24 June 2019

Travel: Our Mini-moon in Prince Edward County

We had a few ideas for places to go for our "mini-moon" but Prince Edward County (PEC) stuck out as special to us because we usually spend time there every summer. If you need a reminder; read my last PEC post here, on how we usually spend time in PEC during our annual Sherwin Family camping trip.

I've always wanted to spend longer there, so when the idea came up to do a mini-moon, we started to look into Prince Edward County. There are three main towns in "the county"; Wellington, Picton and Bloomfield. Wellington is my favourite because it is a short bicycle ride from many of my favourite wineries, so we decided to stay in an AirBNB in Wellington. If you don't want to stay in an AirBNB, there is also the Drake Devonshire, the Drake Motor Inn (new!) and my personal favourite, The Lakeside Inn (also new!). Why is it my favourite? Because it's prime waterfront with fire pits along the water, walking distance to everything, but tucked away from the craziness of Main Street. They're also putting in a pool this fall, so next year when we go back (for our one year anniversary!) we are going to book a room there!

Fun story! We arrived late on Thursday evening, but I was dead-set on going out for a drink. We head to The Drake Devonshire for some drinks, and when we walked into the restaurant who did I see? Scott McGillivray from HGTV. So cool!

Day One

Our first full day there was spent enjoying Wellington and the nearby wineries. After enjoying breakfast at the Drake Devonshire, we checked out the cutest plant store, The Parlour Studio, attempted to grab a coffee to-go from Enid Grace (be prepared for a lineup out the door!) but our impatience got the best of us, so we headed to Hillier to start our tour. Note: Hillier is where most of the big name wineries and breweries are. 

Our first stop: Settlers Cider. Fairly new to town, Settlers Cider is known for their dry ciders, meaning their ciders are NOT too sweet -- just the way I like it. Their Reserve is hands down my favourite, but Tyler was loving the Bootlegger Whiskey, which is aged in a whiskey barrel.

Next up: Karlo Estates, set inside a gorgeous old barn, I just love the dark dungeon feel of their tasting room. Their VanAlstine Rose is a hit, but also a big hit on the wallet. Worth it though! For a less expensive Rose, try the Reserve Rose.
After Karlo Estates, we decided we needed to switch to bikes. We had the best weather our entire trip so we didn't want to be stuck in the truck all day. We stopped in at Closson Road Cycles, and our girl Cassandra (we're besties now!) hooked us up with some cruisers. We found out that the next day she was launching her new eBikes, so for our next trip we are going to book eBikes for our wine tours - the possibility of hitting up even MORE wineries in one day gives me so many feels!

Along Closson Road you will find so many cute spots; SHED Chetwyn Farms, an alpaca farm that also sells so many amazing products made from Alpaca hair (I am still dreaming of that grey and pink plaid blanket!), and Prince Edward County Lavender are two spots that are nice to stop in at when you need a break from tasting all that wine. Warning: You WILL want your own pet alpaca after visiting SHED, they are just SO cute!

My favourite vineyards along Closson Road are Closson Chase (their rose is to die for, and I took home a few bottles!), The Grange of Prince Edward (enjoy a picnic in the vineyard for $35 and add any bottle of wine -- I recommend the County Cremant, a Sparking Citrine), Lacey Estates, their new sparkling rose is so yummy, and Hinterland, go for the bubbly, stay for the Oysters.

If you're still up to cycle a little further, head west to Norman Hardie and Rosehall Run. Rosehall Run is probably one of my favourite vineyards in the area, because they have reds I just can't stop thinking about. I'm not a big red wine drinker, but Rosehall Run has won so many awards for their red wines, and now I know why! Another fan favourite of theirs is their Pixie Sparkling, which is a best seller at the LCBO now.

We were EXHAUSTED after all of that wine and biking, so we headed back to our AirBNB to get ready for dinner. I had been doing some research on Instagram (of course!) for new places in the county, and La Condesa, the new Mexican restaurant, stood out as a must-try place. It was packed when we got there, but we managed to score a table almost immediately and tried so many things on the menu. What stood out for me was the Tuna Tostada, and the fish tacos. We were also impressed with their local selection of beer. I have to give a shoutout to female-led brewery, Matron, for their amazing beer.

Day Two

We woke up early and headed to Picton to try and get a table at The Vic Cafe. That was a big failure, so we ended up eating a quick breakfast on the front patio at Miss Lily's Cafe before heading up the hill to Waupoos.

Waupoos Estate Winery is SO beautiful. Set right on the water, I love that they encourage guests to grab a glass of wine (or beer in Tyler's case) from the restaurant and wander the property. We were there on a Saturday, so they were setting up for what looked like a very large wedding. I couldn't help but check out the dock ceremony set-up, before heading back to the tasting room to check out the Chocolatier on site - so cute!

Not far from Waupoos Estate Winery, is County Cider, a cute little orchard that brews the sweetest cider (too sweet for me!) but the restaurant has amazing views of the bay, so it's worth it to stop in for a snack.
My favourite part of our Picton day had to be Lake on the Mountain. I had been here a few weeks prior with one of my good friends, but knew I had to bring Tyler back here. He is crazy about sour beers, something they do WELL, and loves a good charcuterie board. But all of that aside, he is also crazy about VIEWS, and the view from the Miller House back patio is incredible. Overlooking the Bay of Quinte, on a clear day you can see for days!

So we stopped in at the Lake on the Mountain Resort, checked out all of their adorable cabins, and then went to the Miller House for some charcuterie, before going to Lake on the Mountain Brew Co. for some tastings. Sour Beer, since it's such a big trend right now seemed to be sold out at most tasting rooms and restaurants, but you could buy take-away cans of the Lake Monster Sour at the brewery. We got four, and I have a feeling another road trip to PEC is in our future, just because it's so delicious and we will want more!

We were feeling the breweries, so our next stop was Parsons Brewing Co., on the other side of the bay. I love Parsons because it's such an experience. You go for beer (sour beer!) and amazing Argentinian food, but you stay because you can't get enough of the horseshoe pit, or tether ball. I am not going to lie, we ate again here, and I don't even feel bad, their empanadas are a dream and I'd say as far as food in PEC goes, this is probably my favourite spot.
After Parsons we needed a break, so we cruised some of the cute shops on the main street in Bloomfield, enjoyed some Slicker's Ice Cream, and then stopped in at a really cute Antique store, A Tick in Tyme, before heading back to the AirBNB to get ready for a late dinner.
Our last stop was at Midtown Brewing Company, where I shamelessly ate a hot dog topped with Doritos for dinner. I also tried their sour beer, and a Gose. Neither really did it for me, but I could have just been beered-out after two days of straight drinking. I was ready for bed!

Our Last Day

On our last morning we were both ready to get home. The sun had been shining for three straight days and we were both ready to spend a day by the pool -- at home! So we packed up early and hit the highway home. But not before we stopped in at The Good Place for a breakfast sandwich. I was so happy I found this place, because it was the first place in the county that I saw with waste-free offerings, bulk food and an all-around sustainable vision.
Another amazing trip to PEC; and as always we can't wait to be back. If not sooner, we'll see you next June!

Heading to PEC and need some suggestions or tips? Send me a message on Instagram, and I'd be happy to help!

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