Experience Maple and More in Prince Edward County this March
Emerge from winter with us this March in Prince Edward County. From maple harvest celebrations to a new Winter Wine Festival, there is plenty to enjoy with the whole family. Read on to get all the details and plan your March getaway today!
PEC Maple Madness
PEC Maple Madness is back again to help celebrate the sweetest time of year in The County. Visit a sugarbush, taste delicious maple delights, and stay over in some sweet accommodations to make for a maple-y getaway every weekend in March. With more than 60 participating businesses, there will be opportunities to experience maple at every turn!
Participating sugarbushes include Waupoos Estates Winery, Walt’s Sugar Shack, Three Dog Winery, County Shores Farms, Sugarbush Vineyards, Justin’s Maple Syrup, Campbell’s Orchards, and Nyman Farms. In addition to learning about the maple harvest and sampling straight from the source, you can expect pancake breakfasts every Saturday and Sunday at Waupoos Estates, pancake and sausage breakfasts at Walt’s Sugar Shack, self-guided tours through the woods at Justin’s Maple Syrup (hiking boots or rain boots recommended), educational Maple Walk & Talks through Murray’s sugarbush at Campbell’s Orchards, and more!
After visiting a sugar bush, taste the Maple Syrup in action at local establishments. Why not start with a maple-y wine tour at Three Dog Winery, Sandbanks Estate Winery, Lacey Estates Winery, Rosehall Run, Huff Estates, Norman Hardie Winery, Karlo Estates, The Grange, Closson Chase Winery, Broken Stone Winery, Harwood Estate Vineyards, Trail Estate Winery, Hillier Creek Estates Winery, Redtail Vineyards, or Stanners Vineyards. These participating wineries have lots of maple deliciousness on offer to pair with their wines, like maple shortbread and maple cheese from Black River Cheese at Sandbanks Winery, all-you-can-eat vegan pancake brunches at Karlo Estates, and maple salmon gravlax with maple-infused wine cocktails at Rosehall Run.
Distilleries, breweries, and cideries are getting in on the fun as well, with Clafeld Cider House, Barley Days Brewery, Kinsip Distillery, Midtown Brewing Company, Prince Eddy’s Brewing, Matron Fine Beer, Gillingham Brewery, Parsons Brewery, 555 Brewery, All My Friends Beer Co., and Loch Mor Cider serving up tasty maple beverages and accompaniments. Head to Kinsip for Maple Whisky and Whisky Barrel-Aged Maple Syrup, to Loch Mor for limited edition Maple-infused Pommeau (aka apple port), or stop at Matron Fine Beer for delectable maple cinnamon buns.
Finally, stop for a bite to eat at participating Maple Madness restaurants and food producers, which include The County Canteen, 7 Numbers Picton, The Waring House, Fifth Town Cheese, The Drake Devonshire, J&W Farms, Stella’s Eatery, Sand & Pearl, Cressy Mustard Co., PECish Baking, The County Chocolatier, The Village Bake Shoppe, and Sprigglen Meat Market. Enjoy maple-y menu items like Polenta Arancini with Maple Cheddar & Prosciutto at 7 Numbers, French Toast served with a caramelized apple + cranberry compote, Perth bacon, Chantilly cream, and hearty dose of Nyman Farms Maple Syrup at Drake Devonshire, or a Maple Salmon BLT on PECish Bread from Sand & Pearl, which you can find at Gillingham Brewing on March 4&5, PECish Baking Co. on March 11, 18 and 25, and Slake Brewing on March 12, 19, and 26.
With so much to experience during Maple Madness in March, make a weekend of it and stay with us here in PEC. Maple Madness is serving up some sweet accommodation offers including The Waring House, Places in PEC, Eliken House (PEC STA License # ST-2019-0256), Everly Inn, Sandbanks Vacations, Indergaard Farm Stay (PEC STA License #: ST-2021-0001.), Twin Birch Suites & Cottages, Pleasant Stays Guest House (PEC STA License #: 2022-0089), The Lakeside Motel, Pettit House, County Charm Vacation Home (PEC STA License #: ST-2022-0132), Picton Bay Hideaway (PEC STA License #: ST – 2021-0168), Lock 6 Lodge, and The Owens House (PEC STA License #: STA-2021-0115).
