Sometimes the view is one of a rooftop of air conditioning systems. :( Sometimes I get to see trees. :) Sometimes it's the twinkling of lights in the city. :) Sometimes it's a brick wall. :( But I always look.
So, never knowing what I'm going to see, when I opened the drapes to look outside on this trip, I was pleasantly surprised. We were overlooking the outdoor terrace area. Our room was directly above the pool, giving me a lovely view of calm, blue water. No one was swimming - it was too cool. So I drank in the symmetry of the rectangular pool. I noticed the cushioned chairs. They looked quite comfortable, even though no one was sitting in them. My eyes shifted to the left, to the rest of the terrace. And my heart jumped for joy.
"Look! It's a garden! It's a rose garden!" I was several floors above the terrace, and from my angle, I couldn't quite make out all the plants in the garden, but I could distinctly see some roses, and pathways.
A terrace garden!
"Oh, let's go see the garden!" I'm certain my husband rolled his eyes, but I didn't see it, because my eyes were transfixed on the garden below.
In case you're wondering, I have been gone for the last couple of days on business. Did you miss me? ;)
Anyway, I knew that we were going to be there for business. The days were scheduled, hour by hour. There would be no free time to explore. No time for garden tours. No reason to take my camera. I was amazed to be wrong!
And I was even more amazed when we rode the elevators down to the terrace level, opened the doors, and stepped outside. This was no ordinary garden.
We were staying at the Fairmont Hotel in downtown Dallas, Texas. The restaurant inside the hotel is called the Pyramid. And this terrace garden supplies some of the herbs, vegetables, fruit, and honey used by the Pyramid restaurant. It is a 3,000 sq. ft. garden. Growing there were herbs like oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage, and even a bay leaf tree. There was a fig tree, strawberry plants, and salad greens. Ready for harvesting were cantaloupe, swiss chard, eggplant, and numerous varieties of peppers.
They even had a small greenhouse and a rotating composter at one end of the garden. The entire garden was unexpected, and I was thrilled with each new discovery. It was especially exciting to see beehives! Of course, it makes sense. I doubt there are a lot of bees flying around high rises, looking for gardens. So, they brought the bees to the garden. And they collect and use the honey in the restaurant, as well as all the vegetables and herbs growing here in the terrace garden.
A restaurant in a large city that grows its own food. Now, that is local - and oh, so fresh! I was impressed. In fact, I was so impressed, we decided to steal a few minutes out of our business schedule in order to splurge and eat at the Pyramid (in the restaurant, not in the actual garden - even though there's an option for that!).
We had a fun time discussing each bite, trying to decide which ingredients came from the terrace garden. I have since learned that this chef is committed to serving local foods, going so far as to buy meat, cheeses, and even their olive oil, from Texas ranches. Local and fresh. You could taste the difference it made. Our food was delicious. No, it was much more than just delicious. It was sublime. I will dream about that meal for weeks.
Oh, and the roses? Yes, there were some roses there. But they were just a small part of the garden, not the main feature. They must have been planted there just to lure me down!
The photos are from my own garden. If you're interested in learning more about this terrace garden, click here. And if you are patient enough to go through a slideshow of the hotel, click here, then click on the photos. One of the slideshow photos is of the terrace garden.
