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Get Stuffed

An old friend gets a new look


I truly think we offer the best cuisine in the village. The attention to detail that myself and the staff pay to our sauces and seasonings is unsurpassable " — Shane Robilliard.

Locals’ approval spreading like Wildflower

When a friend gets a facelift, or a modern new look, it’s only natural to want to check it out, and that seems to be the case with one of Whistler’s favourite fine dining restaurants, The Wildflower.

The Fairmont Chateau Whistler’s main dining attraction has been noticing a lot of local faces at the tables of late, eager to check out the $1.5 million worth of changes.

The restaurant at the base of Blackcomb mountain, well known for its sumptuous buffets in the past, has now gone almost entirely a-la-carte. With an exciting new menu, a new private wine tasting room, a new friendly bar, a gorgeous décor overhaul and just two signature buffets kept behind for good business, it’s definitely a place that gourmet food fanatics are lining up to rediscover.

"As soon as you walk in you can see the atmosphere has really evolved," said the Wildflower’s assistant food and beverage director, Caroline Heaney. "It’s taken four years to complete our overall design. We changed things little by little to cause the least disruption to our guests, and the results are something we’re all very excited about."

On initial inspection, the biggest difference is the removal of the all-pervading central buffet station.

"We removed it entirely from the centre of the room because we didn’t want it to be the first thing people noticed," said Wildflower assistant manager, Stephanie Packwood. "Dining tastes have shifted and we want to be a truly fine dining atmosphere, so that was the first thing that had to go."

Next up, you’ll notice the cherry wood cocktail bar where an apres perfect "pull up a pew" casual code of behaviour is warmly encouraged.

Follow your sight line along the left hand wall and you’ll come to a larger than life floor-to-ceiling mural of the majestic mountains all around. Look up at the ceiling and you’ll see an abundance of eye-catching chandeliers that look slightly Northwest native in design, with a green alpine forest acrylic trim. Both these unusual additions were created by Salt Spring Island artist, Lore Schmidt.

The room feels formal, yet comfortable – a feat not many fine dining denizens seem to be able to perfect.

"The lighting has a lot to do with that," said Packwood. "Before the renovations the restaurant was so bright so you could see the buffet, but we’ve toned it right down to give each table its own warm and intimate touch."

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