Elaisha Jade Goes to Niagara Falls. She details her two-day itinerary at one of the 7 wonders of the world.
Last summer I headed up to Terre Bleu, one of a few lavender field destinations in Ontario (especially near Toronto). The drive up past the Premium Outlet Mall was painful, I wanted to stop in and raid Restoration Hardware, but we trucked on to the remote Terre Bleu.
We parked and walked up to what seemed to be a wooden house with a pathway cut right in the middle of it. It towered above me as we quickly scuttled in to avoid the sun. Workers in their purple shirts strolled about busy with tasks of the day. We signed up for a tour of the fields where we learned about the types of lavender when lavender would be in season and the medicinal uses of the sweet smelling bush. We visited the bees and saw them at work making lavender honey.
After the tour and spending some time in the shop, my mum and I were ready to buy everything there. The summer sun bore down on us and I indulged in the lemonade and she got the ice cream. Since I avoid ice cream I only got a small lick off of a drop on my hand and fell in love. The flavour was subtly sweet and delicious. Thankfully the lemonade satiated my sweet tooth!
On to the macarons: if you go, buy at least 3 boxes. Eat one either in the fields or on your way home and put the other two in the fridge (if they make it that far). The adorable purple french cookies were filled with a creamy ganache that I still fantasise about today. I also purchased some lavender oil and a pouch filled with dried lavender for my chest of drawers.
I had the chance to meet the owner of Terre Bleu and experience the location from his perspective, too. He was very nice and educated my mum and me on lavender and how they keep the small business going.
Terre Bleu reopens June 1st and I highly recommend visiting and taking the tour! The scenery, snacks and relaxation were worth the journey.
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.
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.