Thursday, July 13, 2017

48 hours in Prince Edward County

This past weekend Ruben and I took a road trip to Prince Edward County. About 2.5 hours outside of Toronto, PEC is a beautiful part of Ontario bustling with wineries, breweries and plentiful local businesses. I had been asking Ruben for years to visit, but we never found the time or place to go. Back in May while I was scrolling through Instagram (as you do) I stumbled upon the most perfect pink motel situated in PEC - The June Motel! Within minutes of telling Ruben all about it, he sensed my great excitement and was on the phone booking us a weekend away to celebrate our 7 year anniversary. 

Prince Edward County is made up of a few different communities; the main ones being Picton (where we stayed), Bloomfield and Wellington. Known as "wine country", PEC has no shortage of amazing wineries to visit, as well as breweries. With lots of planning, research and an itinerary in hand, we were ready to take on 48 wonderful hours in Eastern Ontario.
First things first - THE JUNE, our home away from home for the weekend (although let's be real, I was ready to move in the moment we arrived.) This place was honestly so incredible. From the attention to detail everywhere, to the story behind how it came to be - we fell for this place and did not want to leave! It all began for two visionaries who quit their full time jobs in the city to pursue a more creative (and fun) career: designing and running a motel. Sounds like a dream, right? Well it is! Sarah and April are truly living out there dream running this place and you can see the passion in it with all that they do. Talking to both ladies was super inspiring and insightful - they are the definition of #GIRLBOSS. Sarah spent time with us Saturday evening talking about the trials and tribulations that come with running a motel, and gave us lots of tips and advice for opening and running your own place. 

Upon checking in, we were greeted with a 'welcome beverage' of champagne, a customary trait of The June. We relaxed and enjoyed the gorgeous lobby bar before heading up to our room. Pale pinks, green plants, patterns and textures all around - this place was absolutely stunning, I wish my house looked like this! 
Our room also did not disappoint! We stayed in the classic room, which comfortably sleeps 3 (queen bed + sofa bed). The bathroom was just as cute, with it's black and white tiled floors and blush pink paint. Toiletries provided by a local apothecary brand Sunday's Company are a nice added luxury and make you feel like a queen (or king) while staying here. Our room had a fantastic balcony overlooking the lake out front where we got to witness a beautiful sunset on Saturday night. We also enjoyed hanging out on the balcony in the early morning.

A few minutes drive down the road from The June, you'll find yourself on Main Street which has a cute, small town vibe. It was a good spot to station ourselves for the weekend because we knew everything we needed was close by - grocery stores, restaurants, shops and more. 
The County Canteen:
We stopped in here for a flight of local beers and a bite to eat. With a nice little patio out front, it was a great spot to kick off our weekend relaxing with beers and people watching. 

This hot spot cafe located on Main was the perfect start to our early Saturday morning. With a quick bite to eat and delicious drinks, we loved hanging out at this cafe. The inside is gorgeous with it's tiled floors and great decor and they also have a large patio located just outside. 

Other spots in Picton worth mentioning that we unfortunately did not make it to this time around:
Parsons Brewing
Slickers Ice Cream
The Miller House

About a 20 minute drive from our home base, Wellington is a small town with a steady flow of tourists and visitors alike thanks to it's main attraction - The Drake Devonshire. I loved walking through Wellington and seeing all the old Victorian style homes with brightly coloured doors and flowers in the yard. I found this area to be beautiful and filled with inspiration. There was also a local market happening on the Saturday while we were there and was worth checking out.

The Drake Devonshire:

We spent a lot of time here Saturday morning, starting our day with Brunch on their waterfront patio. The view was calming and really pretty, despite the overcast sky. The food and drinks live up to the Drake standard and were delicious and fresh. This 13 room boutique hotel is so popular, it's almost impossible to get a room (not to mention they start at $400+ / a night!) While I don't think I'll be staying here anytime soon (I wish), it's nice that you are welcome to dine and enjoy the common areas here. As always, The Drake has lovely decor that will make you want to move in immediately. 

