What a treasure we have in the Fairmont Empress Hotel. It’s iconic, not just for everyone that lives here but for the thousands of tourists who travel to Victoria with the intent to view this beautiful hotel. But does the Empress rest on its laurels – absolutely not! I have been to several events over the years but none that turned my head faster than Martinis and Magic.
Now while I might quibble with the martini designation in which they lumped all the cocktails, it didn’t get in the way of enjoying their libations. And the pairings that went with the dinner, oh, let me wax poetic.
My favourites include a Blackberry French 75 with Rocky Creek Blackberry Wine, Sumac Ridge Stellar’s Jay Sparkling and fresh blackberries unexpectedly worked with a locally and regionally sourced plate of seafood that was a stunning creation by new executive chef Morgan Wilson.
The fourth of our six course pairing (including two desserts – God bless you, Empress) put a spin on the classic by using only Victoria Gin, lots of their house bitters and a twist of grapefruit.
Fresh and clean it matched up with locally sourced olive crusted lamb. Julia Child knew her stuff, a favourite combo was gin and beef but I’d add gin and lamb to my list.
To the folks from Victoria Spirits, you are one of the many reasons that shop local is the best idea yet.