Sounds like you had a good trip! It's nice if you get positively surprised when you're away from home. How long did you stay in Dallas?ReplyDelete
We only stayed a few days. I enjoyed it, but it's always nice to get back. :)Delete
With the ingredients being grown locally, not only will it be fresh, it'll be low in carbon footprint too :) And isn't it nice when your view from your hotel room window balcony faces a garden? It can be a gamble most of the time but if you go get such views then it's a fab bonus!ReplyDelete
Oh, looking outside and seeing a garden was such a joy to my spirit! I love seeing different views from hotels, if they're not brick walls or air conditioning units! :ODelete
You are having a fine trip. I always try to find restaurants that grow their own food. It always tastes better and it is good for the environment too.ReplyDelete
I don't think I've ever been to a restaurant before that grew their own food. But, I can imagine it always tastes better. This food was certainly superb!Delete
It sounds like you had a delicious meal, Holley. There is nothing better to me than fresh ingredients. I'm off to look at your slideshows. Thanks for sharing. :-)ReplyDelete
I was so sorry I didn't bring my camera. I had no idea I'd see a garden - right in the hotel!Delete
What a fantastic idea. Brilliant chef, knowing there is no taste that can compare with fresh food straight from the garden.ReplyDelete
I really do applaud the chef. It's a lot of work, I'm sure, but oh, the rewards of excellence in taste are worth it!Delete
I've heard of rooftop gardens, and there are some in Vancouver that grow a little of their own food. What a great idea, sounds like you said, sublime.ReplyDelete
I have heard of rooftop gardens before, but never had seen one in person. It was amazing, and beautiful. I wish everyone that had a rooftop would grow a garden!Delete
How cool is that! I laughed out loud, thinking of how I spent an entire morning during our trip to Branson to photograph Crepe Myrtles! Plant lovers cannot be distracted from their passion! Tee hee. Great post, and I hope I'll be able to visit that garden/restaurant if I ever get to Dallas!ReplyDelete
I was completely surprised to see a garden in our hotel. I was only expecting to see buildings. I guess we plant lovers can spot a garden a mile away! :)Delete
I love things like this. Gardening is really en vogue these days. I'll go check out the slide show now. You've definitely piqued my interest. Hope you enjoyed your stay and I have to tell you, I do the same thing--open those drapes and let the sun in! :)ReplyDelete
I can't stand to be in a hotel with the drapes closed. I have to open them the minute I get there - and like to leave them open, even at night. (I am cognizant about who could see what, though! ;)) I leave the drapes open at my own house (no one lives near us), so I have to be able to look outside!Delete
Sounds like you had a great time, even though it was business, never been to a restaurant that grows it's own food, sounds great, and a rose garden too, fabulous. Best Wishes Karen.ReplyDelete
I had never been to a restaurant that grew its own food, either. I hope more and more restaurants will start doing this. It really did make a difference in the taste.Delete
How absolutely brilliant, i loved reading the post, i wish i could write so well.ReplyDelete
i adore the fact that you went to the garden, and your husband is not alone, my whole family is constantly rolling their eyes, it's a wonder they aren't dizzy ;)
I checked out the slide show and the hotel must be GINORMOUS and in ever photo that had a window i was searching for the garden and it looked wonderful... more hotels need gardens somewhere on them ;)
Yes, the hotel is quite large. It was nice to be able to see some plants outside instead of just buildings everywhere. It's amazing what some living plant material can do for the spirit.Delete
i totally understand what youre talking about, when im in the city with friends im always longing for the parts of the city that have grass and trees and other plantsDelete
You have written your experience in the hotel/restaurant very exciting. I could see you with a jumping heart of joy by viewing a rose in the hotel garden. I can imaginge you loved the food in the Pyramid restaurant, there is nothing like fresh food from the garden especially when there is such a brilliant chef to prepair dinner.ReplyDelete
I'm certain the chef would have done well without fresh ingredients, but I am certain it wouldn't have tasted as good. It really was wonderful. And it made me even more committed to growing more of my own food!Delete
Here in South Africa there is also a huge effort by Hotels & Restaurants now to 'grow their own', and it really makes a huge difference in the quality of meal you are served. Nothing tastes as good as freshly picked ...ReplyDelete
I am so glad the movement is spreading. It is a wonderful idea, even though it must take a lot more effort, time, and work to grow the garden. But I don't think we would have made an effort to eat in that restaurant if we hadn't seen the garden! So, it does make a difference, in every respect!Delete
I've heard rooftop gardens, and beehives, is a growing trend in cities - some of the good news stories to balance the bad ones. When I stay in a hotel i care more about the view than the room itself. Anyway the moral of this post is: you never know when you're going to need your camera, so you'd better make sure you have it with you!!ReplyDelete
Yes, I realized I had made a big mistake in not taking my camera when I saw that garden! I truly had no idea that I would be seeing anything like that in a hotel. I'm so glad this trend is growing. I hope it continues to grow.Delete
I hope more restaurants start doing this. When I travel, I want to experience the place I travel, not a copy of where I am from. Local food is a perfect way to experience a place.ReplyDelete
Well said, Mary. It would be wonderful to have locally grown food at all restaurants. What a treat that would be!Delete
That's fantastic! I've been working on eating more locally for a while now, and I'm lucky that many restaurants in the DC metro area either have their own herb gardens or buy only from local producers. SOunds like you had a nice trip.ReplyDelete
I'm so glad that so many restaurants in DC are doing that. I hope the trend continues to grow. I love the idea of eating locally. And if more restaurants would do this, I think people would enjoy their food even more.Delete
Hi Holley! Glad to hear you had a wonderful trip, the restaurant and rooftop gardens sound amazing. Even without the pictures, I could 'picture' it, lol.ReplyDelete
I would feel the same way seeing a garden in the midst of an urban setting, it would draw me in like a magnet, too. The hospital I go to (not lately, thank goodness!) has a courtyard garden that is so serene and peaceful and they have it situated so it is visible from almost every part of the building. I can't tell you how soothing that garden was/is when waiting for a nurse to call your name or for results from tests. A gardener had to have been on the architectural team when that hospital was built. (There's even rocks strategically placed in the landscaping!)
