Ok, so I don’t want to say Prince Edward County is the new Niagara-on-the-Lake…but Prince Edward County is the new Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Just a two hour drive outside of Toronto, the County has numerous sights to see, and fun things to do for everyone – whether you’re an “outdoorsy” person, or just leaving the city to lounge in luxury.
When Azim and I visited on our mini-moon, we tried to make the most of the area’s scenic spots like the sand dunes, Lake on the Mountain, lavender fields, and sunflower fields.
This time I took my mom, who is a little less inclined to go hiking, and quite a bit more interested in the wineries and shopping 🙂
My mom is a saint, and lives her life in service to others. I really wanted to treat her to a fabulous weekend away, so I knew I had to take her to Merrill House.
I wrote about my love for Merrill House in my mini-moon blog post, but it bears repeating – I think it’s the best weekend getaway spot from Toronto, and worth a visit no matter where you’re from. From the gorgeous interior decor, to the rich history of the house, to the excellent hospitality, it’s truly a luxurious experience.
We checked in the house on Friday afternoon, and after having dinner on Picton’s main street, we were more than happy to settle in for the night in the Owner’s Suite. My mom loved the pillow scenting service and bedtime chocolate treats 🙂
The next morning we had a french press brought up to our room so that we could caffeinate as we got ready for the day. My mom said the coffee press and beautiful slanted ceilings of the room reminded her of her first trip to Paris when she was a teenager 🙂
We had breakfast downstairs, which was delicious and much needed before we set off to gather as many stamps as we could on our wine passport.
Before our first stop at Closson Chase Vineyard, we visited SHED. SHED is an alpaca farm, with the most beautifully curated shop on site. The shop was so aesthetically pleasing, I felt like I had walked off of a farm and into a boutique in New York.
Our first stop for wine tasting was Closson Chase Vineyard – recognizable for its bright purple barn. It’s a beautiful location, and we were lucky enough that the weather was crisp, but warm enough that we could do our tasting outside.
Our next stop was the Grange of Prince Edward County. This is where Azim and I visited in the summer, and enjoyed a picnic outside with the chickens and rooster 🙂 This time we stayed inside, and enjoyed their “funky” tasting, which included a warm wine!
From there we visited Trail Estate Winery, known for their Orange Wine. My mom decided that she does not like unfiltered wine, but we tasted a reisling that we both loved.
Our last winery, and favourite by far, was Keint-He. We enjoyed every single wine we tasted, and had a lovely conversation with the sommelier. She made us feel right at home, and was extremely knowledgeable and clearly very passionate about her work. We bought a few bottles of pinot noir, which I definitely recommend!
After four wineries we were pretty pooped, but what better way to spend a tipsy afternoon than antique shopping? Prince Edward County is absolutely full of vintage gems. We visited:
We also took a walk up and down Picton’s main street and visited the very popular City Revival – a thrift/vintage store PACKED with amazing finds at great prices. This place is definitely a fashion lover’s dream.
After a very eventful day, we were ready for our dinner at Merrill House, which ended up being the highlight of our trip. We had six courses with wine pairings, which made it so special and personalized. The sommelier visited us at each course to explain what we were drinking – most of it from the region – and to share wonderful stories and experiences. Everything we ate was divine. I cannot recommend dining at Merrill House enough.
We were visiting around Halloween, so during dinner we had a fun “murder mystery” game. We were presented with a crime, and a new clue after each course. By the time our entrées arrived we had indulged in far too much wine to make a logical guess, so I texted my brother for help 🙂
My favourite part of dinner is when the cheese course came. My mom, in her elegant little black dress, confessed that she couldn’t eat another bite. She was stuffed and bursting at the seams. “We CANNOT waste this cheese! Just go change into pyjamas and come back down!” I encouraged her…and to my absolute delight she did 🙂 only my mom could arrive to dinner in a LBD, and leave in pyjamas looking just as classy 😀
The next morning we enjoyed another delicious breakfast, before sadly checking out. The skies were starting to open up, so we knew we couldn’t explore too much more.
We visited the main street of Bloomfield, which is so picturesque. I loved the shop Green Gables Gifts and Greetings – I could have bought something for everyone on my Christmas list here!
After walking around a little bit more, we headed back to our car and made the 2.5 hour drive back to Toronto. It was the perfect weekend getaway 🙂