Toronto’s favorite Christmas Market will be opening this weekend in the Distillery Historic District! Rediscover the magic of the holidays at this European-style seasonal outdoor market. Set in the cobble-stone lined streets of the Distillery District, this festival brings together unique and local craft vendors, […]
Niagara-on-the-Lake is one of those charming towns to visit again and again. There’s so much to see and do and there’s always some place new to explore! It’s starting to become a tradition to spend a weekend in February here with our friends, Carl and […]
If you’re planning a visit to Niagara-on-the-Lake, you really won’t find any finer accommodations than the Prince of Wales Hotel. They truly pamper their guests to ensure that you have a romantic and luxurious stay. The hotel is absolutely stunning both inside and out, from the luxury mattress that was truly the most comfortable bed that I’ve ever slept in, to onsite valet parking, to the free high-speed wifi. They anticipate your every need before you’ve even thought of it. Be sure to take advantage of the towel warmers in the bathroom…..You can thank me later!
Our Travelzoo package came with complimentary breakfast in the stunning Noble Restaurant. And by complimentary breakfast I don’t mean a breakfast buffet or continental breakfast. I mean you can pick anything you want from the breakfast menu, one main, one side, and of course coffee and orange juice!
I went with the Prince of Wales Eggs Benedict, two soft poached eggs, perched atop a bed of peameal bacon, and rosemary focaccia bread, and smothered with Hollandaise sauce. It was absolute perfection and came with fried potatoes and fresh fruit. SOOO good!! My hubby went with the Traditional Two Egg Breakfast which included two country fresh eggs, farmers sausage, smoked bacon, fried potatoes and toast.
We selected bacon and cinnamon rolls as our two sides. Honestly we didn’t even need the sides because we already had so much food, but I’m so glad that we got them! The cinnamon rolls were delicious!! They were like part cinnamon roll, part croissant, perfectly flaky and light, with a drizzle of glaze. Thank goodness they brought two! After breakfast we headed to the saltwater pool for a little relaxation time before checking out.
Just a short 3 minute drive off the main drag you’ll find Niagara-on-the-Lake’s best kept secret, Willow Cakes & Pastries. Willow Cakes showcases the talent of culinary star Catherine O’Donnell. Her passion for baking and love for her community can be seen through the abundance of breads, chocolates, cakes, & tarts that fill the many display cases around the store. As someone who shows their greatest affection for friends and family through homemade goodies, this place really spoke to me! The cafe was so warm and inviting and the perfect place to grab a sweet treat.
After much debating…and drooling….we decided to try one of their mini Toblerone Cakes. This breathtaking cake was filled with a peanut buttery mousse, rolled in shaved chocolate and topped with two of the classic candies. You guys!! All I can say is YES!!! Be sure to try one of their specialty coffees or a Lindt hot chocolate, and you absolutely MUST take something to go. It’s safe to say I will be visiting Willow Cakes on ALL of my Niagara-on-the-Lake trips in the future!!
A quick two minute drive led us to Peller Estates Winery & Restaurant. Peller Estates is nothing short of grand! It’s easy to forget that it all started with humble beginnings, when Andrew Peller immigrated here from Hungary in 1927 with a vision to bring premium quality wines to Canada. In the Spring of 1969, Peller Estates was born. This massive estate now boasts an onsite award winning restaurant serving up lunch and dinner, as well and wine and food pairings, chocolate pairings, winery tours, and an exclusive ice lounge that’s not to be missed!
10 Below Ice Lounge is the coolest place in Niagara-on-the-Lake, literally!! Named for the chilly threshold for harvesting Icewine grapes, -10 degrees Celsius, the temperature inside is also kept at a constantly, chilling -10.
At 10 Below, you’ll find yourself surrounded by marvelous ice walls, ice furniture, sculptures and even an ice bar! It only takes a split second to realize that this place is unlike any other in Niagara-on-the-Lake. You have to see it to believe it! Of course we couldn’t leave without purchasing a bottle of their Vidal Ice Wine, my favorite, as well as a 2015 Vintage Meritage.
Turn right onto John Street East when leaving Peller Estates and then another right onto Niagara River Parkway, and about two minutes down the road you’ll find the Living Water Wayside Chapel, aka the worlds smallest church. The inside is closed in the winter, but is outfitted with 6 small single seated pews, 3 on each side. In the summer months, it’s not uncommon to find a line at the door with people waiting to get inside of this fabulous little gem.
Inniskillin Wines was our next stop, just 2 minutes away. Inniskillin, an industry pioneer, is dubbed as Canada’s first estate winery. With many awards for their table wines, their ice wine is where they truly shine. In my opinion, they have the best ice wine in all of Niagara. I know it’s a big statement to make, but one sip and you’ll be hooked. Can’t decide which one to get, they also have the cutest little gift sets with mini bottles, so you don’t have to choose! If Inniskillin hasn’t been on your radar, it needs to be. Trust.
Our next stop took us to Kitchen 76, Two Sisters Vineyards full service restaurant. Reservations are encouraged, but we were lucky enough to sneak in without one! I think the snowy weather had something to do with that.
Kitchen 76 showcases the talents of chef Justin Lesso, offering a delicious Italian based menu that showcases local produce as well seasonal produce from their own property. Sooo….first let me talk about that arancini!!! OMG!!! Literally the BEST!!! For those of you that aren’t familiar with this Italian delight, they are Silician rice balls, stuffed with smoked mozzarella and served with tomato sauce and fresh basil. Maybe it was the smoked mozzarella, maybe it was the sauce, maybe it was both, but this dish was everything you could ever want in a rice ball. Get an order….or two!! Really!!
There were SO many pizzas that I wanted to try on the menu, the Dolce e Salato, the Salsicce, the Funghi, but I could only get my hubby to be as adventurous as the Margherita! But no worries!! This Italian classic did not disappoint. All of their pizzas start with their housemade dough and are wood fired to perfection. You can never go wrong with a little fresh mozzarella, tomato sauce, olive oil, and fresh basil. There is something about a wood fired pizza that gets me every time! After lunch we tried a few wine samples in the tasting room. Their Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc are on point. I plan on grabbing a few bottles on my next trip, but I was trying to pace myself….as if that’s even possible!!
We couldn’t pass up an opportunity to see Niagara Falls before heading back across the border. We snapped this quick picture from the Canadian side before dark, and then headed back to Buffalo. I am so excited to go back in February and explore more of this area!! There really are so many fabulous things to do AND it’s all right in our backyard!
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We spent last weekend across the border, exploring Niagara-on-the-Lake before all of the Christmas madness set in. Niagara-on-the-Lake is situated in Ontario, Canada right where the Niagara River meets Lake Ontario, and directly across the river from Youngstown, NY. This historic town is home to […]