New Courtney Room Restaurant Meshes Menu and Design For a Casually Elegant Parisian Experience

Locally sourced ingredients take on a French Bistro vibe on the lower level and fine Parisian dining upstairs

  • Feb. 25, 2019 10:30 a.m.

– Story Chelsea Forman Photography by Lia Crowe

Story courtesy of Boulevard Magazine, a Black Press Media publication

Like Boulevard Magazine on Facebook and follow them on Instagram

Victoria’s Courtney Room has added a littleje ne sais quoi and miam! to the city’s dining scene with a restaurant redesign that hums with a French bistro vibe on the lower level and offers fine Parisian dining upstairs.

Smoked honey mussel, fermented radish foam and pieces and trout roe

“Old world meets new” at the Magnolia Hotel & Spa’s newly renovated Courtney Room, which — through harmonizing design and menu — evokes a sense old Paris within a classically modern setting and a uniquely local expression.

High ceilings, elements of Art Nouveau, artfully tiled entranceway and chevron-patterned wood floor conjure the grand dame hotels of Paris, while the menu further elevates the Parisian experience with locally sourced and seasonal cuisine — from both land and sea — created with a French flourish.

The newly renovated Courtney Room

“The vision and goal was to take the area and turn it into a classically modern space that would tie into the hotel’s overall design,” says Bill Lewis, general manager at Magnolia Hotel & Spa. “We wanted the dining experience to meet the food experience, so we developed the menu to match the space.”

Two separate menus, one in the downstairs, casually elegant bistro area and one in the upscale, upstairs dining room, offer a range of French-style delicacies from caviar and velour en croute to charcuterie sandwiches. Although created with a French twist, the cuisine pays homage to its locally sourced ingredients with names such as Nootka Rose lentil and Bean Ragout, Yarrow meadows Duck Breast and Cache Creek Beef Tartare.

“For the Charcuterie Sandwich, we use a country loaf (made in house — it’s a mix of sourdough and rye), pickles, mustard and a rotating charcuterie, also made in-house.”

The Courtney Room renovation was undertaken by Sharon Bortolotto of BBA Design in collaboration with Vancouver-based design agency Glasfurd & Walker.

“Sharon has worked on the aesthetic of hotel for over 20 years … continuity in the design exists throughout the hotel, spa and now restaurant,” says Bill.

The main bar features gray marble and a custom glass oyster station. The elevated upstairs dining room features brasserie-style velvet banquette seating in a carpeted space with white tablecloths and a glassed-in wine room.

Vintage lighting creates a casual elegance reinforced by the restaurant’s sophisticated colour palette of smoky grey-blues, taupes and earthen hues. Commissioned abstract expressionist-style artwork by Blu Smith pairs with the space’s decorative accents of leather, brass, bronze-beaded curtains and white marble chevron details.

“The French 250 cocktail is a take on the classic French 75, but instead of regular gin we use Empress Gin from Victoria — hence the 250 (Victoria area code) to make it local. We also add wild mountain honey syrup and lemon juice and top it off with the Unsworth Charme de L’ile (also local from the Cowichan Valley). “

“Ideally, The Courtney Room will become an iconic dining space that is as timeless, classic and as long-lasting as the hotel. We think we built something exceptionally well designed and well thought out. It’s a timeless dining experience in a classic restaurant,” says Bill.

Just Posted

Robert Barron column: A Canadian hero I wish I had talked to

Almost nobody was there on that cold Newfoundland day when Terry Fox started his run

Caps improve to 3-0

Lynn and Arquiett score two each as Caps double up Chiefs

Carving in Cowichan provided road to recovery for stroke victim

“I didn’t know if I’d be able to get out of bed or walk, let alone carve”

Sarah Simpson Column: Use your smarts to slow down early holidays

It’s Friday the 13th. There’s a full moon. A rabid bat is… Continue reading

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Intelligence official charged seemed to be ‘exemplar of discretion’: UBC professor

Professor Paul Evans says he served on Cameron Ortis’s doctoral dissertation committee

B.C. police watchdog to investigate man’s head injury during RCMP arrest

Suspect fled on a bicycle and fell off when an officer attempted to stop him

Nanaimo company gets licence to test psychedelic drugs for therapy treatment

Salvation Botanicals interested in manufacturing, testing and research and development

‘A real shame’: B.C. MLA says factors behind Tolko mill closing should have been caught

Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson said the industry is in bad shape across the province

VIDEO: Seniors at B.C. assisted living facility shocked by Oct. 1 eviction notice

Building owners terminate lease for McGuire Lake Congregate Living in Salmon Arm

Most Read