It’s become a bit of trend to do this thing called a “baby moon” and as someone who loves to vacation, I’ll pretty much use any excuse to get away. A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I did just that, we went on a little getaway. The trip to Prince Edward County was actually part of my 30th birthday gift from him and it was exactly what we both needed! It took us awhile to decide if we were going to bring our little one, we actually booked our hotel room based on the three of us, and then last minute choose to go on our own. It seems to be getting harder and harder each time we leave him, not because of him getting upset, but because we actually miss him more now that he is older. He’s become the centre of our world and leaving him, even for a couple of days, was so strange. But as new parents you can sometimes find that your connection with each other can get lost in the chaos and knowing that things are going to get even crazier for us around here very soon that time together, just the two of us, really was amazing. We had time to relax and enjoy each other for just a little while.
After years of planning big vacations almost every year, this year has been little bit different. Having a little one at home and one on the way, we’ve really taken the opportunity to explore some of the beautiful spots that Ontario has to offer. We did Niagara-On-the-Lake in the fall and winter, Port Dover, the family cottage in the Kawarthas and, most recently Prince Edward County. While I realize that Ontario has even more for us to discover, I think the commercials may have been imprinted on my brain; I really love what we’ve seen so far.
Prince Edward County, also known as “The County” is a creative and culinary hub filled with warm locals that make you feel like you are coming home. The County is made up of three small towns: Bloomfield, Picton and Wellington and eight small communities, one of which is Sandbanks. I loved visiting The County for so many reasons, but mainly because it’s full of hidden gems. It felt like every time I turned around there was something else I wanted to see. PEC is the perfect spot for a summer mini getaway, it’s only two hours outside of Toronto and there are so many things to do; visit the beautiful beach at Sandbanks, eat fresh food until your heart’s content and visit some of the most adorable little shops. I can’t really speak to this part, being 33 weeks pregnant while we were there, but I’ve been told the wineries are amazing as well. We will have to go back in the fall to check those out!
With only a few weeks left of summer I wanted to share some of the spots we really enjoyed while in the county, just in case you were thinking about planning a little last minute getaway to soak up the last bit of summer.
The Beach (Sandbanks)
I can’t say enough about how beautiful this beach really is! The sand is white, soft and smooth and the water was so warm. Based on the name you can probably guess that there are some pretty awesome dunes that make it great for children as well. If you look out while sitting on the beach it really does feel like you are somewhere tropical.
Where to Stay
We stayed at Newsroom Suites in Wellington and it felt like a home away from home. The space was huge, bright and so well thought out. There was everything we needed including the milk and cream for coffee in the morning paired with a lovely French press, this made me very excited each morning. They thought about everything! The suite was the size of a city apartment (600 SF) with a huge master bedroom, a sitting room that could be used as a second bedroom (just in case we go back with the whole family) a kitchenette and a huge bathroom with a beautiful claw foot tub. We were more than happy with our stay there and would go back in a heartbeat.
Where to Shop
Prince Edward County is made up of three small towns, like I mentioned earlier, and each of these little towns offer a quaint main street lined with shops, beautiful old Victorian homes and eateries.
When we planned our trip I knew there was one shop I had visit, I’ve had a bit of an “insta crush” on this shop for a while now. Coriander Girl is a whimsical little flower & gift shop located in Picton, Ontario. The Coriander Girl, or proprietor, Alison Westlake, has developed a vision for floral arrangements based on fresh, local flowers that literally look like they were just picked from her garden. The pictures don’t do these arrangements justice, so you’ll have to stop in and take a look for yourself. Alison also has a location in Toronto (the original shop) so if you aren’t able to make it out to The County you could stop in and take a peek while you’re in the city.
The General was honestly my favourite surprise while visiting The County. Located in Wellington, Ontario, just steps from our hotel this shop was absolutely adorable and carried some of the best coffee (including a shade-grown local roast I’m in love with), children’s toys/clothes and other local luxuries like sugar free jam, yes I just called jam a luxury because jam on toast isn’t necessary, but is always a good idea! I think we bought everything in the store.
Sand and Sumac is one of those hidden gems that you come across when you are not looking. We were on the hunt for a lunch spot when we stumbled upon the gorgeous space. Located in Bloomfield, Ontario this shop is full of beautiful artwork, household goods and clothing from around the world. Some of the light fixtures , rugs and blankets in this space were absolutely stunning.
Where to Eat
Ok so we are always talking about fresh food and the concept of “farm-to-table” these days, well aside from my grandmother, who literally picks dinner out of the garden for us on a regular basis, I don’t think you can get any closer to the farms than in The County. The food is amazing and these are a few spots that were drool worthy.
This beautiful little bistro was on our “must try” list from the moment we checked in for two reasons, the locals recommended it and it was right across the street from our hotel in Wellington. Not only is the space romantic and inviting, but also the menu is packed with local love and incredibly fresh dishes. I felt like we were in Europe again, the dishes were simple, fresh and the atmosphere was so alive and romantic.
While in Picton we were on the hunt for a good spot to stop for lunch, and well we followed our noses and came across this little spot just off the main strip. The Painted Peppercorn was yet another nod to the “farm-to-table” trend happening all over The County. The food was incredibly fresh and the homemade iced tea is honestly the best I’ve ever had. In fact, it’s inspired me to give their recipe a try, stay tuned for that post coming soon.
The Drake Devonshire Hotel and Restaurant was another must do/see on my list long before we booked the trip. I’m a pretty big fan of Drake’s Toronto restaurants and bars so it was kind of a no brainer that this would be a place to visit while we were in The County. I’d also heard great reviews about the brunch, so we made this reservation right away. Putting all the buzz and reviews aside, I have to say that this was a beautiful spot to eat. We were sitting on the patio with unobstructed views of the lake and spent the majority of the morning just sipping our coffee and enjoying the space. In addition to this welcoming and beautiful atmosphere, food was creative, fresh and delicious. To be honest, everywhere we ate while in The County gave us something to write home about!
Prince Edward County you may have my heart!
Have you visited The County lately? Would love to hear of some other great spots to visit next time we are there, because we are obliviously going back again soon.