Alberta, Canada

5th January 2007 at 00:00
Graeme Tomlin teaches at Henry Wise Wood Senior High in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Favourite place when you have time off?

My wife Jennifer and I love taking off to Banff Canmore to enjoy a spa weekend. Banff is a ski resort town in the Rocky Mountains, 45 minutes outside Calgary, and the small village of Canmore is minutes outside Banff.

Jennifer's an elementary teacher and we like to relax and reconnect with each other after long teaching and football and curling coaching regimes.

What's special about it?

We chose the Fairmont Banff Springs www.fairmont.combanff springs for our honeymoon this summer.

When's a good time to come?

If you're a skier or snowboarder, Banff is best in the late fall to winter.

However for any eco-tourist activity such as hiking or mountain biking, Banff is exceptional year-round. One of the most serene festivals is Mozart on the Mountain (www.mozartonthemountain.com) at the end of August each year, when the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra plays an extraordinary outdoor concert at Three Sisters Mountain Village in the Rocky Mountains.

Lunchtime treats?

The best kept secret in Alberta is the French Quarter Cafe (www.canmorealberta.comdirectoryrestaurants) in Canmore, which serves Cajun and Creole dishes. It is small and intimate so make sure you phone ahead. My favourite is the bread pudding - perfect for sharing.

Evening delights?

We love spending time on a nice patio on warm summer evenings. The Grizzly Paw Brewing Company (www.thegrizzlypaw.com) in Canmore is a micro-brewery and restaurantpub which offers a change from everyday beers. After, we go to the Willow Stream Spa, the hot springs at Fairmont Banff Springs, to soak the night away.

Don't miss

Welch's Chocolate Shop (www.banffcandy.com) is wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling chocolates and candies, both homemade and imported - a must-see for anyone with a sweet tooth.

Visitors beware

Mindless, tourist-orientated knick-knack shops which sell everything with a Canadian flag attached to it.

Remember to buy

Candy, candy, candy. But, more importantly, locally craftedmicro-brewed beer, beer, beer

Renata Rubnikowicz

FIND OUT MORE

www.TravelAlberta.com

How to get there

Over February half-term (departures February 16), British Airways Holidays (0870 242 1276, ba.comholidays) offers seven nights at five-star Fairmont Banff Springs from pound;1,137 per adult and pound;472 per child, including return flights from Heathrow and car hire.

At Easter, Crystal Ski (0870 160 6040, www.crystalski.co.uk) offers a week in Sunshine Village, Banff, from pound;651 per adult and pound;399 per child (based on two paying adults and one child) at the three-star, ski-in-and-out hotel, with return flights from Gatwick, transfers, a six-day lift pass and apr s-ski events.

Price to the planet

Offset climate cost of return flight to Calgary for pound;14.76 per adult.

Visit www.climatecare.org

Win skating tickets

The TES has joined forces with the Canadian Tourism Commission (www.canada.traveluk) to offer readers four pairs of ice skating tickets at Canary Wharf, Canada Square Ice Rink, in east London. The tickets will be valid until February 18.

Write (postcards only) to Treats, TES Magazine, Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1W 1BX, marking your entry "Skate". First entry picked out is the winner. The closing date for entries is January 19.

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