Pictures by: Desiree Thomas, Ted Baker Shoes, everything else GAP
After the recent and tragic passing of a very close friend, I was really looking forward to this trip. The Viamede Resort was a 2-hour drive out of downtown Toronto and just 20 minutes north of Peterborough. While I couldn't escape my problems and grief, I was happy to at least spend time in a quiet space and get out of my head a bit.
As we pulled up to the blue and white painted front of the resort, I instantly felt at ease. Desiree, however, was a bit nervous since we visited during the slow season at the resort and were only one pair of the few guests staying there. After an easy check-in, we brought our bags upstairs and took in the view of the ice-covered lake on our way up. Our spacious room was fitted with a full bathroom (with a shower) a sofa, two lounge chairs, the comfiest king-sized bed, a television and an office table. Two doors lead out to the second story balcony where we shot pictures and regularly insta-storied the icy lake-view.
Breakfast and dinner were served in the main dining area of the resort, as Boathouse, the other restaurant would open later in the summer. In spite of the rustic feel, we were offered unexpected options of mixed green salads, flatbread pizzas and decadent desserts for our meals. For dinner on the first night, I satiated my week-long craving for honey garlic chicken wings and blue cheese dip. For breaded wings, they were delicious, the blue cheese dip wasn't my favourite though. The caesar salad was topped generously with cheese and bacon and tossed in a creamy dressing. I also loved the sweet potato fries and snagged a bite of Desiree's flatbread pizza (spoiler: it was amazing too).
Before we ate, Desiree and I took a dip in the indoor pool. The pool area was conveniently fitted with lockers and was heated nicely. It lead to an outdoor hot tub that we sadly didn't take advantage of. Like many areas of the resort, the pool was fitted with huge windows so we could take in another angle of the gorgeous view outside.
</p> <p><img src="http://static1.squarespace.com/static/59b5acf4e5dd5b5264452013/59d5aede14fd83ad1a87bdc7/59d5aee514fd83ad1a87bff4/1507176165854/Breakfast-collage.jpg?format=original" alt="breakfast-collage" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-724" /></p> <p></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Shirt: <a href="http://www.gapcanada.ca/browse/product.do?vid=1&pid=638493013">GAP</a></em></p> <p> <p> While the bed was extremely comfortable, I woke up pretty early. I was antsy to get our day started! At breakfast, my warm blueberry pancakes were served with their housemade maple syrup. We were graciously given our own takeaway syrup which I plan to make last until I get out there again for more. Thankfully I got my energy up to tour the grounds with Desiree. I threw on my hiking shoes and we hit a short trail to the farm and the famous oak tree. Desiree and I received replies on our Snapchat stories that the tree reminded them of the Blair Witch Project (much to Desiree's distress) but I found it peaceful to roam about their forest with the hotel manager's rescued golden retrievers. We stopped by the farm but all of the animals were inside. Hopefully next time I'd get the chance to see them.</p> <p></p> <div class="casey-quote-button-container" style="text-align: center;"><a class="casey-cta-btn" href="http://bit.ly/2qb6EG2" target="_blank">Get a quote for this trip</a></div> <p> <p> <script src="https://caseytravel.com/quote-button/0.1.0/casey.quote-button.js" async>
A slight break from the arcadian feel of the resort was Mount Julian, an Inn and restaurant just across the street from Viamede. Surrounded by the history of the Inn built in 1874, a 7-course feast presented to Desiree and I was served with another gorgeous view of the lake. Each of the courses sent our taste buds on a rollercoaster. Earlier that day, the resort manager asked us if we had any allergies or food preferences. It turned out that Mount Julian was the kind of farm-to-table place with no menu, but where the chef made food as he felt inspired by what was in season. I listed the menu we were served below (but note, this won't be exactly what you would be served if you visit!)
(A pre-course, course) 595 Pork belly, whole hog mustard, pork fat crouton, tomato and watercress (a fancy BLT)
- Asparagus, wild rice salad, wild leek vinaigrette, Ontario bocconcini, honey balsamic
- House smoked rainbow trout, candy cane beets, Blueberry gastrique
- Golden beet soup with honey and cream, warm bread and duck fat butter, apple walnut chutney, pristine soy oil and blueberry gastrique
- Pork tenderloin with butter poached blue potatoes and wild leek marmalade
- Beef tenderloin with mushroom confit and red wine jus
- Cheese board: Lindsay, Ontario ‘wrapped’ goat cheddar, rhubarb chutney
- Chocolate walnut brownie with chocolate whisky and orange and soy iced cream
My favourite dish was a tie between the Golden Beet Soup (I couldn't stop talking about the duck fat butter, Desiree wanted to hurt me), the pork tenderloin and the final desert. Each course was served with a delicious drink. I loved the Sortilège made with their own 595 Maple Syrup. After a lovely chat with Chef Jay Nutt about travel and the dishes he crafted for us, we retired to our room full and ready to sleep.
Sweater & Jeans: GAP, Shoes: Ted Baker
Each night I went to bed full and excited to learn something new about the area. I can't wait to visit the Viamede Resort again and explore the trails a bit more and get some more of that elixir syrup.