“FieldTrips” is either a day trip or a few days where I visit food areas of interest which may include farm visits, producers, wineries, restaurants and/or other places that people can visit. This is about offering Vancouver Foodster readers a chance to get out of town and take a “Field Trip” for the day or a few days to explore, learn, taste and experience.
Field Trip to The Lodge at St Edward Park in Kenmore, Washington
I visited Kenmore, Washington and The Lodge at St. Edward Park recently for the first time. Located just outside Seattle, it is just under a 3 hour drive from Vancouver and it is a serene escape found on the shores of Lake Washington, 30 minutes from Seattle. The Lodge is a wellness retreat in a restored landmark building, effortlessly marrying modern hospitality with stunning historical architecture.
The hotel opened 2 years ago after extensive renovations turning it into a hotel from its former seminary that was built in 1931 and closed in 1978, it now features 84 spacious guestrooms. Each guest room features a comfy bed, Nespresso coffee maker, air conditioning, dial telephone and more.
The hotel is located inside the state park that is surrounded by 326 acres of lush forest with many trails for exploring. Walk the upstairs hallway to view a beautiful art collection and then walk the downstairs hallway for a historical tour since the building was built.
One of the main reasons to stay here asides from it’s location in the state park, is to enjoy outstanding food and drink in the Cedar + Elm Restaurant that has Executive Chef Luke Kolpin leading the kitchen. He spent 9 years working at Noma, the notable Michelin 3 star restaurant in Copenhagen before he returned to his Seattle home and was then lured to join this prestigious hotel. With his culinary artistry and genuine passion for creating extraordinary dishes, Chef Luke continues to elevate The Lodge at St. Edward Park’s food offerings, delighting guests with his masterpieces and further establishing Cedar + Elm as a premier destination for exceptional dining experiences in the Pacific Northwest.
The lodge features fitness facilities offering up all the latest equipment as well as free weights and it is open to guests 24 hours a day. A visit to the library is also worth a visit to play boardgames or to read a book, guests get to enjoy complimentary snacks 24/7. The outside grounds feature a chef’s garden as well as an apiary.
I tried all the beverage and food offerings in the hotel which included breakfast, lunch and dinner at Cedar + Elm Restaurant as well as a visit to both the The Heritage Bar and the Tonsorium Bar.
Dinner at Ceder + Elm Restaurant was a wonderful experience where it is all about elevated Pacific Northwest cuisine. Chef Luke cooks flavourful dishes using ingredients from his on-premises chef’s garden alongside fish and meats from producers in the area.
I started off with the delicious house-baked Washington wheat flatbread and the addictive dipping sauce; then some of the Beef Tartare with crispy won ton cracker; the Crab Tart; and then the outstanding Gnudi with mushrooms from the forest.
The Kale & Arugula Salad shined with the preserved lemon, parmesan dressing, crispy onion and herbs.
The Hearth Roasted Black Cod was another outstanding dish with a buttery sauce with roasted spring onions, topped with cured egg yolk, and edible marigolds from the garden and lemon oil.
For dessert, there were two, and my favourite was the Salted Caramel ice cream stuffed in a caramel tart topped with maitake mushroom powder and freeze dried blueberry; never had anything quite like it and was absolutely delicious.
Early morning walks are something that I love and with all of the acreage surrounding the hotel, I had a chance to do some walking.
Breakfast at the hotel can be enjoyed in either Cedar + Elm Restaurant or at The Heritage Bar located adjacent to the lobby, it opens an hour earlier than the restaurant. I enjoyed a couple of breakfasts including a Apple jade elixir, Organic steel cut oatmeal, Farm fresh fruit, Banana bread and an Espresso macchiato.
There are many nearby activities that guests can enjoy, I experienced a couple including a scenic flight tour of Seattle with Kenmore Air. This was a first for me and I can’t wait to do it again, my first time on a sea plane. Kenmore Air has been flying for many years, in addition to their regular scheduled flights to destinations in the Pacific Northwest as well as Vancouver and Victoria; they also offer scenic flights over the Seattle area. Their planes take off from Lake Washington which is minutes away from the lodge.
I walked the trails from the lodge to Lake Washington which was well layed out allowing me to get some steps in while enjoying the great outdoors in the beautiful park.
Lunch at Cedar + Elm is more casual experience and I enjoyed a couple of tasty lunches and this mocktail, the Wonderwilde Apertif, along with the Mixed Greens and the juicy American Wagyu beef burger; I also enjoyed the Crispy Brussels sprouts and the Bavette steak salad.
Another activity that guests can experience outside of the hotel is to take in a wine tasting in nearby Woodinville. Rocky Pond Winery is one of the 118 wineries with tasting rooms in the Woodinville area; this is one that I had a chance to experience while staying at the Lodge at St Edward in Kenmore. They offer this wine tasting experience and here I had a chance to taste their Winemakers Flight (cost is $25).
I enjoyed a wonderful Chef’s tasting menu on the outside patio on a warm fall tonight as well during my stay.
Another activity that guests will enjoy is to play Pickleball and their on-site indoor gym is set up for Pickleball and guests can book it and use the paddles and balls complimentary during their stay. Mountain biking is another activity that can be enjoyed during your stay. The Lodge offers also offers complimentary mountain bike rentals for guests.
Stay tuned for my next Field Trip outside of Vancouver.
By: Richard Wolak
Disclosure: The Lodge at St Edward Park provided me with complimentary accommodation as well as meals in Cedar + Elm Restaurant, The Heritage Bar and the Tonsorium Bar. Kenmore Air provided a complimentary scenic flight and Rocky Pond Winery provided a complimentary wine tasting. As always, all opinions and photos are my own.