The cuisine at the restaurant looks amazing, so glad you had a wonderful time.
I think that is wonderful for a hospital to have a courtyard garden that is seen from every part of the building. That has to be helpful in calming the nerves, and healing the spirit as well as the body.Delete
What a wonderful surprise to find at your hotel. I hope that more places follow their example.ReplyDelete
I do, too. I would love to be able to go into many restaurants that grew their own food.Delete
Wow! That's like a vacation inside a vacation! Sounds like my kind of trip. :)ReplyDelete
Yes, anywhere there is a garden, it's a vacation! ;)Delete
What an unexpected pleasure. So nice to see how well they have done, especially since gardening is so hard to do here, let alone, on a roof in downtown Dallas. Glad you got to see it and tell us about it.ReplyDelete
I was surprised, too. I can't even imagine what zone it is there. It would seem to be extra cold in the winter, and extra hot in the summer. Plus, you have the other buildings and their shadows to deal with. The roses were damaged from the latest freeze. I was impressed that they were still growing cantaloupe!Delete
Sounds absolutely dreamy...I will not find that at hotels in my area but we should. I do love a local restaurant that grows its own organic produce and raises organic meat...we love to eat there even though it is almost 45 minutes away...loal fresh food is the best.ReplyDelete
I am glad you have found a restaurant that grows its own food, even though it is 45 minutes away. What a special pleasure that must be to go there!Delete
A restaurant in a city that grows its own food and has a rose garden? That is impressive! This sounds like my kind of hotel!ReplyDelete
From now on, when I book a hotel, I'll be looking for a garden on its roof as one of its features! :)Delete
What a nice surprise to discover while traveling on business! You have to admire the hotel's management and chefs for having the vision to see the benefits of such a garden.ReplyDelete
Yes, it would be interesting to know how it all evolved, and whose idea it was originally.Delete
A trip to a luxury hotel with a garden is just what I need. I find that every time I make a conscious decision to not bring my camera, I want it.ReplyDelete
I should know by now that I'll want my camera anywhere I go! It seems plants can spring up in the unlikeliest of places!Delete
Holley, you probably had a good time in a luxury hotel! I thinkReplyDelete
all guests are lucky to eat local and fresh food.
Chef is a great man.
I am very impressed that this chef thinks enough of his food and his patrons to go to the extra trouble of having a garden, cooking with those fresh ingredients, and buying locally the things he doesn't grow. He is to be commended.Delete
For years I have fantasized of opening a restaurant with a garden that produces its food. It's only a daydream and not something I would actually do, but I am pleased that someone has actually done it! It sounds like a great hotel and a wonderful restaurant. Also, I just read and really enjoyed your previous post about the spiders. I can imagine your shock when you realized what you were looking at!ReplyDelete
I do think more and more restaurants are starting to do this. I think it's a growing trend, and if you wanted to do something like this, it just might be the time to jump in! ;) Truthfully, though, I know it must be much more work to maintain a garden in addition to having a restaurant, but I think more and more people are wanting something like this. I hope the trend continues until this is a choice available in every city.Delete