Sunday, March 4, 2018

Travel: Slowing down in Strathroy, Ontario

A Peaceful Ontario Escape

Do you ever find, that you plan a trip to relax but then being in a new place is so exciting that you want to try to do everything? Sometimes, you really just need to getaway from the go, go, go and escape somewhere where they value the slow and simple life.


That's what drew me to visit Strathroy, in Southwest Ontario. It's just a few hours away from Toronto (in Middlesex County) but it seemed like a trip back in time.


The pictures of small Victorian era homes and quaint streets made me feel like this was really the perfect place to slow down, relax and reconnect with myself.



In case you need to the hit the pause button too, here are my recommendations for a peaceful, little getaway.

Where To Stay


The Clocktower Inn and Bistro

When visiting Strathroy, I'd highly recommend you check in to the Clocktower Inn. It's a beautiful historic building that has been standing since 1889. It's so pretty, we took pictures of it from the street before we realized that's where we were staying!


Originally this building was a Postal and Customs office. Now, it houses a lovely inn and awesome bistro-style restaurant.




The rooms here have a cozy but elegant vibe. The beds were comfortable and I loved the original crown mouldings and the Victorian style draperies.



My favourite part of the room was definitely the bathroom. The bathrooms here have been newly renovated with heated floors, beautiful tile-work and my favourite- a beautiful claw foot tub!


I had the best time taking my book with me for a nice long bubble-bath. It was so relaxing and the ambience really made it feel like I had stepped back in time.

Where to Eat

Clocktower Bistro

The restaurant at the Clocktower Inn was fabulous. I loved the exposed brick wall in the dining room and the fact that the bistro seemed to be a local hot spot for weekend fun. The atmosphere was very lively and exciting.

Since it was NBA Allstar weekend, we also enjoyed watching the Slam dunk competition in the adjacent pub.

The main attraction here is the food. Chef Mark Graham is the Chef and owner of the Inn and Bistro and he takes great care to plan a menu that celebrates fresh, local and made-from-scratch dishes.



We ordered French Onion Soup to start and shared a fresh Beet and Goat Cheese Salad. The flavours were all spot on and we both enjoyed every bite! (It was hard to pick from the many house made dressings on the menu but we went with an apple cider vinaigrette).

Next, we tried the Lamb Burger and the Rack of Lamb with a wild mushroom risotto. Our mains were so delicious - we are still talking about them.



If you can eat here, you definitely should and we throughly  enjoyed both dinner and brunch at the Clocktower.

Rusty Wrench

We stopped in at local Brewhouse and Pub, The Rusty Wrench for a quick bite. They opened their doors late last year and have a mission to bring great craft beers as well as a world inspired food menu that caters to most dietary requirements. I loved trying their housemade Kombucha and signature beers. 



What to Do

Relax

When you finally get a chance to show down, you definitely need to take the opportunity. I made sure I took the book I'm reading and some bubble bath with me to remind myself to slow down and take some me time.




Strathroy is a small town and they are all about mindful, simple living. It was just what I needed. Take advantage of the fact that things are quieter here in the evenings and enjoy some time in your hotel room. I loved using the bathtub in my room at The Clocktower Inn and snuggling up with my hubby to watch a movie.

Shop


My husband and I have a love for antiques and we really enjoy looking around speciality markets when we visit small towns with history. I was so excited to find out that there is an Antique Mall in Strathroy!


I had so much fun wandering the aisles and looking at the great collectibles at the Strathroy Antique Mall. I even made a few exciting purchases - an antique lantern, a copper teapot and some beautiful Bone China tea cups and saucers. If you're in the area, it's definitely worth a visit to see what you may find!



Connect with Nature

Strathroy is the perfect place to connect with nature. We visited the Texas Longhorn Ranch and it was the highlight of our trip.





Our guide helped us saddle up for a winter trail ride and it was so serene! The beautiful forested trails and the white snow made us feel like we were in scene from a romantic movie.




We could hear a few streams that weren't frozen over, the birds in the trees and  wind in the trees. We were on the lookout for a family of deer or some rabbits.



We had clean air to breathe and the quiet you need to just be in the moment. With the sun shining down on us, this was the perfect way to spend the day and an experience we won't soon forget.


I'd highly recommend you make some time for a trail ride if you're visiting and don't forget to warm up afterwards with a cup of hot apple cider in their Texas style family room.






Trail rides are approximately $50 per adult for an hour and would be beautiful in any season. I thought it was interesting to find out that they also offer unique overnight "Glamping" experiences in covered, western-style wagons.

One thing's for sure, I will definitely be back to visit this ranch again!



I loved getting away for an overnight that truly allowed me to disconnect from the world and reconnect with myself. "Me time" is a luxury these days and one that is so important to indulge in as much as you can.

My visit to Strathroy presented me with the perfect opportunity for a relaxing escape from the busy city life, giving me the chance to slow down and exhale. The positive effect it had on my state of mind and sense of well being was really something you should experience for yourself.



A special thank you to my friends at Ontario's Southwest and Visit Middlesex for sponsoring this post. As always, all views and opinions are my own. 

9 comments:

  1. This is great! Sure makes me want to go there.

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    1. You'll have a great time! Great place to unwind.

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  2. As a long time resident of Strathroy, I invite you to come on a Saturday in the summer. The main streets downtown become pedestrian streets for our Farmers’ Market. There are excellent walking/biking trails through the parks. Check out Tia’s Place for great Portuguese food, Windell’s Chocolates for a delicious artisanal grilled cheese, Banh Mi for Vietnamese food. The Men’s Shoppe and Her Boutique are very welcoming as well. I’m glad you enjoyed your visit!

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    1. ooh ! The Farmer's market sounds like a lot of fun! Maybe it's time to plan a summer visit... :) thanks for the tips!

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  3. Replies
    1. Thanks so much Kim. Had a wonderful time getting to know this town!

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  4. Tons of great businesses in Downtown Strathroy! Back Alley Burrito, A Star is Born, The Music Spot, Hamilton's Bakery, Doug & Marion's Bike Shop, Bosson's Pharmacy, The Loft, Poag's Jewellry, Artistry in Motion, Maelstrom Comics and more!!

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    1. Next time, I will have to come back and take some time to get to know all the boutiques and stores. Thanks for sharing your favourites!

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