Ten things to do if you only have 48 hours in Prince Edward County:
Friday 12:00 pm: Enjoy lunch and a couple of bottles of rosé on the back deck at Marshlands, a beautiful County summer rental, minutes from Sandbanks beach and properly launch your Good Friends, Good Wine Weekend in The County. The oldest brick house in the county, Marshlands exudes County charm and elegance and is a lovely summer County rental with friends or family. FlipKey is another alternative for County holiday rental research. Start your County summer 2018 rental planning now!
4:00 pm: Shopping at County-obsessed sister duo Jane Rutter and Susan Felton's Cannery Row in Bloomfield, showcasing functional and shabby chic heritage products for your home or cottage based on Prince Edward County history. We had a great County gab with Jane about her products and approach to business and purchased three hand made and County-themed painted trays for our summer, outdoor dining porch in St. Marys, Ontario.
6:00 pm: Start with gabby, catching up glasses of rosé on the Lake Ontario facing deck at The Drake Devonshire, or the Drake on the Lake as it is known in the County. Move inside to their main dining room or perhaps the more 'cottagey' screened in porch, and order from their menu of cozy comfort food or summer seasonal favourites. Or as I did, pick something from the Drake Fish Camp, their new food truck parked in the properties' parking lot and 'delivering Drake eats + east coast treats' including Lobster Nachos and Waupoos Cider-Steamed Clams and Mussels. Add sides of County Coleslaw and Elisha's Famous Potato Salad and you are set to start your Good Friends, Good Wine Weekend all fed and watered!
Saturday 10:00 am: A bright, sunny, sparkling tasting at Hinterland Wine Company with Partner/Winemaker/Oenophile and soon to be Brewmaster, Jonas Newman. Jonas works the tasting room with an animated and knowledgeable, easy going charm that is contagious. (keep your eye open for a new brewery on site!) We tasted Whitecap 2014 Method Charmat named after the whitecaps of Lake Ontario, and delicious bright flutes of Rosé Method Traditional from the 2012 vintage. We also grabbed lots of bottles for later consumption. "if you've never been there, you're missing out on some of the best bubbly being made in Ontario..." Michael Pinkus Ontario Wine Review. We thought so too!
12:30 pm: Lunch on renowned Chef Sebastien Schwab's sunny Patio Restaurant at the family-run Huff Estates with several glasses of their 2014 Rose quenching our hungry thirst. Follow with a raucous tasting with the funny and engaging Brian who walked us through several sips including the 2014 Pinot Gris, 2013 Quarry Road Pinot Noir and the 2012 South Bay unoaked Chardonnay. We, of course, greedily grabbed several bottles for our cocktail hour! Make sure to say hello to Suzanne Larner, the Retail Manager at the Estate. She is a friendly, smile-fed source of information and advice on everything Huff!
2:30 pm: Shop for all things lavender at the terribly touristy Prince Edward County Lavender where you will find essential oils, dried lavender for culinary creations, sweet lavender honey from County bees or lavender crafts, soaps, and lavender inspired art. There is also a unique B&B and Festival on the farm should you want to continue your lavender indulgence. Best to visit in June and July to experience the full beauty of the purple-hewed fields.
3:00 pm: stop and pet the alpacas at the converted chicken coop 'pop up' SHED at the beautiful 55 acre Chetwyn Farms. Purchase hand knitted items with yarn spun from alpaca fleece produced on the farm, beautiful woven throws or pick up some Shed shit, an Alpaca Bean manure fertilizer for your vegetable, flower gardens or houseplants.
6:00 pm. Your Saturday night luxury glamping experience starts in one of Fronterra's authentic log-framed canvas prospector tents offering just the right mix of rustic luxury on the shores of this unique County Waterfront farm. Each tent-suite features a king-sized bed, inside sitting lounge, ensuite bathroom with a hot rainwater shower and a private outdoor kitchen featuring a charcoal grill. The County's first lux-glamping experience!
Sunday 10:30 am: Brunch of home-made savoury scones and fresh Ontario berries and mimosas made from Hinterland's Whitecap 2014 Method Charmat at a good friend's cottage on East Lake in Cherry Valley. Don't forget your hostess gift from Cannery Row!
Sunday 1:30 pm: Before your 48 hours of County fun comes to a close, shop for your city work week at Hagerman Brothers Farms on the Loyalist Parkway just outside Picton. Buck-a-head lettuces (Boston, romaine, leafy green) juicy green beans, red radishes, cauliflower, jams, jellies and pastries all made it into our shopping basket for our working week ahead back in the city.
County-well in 48 hours, my friends!