The Great Hawksworth by Alvin Carraway
In my younger and more vulnerable years, my father gave me some advice that I’ve since learned to take to heart.
“Never turn down an invitation to brunch.”
For a Friday morning, it was almost too early to be up and about. Riding the train to city centre, it was clear my sentiment was reflected on the multitude of groggy faces within a sea of smartly pressed grey and navy blue. A well-dressed woman sitting to my left picked at her skirt hem nervously, perhaps on her way to an audition. The gentleman directly in front of me chewed away noisily on handfuls of some sort of potato crisp, showering his poor companion with the byproduct of his enthusiastic appetite.
Slightly miffed that the voracious transit diner had not offered me any of his early morning snack, I got off at my stop and headed towards the Rosewood Hotel Georgia. Though early in the day, the street corner played symphony to the unmistakable tune of legion’s horn. Whether late or on time, commuters shared their mutual admiration for vehicular noisemakers with liberal abandon. Stepping through the heavy glass doors into the lobby, all street noise faded and I found myself alone in silence. Not the hollow silence that echoes but the intentional, manicured silence that undoubtedly comes at a heavy price. Stepping through the short lobby, I made my way to the dining room to find my host.
As one of the first to arrive, my punctuality was awarded with the opportunity to survey the impeccably addressed interior. Conservative and tasteful, everything from the table and chairs to the pristine plateware and cutlery asserted a polite, well-mannered culture. Upon taking my seat, a well-dressed young man (whose name I did not catch so will simply refer to as Tom) took my drink order. While others indulged in mimosas and rich coffees, I modestly sipped on fresh orange juice. I am a purist that way, I enjoy the focus of simplicity and the orange juice was genuinely quite good.
Taking a seat next to my host, I painfully attempted to engage in table banter with a social awkwardness I hope my contemporaries found charming. Situating myself at a table comprised entirely of women, I eventually excused myself politely as the conversation turned to unattainably attractive male thespians. Looking around the room, I admired the upscale nature of the space that gratefully lacked pretentiousness. Acknowledged by all visual inspection in the most positive regard, I did not feel intimidated by the space which was refreshing. I am sure all patrons that frequent Hawksworth will form referrals based purely on the duality of comfort and class that the room effortlessly exudes.
After placing our brunch orders, my cohort of female compatriots shared a basket of fresh Artisan Breakfast Pastries which included pain au chocolat, an Almond croissant and a danish of some sort. As our respective brunch dishes were served, I deftly grabbed a few photos of what my table ordered.
“The English” which is a traditional English breakfast that includes eggs, tomato, mushrooms, bacon, sausage, potatoes, baked beans, toast and black pudding.
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes sprinkled with blueberry and served with Canadian maple syrup.
“Two Eggs” served with Applewood bacon or glazed honey ham.
House Chorizo Hash – two sunny side eggs, grilled fennel in a smoked tomato vinaigrette.
The hushed silence as we all ate spoke volumes as a testament to the quality of our food and overall experience. As our plates were nimbly cleared and our social senses returned to us, the general consensus was glowing. Seemingly every invitee had something to rave about and the assembled clamour was nothing but flattering. Chef Hawksworth emerged from the kitchen to graciously take photos as my enamoured colleagues impressed upon his quiet, genial disposition. With a soft half-smile he thanked us for coming like a proud father modestly faced with an inundation of praise for a prodigal child. For Hawksworth, the experience is due respect and well worthy of the name it has established for itself.
As I made my way back out onto the now vastly quieter streets and back to the relative obscure normalcy of my life, I found myself pondering several things. Brooding on the humility of my recent meal, I found it presented itself in such spectacular fashion that belied the cumulative sum of its ingredients. As my quickened pace brought me in step with the cosmopolitan masses, I attuned myself to the sincere nature that comes with the highest exultation of wonder that food can bring. Though uncommon, I vowed to return and fervently pursue the full potential of epicurean delight with a singular passion until I am left with only one final question: what the heck did I just write? @[email protected]
Address: 801 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC
Phone Number: 604-673-7000