It’s so easy to fall in love with this place. You’ll spend your time in foodie heaven drinking at some of the 40+ wineries, exploring locally owned and operated boutiques, driving the country roads and breathing in that Southern Ontario air.
WHERE TO SIP
1258 Closson Road, Hillier, ON K0K 2J0
The winery is an old dairy barn, with a corrugated metal roof and a white washed wood interior. They recently moved into the new space next door with high ceilings, big windows, a polished concrete floor and county chic fixtures. There’s an indoor dining/tasting space and an outdoor patio. Super relaxed atmosphere and gets really busy on weekends.
Borealis, Ancestral and Whitecap (all sparking wines).
If you end up falling in love with their bubbles but can’t make the trip to PEC, they occasionally sell some of their products at the Evergreen Brickworks Market (east end of Toronto).
629 Closson Rd, Hillier, ON K0K 2J0
You can’t miss this bright purple barn on Closson Road. Rustic tasting room inside, tented garden outside. Grab a glass (or flight) and enjoy it outside at a table in the garden, overlooking the vineyard.
Mosaic and Chardonnay.
They’re opening up a food service in the smaller barn adjacent to the main one called,
“The Swinery”. Also, there’s an old white
church across the street with the most gorgeous
Santa Fe-patterned roof.
561 Danforth Rd, Wellington, ON K0K 3L0
Post and beam construction creates a comfortable mix of private, semi private and open spaces. The tasting bars are typically naturally lit, with pockets of moodier spaces that pair well with their gothic-style font and branding.
Chardonnay and Riesling.
Each tasting is 1oz of wine and a bite or two of something to compliment it. After you're done
your tasting, you can walk out the back past the
vineyard to hang out by the largest dry stone
bridge in North America.
1243 Greer Rd, Wellington, ON K0K 3L0
A simple, classic barn with a revitalized modern interior.
They have a small tasting bar outside (weather
permitting). Sip while you walk around their grounds.
County Cider Company
657 Bongards Crossroad, Waupoos, ON K0K 2T0
A charming, picturesque farmhouse perched on top of a hill overlooking the vineyard and Lake Ontario. Natural light fills the recently renovated wood barn, making it an ideal place for cider tastings.
Pear and peach cider.
They have some really amazing, clean ciders.
No added sugar or flavouring.
Kinsip House of
66 Gilead Road, Bloomfield, ON K0K 1G0
This relaxed grain-to-glass distillery has a consistent mix of traditional and trendy. Enjoy tastings and perfectly mixed cocktails at the indoor or outdoor bar.
Gin, County Cassis, Rosehip Hibiscus Bitters and the Whiskey Maple Syrup.
They are the only distillery in the county and have been featured in the LCBO magazine “Food & Drink” multiple times for their Whiskey Maple Syrup. The staff are incredibly knowledgable and helpful when explaining the product. Ask them to point you in the direction of the Barrel House where they make furniture from used wine barrels.
1316 Wilson Rd, Bloomfield, ON K0K 1G0
Follow the path through the whimsical garden to the tasting room. Inside, there are low ceilings, arched doorways, dim lighting and stacked barrels giving it an appropriate “wine cellar” look and feel.
Rosé and Geüwrztraminer.
The head winemaker, Dave Gillingham, is extremely humble and knows his craft. The wines are small batch and change every year
based on the different temperatures and growing
season, which means they’re always unique but
524 Closson Road, Hillier, Ontario K0K 2J0
This family-owned winery is a gorgeous shade of blue with a modish, white “Broken Stone Winery” sign on the exterior and a little wood bench strategically placed below it (perfect for photo-ops). The tasting room has two large garage-style doors that open out to a narrow, sheltered porch where you can sit and overlook the vineyard. The family’s harmonious approach to the earth and winemaking is sincere and admirable.
Chardonnay and Simplicity.
You can rent out their cottage on the property
that overlooks the vineyard.
Trail Estate Winery
416 Benway Rd, Hillier, ON K0K 2J0
Simple and comfortable. You pull up to a small, corrugated steel barn (the tasting room), with outdoor wood furniture and small yellow canopies. The interior has a polished concrete floor, a mixture of wood and metal furniture with pops of plants. A few different seating schemes to hang out in.
