Small Town Getaway Dream in PEC
Location: Prince Edward County, Ontario (2.5 hours from Toronto)
TDI DATE VERDICT: Romantic weekend getaway, girls weekend, family reunion/events
Prince Edward County is just two and a half hours east of Toronto and noted as one of the province’s famous wine regions. Having wine regions and gorgeous spots to explore that are different than the city we live in, only a short drive away makes us so lucky and we were ecstatic we got to visit after years of wanting to.
What drew us to visit this region first and foremost was finding Ashrow Estate. It’s a rental property, bookable through Airbnb that is bigger and more classic than any house I’ve probably ever entered in my life. The 1800s Victorian-style estate house blew every expectation that we had out of the water, from the gorgeous modern natural-light bedrooms (that’s five bedrooms with eight beds), to the whimsical way each rooms connects, to the comfy yet open family room and kitchen.
One thing that’s increasingly appreciated in Airbnb’s (but not often done) is the personal touches that make it known the host was there, and took the time to make you feel welcome. This is something that this spot takes pride in and from the moment of booking, helped us find things to do during our stay, recommended spots to explore around the property, and left a gorgeous note and bottle of wine upon arrival. We always say ‘it’s the little things’ and well, it is.
For the short time we were there, we weren’t able to explore every spot PEC has to offer but we did check out a couple places that really surprised and impressed us, leaving a good taste in our mouth (literally and figuratively).
The first stop we made when arriving to the county actually, was Midtown Brewing Company. The brewery and brewpub is situated in what seems to be the ‘downtown’ of the area, although to people from the city this might sound a bit silly. The space itself has huge high ceilings, to fit all the beer brewing equipment that you see on-site, and even dine beside. It also includes a bar, and retail store area. The beer is also local and craft and they have a ton of options from a lager, to an IPA, and stout. I’m not the most well-versed in beer types so I’ll leave it at that, but a flight comes with a taste of eight different kinds.
The food was also something to be noted. Simple yet inventive brewpub fare includes a burger that seemed to be an elevated take on a Big Mac, a kimchi hot dog with a suggestive name, warm olives are sent to every table as an appetizer, and a huge plate of fish and chips are all things you can expect at Midtown. They also have pizza on select days of the week.
To finish off, we were BLESSED with a sticky toffee pudding that was as sweet as it was warming. Not a bad welcome, I’d say!
The next day, we took to the town to check out Bloomfield Public House, a quaint but beautiful and artistic family-owned restaurant with a rich history. We visited for lunch and learned that the restaurant actually used to be a bank, and you can still see the vault on the wall creatively incorporated into the design of the spot. With breakfast and lunch items on the table like chicken and waffles, soup, sausage and eggs, and a brisket sandwich, we noticed that everything came on different and unique china plates. We actually noticed this trend around the county a lot and thought it was adorable, later learning that many of the items are donated or dropped off by locals with mis-matched kitchenware (they do it with chairs too). Everything was delicious and ending off with the most interesting chocolate pudding dessert I’ve ever seen was definitely a perfect start to the day.
Bloomfield also has a room upstairs for private functions and events that is gorgeously decorated and perfect for group lunches or dinners for virtually any occasion.
Prince Edward County is arguably most known for being one of three prominent Ontario wine regions. This region itself has over 40 wineries with gorgeous properties on rich terroir, which even though isn’t too far from Niagara, has a totally different soil make-up.
First, we visited the Grange of Prince Edward County. A winery set up inside a 200-year-old barn. The property itself is beautiful, with chickens outside and a pond (I can’t imagine how nice it is in the summer), and inside is cozy and wooden while still providing modern touches. This winery is a country-zen paradise and their wines add to the experience. We sat with Caroline Granger herself, who runs the winery with her daughter Maggie, for a fireside tasting with snacks. We were so impressed with the flavours of every wine and everyone found one (or more) they fell in love with.
Next up, a short drive away, was Rosehall Run. This winery is in a modern building at the very end of a long gravel road. Their tasting room and retail space was stocked with all of their wines, some award-winning, and guests have the option to try anything they want. Their star of the show for us was their Pixie sparkling rosé which had beautiful aromas and taste.
Last but certainly not least, we visited Sandbanks Winery. This was one that we had an absolute blast at, trying their huge variety of reds and whites. The grounds are huge and we learned that they often have patio parties and events happening in the summer (huge mental note to go back). We toured the barrel room and secondary tasting bar and tried a tasty red right out of the barrel. We absolutely love the PEC wineries and their homey feel, making it seem like you are part of the family when you’re visiting.
We can confidently 100% recommend every place we went to while there, and we are definitely making it a point to go back again. The hospitality, food, wineries, and overall feel and energy of the whole experience was something that adds years to your life (as we said). Thank you to everyone who made it such an amazing few days!