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Archive for the ‘Relais & Chateaux’ Category

Following Trout Point Lodge’s participation in the International Congress of the Relais & Chateaux Association, Cape Town, South Africa, proprietors Vaughn Perret and Charles Leary joined the owner of Hotel St. Germain for a 10-day exploration of South African hotels & lodges.

Though Nova Scotia and South Africa have remarkably distinct climates and ecosystems, the importance of nature tourism–what the National Geographic Society might call Geotourism–is vitally important in both places. Visits to Gorah Elephant Camp, Tsala Treetop Lodge, Le Quartier Francais, and Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve rounded out a trip that started with stays at the Mount Nelson Hotel and One & Only Cape Town.

Overall, this diverse collection of  hotels expressed the best that South Africa has to offer: a sophisticated combination of refined elegance and meaningful contact with local nature & culture. Lions, zebras, buffalo, and elephants at Gorah became central to a larger understanding of humankind’s attempts to live with and within this larger–often not so kind–natural world over the past 2 centuries. Guides at Gorah and Bushmans Kloof proved indispensable to an enriching stay. Both Garret at Gorah and Zenovia at Bushmans served not only as interpreters of the local flora and fauna on twice-daily “game drives,” they also acted like the ultimate in concierges, offering friendly and highly personalized service throughout the day.

The exoticism of the South African “safari” experience clearly outweighed comparatively minor inconveniences that many guests in North American or Continental hotels might find objectionable if found in their local Hilton or Marriott. But, like Trout Point, these are small hotels, often not exceeding 20 guests at a time. Each provides for unique travel experiences. Predictably, the largest and most recent hotel–Cape Town’s One & Only–was also the least distinctive and enriching.

While Nova Scotia lacks “the Big 5,” and our moose and black bear hide rather than displaying themselves,  the South African lodges provided excellent examples of how to make the most out of the natural surroundings for guests. Gorah, in particular, but also Tsala and Bushmans, also demonstrated the value of providing authentic “lodge” and “safari” experiences, including references to local heritage and all the elements that feed the romantic imagination. Vacations in places like South Africa–and Nova Scotia–should transport you to another world, a place without cares, a true enriching diversion.

More to come . . .

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Relais & Chateaux, an association of the world’s finest boutique hotels and gourmet restaurants, has chosen Trout Point Lodge of Nova Scotia to participate in a best practices forum at its annual world congress in Cape Town, South Africa next month. Trout Point joined the prestigious group in 2009 after a rigorous application process.

Jacques-Olivier Chauvin, Chief Executive Officer, contacted the Lodge with the news about 2 weeks ago. The forum will allow participants to have an exchange of experiences, discovering what’s happening at other member properties. The focus for the 1st annual event is key trends in the field of guest relations. Paris-based Relais & Chateaux has about 475 members in over 56 countries.

“We were very pleasantly surprised and honoured by the selection,” said co-owner Vaughn Perret. Trout Point will be among about 20 hotels or restaurants from all the members selected to give a presentation at the forum. “To be chosen during our first year of membership from amongst this elite group as an example of best practices was one of the highest accolades we could receive.”

Trout Point Lodge, which opened its doors in 2000, was chosen among 10 worldwide finalists in the National Geographic Society 2009 Geotourism Challenge, “The Power of Place.” It has a total of 13 units immediately adjacent to the Tobeatic Wilderness Area in southwestern Nova Scotia.

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Relais & Châteaux, the world’s most discerning collection of intimate hotels and fine restaurants, today debuts two cookbooks, 85 Inspirational Chefs and Chefs at Home, the first time every chef within Relais & Châteaux North America has collaborated on such a project.

Featuring such celebrated chefs as Patrick O’Connell, Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud and Jean-Georges Vongerichten, 85 InspirationalChefs is a beautifully illustrated compilation of menus and 184 signature recipes created by the North American chefs of Relais & Châteaux, including Vaughn Perret and Charles Leary of Nova Scotia’s Trout Point Lodge. The second book, Chefs at Home, includes simpler recipes that these chefs choose to cook when they’re at home.

85 Inspirational Chefs retails for $60 and Chefs at Home retails for $30, plus shipping/handling. Both are available on http://www.relaischateaux.com or at any Relais & Châteaux property.

The books drip with culinary grandeur, providing the reader with an insider’s taste of some of the most memorable dining destinations on the continent, through masterfully photographed recipes and chef profiles. Published by Network Book Publishing Limited, they also include insights from these acclaimed Relais & Châteaux chefs, all of whom boast an enviable collection of Michelin stars, Zagat ratings and numerous industry accolades. Perret & Leary contributed recipes such as Haddock with Gumbo Sauce and Roasted Red Pepper Soup.

“These books are an inspirational work of 85 chefs who, as part of the Relais & Châteaux family, are united by what makes them different,” said Patrick O’Connell, President of North American Relais & Châteaux delegations and Chef/Proprietor of The Inn at Little Washington. “The chefs all share a passion for hospitality and offer their guests a unique sense of place through their cuisine. Now, for the first time, they have collaborated in sharing some of their most exquisite creations.” Other Canadian contributors included Restaurant Toque of Quebec and Langdon Hall of Ontario.

Recipes included in 85 Insperational Chefs range from the technically challenging and groundbreaking to the classic and traditional, making the collection perfect for the culinary expert as well as the novice cook. Those in Chefs at Home are designed to be executed by beginners. Each selection reflects the enthusiasm and dedication of each chef  to combine textures, flavors, and nature’s fresh produce, and now with the ability to duplicate in one’s own home.

