Off the Line -A brunch like no other

At the suggestion of my nephew, Jon, in Seattle, four of us decided to take in the Sunday Champagne brunch at the historic Davenport Hotel

Karen Haviland

There are some things in life which just can’t ever be replaced or duplicated. You know what I’m talking about; I’m talking about that special sunrise one morning, the Seven Wonders of the World, each unique snowflake or even a special moment in time. Try as one might, any attempt at duplicating such things simply result in a poor, watered down travesty of the original.

The trick, sometimes, is to be in the moment and recognize such wonders before they slip away.

I had such a moment a couple of weeks ago when my husband and I went to Spokane with two other couples for a fun-filled getaway.

At the suggestion of my nephew, Jon, in Seattle, four of us decided to take in the Sunday Champagne brunch at the historic Davenport Hotel in downtown Spokane. It wasn’t the first time he had urged me to go and sample its fare; he has raved about it numerous times but I never really took his suggestion seriously. I mean, brunch is brunch, is it not?

Placed beside most brunches is relatively the same – congealed eggs, cold toast with the butter only partially spread across it (my pet peeve), bitter coffee and hung-over patrons. I choose to skip it, save the money and sleep in instead.

For some reason, however, that Sunday in Spokane I decided to check out that particular champagne brunch after thoroughly researching it online. With great trepidation I booked the $40 food folly for the four of us. After all, it was just money and who knew? maybe it would be an adventure. Anyone who knows me will vouch that I’m all up for an adventure at any time.

And yes, it was quite the adventure, one that I am so glad I went on.

The Davenport is a luxurious and splendid throwback to the day when elegance and fine-dining went hand in hand, no frills spared. It was constructed and opened in 1914 and is palatial. It was, and still is, I believe, a fine example of culture and refinement as you would want to see. Complete with hand-painted frescoes, ornate mouldings and crowned with genuine gold leaf throughout, the hotel is simply stunning. One would have to have been raised with the wolves to fail to appreciate the exquisite craftsmanship and thought that went into the hotel.

Even now, as I write this column, I’m dazzled to think that when I strolled throughout the Davenport, I walked where notables such as John F. Kennedy, Howie Mandel, John Travolta and royalty from yesteryear to today have walked. It’s not an understatement to say that one has to see it to believe it.

Since its opening, the Davenport has hosted its famous Sunday champagne brunch in one of its legendary ballrooms. Throughout the ballroom are pictures of diners from yesteryear dressed in their finest wearing fancy hats, ties, white gloves and furs.

The Davenport champagne brunch was where those who were the crème del a crème of high society went to be seen.

Nowadays it is a wide mix of every walk of life. People sporting the popular ripped jeans hob-knob with society’s high flying crew without blinking an eye.

At today’s champagne brunch at the Davenport, there is no class distinction. But, don’t get me wrong, the hotel and its brunch reek of distinction right down to its bottomless mimosas, fine china and gourmet assortment of food.

Never, in my whole life, have I ever seen such a fine array of food. From jumbo Mexican Gulf prawns to lox and bagels (Yummy! My favourite!) to prime grade prime rib, sushi, its well stocked omelet station manned by chefs in sparkling white chef hats and a host of other glorious offerings, the brunch is well worth the $40 per person. If that isn’t enough, there is a chocolate fountain sitting alongside a variety of sweets and pastries — if you have any room left for dessert.

I justified the cost by telling myself that it was a once in a lifetime thing; that I deserved it. I was wrong. Dead wrong. It wasn’t a once in a lifetime thing. I plan on going back again as often as my pocketbook will allow.

Seriously folks, do yourself a favour if you are ever in Spokane and looking for a delightful experience. Take in the brunch at the Davenport. You won’t regret it.


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