Make the most of your time at Christmas in November at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge! Here are my tips, tricks and must-do moments! What to Expect at Christmas in November at the Jasper Park Lodge.
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I was lucky enough to be able to attend Christmas in November at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge again this year. Last year was my first time, and after this I was hooked. So when I got asked again to go as an ambassador on behalf of Gastropost (Postmedia), I jumped at the chance. Christmas in November has quickly become one of my most favourite times of the year. For me, this event kicks off the Christmas season, in a BIG way!
If you love Christmas, and food, and holiday decor, and fresh air, and people, and friends, and did I mention food?, then you will undoubtedly love Christmas in November! If you ever have the chance to go, go.
After 2 years at this event, I feel like I finally might have figured out how to maximize my time there and see, do and eat all the things. So I wanted to share some of the highlights, and offer you some tips on how you can have your best time there too!
A Summary of what Christmas in November is all about:
Christmas in November is a celebration of the holidays with great food, drinks, entertainment and seasonal inspiration through fun and interactive classes. You can cook with celebrity chefs, take a wine tasting class, learn how to make Christmas crafts, get tips on how to decorate for the holidays, or learn how to mix some holiday drinks. This is an amazing event to attend with your friends or loved ones…make it a tradition!
The stunning Lac Beauvert
Where: The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge
Christmas in November takes place at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge is a 700 acre year-round luxury mountain resort which wraps around the shores of pristine Lac Beauvert. The resort has charming cedar chalets and luxury cabins that are all interconnected with outdoor pathways. I love this setting. The mountains and lake are beautiful, the air smells like trees, you can hear the wind and trees and the quiet. It’s so lovely.
How to get there: A Travel Tip
You can drive or take a private motor coach. I usually take the private motor coach from Calgary to Jasper as I find this the easiest, less stressful way to travel. I don’t love winter driving, and you just never know what the weather is going to be like along that hi-way, so it’s nice to have someone else drive. Plus, if you’re going with friends the coach ride can be a lot of fun! Take some snacks, and even some fancy drinks if you like, and start your Christmas in November party early!
Let’s Get This Party Started!
My favourite, favourite moment of Christmas in November is the arrival to the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. You are greeted with the scent of wood burning fires, Christmas carols fill the air, gorgeous Christmas decor is everywhere…it’s stunning. And you will immediately feel excited!
But it doesn’t stop there! As you enter the lodge you are greeted by smiling Christmas in November staff who are ushering you towards mulled cider and hot chocolate and Christmas cookies! This is where ALL THE FOOD starts and doesn’t end until you leave. But have a cookie, because they’re delicious, and this is no time to be counting calories.
The main lodge is beautiful too, especially at Christmas. The halls are all decked out in Christmas decor, from the mantels to the most gigantic tree you will ever see which resides at the centre of the lodge. But everywhere you look, it’s Christmas, and it’s amazing.
A cooking session with Elizabeth Baird and Emily Richards
The sessions, and what to take to them:
When you book your spot at Christmas in November, you will have the chance to book all of the sessions that you want to attend. There are so many different options from cooking classes, to crafting sessions, to wine tasting, to mixology. Once you know what sessions you are attending, you might want to know what to bring along.
- First, your appetite! At the end of cooking sessions you will get to sample all of the dishes the presenters have made…this is the best part!
- Take your Christmas in November booklet with you. All of the recipes that the presenters are going to make are in this book, so it’s nice to have it in case you want to take notes.
- Take a pen in case you want to take notes.
- Camera or phone. Pictures are welcome in the sessions, and you might even have the chance to have your picture taken with the celebrity chefs!
More about the sessions:
I wrote about 3 of the sessions that I attended this year, and I would love for you to check them out!
- Holiday Appetizers with Elizabeth Baird and Emily Richards
- In the Kitchen with the Chef of ORSO Trattoria, Stuart Ainsworth
- Christmas Spirits from Around the World with Micah Dew
What to do outside of the sessions:
- In between sessions or before brunch or dinner, take a walk along the outdoor pathways. It’s such a nice way to invigorate yourself!
- Take a quiet moment and sip a winter drink in one of the big comfy chairs by the fireplace.
- Pull up a chair on the outside deck of the lodge and warm up by the fire while you take in the view.
- Take a dip in the outdoor pool. It’s especially gorgeous at night!
- Do some Christmas shopping in the Christmas in November market, or any of the shops downstairs in the lodge.
- If you have time you could book a session at the Fairmont Spa, or a hair appointment at the Wild Orchid Salon.
The Christmas in November market
The outdoor pools at the Jasper Park Lodge
Must Sees at Christmas in November:
There is a lot to take in at Christmas in November. This year the event had 2 extra additions that were definitely must sees!
- The Decor Cabin: The first must see was the Decor Cabin decorated by Cory Christopher, a local designer who is also a presenter at Christmas in November. He created a cozy and inviting Christmas retreat in one of the JPL signature cabins. And by decorated, I mean decorated. Every square inch of this cabin was decked out for the holidays!
From stunning wreaths hung over the doors, to bathtubs filled with ornaments, and drawers stocked with firewood…Christmas was everywhere in here!
Even the bedrooms were turned into winter wonderlands! I adored this kids bedroom…isn’t is pretty?
The Man Cabin
- The Man Cabin: The second must see was the Man Cabin. New to Christmas in November this year, the man cabin was a space that welcomed both men and women! You could go there to attend scotch tastings, try some cigars, play air hockey, learn some BBQ and grilling tips, or head over to at the end of the night after the dinners to meet up with friends and wind down for the night. This was a really fun space, and a great addition for the few husbands that attend Christmas in November!
The most important part of Christmas in November, The Food!
One thing I know for sure about Christmas in November is that you will not go home hungry. You will start eating the second you arrive, until minutes before you leave on the last day. Aside from brunch, lunch and dinner, you will be eating during the sessions, after the sessions and basically any time you have a spare moment. And even after a hard day of eating, you will go back to your room to find cookies and milk waiting for you. For real. Bring stretchy pants, friends.
The delicious just never ends…delicious salads, turkey dinners, beef short rib, pork belly, pumpkin tarts, chocolate mousse, soups, ravioli…I could go on and on and on and on…
Christmas in November is extraordinary, I said it last year, and I’ll say it again. It’s extraordinary! The location, the people, the food, the sessions, just everything is so well done. If you ever have the chance to attend you really should. Want to know more about my time here this year? You can read my post on the Gastropost Christmas in November website.
A big thank you to Gastropost and Postmedia for hosting me at this years Christmas in November!
Have an inspired day!