Tea-Time at the Top of the Rockies? You Bet

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Horseback riding up to the Lake Agnes Teahouse in Lake Louise is a highlight on this tour that’ll be hard to forget.  I’ve been to Lake Louise before, but never ventured up the trails.  Now, I’m counting down the days until I can back again and go even further, up to the Beehives.

All you have to do is look at the photos that Carolyne took and see for yourself what you could be (and really should be) experiencing at one point in your life.  If you’re a hiker, the three and a half kilometer climb to the top of Lake Agnes will be exciting. It’s at an elevation of 1,300 feet. We even saw a brave soul partly jogging some of it (he must have had his Frosted Flakes that morning).

I, on the other hand, was very excited to saddle up (courtesy of Brewster Stables) and enjoy the climb with a little help from my one-and-only, Nugget.   As a side note, I’ve been telling Carolyne for the last few weeks just how much I loved the word Nugget.  It’s funny how that worked out.

Back to my thoughts about the day.

Don’t forget your camera and an extra sweater.  On the way up, you’ll be able to capture so many memories: squirrels sitting on the side of the road–just hanging out– the subalpine forest changing in colour and density, Mirror Lake’s pale turquoise water and waterfalls.

This is all, of course, is in the good company of the mammoth-sized-and-jagged edged mountains that act with assertiveness over the entire land. Before the final few steps to the house, make sure to look left, so you can see the waterfalls and the trails that merge below.  You can also just take a deep breath and look at the view of the Chateau, which at this point looks no bigger than a small house.

Named after Lady Susan Agnes MacDonald (wife of Canada’s first Prime Minister, Sir John A. MacDonald), the teahouse could be something out of Grimm’s fairy tale.  The covered terrace of the teahouse wraps around, offering stellar direct views of the lake.  When it’s warm, the seats on the edge are drenched in sunshine.  (Note: The grey jays, chipmunks and ground squirrels are on stand-by to clean up your scraps.) The lake itself is regal, stretching to the edges of the mountain.  You can walk along and continue upwards to the Beehives.

Inside the teahouse, the low-ceilings, comfortable wooden benches and tables, and the sweet smells of freshly baked crumbles and cookies hit your senses. Table service-only and cash-only, the tea selection is massive (Carolyne and I had a tea-for-two).

On our way down, we managed to fit in a few tunes for the road before we hit the stables. Overlooking Lake Louise from the terrace of the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, everything was veiled in emerald and gold. It’s so wild to have such contrasting experiences within a few hours of each other.  Coming from a small lake and its small teahouse, at what seems like the top of the world, to a bigger lake and its bigger “house” was mesmerizing.

To share your own personal photos from Lake Louise, Banff or Calgary, we’d love to see them at Locals Know.

While I’m a contributor to We Blog the World, the below blog post  is the copyright of the Canadian Tourism Commission.  Please link back and credit all content used to Canada is a Big Place.  You can also check us out on Flickr and @biglaceblog.

Victoria Revay
Victoria Revay is a broadcaster, journalist and on-air personality. She has worked at BCTV on the Global Desk and regularly filled in for Pia Shandel's show on CFUN 1410 am as a radio producer.

She was channel editor, citizen-journalism hustler and video presenter for Now Public, has appeared as a new media expert and trend/lifestyles expert on shows such as City TV's Breakfast Television, CKNW 980, CBC radio and the Leo Laporte Show on G4Tech TV.
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