One of the best meals I’ve ever had in my life was atop the Banff Gondola on Sulphur Mountain. A well known adage amongst chefs is, “You eat with your eyes first.” As I think back on that glorious dinner, I realize that is true on so many levels. However, before I get to the masterpiece that was dinner, let me first describe the setting.

It was a blue bird day in May. The sounds and signs of spring surrounded us. The birds’ song signaled their arrival back in the Canadian Rockies. Not far away, the elk were bugling their call to golfers at the Banff Springs Golf Course. Mother Nature smiled down on us, proud of her masterpiece layer cake of mountains sprinkled with a full layer icing of snow. I know she must have been conspiring with the chefs to co-create dessert that night. I’ll never forget that icing layer of snow.

The Banff Gondola is an 8 minute ride from the base to the top of the mountain. Guests remain seated in the fully enclosed gondola and can see through the large windows at the breathtaking views below. There is a smaller window that opens, allowing you to inhale that crisp mountain air. Aboard the Banff Gondola, we were whisked atop the mountain as the trees danced below, having recently shed their white winter coats to show the rich greens of the Lodgepole Pine and Engelmann Spruce trees. Spring had sprung and you could smell it in the air. Our arrival in the restaurant was met with friendly faces as our eyes lay witness to a layout complete with floor to ceiling glass window panes and a view that is forever etched in my mind.

The smells of spring combined with the smells coming from the kitchen allowed for every taste bud to start getting warmed up and ready to play. Friendly, professional service, wine pairings with each course, incredible people from all corners of the earth all having the time of their lives. And that view – yes, that view……

I can’t remember what I ate that night, but it was the best meal of my life.

Martin Flanagan
General Manager