Got 16 hours? That’s all my husband and I had. After a long 18 months of lockdowns, virtual school/work, and zero childcare, we needed OUT OF THE HOUSE. We finally managed to convince my double-vaccinated in-laws to babysit, and set out on an adventure in our own backyard.
We had 16 hours. 16 remarkable, glorious hours to reconnect and enjoy our beautiful Ottawa without “I want a snack”, “my feet hurt”, “the wifi sucks”, and “I’m bored”.
Our destination was a no-brainer. We quickly booked a room at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier, and dinner on the magnificent La Terrase.
After a 2-week courtship, my Lebanese parents married and fled the war to come to Canada. They honeymooned at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier over 46 years ago, fell in love with its surroundings. My childhood memories are filled with visits to the Byward Market, Parliament Hill and along our gorgeous canal, locks & Rideau River. To this day, it is my my favourite place in the world – it represents the hope and gratitude my family was able to have.
The minute we walked through the Fairmont Chateau Laurier’s majestic doors, we were transported to a different place and time. The lobby’s grandeur reflects both English and Scottish Baronial architecture, and the mood is opulence and luxury deep-rooted in history. We were met by a lovely man at the front desk told us that every detail is meticulously kept in it’s historic state, even paint touch-ups are all done by hand to ensure accuracy.
Our room over-looked our beautiful Parliament building and Rideau canal locks. We made a mental note to take a walk around the grounds in the morning.
We were soon getting ready for dinner on their patio, La Terasse. This was without a doubt one of the highlights of our get away, and a place we visit numerous times during our summers. Tucked away from the city’s busy downtown streets and hustle, La Terrace easily has the best sunset and views in all of Ottawa. Sit facing the Parliament with a view of the Peace Tower, or facing the sun setting over the Rideau River, there is literally no bad seat in the house.
In addition to the view and delicious food, La Terrasse is home to the the largest herb walls I have ever seen. Whafts of basil, thyme and sage fill the air as you are hosted to your table.
We took our sweet time at dinner, starting with signature cocktails and appetizers, moving on to the entrees, and finally indulging in dessert and more cocktails. We savoured every bite and sip, and watched the ambiance change as the sun set as lanterns and heat lamps lit up- making the evening feel as endless as the view.
The next morning, we texted our consierge (yes texted!! When you check in you receive the friendliest text with links to menus and the name & number of the person who will be at your service). We gave our breakfast order, and time we would like it in our room and set out for a walk.
Only steps behind the Chateau is the Byward Market, or you can disappear along paths behind the Parliament buildings for a nature walk.
As we headed back for breakfast and ate in our rooms (the avocado toast is TO DIE FOR!), our magnificent stay-cation was over. Just in time for us to miss the kids…almost.
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the beautifully captured photos in the Lobby, outside at at La Terrasse are by the lovely Tia. Visit her page at http://www.tiaphotography.com