It’s not the place that makes the vacation, it’s the people that you are with. As you mature, you begin to realize that experiences outweigh material pleasures and gain. It’s the moments and how you spend those moments that will determine how rich your life is. Sometimes, during our daily life hustle, we forget about spending time with the one’s we love or making new friends, new connections that will leave valuable memorable moments in our hearts forever. Living in Toronto, you often forget that there’s a world outside of the city. I grew up in London and living in the city used to this amazing thing that I couldn’t wait to happen. As of late, I really appreciated my small town upbringing. The freedom to roam free or a 25-minute drive to the stables to go horseback riding after school. Visits to the farm and spending time in Georgian Bay. Ontario, it’s a beautiful province, Canada it’s a beautiful country and there’s so much to see, so much to discover. It’s important to explore the country you live in, you just never know what hidden gems are waiting for you.
Thankfully, FORD understands the importance of making connections and that spending time with your friends and family as well as making new friends is where all the magic is. My sister and I love traveling together and since she loves an adventure I thought I would take her along with me to explore Prince Edward County, a “friendly rural community tucked into “the golden triangle” between Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa on the north shore of Lake Ontario”.
FORD Canada was kind enough to lend us the 2017 Ford Escape Titanium for this weekend getaway. This new and improved model combines the Escapes utility with amazing tech, easy driving and premium finishes. We definitely felt that we were unstoppable and the road was made just for us. Ford clearly knew what they were doing when they re-engineered the Escape with the driver in mind.
- Driver-assist technologies to ensure safer driving and ease of use such as standard intelligent auto start/stop, available SYNC® 3 technology, standard Blind Spot Information System (BLS) with cross-traffic alert & standard AdvanceTrac® with Roll Stability Control™ (RSC).
- Windshield wiper de-icer that thaws your wipers so you are ready to face winter and embedded heating in the windshield that can clear light snow and ice under blades. I can’t forget to mention the heated front seats, mirrors, and an engine heater.
- Voice-activated navigation
- Lane Keeping System, an essential for long trips. It helps to keep the driver by alerting them to maintain proper lane position, therefore ensuring the car is on course.
- A panoramic Vista Roof that makes it feel like you are in a convertible.
- An amazing Sony Audio System made up of 10 high-quality speakers (also subwoofer).
- A foot-activated, hands-free power liftgate that allows you to kick your foot under the rear bumper and it will open and close.
Where We Stayed
The Edward Bed & Breakfast
You definitely feel like you’re at a home away from home when you stay at The Edward in Prince Edward County owned by sisters Rebecca and Jessica Brunette and their husbands Manolis Vranas and Payam Shalchian. You immediately notice the canary yellow house as you drive up the winding road. It’s a hidden gem that I am sure will become a top destination for wanderlust travelers who are looking for something with simple modern and elegant charm. It was nice to get to know the owners of The Edward and learn the story behind how this B & B came into existence. Another example that making connections while you travel is what it’s all about. The Edward is more than just a destination, it’s 75 acres of beauty, where you can take in a slow life and forget about the worries that plague you in the city. Wake-up every morning to a fresh breakfast. We dined on in-house made granola, an assortment of locally sourced berries, fresh bread, jams and the best matcha tea I have ever had. If you are in the County, stay at The Edward.
Where We Ate
What’s a trip without good food? It’s not a trip at all. A long time ago, when I traveled all I cared about was the shopping. I still love to shop but I have realized that you can’t spend your entire day in a store. There are so many great restaurants and cafes, I prefer to shop moments, not things.
The Drake Devonshire
On Saturday we went to The Drake Devonshire, a 13-room boutique Lakeside Inn in Prince Edward County for brunch. If you a familiar with The Drake Hotel and Drake 150 in Toronto, then you will know that when it comes to decor, they never fail to impress. It felt like we were at a beach house while we dined on freshly baked Drake Blueberry scones and menu items ordered from the food truck outside, Truffle Fries and chicken ( I can’t remember what it’s called).
Lake On The Mountain Resort – The Inn
My sister and I can’t stop thinking about the meal we had at The Lake On The Mountain Resort’s restaurant The Inn. Worth the 3-hour drive to the county kind of meal..yes it’s that good! If only they delivered to Toronto?! We were told by locals to stop by and we are glad we did. It’s located about a 15-minute walk from The Edward. You can drive, but we decided to walk the country roads so we could take in the area at a slower pace. You have to try the Tourtière and Lake On The Mountain Beer Braised Short Ribs. After dinner head over to The Miller House their other property, across the street to enjoy beer from Ontario Breweries and light snacks on their beautiful patio overlooking the water.
The Courage Bar
We stopped by The Courage Bar, a new bistro in Prince Edward County our first night. Chef Tyler Adam Smith, in my opinion, is the next chef to watch. With just one bite of the Uncommon Octopus, you can taste the love and effort that goes into each dish. If you have ever eaten octopus or if you are a fan, you will know that it can go wrong pretty fast, well this dish is all kinds of right. Make sure you try the Oxtail Arancini, Smoked Eggplant, and Churros (not your ordinary churros!!).
What We Saw
Prepare for lots of driving if you are visiting the county. There’s no such thing as Uber there. Prince Edward County is so beautiful. It was nice to take an afternoon drive through the County where you will see breathtaking vineyards, estates, breweries, and farms. I can understand why people give up the city life after just one visit. I didn’t hit the stables this time but I will the next time I visit. If you would like to go horseback riding while there try Diamond J Ranch for a ride through the mountain.
Norman Hardie Winery
We went here because we were told that they have the best wood burning pizza. Imagine sipping on a lovely crisp Pino Grigio while eating a wood-fired thin crisp pizza on an outdoor patio overlooking a vineyard? Well, this dream is a reality at Norman Hardie Winery in Prince Edward County. Named after it’s owner, Norman Hardie, a top sommelier who earned his certification at the University of Dijon in the 80’s and apprenticed at the Four Seasons Hotel for 6 years with a few of the best producers of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. He opened the Norman Hardie vineyard in Prince Edward County in 2003.
The Sandbanks is one of the largest beaches in Ontario. We did a quick stop-over because we didn’t bring beachwear, unfortunately, next time. It’s a gorgeous beach and a great place to relax or partake in water activities. You can find out more about the Sandbanks – here.
Taking in Scenic Views at The Lake On The Mountain
Located on County Rd 7, You can park your car and enjoy a nice picnic or afternoon stroll while taking in breathtaking views. The Lake is called the Lake of The Gods (Onokenoga) by the Mohawk, it is believed that spirits dwell in the deep waters. In addition, early settlers believed the lake is bottomless and a subterranean passage and distant water source.
It was a pretty hot weekend. We decided to make this a leisurely trip. So we strolled through town, went to Slickers Ice Cream Shop and stopped by The County Collective and Oak for a little retail therapy.
Thank you, FORD Canada for an amazing girls weekend.!!
What’s your favourite place to visit in Canada?
Images: © The Things I Wish I Knew