I don’t care how long you have been here, it is sometimes easy to forget just how special Whistler is, and how many unique experiences it can offer. I was reminded of this with the overwhelming resurgence of the classic fondue offering around town.
Honestly my memories of this alpine-derived meal are strongly linked to shag carpeting, heavy oil and cheese-induced comas on Christmas Eve, and disgusted kiss exchanges amongst family when pieces of meat and vegetable were lost in to the broth abyss.
Whistler has thankfully reinvented the feast in various formations; most of which involve a snowshoe trek in the wilderness, cross-country ski under the stars, or in my case, a horse-drawn sleigh ride around the golf course complete with a fondue experience courtesy of the Chateau Fairmont Whistler with the Adventure Group Whistler. Setting out on our journey with the TAG crew, I naively thought this was a Whistler activity more so suited for those visiting from other parts of the world, looking to experience our stunning winter wonderland.
However, as our kind hosts greeted us with apple cider and hot chocolate by the fire pit at The Fairmont Chalet, and we mounted the quaint horse drawn sleigh I realized this was certainly a new experience for even I, the prairie farm girl. A 45 minute jaunt around the links gave us all new perspective of just how serene and picturesque our surroundings are, and as we approached the twinkling white lights of our fondue setting at the Clubhouse “Chalet”, I had a sense of warmth not usually found outdoors in February.
Quickly seated by our server, we were presented with two menu options, the Chalet Experience or the Ultimate Experience, which varied by starter, cheese fondue variety and dessert options for an added $10 upgrade. Swayed by the inclusion of differing cheeses and the temptation of chocolate fondue, half the group upgraded but we all were able to sample the variety as a result.
Paired with a lovely Pinot Noir from Road 13 Vineyards, we wet our palates and I dove in to the fresh flavour of my Crisp Greens full of enoki mushrooms, and roasted beets. This was the perfect light choice for what was about to be laid before us.
Large pots of volcanic seduction arrived in the form of gruyere and emmenthal, and asiago and fontina cheese fondue. The scent of the white wine and Kirsch in both had us all excited to receive the basket of bread to dig in. The perfectly seasoned Chinois fondue with a chicken stock broth was added, accompanied by ample plates of fresh vegetables and prime cuts of beef, BC salmon, scallops and prawns.
The revitalization of the fondue experience has certainly erased my previous judgements and I am a born again believer if it can always be so special. After delicate apple strudel and rich chocolate fondue we left with our bellies full of good vibes and perhaps a little more appreciation of our wintery home.