Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Quest: The World's Best Hotel Toasting Machine... Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel 5/10

Challenge: To find a toasting machine that is quick and will toast sliced bread on both sides in ONE go!! [Universal World Scale of Toaster Perfection]

Where did the idea come from such a quest?? Firstly, it is a bug bare of mine that bread takes so long to toast  at nearly every hotel I have ever stayed at [ it NEVER is quick and the annoyance of having to put it through twice!! - I know, first world problems but hey... they shouldn't be hard to fix!] and secondly, I saw a none English speaking patron put METAL tongs into the depths of a popup toaster yesterday at the Fairmont Lake Louise Hotel at Lake Louise... my friend Trevor nearly killed himself doing that and has nasty scars to show for such an innocent but deadly act.

So this morning the quest began at The Fairmont Banff Springs Resort. With a breakfast room heaving with over 200 guests there was but ONE toaster... one of those tractor ones... and time after time people placed their bread in the top, and waited for 2 to 3 minutes [seemed MUCH longer] for the toast to reappear with hardly a sign of any toasting and barely warm.

Trusty Hotel Toaster

Above is the toaster at Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, with the third of my 3 pieces of toast disappearing in the bowels of the toaster.. and then the wait for what would emerge so 3 minutes later...

Once through barely a sign that toasters was on!

 As you can see, hardly a sign that the bread had been subject to any heat at all... and barely warm...

Some success after pass 2 at least edible

Pass 2... aaarh... toasted enough to eat... so, in my Universal World Scale of Toaster Perfection, the toaster in Banff at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel is rated a 5/10 ! That represents a score of "better than most, but still terrible!!"

Quality of the toast?? The bread was a delightful soft whole grain that was great eating with butter and berry jam.

Feedback: Let me know if you have been lucky enough to find a GREAT toaster or share with me your Toaster horror stories!!

If you arewatching: Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel would love to have your feedback!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Beautiful... the word doesn't describe Lake Louise well enough

Lake Louise Alberta Canada 

This is the view from my window of the Fairmont Lake Louise Resort in the Canadian Rockie Mountains... if you saw it as a postcard you would think in was photoshopped... it is just amazing.

As I right the lake is shrouded in mist and the sun is trying to break through at dawn... and dozens of early risers are walking the lake edge to catch a magical moment. Many hours in the coach have been a worthwhile investment in getting here.

Our evening meal in Poppy's Restaurant was fabulous... great food, superb Canadian merlot, engaging dinner guests from New Zealand and service to rave about... if there is a perfect spot on Earth this comes close.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Klout Influence... when should you use it

Problem: I am currently a paying customer of APT Holidays Canadian Alaskian holidays. Last night our meal at Whistler was a 10/10 and maybe more... tonight in Sun Peeks at best it was a 4.5/10

What's my dilemma? Do I use my KLOUT 81 to praise the good... or to critise the bad?? [Assumes people notice]

Would love to have your feedback.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


Wayne Mansfield, Matthew Fort, Tom Parker Bowles
and Joanne Mansfield at Fortnum and Mason London
If you have been to London you will know that there are more stores than just Harrods. Although a visit to Harrods is definitely a highlight.

Just down the street is Fortnum and Mason. Joanne and I ventured to the food hall of F & M's and met renowned chef Matthew Fort and Esquire Magazine Food Editor Tom Parker Bowles.

Tom was very pleased to meet a fellow cricket tragic and to bask in the glory of the English whipping the Aussies in the current Ashes series. Sometimes being an Aussie is NOT so hot... especially when we lose the unloseable 4th test as we did this series.

Matthew shared with me his new project A SUMMER IN THE ISLANDS book project which is being crowfunded at Unbound Books . Matthew is visiting 50 Italian islands and writing about what makes each islands food special.

This is a great opportunity from as little as $20 to help the creation of a beautiful book and get to know Matthew one on one. So, get over to  Unbound Books and join the revolution... and oh, tell them Wayne sent you!!