One of the greatest luxuries that exploration by train can offer is in the dining carriage. And if quality eating is important, there are few better rail tours to embark on than the GoldLeaf and SilverLeaf Rocky Mountaineer train trip. It traverses the stunning mountainous regions of western Canada, taking in the landscapes with fantastic viewing facilities.
The SilverLeaf offers high quality cuisine, complimentary drinks and first-class staff, while the GoldLeaf specification adds to that a grand menu of sumptuous meals and a custom-made glass dome viewing level.
On the floor below the viewing carriage is the gourmet a la carte restaurant where you experience the fine dining. The food is prepared by two expert chefs, Jean Pierre Guerin and FrÃ©dÃ©ric Couton, who have both worked in 5-star hotels and Michelin starred restaurants. Their mission is to prove to travellers that Canadian food doesnâ€™t start and end with maple syrup!
The chefs draw their gourmet inspiration from Canadaâ€™s varied cultural providences and the rich sources of food from the regions through which the train travels â€“ including local vegetable produce and Fraser Valley chickens. The idea is to draw from all the great food that grows and lives nearby.
So, itâ€™s time for specifics: what exactly do the chefs on a Rocky Mountaineer train trip serve up?
The SilverLeaf Menu
For breakfast, the SilverLeaf option plumps for simple but beautifully executed fare. You will begin with a cinnamon scone and fruit salad, both prepared daily so they are as fresh as the morning sun will be bright. The second course is a three cheese omelette, served with peppered chicken sausages, skillet potatoes and roasted tomatoes. If there is still a hole to fill after all that, a yoghurt parfait is also available.
After a morning of excellent conversation, fascinating history and magnificent landscapes comes the lunch round. Entrees include beef or chicken, with a selection of British Columbia wines and beers to accompany. Mains are grilled fresh salmon with a creamy sauce, or Alberta ribs braised in local Canadian merlot. Itâ€™s a tantalising combination.
The GoldLeaf Menu
The choice for the GoldLeaf menu is superlative in its quality and depth. Choose a breakfast from flapjacks, cheese soufflÃ©s, smoked corn and scrambled eggs, and more; all dishes are serenaded with a variety of sauces, drizzles and superb local ingredients. Lunch is truly fit for a king! Youâ€™ll feast on a choice of three course meals, ranging from beef short ribs to roasted salmon, shrimp and something called a Mount Robson stack â€“ red beet and root vegetable cake, served over yam puree. Come the end evening you will be pleasantly stuffed.
Top tip: Although the service does cater for special dietary requirements, advanced warning is encouraged. Be sure to notify at least seven days before departure to ensure that the requests are met.
Booking With a Specialist Tour Operator
Of course, the best way to spend a holiday is to not do any of the organising. Sit back and let a specialist Canadian tour operator take care of all the tricky, complicated bits in between relaxation and eating, so you can make the most of a truly memorable Rocky Mountaineer train trip.
John Dixon is the Chairman and Managing Director of Prestige Holidays. For almost a decade he has been sending his clients on experiences like the bespoke Rocky Mountaineer train trip handcrafted by his award-winning team. John is an experienced world traveller and tries to visit each of the destinations regularly in order to ensure the quality of the properties he recommends, and stay up-to-date about the latest local news and events. He has a taste for the finer things in life and has an interest in arts, history and culture.
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