There was a pleasing amount of bustle and excitement as I checked into the Loden hotel; sequined gowns, elaborate hairstyles and a smattering of men adjusting their ties and checking their waistcoats. Pretty spiffy crowd, I thought, rather regretting not having worn something more dressy myself. But Vancouver always feels like such a dressed-down and casual town that I was tired of feeling like the only person not in flip flops!
After a few minutes swiping cards at the desk (how I love a pain-free check-in) I was zooming up to the 9th floor, sharing the lift with a woman in a dazzling dress.
“I love your outfit.” I told her.
“Thanks!” she said and anxiously checked her make up in the mirror.
“You look great.” I assured her.
“Oh! I’m doing hair for the wedding here today so need to look good for the photos.”
Spiffy dressers explained. Vancouver hadn’t undergone a style transformation, but perhaps if it stayed at The Loden it might…
Shiny marble floor in the bathroom, caramel and cocoa shades in the bedroom, a huge and pleasingly firm bed with crisp high thread-count linens in a room flooded with light from the floor to ceiling windows. Stylish indeed. I was glad I’d packed my favourite just-in-case red dress so I could get dressed up when I visited the bar and Tableau restaurant later.
I hit the bar and tried the house cocktail ’1181′ a citrusy fizz of prosecco, gin, elderflower syrup and lemonade. Nothing seems to match fizz as well as oysters and I’d never tried the local Vancouver island variety. Large and meaty with a faint cucumber-ish after taste I squished them with lemon and sucked and chewed my way though a half-dozen on the half-shell with indecent speed. Delicious! Tempting through it was to work my way through the small, but perfectly formed cocktail list and an ever-increasing pile of oysters, there was local wine to sample from the Okanagan Valley and the main course to order.
Tableau specialises in French bistro cooking so of course, it had to be the steak-frites, I asked for a wine recommendation and my server suggested a Pinot Gris from Naramata’s Nichol winery. It was a fruity and spicy white with a blush-pink tint that paired perfectly with the juicy steak and crisp twice-cooked fries.
The buzz of a good room on a great night can’t be beaten and that’s exactly the feeling at Tableau thanks to excellent table service paired with good solid cooking and some creative twists. Hotel restaurants used to be the last option of the unimaginative diner – but no more, Tableau proves that. And as for casual Vancouver? Well, if you want to feel stylish in the city, you know where to come to stay…
I stayed as a guest of The Loden & Tableau, however, my views are 100% my own.
Like Canada? Keep exploring…
The Loden: Reservations: 877 225 6336 / Phone: 604 669 5060 / 1177 Melville Street, Vancouver
Tableau: tel 604 639 8692 / 1181 Melville Street Vancouver / firstname.lastname@example.org