ROAD TRIP: PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
With summer quickly coming to an end, we decided to take a road trip to savour the last of it. Prince Edward County is about a 3.5 hour drive west from Montreal and is known for some of my favorite things: beaches, vineyards, and good food. Here’s a round-up of what to check out in PEC:
Sandbanks beach: Ok so Canada is a fairly beach-deprived country. But the Sandbanks beach does not disappoint; it really feels like you’re at the ocean! Lake Ontario is so massive, you can’t see anything in the distance, and the sand is so soft… not like those sharp rock “beaches” in other parts of the country.
Angeline’s Inn & The Hubb: We stayed at Angeline’s Inn, a super cute hotel in Bloomfield that reminded me of the Inn Lorelai opens in Gilmore Girls (the entire town of Picton actually reminded me of Stars’ Hollow, for any GG fans out there). Angeline’s is also renown for its restaurant, The Hubb, which has great ambiance both indoors and on the terrace. We had tuna popcorn tartare, roasted lamb, and summer gnocci with pesto, all very flavorful. Bonus: take a glass of wine to your room at the end of the night!
The Drake Devonshire Inn: We originally wanted to stay here, especially after a friend described it as “the hotel from Dirty Dancing”. There were no vacancies left, so we settled for having a nice dinner at the Devonshire. This is a must, in my opinion. The view and the vibe are perfect, with a fire pit by the lake, perfect cocktails (try the Gin Gin Mule and the Brown Butter Maple Old Fashioned, thank me later), good music and a general laid-back atmosphere. This place is definitely a splurge but quite worth it. Take some time to explore the grounds a little: you will find a game room, outdoor ping pong table, photobooth, and bikes you can rent out. Do reserve weeks ahead if you want to stay here!
The Grange: This vineyard is probably the most beautiful location we had seen in all of PEC. With weeping willows on the grounds, and a beautiful 180 year old barn to taste the wines, it’s nothing short of picturesque. Go around lunch, and ask them for a picnic basket (complete with sandwiches, salads, blueberry panacotta), which you can take on the grounds with you to enjoy the scenery.
Norman Hardie: This winery is bumpin’! With a wood-oven pizza stove, local cheeses and tomatoes, it makes for a perfect lunch or dinner spot. The wines are quite unique and have a nice mineral flavor to them, I really recommend the Chardonnay and the Pinot Noir.
Antiques: PEC is great for antique lovers like myself, and I found most of the items to be decently priced as well. There are many places that sell second-hand/vintage items, but one of my faves was Dead People’s Stuff in Bloomfield.
More places to check out on Main Street, Picton and nearby:
County Canteen: While PEC doesn’t have much of a nightlife, the Canteen is pretty happening since it opened up in June. Dozens of beers to try with a great atmosphere to boot. Everything on the menu sounds good if you’re hungry, too.
Scooperman for ice cream!
Miss Lily’s Cafe: for good coffee and wi-fi
Regent Theatre: Rainy day? See what’s showing at the Regent theatre. Be warned: the last showing usually starts at 7:30pm.
Giant Tiger: this department store was just how I remembered it: unironic, entertaining, and well-priced.
Mustang Drive-In: On the weekends, check out an outdoor move at the drive-in! so oldschool, I love it.
Lavender farm: make sure you go in July to get the full sensory experience! They harvest late August, depending on the weather.
Hayloft Dancehall: A great place to get a drink, see a show if you’re there for the weekend (closed during the week).
Have you been to Prince Edward County? Any places you recommend checking out?