Chardonnay (both 2015 and 2016 are amazing but totally different) and the Gewürztraminer.
After you decide on your favourite wine, grab a glass and walk out to the covered picnic tables surrounded by the vineyard for some quiet conversation.
They also have a small cottage behind the main building that you can stay in.
WHERE TO EAT
433 Bloomfield Main Street, Bloomfield, ON K0K 1G0
This recently renovated restaurant has a contemporary feel with pops of heritage from the county. Farm to fork food is plated and paired incredibly well, with fresh flowers on each table in local ceramic vases. Place your order then sit back and listen to the cool vibes of Johnny Cash and other classics they’re spinning on the record player. They also have some outdoor seating for those 23+ sunny days.
The drip coffee or checkout their selection of wines.
The buckwheat ricotta crepes.
Flame + Smith
106 Main St, Bloomfield, ON K0K 1G0
Natural, vintage, trendy. The outdoor patio is simple and brand new - wood panels transition from seating to the exterior facade to planters. The interior is full of raw, natural materials like leather, wood and clay. There’s a vintage feel with oiled brass light fixtures, intricate bar detail and a black and white wall graphic. The black metal/cast iron details really bring home their wood-fire cooking style.
The Spicy Paloma (tequila cocktail).
The cheeseburger and the wood-fired vegetable tart (with the “Lemon Tart for Two” for dessert).
This restaurant is sustainably-minded with a love for wood-fire cooking and the countryside. Make reservations beforehand!
The Drake Devonshire
24 Wharf St, Wellington, ON K0K 3L0
A restored historic space, now perfectly chic with a contemporary interior and small addition. Large bay windows overlooking the lake. Artistic liberties at every corner, giving it the unique and edgy style of everything under the “Drake” name. A few seasonal flowers on
each table in the restaurant.
A carefully selected list of wines and other
drinks from all over the county.
Whatever calls to you on this seasonal menu.
A relatively new gem to the County. Make sure
you make dinner/brunch reservations beforehand.
Happy hour is ideal (and Insta worthy) on their bleacher
seating outside, under a tree, overlooking Lake Ontario.
Slickers County Ice Cream
271 Main Street, Bloomfield, ON K0K 1G0
This buttercream yellow corner shop can fit about 4 people comfortably. It smells heavenly, so treasure your time in there. You’ll know where it is because the lineup is always out the door.
Apple pie, Mango….anything, really.
This ice cream is unreal. All homemade.
If they have it available, try the apple pie (they put entire apple pies in vanilla ice cream).
If you fall in love with a flavour, you can fill a few tubs and bring them home (make sure you bring a cooler).
The Vic Cafe
222 Picton Main Street, Picton, ON K0K 2T0
Casual, trendy, home-made, healthy-ish. Sit down for a quick meal or grab something for the road.
Turmeric Ginger Smoothie
Lox 9.5, Avocado + Eggs Toast, Cha-cha-cha Chia
Perfect spot for breakfast/brunch when you’re
looking to go on a short-lived, hour-long, health-kick.
You order and pay at the cash register, grab a table
then one of the staff brings you your food/drink/drank.
Perfect L'il Bakeshop
2173 Loyalist Pkwy, Picton, ON K0K 2T0
This small, wood-panelled red-painted hut on the side of the road is loaded with serve-yourself treats operated under the rule of the honour system (and a surveillance camera). You’ll feel the same way any good bakery makes you feel: warm, happy and hungry.
If you like chocolate chip cookies, buy the chocolate chip cookies. If you like coconut cream pie, they have that too. Everything is good.
Treats are made fresh every day. Bring cash. There’s some seating outside, but if you’re going to get something and keep travelling, bring a small cooler! You can make your way up to Lake on the Mountain Park and enjoy your dessert on a picnic table with some serious views.
The Miller House -
Lake on the Mountain
275 County Rd 7, Prince Edward, ON
Completely serene. A small white house, painted and renovated to be a casual, country restaurant offering different charcuterie boards, snacks, caffeinated and alcoholic drinks. Enjoy every shade of blue and green on this patio overlooking the lake.
