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Dec 11, 2009 11:43 AM

Picton suggestion for older couple

I am putting together a getaway package for my in-laws as a Christmas gift. I am thinking of mid-July for a couple of nights at a B&B. Then a $100 gift certificate at a restaurant. I am looking for suggestions for the restaurant.

A bit about my in-laws:
- around 60 years old
- neither one is a real foodie
- neither likes seafood, they are more or less the meat-and-potato types
- FIL does not drink. MIL will have a glass of wine
- I am hoping to cover app, main, dessert for 2 people. They will have to pay for alcohol, tax and tip.

Thanks everyone.

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  1. Tha Claramont Inn would fit the bill all round. The rooms are divine and the restaurant, Clara's, has very good, unpretentious food. They often have well priced packages, so you might want to enquire about that as well. Merill Inn also has nice rooms and the restaurant, under Michael Sullivan, always turns out delicious food. There is also Harvest for dinner- mixed reviews on this site and it might be a bit too "foody' for your purposes. Stay clear of The Waring House- bad wedding chickeny type meals. There is a new restaurant, Blumen, which has received good reviews. We tried it for lunch and liked it very much- will return for dinner in the New Year. I've never eaten there, but the restaurant at Lake on the Mountain has good reviews for lunch- certainly the location is superb. Just thought of another place! The Painted Peppercorn in Picton serves really good, meat and potato type food(SO loves going there for lunch). It's not very elegant and you might not want it to be the place for "the dinner" but if your in'laws are going to be in the County for a couple of days, they might want to try it. All County restaurants showcase local meat/ produceand there will be no problem getting wine by the glass. Let us know what you put together - I'm always looking for new places to take friends and family when they visit.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Countygal

      Waring House seems to have nice new accommodations - is the food really that bad? What do you think of their cooking classes?

      1. re: Countygal

        Lake on the Mountain looks gorgeous and here's the dinner menu

        Any recent opinions on their food? How about their tourtiere, poutine, and smoked pulled pork?

        1. re: Food Tourist

          had lunch there a few weeks ago. Can't remember what I had, but remember being very satisfied. I do remember they have an excellent house brewed IPA. One of the best I've tasted

          1. re: haggisdragon

            I had lunch there a couple of summers ago, and it was great!

          2. re: Food Tourist

            The Inn at Lake on the Mountain Resort is a lovely place to enjoy lunch. Although the patio was full, we enjoyed the indoor seating in the traditional pub atmosphere. Sweet potato poutine with real curds was the highlight -- so delicious! Tourtiere had great crust and texture but I didn't prefer the Chretien family recipe calling for addition of bread crumbs mixed in with the beef/pork. In-house smoked pulled pork lacked any smoky flavour. The only smoky flavour came from the chargrilled bun! However, the pork itself was juicy and tender enough to enjoy anyway. We enjoyed two of the house brews, including cream ale and country brown ale (better choice).

        2. Harvest is one of the best restaurants in Ontario. I think you should be able to do it for $100 bucks no problem (especially if they aren't big wine drinkers).

          1 Reply
          1. re: Arcadiaseeker

            What a nice gift! I'm sure they will love it!
            I had a wonderful meal at Harvest couple of years ago, but it is probably more foodie that they would care for.
            We also ate at the Waring House, at the pub part (the Barley Room) a few times (over two visits to the County) and thought it was quite good. If they're staying in Picton and don't want to drive, the cab to Wearing house was only about $7 and the driver was more than happy to come pick us up at a specific time.

          2. Clara's isn't reco'd much on this Board but I see that Where to Eat in Canada loves it...any recent thoughts on it? Do they serve local ingredients and great tasting food? If so, what would you order there?

            Trying to choose 2 memorable, must-eat restaurants (for worldly food-lovers) that highlight seasonal ingredients or have wonderchefs for 2 days in Prince Edward County and Sandbanks, and 3-4 must-taste wineries (I know, avoid Black Prince, go to Sandbanks!) Is there a 4 star accommodation close to great food and great wine for a quick stumble home?

            14 Replies
            1. re: Food Tourist

              On your last point, Merrill Inn. You can dine and then stumble upstairs. Better that having to go downstairs.

              Merrill Inn
              343 Picton Main St, Prince Edward, ON K0K 2T0, CA

              1. re: Googs

                Thanks Googs - would you say the meals there are above average to excellent?

                1. re: Food Tourist

                  Sadly definitely no rooms available the night I decided to stay closer to the Hillier winery area.