From the food to the view and all the exceptional decor details, this place lives up to the hype! Some may say it's overrated, but I disagree. While talking to some locals in Bloomfield, they said that they have The Drake to thank for making PEC such a popular spot among people young and old. A local business owner we spoke to mentioned how The Drake made everyone else in the County (restaurants and businesses) step up their game - "everything they do, they do really well." I couldn't agree more.

The Courage Bar:
A hop and skip down the street from the Drake, The Courage is another impressive spot to enjoy a weekend brunch in a cool atmosphere. Everything on the menu sounds (and looks) very appetizing and the staff are super friendly which is always a plus. The decor has a rustic, vintage feel and every detail is simply charming.

After enjoying a yummy brunch at The Courage, we walked down the street to visit Midtown Brewing Co. to enjoy a half pint before making our way back home on the Sunday morning. They serve up local craft beers on tap and they also have a little area with picnic items for sale.

Located en route to Wellington, Bloomfield is another quaint small town filled with local businesses and shops alike. All the people we spoke with here were incredibly friendly and interested in what brought us to the County. We learned a lot about PEC and what makes it so special. These conversations with the locals were special and left our hearts feeling happy. 

The County Collective:
An adorable little shop carrying local and made in Canada products. Not only do they carry awesome things, they also host workshops every so often in their space, and soon will be renting out the Loft just above for guests to stay - how cool?! We'll definitely need to revisit this place. The shop owner Tania was an absolute gem. We talked to her about the area, her shop and how County Collective came to be.

Other great spots in Bloomfield worth noting:
PEC T-shirt Company

Sand and Sumac
The Agrarian

Down any road you drive you will likely find a sign pointing out a local winery. Prior to visiting, I did a lot of research to see what the "top" wineries were and the favourites amongst visitors. I made a pretty hefty list of all the ones I wanted to hit, but we only made it to a few, which was OK because our top two were the ones we checked out. There are lots of different tours offered that you can take by bike or chauffeur, but we opted to do our own thing and take our time visiting different local spots. 
Sandbanks Winery:
A favourite wine of mine! I was so excited to get to visit the winery and try some exclusives. They offer free tours throughout the day, and to sample a flight of 5 wines for $3 or free with the purchase of two or more bottles! We left with 4 bottles to take home and my favourite overall was the Pinot Noir Rose, which is only sold at the winery so you know I stocked up.

Norman Hardie:
Next up was the other top spot on our list - Norman Hardie. Not only was the wine incredible (at $15 you know it's the good stuff) but the wood oven pizza's are also out of this world. We started with one to share, but after quickly devouring it, we ordered up another one. The alluring location and atmosphere was very enjoyable. There's nothing better than enjoying a fresh pizza on an open air patio in the country with a glass of wine in your hand. 

Other wineries on our list that we didn't get to visit but are worth noting -
Hinterland Winery (also County Road Beer Co.):
This location has a winery and brewery on site - best of both worlds. When we went into the winery side it was really busy, so we opted for a flight of beers next door at County Rd. Beer Co.
Huff Estates
The Grange of Prince Edward 

Unfortunately we didn't get a chance to visit Sandbanks provincial park due to the crazy amount of rain we've had this Summer and the high water levels. Many moons ago I got to visit this park and it's such a neat spot to hangout and enjoy the Summer; so if you can visit, I'd say it's a must! Thanks to some local insider tips, we did checkout another spot called North Beach which was lovely. We didn't get in the water because it was freezing, but we came bearing a blanket to lay on the beach for a little, taking in the sun and sound of the water crashing on the shore. 

With endless options of things to do and bountiful Summer fun to be had, the County has everything and more that you would want. We took a piece of it's charm home with us and we can't stop talking about what a fabulous weekend we had. While we only went for a quick trip, it felt long, relaxing and really satisfying. I hope we can return soon (and hopefully for longer!) Cheers to you, Prince Edward County!

1 comment :

  1. Okay, I NEED to stay at this motel. So cute! I'm glad you and Ruben had a great time!



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