The “Hotel Bar” in Canada took a bit of a beating in the 90’s and early 00’s. By all accounts, it fell into obscurity and lost its way. After thoughts to a high thread count and a hearty meal. Now, Vancouver is at the forefront of the resurgence of the “Hotel Bar” in Canada. The Wedgewood Hotel Vancouver is true to form and has set themselves on the world stage of service and hospitality.
When you step into The Wedgewood Hotel Vancouver, you are brought into another time and place. You immediately notice the sharply dressed team and the incredible detail in every aspect of the entrance to the property.
As a restaurateur, I revel in the details. I also calculate them financially, and this place is rich with detail to say the least. The textures; from the crown moulding to the velvet seating are refined and well maintained. A feeling of luxury over comes you by simply entering the front doors.
The Wedgewood is certainly with the trend, or maybe always has been. Since opening in 1984, this ex lawyers residence turned chic downtown hotel, guided by the greek born Eleni Skalbania and now by daughter Elpie Marinakis Jackson. With a sharp eye for detail and an “old world” elegance this family has fostered one of the cities best kept secret. Literally in the shadow of the international giants Rosewood and Fairmont on the same block. The Wedgewood sets itself apart in many ways. One such way is the Relais & Châteaux designation, a very high standard is maintained throughout the operation for these rigorous standards to be flaunted.
A world-class restaurant dawns the main floor and is aptly named, Bacchus Restaurant & Piano Bar, where you can hear piano in the evenings, or flamenco guitar on Fridays.
Once you get through the awe of the furnishings and the extremely kind service, you get to why we came in. Onto the Drinks.
Classic, yet subtle furnishings fill this sexy room. Subtle, polite and charismatic service meets humbly luxurious hotel bar.
Classics with a twist make up the bulk of this menu and it fits the property to a tea. Everything well-travelled with a twist. We started with the best in the trends in 2016′.
The Gin & Tonic. Named “The Iconic” on the menu, this wonderful G&T muddles fresh cucumber along with an elaborate garnish of Salt, Pepper and Mint. The cocktail dances in botanical deliciousness.
Next we moved to the Classic Kentucky Sour. A true measure of a classic cocktail bar and venue is the balance in a perfect sour. This one did not disappoint. A wonderful balance of Maker’s Mark Bourbon, Maple Syrup, fresh lemon and egg white make this a perfect after work sipper.
The team at Bacchus certainly passed the sour test with flying colours. Maybe it didn’t need the useless cherry garnishes, but they were delicious, even if out-of-place.
Last to make the cut is the classic Moscow Mule, spiced up with muddled Ginger. The universal stand out of the session. Maybe due to the wonderful open windows and warm Vancouver breeze coming off the street and this cocktail fitting the moment so well.
We sipped into the evening with great company and libations. It was a stop to remember. One to visit for certain, whether you are a local or traveller to Vancouver.
To close this visit, The Wedgewood Hotel Vancouver, and Bacchus Restaurant are the perfect spot for the drinks historian, local and traveller a like. The ownership, management and staff offer an experience true to form. The standards are high and the balance is palatable.
When I asked the Hotel Manager Glen Eleiter about what makes a “new regular” at Bacchus and the Wedgewood, he said “Someone who enjoys everything that Vancouver has to offer”.
We tend to agree.