Sunday, November 13, 2016

Travel Guide: Prince Edward County

Weekend Escape in Ontario 

It's always nice to sneak away for a few days in the middle of a season just to recharge. I love exploring my beautiful Ontario as it always amazes me to see just how amazing our province really is.

On a spiritual level, travel is such a great way to reconnect with yourself, and getting a chance to see the incredible places that exist just outside my front door, always gives me a sense of gratitude.

Our country is so beautiful and I always feel lucky to get to explore parts of it that I've never seen before. 

Prince Edward County

I've been wanting to visit Prince Edward County for awhile so it was an obvious choice when I had a weekend to get away.

It has a reputation of being a great wine and food destination as well as a place with historic charm and lots of character. In short, it sounded right up my alley.

If you haven't heard too much about the county, I'll share that Maclean's magazine said it is one of "Canada's Top Ten Places 'You've Got to See'!" and in 2015, Time Magazine called Prince Edward County "one of the best places in the world to visit". 

The county is in the South-east and sits on Lake Ontario between Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal. It is close to Kingston and is made up of a group of small towns - the largest two are Picton and Belleville. 

PEC is also home to one of the largest communities of Loyalist architecture (second to Williamsburg) and there's lots to see and do - especially for a history buff. 

Getting There

The drive from Toronto was about two hours and I visited from Friday night- Saturday evening. While it was a short visit, I had a great time and felt it was the perfect quick getaway and reset. I do think a full weekend here would be lovely and in the summer, you could easily fill a week with visits to Sandbanks Provincial Park for a little beach time.

Where to Stay

I stayed in Wellington at a lovely Bed and Breakfast called Tangela's Gate Suites. It opened in June 2016 and has just a few rooms so you really get a sense of the small-town feeling while staying here. The owner, Tangela is so sweet and friendly. She's done a great job mixing new age luxuries (they have a rain shower!) with vintage decor. 

The room was spacious and the king size bed was super comfortable. They also had a kitchenette so you could prep a few things for breakfast. Tea, coffee and cereal were also available in the room.
I thought the location was perfect as it was just a few minutes drive from the main street. It is located in the midst of farmland, so it really was a very picturesque and relaxing place to stay.
the view from my room at Tangela's Gate Suites

Where to Eat

There is no shortage of great places to eat in PEC and if you are staying in Wellington, I'd suggest checking out a few local gems.

Drake Devonshire - For brunch, make a reservation at the Drake Devonshire. It's right on the lake and the dining room consists of ceiling to floor glass windows. To say the view is spectacular would be an understatement. You can actually see the waves breaking just below you as you enjoy your meal.

On the menu, they have classic options like Fried Chicken and Waffles as well as Pancakes.

I ordered the Mushroom Eggs Benny with sauteed kale and a side of sausage to share - it was the perfect hearty breakfast. To drink, I had their special blend of Earl Grey tea - I'd highly recommend trying it if you're a tea drinker.

Note: If you have some time, grab a coffee from the dining room after your meal and head out to enjoy the view. It's always so calming to be around nature and the Drake's beautiful lakeside view paired with the fire pit and abundant seating would make this the perfect place to relax for awhile. Price Edward County is all about that slow living after all - you should definitely take it in while you are here. 

The Courage - I arrived into town late at night and most restaurants had closed their kitchen (the kitchens shut down at 10pm during the off-season). We went into the newly opened The Courage and were greeted so warmly. They made us feel comfortable and whipped up whatever they could for us regardless of the fact that their kitchen was closed too.

For "dinner" we had popcorn with pecorino cheese and truffle oil as well as a delicious cheese plate with local artisinal honey and apple butter.

While it wasn't what we'd normally eat for a meal, the warmth and kindness of the owners definitely filled our hearts. This is a great place to enjoy a drink and I've heard they do a great brunch or lunch also. We will be back.

Pomodoro- A cute Italian restaurant with lots of ambience and mood lighting. I didn't get a chance to eat here but I've heard from some excellent sources that this is a great place for dinner. I loved the atmosphere and will have to visit next time I'm in the area.

