Salt Spring Island, BC – Hastings House Country House Hotel

Restaurant: Hastings House Country House Hotel
Cuisine: French/Pacific Northwest/West Coast
Last visited: October 19, 2010
Location: Salt Spring Island, BC (Gulf Islands)
Address: 160 Upper Ganges Rd
Price Range: $50+

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: 5
Service: 6
Ambiance: 6
Overall: 6

I mentioned in my previous post yesterday (see here) that I was invited to the Hastings House Country House Hotel in Salt Spring Island BC for their Chefs Across the Water Series. Dinner featured a 5 course menu with wine pairings from Hastings House’s very own Executive Chef, Chef Marcel Kauer.

The Hastings House Country House Hotel is a luxury country resort, spa, and restaurant. It’s an cozy and quaint estate with historical cottages where guest stay.  The resort is named “Top 20 International Hideaways”, “”Top 3 in Canadian Hotels” and under “1000 Things to See Before You Die”. I felt like Anne of Green Gables on the set of a Little House on Prairie…. except I’ve read neither of the books, but can only assume.

It’s hard to believe Vancouver was just 2 ferries away. It’s really an escape from the city (my phone didn’t even work there) and an incredible place for nature lovers. I’m not really the outdoor type, and that might be an understatement, but the place is remote and relaxing and the experience is unforgettable. On the other hand, I am a food and wine lover, although I can eat more than I can drink and the Hastings House Country House Hotel is great for food and wine enthusiasts.

As if this wasn’t enough of an incredible view to wake up to, but I was also overwhelmed to wake up to freshly baked banana muffins and Chamomile tea waiting for me in an insulated tote outside my hotel room door. This isn’t just for me either, this is for all guests. This is the kind of service and quaint details that make Hastings House Country House Hotel such a unique experience.

They really make sure that every guest is taken care of and the treats continue with complimentary breakfast in the dining room of The Manor. The service was exceptional and I wasn’t given special treatment either. Salt Spring Island is a really small town so no matter where you go you’ll be approached by a friendly stranger that’s eager to strike up a conversation. I walked into what I believe is the only grocery store there and was asked 6 times with “can I help you find something?”… all within 15 minutes. You can’t get bad service anywhere on this island.

No, that isn’t the lamb I had for dinner yesterday. I asked as well.
The lamb is local, but not this local. They just have a bunch of lamb roaming around the estate.

On the table:

Crabapple Jelly, Raspberry Jelly and Blackberry Jelly to accompany fresh baked bread and toast.
The jellies are all homemade and organic from fruits that are hand picked from the Hastings House Orchard located just outside the restaurant.

Breakfast was a choice of continental (cereal, fruit etc.), traditional (2 eggs, 2 bacon etc.), or the special of the day which was an Eggs Benedict. My decision was easy.

Poached Eggs Benedict in Puff Pastry

  • With sauteed garden veggies and roasted tomatoes.
  • This was delicious and the eggs were perfectly poached with nice and soft runny yolks and a creamy buttery hollandaise sauce to top it all off.
  • All the ingredients were very fresh, natural, local and organic.
  • The purple flowers are organic and edible and from the Hastings House edible garden.

  • The puff pastry was a nice change from the traditional English muffins and it was almost like a French country style breakfast.
  • The puff pastry cups were filled with sauteed carrots, bell peppers and zucchini grown in their organic edible garden.

This is where afternoon tea time takes place, in the living room of The Manor. From 3:30-5pm guests are invited to enjoy freshly baked scones, cookies and pastries along side tea.

Afternoon tea – Freshly baked scones, pecan bars, chocolate ginger snaps and shortbread cookies.
The tea time goodies change daily so there’s always something new to try.

Sshhh… it’s quiet time. (And don’t worry… I tried one of everything)

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