🛌 Discover Sweet Accommodations Offers for Maple Madness 🛌
Be sure to follow PEC Maple Madness on Instagram and Facebook to learn about all the offerings from participating businesses throughout March and visit their website to plan for your perfect maple getaway in The County.
Elévage: PEC Winter Wine Festival
Raise a glass to winter in wine country with Élevage: PEC Winter Wine Festival from March 11-12, 2023. What is Élevage? Derived from the french meaning “raise up,” Élevage refers to the time in winemaking between fermentation and bottling – typically in winter – when wines begin their maturing process and make their way to being ready to enjoy. This makes it the perfect name for a Winter Wine Festival in PEC, and this is one you won’t want to miss, with more than 21 local producers of wine and cider coming together to create a memorable weekend of wine and culinary experiences.
Élevage will take place at seven local wineries and cideries, each playing host to 2-3 other wineries and one chef who will be cooking up delicious bites inspired by our long history of fermentation and preservation. Tickets are $64 for general admission, which includes 12 drink samples and 3 food samples, with additional sample tickets available for purchase on-site. They also have a zero-proof admission option for $40 which includes 3 food tickets. Get your tickets here.
Spend the weekend working your way through the host locations and tasting food from local chefs, more than half of whom are of Indigenous descent, including 4 Mohawk Chefs from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. These locations include:
- Casa Dea Estates Winery, with Hillier Creek Estates and Three Dog Winery, alongside Chef Rachel Bies
- Closson Chase Vineyards, with Broken Stone Winery and Hubbs Creek Vineyard, alongside Chef Nicole Maracle
- Grange of Prince Edward, with Hinterland Wine Company and Lacey Estates Winery, with Chefs Nathan Thomas and Matt Demille
- Huff Estates Winery, with Lighthall Vineyards and The County Cider Company with Chefs Leah Hannon (Stella’s Eatery) and Lee Arden Lewis
- Karlo Estates Winery, with Keint-he Winery and Vineyards and Gravel Hill Vineyards, featuring food pairing by Karlo Estates Winery
- Loch Mór Cider Company, with Sugarbush Vineyards and Trail Estate Winery, featuring Chef Rebecca Hunt (Picnic PEC)
- Rosehall Run, with Morandin Wines, Sandbanks Winery, and Stanners Vineyard, with Chef Chavis Maracle
Looking for somewhere to stay during Élevage? Drake Devonshire is the official accommodations partner for the festival. Just call 613-399-3338 for bookings and mention Élevage – ticket holders will receive a complimentary bottle of PEC sparkling wine at check-in!
Get your tickets to Élevage today!
Maple in The County
Maple in The County is back and in person for the first time since 2019! Come out for this family-friendly festival and wrap up a month of maple festivities by experiencing the maple harvest at 5 beloved County sugar bushes over the weekend of March 25-26, 2023. Participating sugar bushes include:
- Hubbs Sugarbush/Sweetwater Cabin will be serving up their 45th annual pancake breakfast featuring fresh maple syrup. Lumberjack shows are back this year, and you’ll have a chance to purchase their small-batch, hand-made maple products like stirred sugar, maple butter, soft sugar candy, and more.
- Fosterholm Farms invites you to visit their 7500 tap sugarbush, which has been in operation since 1924! Come see how maple syrup is made and take a walk through the woods and tuck in to a delicious pancake and sausage breakfast with unlimited maple syrup. Meals are just $15 and take place inside their sap house beside the woodfire. There will also be plenty of maple goodies available for you to purchase at their wheelchair accessible facility.