              2. re: Food Tourist

                IMO the MUST try wineries in the county would be Norman Hardie, Closson Chase, Keint He, and Long Dog. In that order. This is based on wine only. All four of these have excellent Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. For bubbly give Hinterland a try, lovely people. If you like Rose, give Huff Estates a try, apparently they have an excellent bubbly as well but it is currently sold out. I haven't tried Sandbanks winery but I am wary of it.

                1. re: haggisdragon

                  Based on Vines magazine, it seems By Chadsey's Cairns (St. Laurent varietal) and Huff reds are also worth a shot.

                  1. re: Food Tourist

                    Cool, I'll have to try those next time I'm in the area.

                    1. re: haggisdragon

                      Huff also has an inn with many rooms:

                      Supposedly it's the only winery in PEC that has a hotel, so far.

                      Are there any good breweries in PEC or on the way from Toronto? Church-key in Pethericks Corners was recommended to me last night at the Great Lakes Brewery Project X tasting, but it might be too far off the 401. How is Waupoos?

                2. re: Food Tourist

                  BTW, reasons I love visiting Norman Hardie: make about 6-7 different wines and not one of them is a dud. Every wine is available for tasting, they don't hold out on their very best. And Johannes, the gentleman who you will most likely meet in the tasting room, is very knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and an all round lovely guy.

                  1. re: Food Tourist

                    The Newsroom Suites is right across from East and Main in Wellington and would be my pick. It's a suite above the town paper and they have done it up beautifully -- the bathroom is massive, there's a kitchen stocked with a coffee press, fresh beans and a grinder. It's the only place I will stay. No kitschy antiques or chintz - it's modern and funky. You can stumble right across the road from East and Main which has a wonderful list of county wines and top notch local food.

                    1. re: Arcadiaseeker

                      What a great rec - but the suites are fully booked. However, will definitely hit East and Main even if driving is necessary!

                      1. re: Food Tourist

                        Never mind -- they had a cancellation so I got a Newsroom Suite!

                        Anyone have any reviews of Rosehall Run wines?

                        1. re: Food Tourist

                          I tried their pinot noir and chardonnay last weekend. Pinot noir was okay, very light bodied. I bought a bottle of the chardonnay which was actually a blend of oaked and unoaked chardonnay, and chardonnay musque. This was a very friendly, but not serious wine.

                    2. Blumen is great - even though their menu looks "foodie-ish" it's really an approachable place to eat. The Carriage House is a great place for good food (and stop in at their bakery!).

                      Carriage House
                      260 Bloomfield Main, Bloomfield, ON K0K1G0, CA

                      Blumen Garden Bistro
                      647 B 49 Hwy, Picton, ON K0K, CA

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: jo_jo_ba


                        I think Blumen Garden plus East & Main will be the 2 dining choices, with lunch at either Lake on the Mountain or pack a picnic from a good food shop (Carriage House in Bloomfield? local cheese?) for Sandbanks beach! I hope it's okay to skip Harvest and Merrill Inn and Clara's this time around...

                      2. So, Cecilia, this sounds like a wonderful gift for your in-laws!

                        While it wouldn't be my chosen destination, I have to recommend, based on the description you have provided of your parents, the Waring House. I know Countygal said said it was "bad wedding chickeny type meals", but that has not been my experience there. I have eaten brunch there many times; they use real whipped cream, real maple syrup, and the food, in general, has been good.

                        I have parents in the same age range as yours; they live in Brighton, Ontario, about an hour from Picton, and they frequent the Waring House. They think it is fabulous!

                        Looking over the menus on Waring House's website, perhaps the Barley Room, which has a pub atmosphere and menu, would suit best. However, you should look at the other dining options (they have two other dining rooms with different menus), in case they would suit better.


                        I have eaten at Harvest and Carriage House a number of times, and I think, definitely, that these are too foodie oriented.

                        Carriage House Restaurant
                        2101 Old Lakeshore Rd, Burlington, ON L7R1A4, CA

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Full tummy

                          I have eaten at the Barley Room at Waring House a couple of times. The first time (about two years ago), the food was pretty good - casual pub fare, nothing special but decently executed. However, when I was there last summer I had the worst fish and chips I've ever been served. The fries were fine but the batter on the fish was very thick and soggy. Very disappointing. However, it is a lovely place and maybe I just hit them on a bad day.

                          I've always enjoyed Harvest. We took my non-foodie mother-in-law there for her 70th birthday and she really liked it (we stayed at the Claramount Inn, just across the street).

                          There are certainly lots of choices in the area so I hope they enjoy their visit to the County!

                          1. re: ms. clicquot

                            Too bad about your fish & chips. That's something a restaurant just shouldn't mess up.