They put together a mix of local and international wines, cheeses and meats…
you can’t really go wrong with anything.
There are picnic tables around (located beside the Lake on the Mountain Park) if you want to bring your own food/drinks. There’s also a nearby waterfront trail for cycling, hiking and walking.
Enid Grace Cafe
303-1 Main St, Wellington, ON K0K 3L0
Small, local, homemade. This place is a staple for locals, as it’s model is based on the rural cafes of Italy. Stop by for a quick coffee and a bite on their patio, right off of Main St. in Wellington.
Anything. Don’t leave without a jar of jam
(the peach vanilla is life-changing) and their homemade granola.
Get there early - food made daily,
when it’s gone, it’s gone!
(Closson Chase Vineyards)
629 Closson Rd, Hillier, ON K0K 2J0
With similar characteristics of a small European cottage, this re-purposed wine cellar on the Closson Chase property has become a perfect spot for an artisanal sandwich experience. Order your food and wine inside, then make your way through the garage-style door to the brand new veranda overlooking the vineyard.
Pulled pork or (and) pulled brisket sandwich.
Mosaic and Chardonnay.
Parsons Brewing Company
876 County Rd 49, Picton, ON K0K 2T0
Busy and trendy with thoughtful details. High ceilings, a mix of new wood, drift wood, and corrugated steel. They’re efficient but still old school with a giant chalkboard behind the bar, listing their extensive beer menu. Communal harvest tables outside on the patio, close to the barbecue.
They have unreal Mexican food - it’s all good, but make sure you try the fish tacos.
Jimi Pale Ale, Summer Saison.
It’s a busy spot, so be prepared to wait for a table if you want to sit outside.
WHERE TO SLEEP
The Drake Devonshire
24 Wharf St, Wellington, ON K0K 3L0
Very artsy with tons of different moments throughout, as one space carries into the next. Same boutique feel as the other Drake locations.
The Drake is new, but it’s also a trusted, old standby.
The June Motel
12351 Loyalist Pky., Picton, ON K0K 2T0
The trendiest of the trendy.
Chic, bohemian, comfortable. A simple room with a small kitchen (a mini fridge, two burners and a sink; complete with utensils, pots/pans and, of course, wine glasses).
March - December
Through my research, I've come across the below Airbnb's that look amazing:
Old church converted into a contemporary, open concept home.
The Meadow House
Very contemporary exterior, with a boho, 70’s inspired interior.
A modern farmhouse with 60’s flare.
The Wilfred Boutique Farmhouse
A restored 1850’s boutique farmhouse.
WHERE TO SHOP
303 Main St., Wellington, ON
Chic, modern space filled with sunlight and the happiest plants in artisan-made pots.
This botanical boutique is filled with pottery, crystals and of course, plants.
285 Bloomfield Main St, Bloomfield, ON
All locally made products displayed on unique, custom millwork. The shops original brick walls add character to this small, charming boutique.
You’re sure to find something beautiful and
handcrafted that you don’t really need/that
you absolutely need.
732 Closson Rd, Hillier, ON K0K 2J0
A small, tranquil shop that houses all of their lavender creations - from hand sanitizer to essential oil to infused salts and ice cream.
Anything that can be made with lavender is here.
Their Lavender festival happens in July, which is
the best time to go because everything is in full
500 Closson Road, Hillier ON K0K 2J0
A little wood house that’s part retail- part alpaca shelter. The alpacas are behind a wood fence and super friendly, usually ready to greet you before you walk into the retail space.
Family owned and operated, they make quality
alpaca products from wool to scarfs to insoles.
WHERE TO TAKE A PD (PERSONAL DAY)
Bloomfield Beauty Co.
254 Main St., Bloomfield, ON, K0K 1G0
Uber feminine interior with white walls, tone-on-tone ornate patterns, warm wood floors, and pops of flora. Recently renovated, they converted a cafe into a beauty salon but kept some of the bar equipment so they’re still fully functioning with caffeinated and alcoholic drinks. The owners are lovely hosts and incredibly inspiring with this new, successful business.
This spa is the new kid on the block and they absolutely nailed it! Offering services such as waxing, manicures/pedicures, massage therapy, facials and medical aesthetics in a beautifully designed space.