If you checked out my Instagram stories this week, you’ll know that I just returned home from a fabulous (and much-needed) girls trip to the stunning Canadian Rockies.
Christmas in November is a holiday-themed culinary and decor festival and I pretty much consumed enough food and wine to hibernate through the winter!
Honestly, though, I really enjoyed this trip. Thought I’d share all the details in case you’d like to add Christmas in November to your bucket list!
The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge
For those who don’t know, the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge is a luxury mountain resort set amid the breathtaking beauty of Canada’s Jasper National Park.
Being an Alberta girl, I’ve dined at the Jasper Park Lodge and explored its grounds before, but this was my first time visiting as a guest.
We stayed in the cutest little log cabin. Nothing quite compares to waking up with the Rocky Mountains outside your window. We also LOVED being only steps away from Lac Beauvert, walking trails and the best view I’ve ever seen from an outdoor heated pool!
Christmas In November
I would’ve been happy with a simple trip to Jasper and the chance to breathe in that fresh mountain air. But Alex and I had a truly elevated experience by attending Christmas in November.
Now it its 29th year, the festival offers guests a chance to enjoy all things Christmas with fine dining, cocktails, elaborate evening parties and daytime seminars focused on holiday entertaining.
During the day
The central theme of Christmas in November is food, so you better believe we kicked off every day with an amazing breakfast. Then we followed it up with an even better lunch.
But in between all that eating, festival goers headed off to participate in one of 22 different seminars.
Christmas in November Presenters
This year’s presenters were nothing short of fabulous. We heard from celebrity chefs like Chuck Hughes, Vikram Vij, and Anna and Michael Olson. Equally as exciting were celebrated local talents like Edmonton floral and decor designer Cory Christopher, as well as Kara and Nevin Fenske, owners of Drift Food Truck.
I attended seven courses in total. I think my favourite was Giselle Courteau from Edmonton’s Duchess Bake Shop. She led the most informative and engaging course on pie making. Plus, being a longtime fan of Duchess’s lemon tart and salted caramel macarons, it was a real treat to hear how Giselle and her partners got my favourite Edmonton bakery up and running.
I also had a fabulous time taste testing delicious craft cocktails at flair bartender Micah Dew’s mixology course. And I think it can go without saying that Chuck Hughes is super talented. His holiday cooking demonstration (think classic French Canadian tourtiere, cured fish and fruit salsa) was hilarious… and let’s face it, he’s easy on the eyes.
The nighttime festivities proved to be just as exciting as the day’s.
Not going to lie, we were certainly among the younger attendees, but that doesn’t mean the more mature guests didn’t know how to enjoy a good party!
Every evening revolved around a fabulous dinner, followed by live music and dancing. There were also special activities, such as an ugly Christmas sweater party, photos with Santa, late night cabin parties with beer pong and air hockey, and midnight food truck fare.
Would I attend Christmas in November again?
In one word: absolutely.
I was SUPER fortunate because, as I mentioned earlier this month, I actually won this trip through a Virgin Radio Edmonton contest and was able to attend this trip for free! I swear, receiving that on-air phone call from hosts Ian and Chelsea was literally the most thrilling thing to ever happen to a girl at 7:30 in the morning.
I checked the rates online though and the three-night package costs between $999 and $1,100 per person (depending on whether you go on the weekend or midweek). This rate includes accommodation, more food than is humanly possible to consume, ALL the wine you could ever need and the instructional seminars.
If (sorry, when) I head back, I plan on grabbing a friend (or ten) and going to one of the weekend sessions. It is the perfect combination of an activity-filled day and a fun-filled night!
Thanks for stopping by and reading about my experience at Christmas in November! I’ll leave you with a few more photos.
xo Holly Hunka
P.S. If I’ve put you in the festive spirit, why not check out this fun list of 20 cute Christmas sweaters!