This fall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – better known as Will and Kate – will visit British Columbia and the Yukon upon invitation of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Not since the Royal Wedding in April 2011 has such a regal frenzy fallen on the nation in the days leading up to the couple’s exclusive, yet-to-be-released itinerary.
Can’t make it to dinner with the Duke and Duchess? You can still tour our city like royalty with our handy Royals’ Guide to Vancouver – no curtsying required.
- Enjoy High Tea aboard the luxurious Pacific Yacht, moored at The Westin Bayshore Marina. During the royal visit, locals and visitors can sip champagne or sherry and savour traditional Afternoon Tea in the yacht’s elegant dining salon while watching a live stream of the Royal Visit on a flat-screen TV. The selection will include tea sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and preserves, tarts and shortbread, and English tea. Fascinators and fancy dress encouraged. $75 per person; September 25 (two sittings).
- Because you can never have enough tea when the royals are visiting, indulge in a cup brewed by the finest luxury tea brand in the world. TWG Tea will celebrate Will and Kate’s West Coast sojourn with the new Palace Breakfast Tea Set, a selection of morning teas curated to stimulate the spirit. The set includes Breakfast King Tea, a regal blend of black teas balanced by rare ginseng root and hints of sweetness; and the Breakfast Queen Tea, a vivacious blend of green teas balanced by delicate notes of sweet lemon and noble rose. Presented together in a royal blue box and gold-stamped sleeve, this set is perfect as a gift or treat for yourself.
- Relax and rejuvenate with a healing Royal Duality Massage at CHI, The Spa at the Shangri-La Hotel. During this Philippines-inspired treatment, two practitioners intertwine their efforts in an elegant experience that restores energy balance and will leave you feeling like a queen – literally, as the treatment was traditionally reserved only for royalty. Starts at $350 per person.
- Swill the classiest beer you’ll have all season at Steamworks – the brewpub is currently crafting and bottling a special beer to mark the occasion of the Royal visit. The Steamworks 2016 Royal Visit Commemorative Ale will be an all-Commonwealth brew made with hops from B.C., New Zealand and Australia, along with English and Canadian malts. A modest 4.1 percent alcohol by volume, this is a drink that can be toasted throughout the royal visit (and don’t forget to raise those pinkies). Available September 2016.
- Take a stroll through memory lane at Tojo’s, which hosted Princes William and Harry for a delightful lunch during their last Vancouver visit. Order the omakase and allow Chef Tojo to treat you to a feast fit for a king with an array of Japanese-inspired dishes rooted in the Pacific Northwest.
- Catch a show at the Vancouver Fringe Festival and see for yourself how the UK-exported Fringe phenomenon is alive and thriving in Vancouver. We recommend Til Death: the Six Wives of Henry VIII, a one-woman show starring actress Tara Travis in the role of all six wives – and Henry, too – staged at the Rio Theatre.
- Party like Prince Harry with The Royal Chariot cocktail at ultra-sophisticated L’Abattoir. The drink stars Crown Royal whisky – originally crafted as a tribute to King George and Queen Elizabeth’s first visit to Canada in 1939 – and is complemented by French sweet vermouth, Haskap liqueur (responsible for the royal purple hue), maple syrup and cherry bitters. Alternatively, you can pop over to The Liberty Distillery on Granville Island for The Royaltea, an intoxicating drink featuring Endeavour pink gin, rosewater, organic raspberry cordial, Earl Grey tea syrup and fresh lemon. Over at Prohibition you can hold a pinkie up while you sip on a Royal Tea Cocktail. It's a gin-based cocktail that looks like tea and is served in a vintage tea cup, along with a short bread cookie.
- After all that royal touring you’ll likely be knackered. Rest easy at The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver – fittingly known as “The Castle in the City” – which was opened in 1939 by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. Sleep well, Princes and Princesses!
Keen for more indulgent experiences in Vancouver? Check out our Luxury Itinerary for suggestions.