About Trout Point Lodge

Open since July, 2000, Trout Point now stands among the premiere vacation destinations in Atlantic Canada. Amidst a unique and pristine wilderness setting, the Lodge has a demonstrated commitment to both sustainable- and geo-tourism practices combined with a high level of comfort and dining. In 2009, Trout Point was among 10 finalists worldwide in the National Geographic Society’s Geotourism Challenge “Power of Place.” It was named among the 16 best independent hotels in Canada by the London Sunday Times Travel magazine.

About Relais & Chateaux

Established in France in 1954, the mission of Relais & Châteaux is to spread its unique “art de vivre” across the globe by selecting outstanding properties with a truly unique character. The Association is a family of hoteliers and Grands Chefs from all over the world who share a passion for and a personal commitment to ensuring their guests are privy to moments of exceptional harmony, an unforgettable celebration of the senses. For more information on these and all Relais & Châteaux members, visit http://www.relaischateaux.com.

About Network Publishing

Network Publishing Limited has a reputation for producing high quality, individual, consumer and trade magazines in the UK in the food, hospitality and jewelry sectors, including Michelin-starred chefs and leading independent retailers. Through its various publishing arms, its titles include the highly regarded UK magazine, Yes Chef! and the Relais & Châteaux UK and Ireland guide.

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Bonnie Stern–the award winning author of twelve best-selling cookbooks–visited Trout Point last week for a 2-day sojourn. She writes weekly in the National Post and monthly in Readers Digest. As well as offering cooking classes, she has a unique book club where authors actually attend and dinner is included. She is the recipient of the 2007 Premier’s Award.

In the August edition of her food newsletter, Ms. Stern observed:
“This must be the best kept secret in Canada – a Relais & Chateaux in the deep wilderness of Nova Scotia next to the Tusket River near the Tobeatic Wilderness Area. The food is an interesting mix of Cajun and local Nova Scotian cooked by owners Vaughn Perret and Charles Leary, academics turned organic farmers in New Orleans who followed the Acadian trail back to Nova Scotia in 1999 to open this beautiful eco-friendly lodge. Along with rustic but luxurious accommodations, delicious seafood dinners, hiking, fishing and cooking classes are also offered.”

Thank you, Bonnie!

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The Lodge received its first guests of the season May 1 and the first culinary vacation starts May 14.  Glorious weather and vibrant colors from the early rising tulips greeted one and all. 2010 musician-in-residence Daniel Gillis entertained with 1/2 hour of superb guitar music both before and after dinner.

Chef/proprietors Vaughn and Charles have taken a short break to visit their Relais & Chateaux colleagues at White Barn Inn of Kennebunkport, Maine and Kingsbrae Arms of St. Andrews, New Brunswick. They will return this week refreshed, inspired, and ready to continue providing Atlantic Canada’s most unique and sumptuous hospitality and cuisine!

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Trout Point re-opens for the 2010 season on May 1, and the dedicated crew of employees from the local village of Kemptville is hard at work sweeping, mopping, and oiling logs.  Exciting developments lie in store for the season, which will end in late October. These include the opening of a new fine dining venue on the Lodge’s south wing, more menu choices for dinners, wine tastings, and an expanded calendar of culinary vacations.

2010 is also Trout Point’s first year of full member in Relais & Chateaux, an assoication of the best and most authentic boutique hotels in the world. Being a Relais member not only helps motivate the whole team to provide world-class hospitality and cuisine, but also links Trout Point to a worldwide network of extraoridinary chefs, hoteliers, and service professionals. Together we can

Please come join us in May at Trout Point–just selected by the Globe & Mail as among the top eco resorts in Canada! Go online to make reservations, or call us at +1 902-761-2141.

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Relais & Chateaux: boutique hotels & gourmet restaurants

Relais & Chateaux: boutique hotels & gourmet restaurants

Trout Point Lodge is pleased to announce that it will attend the Relais & Chateaux New York showcase event, March 2, 2010 held at Relais member Restaurant Daniel.

60 East 65th Street

New York, NY 10021

Tel: (212) 288-0033

Fax: (212) 396-9014

Relais & Chateaux: boutique hotels & gourmet restaurants

Members of the travel industry and Club 5 C members are invited to the event, which will feature information about various Relais & Chateaux member hotels & restaurant in North American and around the world.

Trout Point attended a similar event in Madrid last week.

Relais & Châteaux is an exclusive collection of 475 of the finest hotels and gourmet restaurants in 55 countries.

Established in France in 1954, the Association’s mission is to spread its unique art de vivre across the globe by selecting outstanding properties with a truly unique character.

Furthermore, Relais & Châteaux is also a family of hoteliers and Grands Chefs from all over the world who share a passion for and a personal commitment to ensuring their guests are privy to moments of exceptional harmony. To choose Relais & Châteaux is to experience an unforgettable celebration of the senses.

From the vineyards in Napa valley to the beaches in Bali, from the olive trees in Provence to the lodges in South Africa, Relais & Châteaux offers a chance to explore the Route du Bonheur and discover a special place in a variety of destinations.

The Relais & Châteaux signature reflects this ambition: “ALL AROUND THE WORLD, UNIQUE IN THE WORLD.“

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