Time to escape the city for the weekend!

People might say that a vacation doesn’t count unless you’re out of the country. Well my friend, those people are wrong!

The County is one of my favourite spots for a getaway because of its refreshingly relaxed pace, no matter the season. Not only is it more affordable, but it’s also a short distance from Kingston (1 hour) and Toronto (2.5 hours). The road trip isn’t too much of a travel commitment in the winter.

Where To Stay

The Wilfrid Boutique Farmhouse

Where do I even start with this incredible spot? The Wilfrid makes for a superb and relaxing getaway from the city. Frank and Nancy are the most welcoming and fun-loving people. The couple restored an old farmhouse built in the 1840’s and transformed it into a posh B&B. The beautiful design choices throughout The Wilfrid earned a spot on HGTV.ca

A week before we arrived, I was provided with a survey so that they can tailor our visit to our likes and dislikes. I was asked questions like “how do you like your pillow?” and “which type of scents do you enjoy?” All of my answers were taken into consideration to make our stay more comfortable. We stayed in “The White Room,” which should be named the “bright room” for all of the gorgeous light that shined through. We were provided with an instax camera for us to document our stay and later hang up our favourite shot on their guest book wall of fame.

We were spoiled with an exceptional gourmet breakfast that included fresh produce, eggs, waffles, salads, and rhum barrel maple syrup – 100% County sourced. The breakfast left us simply giddy as well as ready for a mid-morning nap. At the end of your stay, you can take home with you farm fresh eggs, pickled spicy peppers, jams, and some of that yummy rhum barrel syrup.

This bed and breakfast is a destination in itself. Hang out with the roaming chickens, relax in the wood-fired sauna, take out some snowshoes along their trail, plus more. If relaxation is what you’re looking for, there is a shared living room that is perfect for reading and sipping wine. Prior to our arrival, we were also sent a virtual concierge list full of ideas on where to eat and what to do. The hosts were wonderful in providing their knowledge of the area to ensure that we enjoyed ourselves over the two days.

Things To Do

Bloomfield Beauty Co

Get pampered at Bloomfield Beauty Co. located in you guessed it, Bloomfield. Owned by sisters Emma and Annie Woodman, Bloomfield Beauty is The County’s first luxury spa offering basic spa services (manicures, pedicures and facials) plus medical aesthetics (IPL and Botox). The spa is located in an old home from 1865 and has been renovated beautifully to be a modern and cozy place. For the high-class service you receive, the prices are reasonable and make the perfect destination for a weekend in The County. Added bonus, you can enjoy a glass of bubbly while having your services!

Ice Fishing

When thinking about a quintessentially Canadian experience, ice fishing should definitely come to mind! A new addition to The Wilfrid is coordinating an ice fishing excursion for their guests. We were spoiled (again) with a packed gourmet lunch, coordinated with a local partner for a heated hut, drilled ice holes, and all of the necessary equipment we would need. All we had to do was show up on the day of our excursion. We had tunes playing, conversation flowing, and two rods going inside of our hut. Did we catch anything? Unfortunately no. Even though the fish completely ignored us, I would definitely try out ice fishing again!

Ice Fishing Safety Tips

  • Ice doesn’t freeze at a uniform thickness.
  • Ice is often much thicker and safer near the shore than the ice that is farther out, especially at the start of the winter season.
  • As you move further onto the ice, regularly check the thickness with a spud bar or an auger.
  • Ice that has formed over old ice holes may be weak.
  • Keep your eye out for pressure cracks, this may indicate that the ice is weak.
  • The colour of the ice will give you a clue as to its integrity. Clear blue ice is strong, whereas white or opaque ice is much weaker.
  • Beware of ice that looks honeycombed. This indicates that the ice may be thawing.

These tips are provided by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. You can learn more about ice fishing by visiting their ice fishing resource page.

After returning to The Wilfrid, the Barrel Sauna was looking more inviting than ever! In the evening, we warmed up with a relaxing seat inside, reflected on the day and prepared for the evening. Just for fun, if things get a little too warm for you, step out and splash some snow on yourself.

Eat & Drink

In the summer, it can be a painful experience making reservations at top-notch restaurants in The County. Tourist has been known to make reservations weeks in advance! In the offseason though, it’s less crowded and you can have a chance to enjoy a true culinary experience.

Stellas Eatery

New to the culinary scene in The County is the eclectic Stellas Eatery. Chef Leah and her team are killin’ it! It’s easy to see why this is the latest hot-spot in Picton. Offering small plates, no set menu, but never short on big flavour! Dining at Stella’s is a real surprise since the menu is constantly changing depending on what is locally available. The turntable tunes and library of cookbooks made us feel like we were hanging out at a friend’s place. We enjoyed the pate plate, tofu bahn mi sandwich, ricotta dumplings, mackerel cakes, and Chickpea battered cauliflower. If you happen to be there when the ricotta dumplings are on the menu, be sure to put in an order!

Flame and Smith

Instead of thinking farm-to-table restaurants, think farm-to fire! At Flame and Smith, you can enjoy vegetables, meat, and cooked fish dishes from their custom made wood burning Argentinian grill. The flavours of fire-cooked foods are undeniable and a must-try! Start with the house-baked sourdough with Stirling whey butter, and the charred leaf salad with wood-fired grapes. Or, you can opt-in for the four-course chef menu. The piece de resistance is definitely the 9oz butchers cut hangler steak… Drooling yet?

After enjoying your meal at night, make your way back to The Wilfrid where you can snuggle up around the bonfire while you enjoy a nightcap!

Extra Places To Check Out

Hinterland Winery // They offer bubbly by the glass, and for the cider fans, they have a delicious cherry cider!
Kinsip Spirits // If spirits are more of your thing than wine and beer, swing by Kinsip House of Fine Spirits. This is The County’s very own farm-based, grain-to-glass distillery.
Slickers Ice Cream (Picton location) // You have to try the burnt marshmallow ice cream!
Agrarian Market // A great full-service deli in Picton.
Luna Boutique // Shop for your County inspired outfit.
Coriander Girl // The shop is absolutely gorgeous, filled with plants, skincare, and more.