are treated to the lovely sounds of the Willows. The food is amazing, there are delicious beverages to accompany your meals and the staff at the Fairmont treat you like Kings and Queens. My husband attended with me and he enjoyed himself almost as much as I did.
It’s truly a magical experience you will love and a good way to get into the festive spirit and let your sparkle shine. You can read more about my adventures and some of the sessions I attended here with Gastropost at Christmas in November.