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Lady Carnarvon talks Downton Abbey at Fairmont tea

Lady Fiona Carnarvon

(Vancouver Courier) – Afternoon tea

Lady Fiona Carnarvon, owner of Highclere Castle home to the Downton Abbey TV show, is in Vancouver this Friday for a special afternoon tea to celebrate the Season Six finale and final episode of the extremely popular series.

During the Downton Abbey-inspired event, guests will enjoy a glass of sparkling wine and an opportunity to mingle at the Roof atop Fairmont Hotel Vancouver before enjoying a traditional afternoon tea and presentation by Lady Carnarvon, followed by a question and answer period.
Lady Carnarvon was inspired to share the true story of Highclere Castle’s conversion to a hospital during the First World War. Using diaries, letters and photos straight out of the Edwardian era, Lady Carnarvon produced the best-selling books Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey. Guests are encouraged to dress for afternoon tea or in their best Downton Abbey attire.

High tea takes place from 4 to 6 p.m. March 4, at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, 900 West Georgia St. Tickets are $115, including tax and gratuities with partial proceeds benefitting KCTS 9 (PBS). For reservations call 604-443-1816 or [email protected]. The final episode of Downton Abbey runs March 6 on Masterpiece KCTS.

Pacific Rim Whale Festival

In anticipation of the Pacific Rim Whale Festival, the West Coast town of Tofino is organizing marine adventures and culinary events beginning March 12.

Tofino is a whale watcher’s mecca and from March through May more than 20,000 grey whales migrate an incredible 15,000 km (9,500 miles) north from their Baja, California breeding grounds. Staying close to shore, these whales feed in the food-rich waters and protected bays of Clayoquot Sound on their way to the Bering Sea. This year’s festival will include more than 90 cultural, culinary, musical and educational events designed to inspire, educate and celebrate the area’s extraordinary marine and forest ecosystems. Long Beach Lodge Resort has organized an exclusive program through which guests can step from bedroom to beach or head out on a 2.5-hour Marine Adventure excursion with Captain Josh Lewis, to view the world’s largest mammals. A professional photographer, Lewis has years of experience as a mariner, naturalist and guide. After the tour, guests can enjoy Chef Ian Riddick’s menu in the ocean side Great Room, as he teams up with OceanWise for special dishes during the 15-day festival. Riddick will also be adding his culinary muscle to the dining events around town created especially for the festival – including the popular Chowder Chowdown competition, March 20. For more information visit  longbeachlodgeresort.com or call 1-877-844-7873. Visit pacificrimwhalefestival.com.

Travel Writing Symposium

Registration is open for the B.C. Association of Travel Writers symposium, which offers travel writers a day of speakers, panels, ideas for pitching and contests. This year’s theme is British Columbia: Too beautiful for words.

This year’s keynote speaker is Lucas Aykroyd, an award-winning writer, national newspaper columnist and public speaker specializing in travel and sports. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, National Geographic Traveler, the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Vancouver Sun, Hockey News and, of course, the Courier.

The symposium, which is open to members and non-members of the BCATW, runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, April 10 at the Anvil Centre, 777 Columbia St. in New Westminster. For more information visit bcatw.org.

Show your passport and save

Seattle Premium Outlets wants to encourage Canadians to take advantage of extra savings with its updated tourism program, Show Your Canadian Passport and Save. Now through June 30, Canadians who cross the border to shop at Seattle Premium Outlets can show their valid Canadian passport or residential ID at select retailers to receive additional savings.

More than 30 retailers at Seattle Premium Outlets have joined the program, which offers shoppers an additional 10 to 50 percent off purchases. For the complete list, visit Guest Services at Seattle Premium Outlets. In addition to this program, the shopping centre offers additional savings through the Shop and Stay program. Shoppers who book through select hotel partners can receive savings through Simon gift cards from $25 to $50 and gas and dining credits. Participating hotels include the Fairmont Olympic Hotel, the Tulalip Resort Casino, various local Marriott locations, Best Western, Hampton Inn and Suites and more.

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