East and Main- East and Main also came with high recommendations. It's a few doors down from Pomodoro and is a casual restaurant that features local ingredients in a home-cooked style. This is another one that I missed this time but will definitely dine at in the future.  I did get a chance to peek through the window and found that it looked like a very charming spot with a great date night vibe.

What to Do

There's lots to do in PEC and if you ask me there's something for everyone, whether you're there to spa or to sip and sample the famous wines. 


I spent some of my time shopping for some antiques and later picked up some homemade goodies at a local farmer's market. 

I had some luck with great vintage finds at Dead Peoples' Stuff, a well-known local antique store in Bloomfield. 

Scenic Drives

Driving around the small towns was also a lot of fun as I went during the peak time for fall colours. While PEC is a year-round destination, I really think the bright golds and oranges added a certain magical ambience to the vintage homes and shops.

Wellington Main Street

I drove over to Belleville to run an errand and was in awe of the beautiful scenes when I crossed the main bridge. It really was a beautiful moment and looked just like a postcard. For me, Autumn was the perfect time to visit.

The spectacular November sunset as we left Karlo Estates Winery

Farmer's Markets

I made a stop at Hagerman Farms for some fresh produce to take home. I left with quite a little goodie bag, including a freshly baked, cheese and jalapeno scone and some spicy orange and pepper jelly. 

Meeting the cows at Hagerman's farm

Note: This would be a great place to visit if you have kids, since you can stop and meet their farm animals which include chickens, pigs, goats and cows.


To say the wine is one of the main reasons tourists come here would be a bit of an understatement. A younger wine scene than Niagara, Prince Edward County's wineries seem to be smaller operations that are family owned and run. To me- this means they are full of character

I stopped at Karlo Estates Winery which is located in a 250 year old barn. It has been beautifully restored and decorated with reclaimed wood furniture and soft golden lighting.

Photo courtesy of Karlo Estates Winery

If you come here, make sure to look up! When the sun peeks through the rafters just right, it's a beautiful sight to see.

Karlo is an artisinal winery and well known for its unique way of using old world techniques to produce new world wine. They are also the world's first vegan winery

The owner Sherry Karlo and her late husband Richard Karlo decided to open their winery when their car broke down at the Danforth Road location. While waiting for help, they realized it was the perfect place for their passion project and in 2010, they opened the doors to the winery. Talk about fate. After hearing that story, I couldn't wait to taste the wine!

Sherry made us feel right at home. Her partner, Saxe led us through a guided tasting and we honestly felt we were over at a friend's place; chatting about wines, enjoying some food pairings and taking in the beautiful view of the vineyard.

They have lots of seating and the tasting room was lively as some big groups enjoyed a girls' night out as well as family-style tastings.

The restored barn from 1805 at Karlo Estates

Note: If you visit, you must taste their signature red wine Triumvirate which is made with old world techniques. I also loved their delectable Red Port and Cabernet Sauvignon and purchased a bottle of each to take home for later.

Photo courtesy of Karlo Estates Winery
Confession- After tasting their port, I've actually found myself craving it regularly after dinner. It's the perfect not-too-sweet dessert wine. You need to try it!

The winery trail is full of some great vineyards and I also made a stop at Black Prince Winery. I had come to meet Pete Bradford, the maker of some delicious Canadian Vinegar.

He makes his homemade specialty vinegars in peach-melon. black current and cranberry flavours and trust me- it's like nothing you've ever tasted! Worth a stop to buy some especially if you love salads and cheese boards.

Final Thoughts

I had heard a lot of hype and PEC did not disappoint. I found it was the perfect place to enjoy a quiet, relaxing weekend away from home with delicious local food and wines.

A quaint, peaceful place with all the rustic charm and character of the 1800s as well as the sensibility of the 21st century. I will definitely be back to explore more of this beautiful county.

Thank you to Branding and Buzzing as well as Karlo Estates Winery and Tangela's Gate Suites for sponsoring this blog post. As always, all views and opinions expressed are my own.


  1. Great post! As I read on I felt like I was there with you

    1. Thanks so much, Nicole! It was such a lovely place to visit. Have you been before?