You want to talk about ambiance? This place has it in spades. Last night was Lougheed House's staff Christmas dinner, and yours truly was booked to entertain. The house, former residence of Senator Lougheed and his family, is one of the few preserved Victorian stately homes you'll find in Alberta. Rare, and therefore quite special. Yes, yes, many of you in the UK have got leftovers in your fridge that predate what is considered antique in Canada but regardless of that, this house is beautifully preserved and maintained.
In true Victorian style it's actually a mixture - ornate brass fixtures, textured wallpapers, dark panneling (Mission / Arts & Crafts), Persian rugs, but it all works. And after dark with the lights on it takes on a cosy atmosphere perfect for (what else?) parlour magic!
Parlour magic. In a PARLOUR! One of the nice things about a gig like this is that I get to do things that work best in certain atmospheres and that I therefore only occasionally do. My multiple-selection routine, for one: ten cards selected by different audience members, shuffled back into the deck and then found one at a time... in my pockets, inside the card box, flying out of the deck and so on. Great fun to perform but works best (with that number) when the people in the audience know each other well and have rapport already.
Superb night. And a highly recommended place to visit if you like old houses with charm and history.