When you speak of Churchill and polar bears, then it’s probably this image that comes to mind:
And you would be right–Churchill is, in fact, the polar bear capital of the world and home to the world’s most accessible polar bear population. From the months of about July-November, you can witness these majestic creatures traversing the shores of the Hudson Bay in northern Manitoba, making it one of the world’s true bucket list experiences.
However, if you’re lucky enough to join a walking polar bear safari with Churchill Wild, then you will be left with something else to remember your trip. Sure, there’s the stunning Seal River Heritage Lodge (named one of National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World), a 30 min plane flight north of Churchill, that greets you from below.
And there’s the cozy rooms, crackling fires, comfy couches and that unmistakable feeling of being in Canada’s North.
Of course, there’s the adventure you’ll go on too. Churchill Wild offers the world’s only walking polar bear safaris, giving you the chance to get at eye level with the kings and queens of the north. Each day, you’ll get suited up in your winter proof gear and head out on to the tundra with your trusty bear guide, seeking out these amazing animals. And you won’t be disappointed by who you come across.
As amazing as all this is, that isn’t actually what we’re here to talk about today. What we’re here to discuss is the food–because what bucket list experience could be complete without eating some of the most amazing dishes you’ve ever tried? Think fresh green salads tossed in housemade dressing, sweet and sour northern pike, blue cheese drizzled with honey and signature ice inspired cocktails.
There is a good reason Churchill Wild pulls out all the stops when it comes to the kitchen. There’s the desire to make this a world-class experience, but there is also the family’s matriarch casting a discerning and well-seasoned eye on the proceedings. Helen Webber, co-author of nine cookbooks, has been cooking and developing recipes for the family’s lodges for more than 30 years. The books bear titles like Blueberries & Polar Bears, Icebergs & Belugas and Cranberries & Canada Geese–a clear nod to the landscape and wildlife that inspired the creations inside.
The recipes themselves draw on ingredients from the north where possible, incorporating things like wild game and arctic cranberries. During your stay at Seal River Heritage Lodge, you will be greeted with fresh baked breads, from-scratch soups and homemade desserts at every meal. Every recipe is found in one of Helen’s cookbooks and the chef will happily let you know which page of which book to find it on.
We highly recommend you pack stretchy pants.