Even though we just got word that soon, fully vaccinated Canadians returning to Canada will be able to skip the hotel and 14-day quarantine, you might want to consider making some domestic travel plans to Calgary to experience the new Westley Hotel.
The Westley Hotel
The Westley Hotel is set to open its doors on June 29 and it’s situated near the city’s Eau Claire neighbourhood on 4th Avenue between 5th & 6th Street SW. The hotel used to be an office building but take one look at its fun and fresh reconstruction and you’d never know. The hotel boasts 104 modern guest rooms, an open-concept lobby lounge area, a fitness area, and an outdoor patio. Plus it’s pet-friendly so even the fur babies can come with! Throughout the entire space, you’ll feel all the ’70s vibes with the accents of velvet, fringe and brass.
See also: Where To Go For The Best Cheap Eats In Calgary >>>
“Guests of The Westley Hotel can expect genuine, personalized service that balances cool sophistication and down-home hospitality,” says Ian Jones, The Westley Hotel’s General Manager. “Our talented team is ready to welcome visitors and the local community into our vibrant boutique atmosphere.”
The Dining Experience
However, no great hotel is complete without an amazing dining experience to go with it, right? The Westley is also set to be a dining destination thanks to notable Calgary restaurateur Cody Willis of Thank You Hospitality. Fonda Fora, his newest contemporary Mexican concept, will be located on the hotel’s ground floor and it’ll have a fresh and ever-changing menu guided by seasonality and quality ingredients. Taking the lead in the kitchen is Chef Rafael Castillo who was born and raised in the Yucatan Peninsula, so you know you’re in good hands!
“This is an exciting moment for Thank You Hospitality as we prepare to launch our first dining concept within a boutique hotel, taking the next step of integrating travel into our culinary offerings,” notes Cody Willis, President of Thank You Hospitality. “We can think of no better partnership, as both The Westley Hotel and Fonda Fora strive to be destinations where locals and guests can enjoy great food and cocktails in an unparalleled and inviting atmosphere.”
Recipe Sneak Peaks
If you can’t wait until the 29th to get inside the doors, we have you covered because we got our hands on Fonda Fora’s Dulce de Papaya Cocktail recipe that you can enjoy at home but with all the flavours of the Yucatan region of Mexico.
While recipes for the dessert vary, Fonda Fora has chosen to stick to the most traditional recipe from Yucatan. The dessert centres around candied papaya that has been slowly cooked in cinnamon, vanilla, clove and sugar and it’s served cold with the syrup it has been cooked in poured over and is topped with toasted coconut. See below for how to make it!
- 1.5 oz Reposado tequila
- .75 oz dulce de papaya syrup, recipe follows
- .50 oz fresh lemon juice
- Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake for about 20 seconds. Strain into a teacup.
- For the ultimate Dulce de Papaya experience, accompany your cocktail with a piece of candied papaya and sprinkle some toasted coconut on top. Dessert and a cocktail!
Recipe for Dulce de Papaya:
- 950g fresh papaya, about 2lbs from green to almost ripe
- 500g sugar
- 1000g water
- 10g cinnamon stick, about 3 sticks
- 1g whole cloves
- 3 tsp Mexican vanilla
- Toasted coconut to top
- ½ tbsp baking soda
- Peel the skin off of the fresh papaya removing any green and leaving only the flesh of the papaya.
- Cut the papaya in half lengthwise, scrape out the seeds and cut again in half – this time by the width of the fruit. Continue to cut the papaya into cubes about 1.5 in x 1.5 in.
- Once the papaya is cubed, weigh the fruit. This weight will determine how much sugar is used, as well as what dilution the “lime water” needs to be. The general rule of thumb is 1% weight of baking soda to the weight of the papaya and for every kg of papaya, you will need 500 g of sugar.
- Create a solution called “lime water.” This helps break down the outer layer on the papaya skin to take away the bitterness. It also creates an outer layer on the papaya allowing the inside to cook to a jam-like consistency, while still holding its shape on the outside of the fruit.
- Dilute every 8 g baking soda with 2.5 L of warm water.
- Once the lime-water solution has been made, add the diced papaya and let it sit for 1 hour.
- Once the 1-hour soak is complete, strain the papaya, rinse very thoroughly with water, and poke a couple of holes on the outside of the papaya with a fork.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil, add the papaya and boil for about 25 minutes or until the fruit is soft to poke with a fork. Strain papaya again and rinse very thoroughly.
- In a pot, combine 1 L of water, sugar, cinnamon sticks, cloves and vanilla. Stir and bring to a boil. Once the syrup mixture is boiling, add the diced papaya, reduce to medium heat, and cover.
- Let the mixture cook for at least 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. By this time a syrup should be forming. Once the papayas are cooked, remove the cover and let it cook further for another 20 minutes, delicately stirring the papaya pieces and ensuring the syrup doesn’t become too thick. The finished product will be candied papaya, in a beautiful caramel-coloured syrup.
- Lastly, remove the cinnamon sticks and cloves and allow the syrup to cool. It can be stored in the fridge for several weeks.
Featured Image: The Westley Hotel