*Because we all could use a little dose of escapism right now*
Back in the summer of 2020, my husband and I got away for the first time since the Pandemic began. We escaped to Prince Edward County, and despite it being only a few hours away from home, it felt like the most magical trip after months of privileged captivity. We stayed at the Netflix-famous June Motel, and spent two days and two nights exploring a reopening tourist destination. I still reflect on the trip with such joy in my heart.
In Fall 2021, I hit up Prince Edward County once again, this time with my dear friend Jane. My only problem with our two-day & one-night stay at the June Motel this Autumn was that we didn’t book more nights! (And maybe we were also a teeeeensy bit annoyed at the lack of places open in early September- but we made the most of it and had an amazing time!)
I have had so much help compiling amazing places to visit in PEC over the past two years (thank you to friends like Britt and Kieran especially- you were such a help!) and I wanted to share my ever-growing to-do list. There have been a lot of rapid changes in our world this week alone- a lot of uncertainty around the Pandemic- and I wanted to post something hopeful and wanderlusty. It’s an easily accessible place for those who live in Ontario, and it’s a little bit of magic to look forward to in Summer 2022.
Prince Edward Country is a different setup than Niagara-on-the-Lake; this is an important point to note in case it is your first time going and you are comparing the two. PEC is much more spread-out, so I have divided the below recommendations and hot spots by township.
The Vic- Jane and I went to the Vic- it was our first “eating” stop on a major food tour. We loved the old school vibes of the diner, and of course the jalapeño and cheese tater tots!
Stella’s Eatery- It was closed when we went in early September, but when Ian and I ventured to this adorable dinner spot, its unique, small menu and accompanying drinks had us swooning. Ian and I especially loved the cornflake-encrusted rabbit. *Update: according to their site, they have moved to a new location in Waupoos.*
555 Brewing Co.- Great wood fire pizza, beer and patio
Lake on the Mountain- Ian and I had a great experience at Lake on the Mountain- a romantic dinner at sunset overlooking the gorgeous lake. They have a great patio and charcuterie plate. My only issue is how early in the season they close- Jane and I would have loved to have made it up this spot in early September when we went! (We did sneak a peek in the daytime though- the view is outstanding no matter what!)
Blumen- I still haven’t made it here yet, but it comes highly recommended and is always packed upon drive-by!
Bocado- Bocado opened a mere few weeks before Jane and I arrived and is the new hot spot in Picton! Book in advance for this tapas hot spot!
Beacon Bike and Brew- Hipster-y and delish coffee and casual/cafe food.
Picnic Grab and Go- A Jane reco!
Carson Arthur’s Garden Gallery + Flossie’s Food Truck- Flossie’s hours (when we attended) were Friday-Monday and they make incredible sandwiches! Definitely worth the stop. The best part? You can eat on their adorable patio, and stroll around Caron’s beautiful garden gallery while you wait. On both of our trips to PEC, we have purchased beautiful plants, potters, candles and even hats from Carson’s. He is also one of our HGTV talent, so love supporting him! I enjoy their staff in the greenhouse as well; they are all extremely knowledgable and helpful!
Hinterland- Home to some incredible sparkling wines! Jane made sure to tell Ian and I about it before our first trip) and we fell in love with the variety of sparkling wines this winery had to offer. Jane and I went again this past Fall, and enjoyed Bellini’s and watching the chickens graze in the chicken coop! This is definitely my favourite winery in PEC and a definitely MUST when you visit!!
The Grange & Old Salt Cocktail Truck– This is such a beautiful winery and a favourite to sit at and enjoy a cocktail and hot dog from the Old Salt Cocktail Truck! Roosters and chickens roam the lot, and the scenery and barn are exquisite! Visit on a nice day, chat with the friendly owner of the Old Salt truck and enjoy a cocktail in a Muskoka chair.
Claussen Chase- We have had great experiences here and love the purple barn and grassy seating.
Huff Estates- This is where we stayed when our friends Lauren and Lauren got married! We had a delightful room, and a wonderful meal on site. I was pregnant when we went, so I didn’t get to try all the wine, but it is a beautiful spot with hotel rooms as well. We had so much fun with our friends who also stayed over at Huff, and they were all decorated differently.
Trail Estates- The wine here wasn’t my favourite but it is worth stopping into to try something different and enjoy the scenery!
Broken Stone- Run by a sweet family, originally from Toronto, this winery is adorable and has a homey vibe.
Harry’s Charbroiled – The famous Toronto burger spot has opened in PEC! Waupoos (Past Picton), Hours: 12-7 Thursday- Monday. (Jane, I can’t believe I still haven’t made it to ANY of the locations!)
Waupoos Brewery- Beautiful grounds and a dock
County Cider Co- Friend and Local PEC dweller Britt says this is a must-visit!
Parson’s- Love love love Parson’s! The giant space is gorgeous and their food is also awesome! If you have any questions for them, they are also quite responsive on IG!
Drake Devonshire- Ian and I loved the food at the Drake Devonshire- I had the lobster roll for brunch and it didn’t disappoint! We also walked to the beach from there and had a lovely afternoon. I will say, however, when Jane and I tried to get through to them when looking for an available Resto, it was impossible to get through to anyone during that early-mid September mark. So book everything you can SUPER early.
Piccolina Mercato (Enid Grace Bakery)- Have been here twice now and their take home Italian goods like lasagnes and meatballs are incredible, as well as their jams and pastries.
La Condesa Auethentic Mexican
Chadsey Cairns- Awesome barn and view
The Lakeside Motel- This was definitely the best find of the trip. It appeared during our nighttime journey to find food (see bottom of this post for more info on THE Terry from Terry’s Cabs helping us find any food possible) and was the most magical experience. We are on a patio overlooking the water as bonfires roared around us, strolled past a beautiful string of glamping tents, and even met some new friends in the gift shop, who took us on a tour of one of the larger “houses” for rent on the property. The Lakeside Motel is another example of an old motel turned beautiful and lovely. So dreamy…. we will be back.
Fridays Cannabis- Jane and I LOVED the vibe and aesthetic of this place. We could have hung out there all day long.
Flame and Smith- It is actually kind of humorous that I wanted to go here so badly, and that it was closed for a staff party when Jane and I tried to go, haha. Next time!
Dead Peoples Stuff- Don’t love the name, but their antiques are apparently awesome.
Bermuda- I really want to try Bermuda- their menu looks so fun! Unfortunately both times I have visited in the past two years, the hours didn’t work for us.
Midtown Brewing Company- Enjoyed our time here- a good spot to visit if you are downtown Wellington.
Terry’s Taxi Service- I have to include the taxi company Ian and I discovered our first time visiting PEC- Terry’s Taxi. The whole family is involved in the driving and it reminded both Ian and I of our small hometowns growing up. Jane and I used Terry’s this past Fall as well, and we will never forget our adventures with Terry! Terry is the dad who does most of the driving, and he took us to so many spots, determined to find us a nice meal when everything was closed! I can’t imagine using another company!
Always an adventure.
Looking through these photos again is giving me hope as I sit here during yet another pandemic lockdown. Maybe I should book a room now so I can have it in the calendar to look forward to. ❤