- Vader’s Maple Syrup is exicited for you to visit their 2500 tap maple production – a family tradition since 1910. Tour the Sap House, observe our 3’x14′ evaporator in action, take a scenic walk overlooking East Lake, and learn from informative maple displays, and photos. Maple syrup, hand crafted maple butter, maple sugar and whisky barrel aged maple syrup available for purchase. You can also enjoy freshly made maple taffy on a stick and maple kettle corn!
- Head to Loha Farms for an all-day indoor pancake breakfast, after which you can enjoy a walk in the sugar bush, visit the animals in the barnyard, and watch how maple syrup is made in our sugar shack. A portion of their proceeds will be donated to Picton Memorial Hospital. Be sure to bring your rain boots!
- Come stop by our sap house at Roblin’s Maple Syrup and take in the picturesque views of Long Reach. Observe how they transform raw sap into pure maple syrup with their reverse osmosis and energy efficient combination wood/wood pellet fired evaporator, sample a flight of different maple syrup grades, enjoy maple butter on an english muffin, maple pulled pork on a bun, along with many other mouth-watering maple treats and products for sale.
For more information about Maple in The County, check out the website or follow the festival on Facebook.
Experience arts and culture in PEC this March with some exciting events and exhibits. Swing by Oeno Gallery for their “Conversations” Exhibition, which explores artsworks that “speak to each other,” through multiple panels or pieces. Featuring artists Milly Ristvedt, Shayne Dark, Aron Hill, Benny Katz, Paula Murray, John Paul Robinson, Alice Teichert, Julia Reimer, Derya Ozparlak, Kevin Robb and Peter Hoffer, you won’t want to miss this one! Meanwhile, on Picton Main Street, Arts on Main Gallery opens their Awakening Art Show on March 3, which will feature new works from local artists in celebration of spring.
If you want to try your hand at art, there are a few opportunities coming up this month you’ll want to register for. Every Tuesday night give life drawing a go with Salon Life Drawing at Karlo Estates, or you can sign up for the County Arts Lab’s Art for Equity event on International Women’s Day. Finally, if you want to bring home some handmade maple memorabilia along with some delicious wine, sign up for the Maple Leaf Mosaic Workshop at Broken Stone Winery.
Want to go beyond maple with your culinary adventures in The County? We’ve got you covered. In addition to the regular menus at our numerous restaurant offerings, you also don’t want to miss these special foodie events. Here mid-week? Wednesday Wing Night at Jackson’s Falls featuring Big Mike’s BBQ’s delicious smoked wings is a must try experience. Also at Jackson’s Falls you can enjoy brunch from Chef Chris Wylie every weekend – be sure to call in advance to book a table!
Here for the cheese? Plan to come in early on Friday throughout March to experience Fondue Fridays at The Eddie. This unique experience allows you to nosh on warming cheese and chocolate fondue in the quaint setting of a beautiful barn. If you haven’t gotten enough of molten cheese, be sure to head to Lighthall Vineyards on Sunday March 12 and Sunday March 19 to taste their homemade raclette alonside their stellar wines.
Coming up in April
Planning ahead for a visit in April? Here’s some of what you can look forward to next month:
Countylicious returns for its spring edition from April 12 – May 1! Enjoy 3 weeks of spring-inspired, three-course prix fixe menus at great prices from restaurants you know, love, and have been dying to try! Check out Countylicious.ca for more information in the coming weeks!
Easter at The Eddie
Get in the festive spirit at The Eddie with their annual Easter Egg Hunt and Sunday Brunch on April 9! Book your tickets now!
Make it a Magical December in PEC with these Events & Festivities 🎄
It’s the final push before the holidays and Prince Edward County is showing no signs of slowing down. With plenty of holiday markets and festivities to attend, keep reading to discover all the ways you can experience a magical December in The County.
Markets & More
Head over to Wellington for the Very Merry Market on December 3 from 9:30am – 2:30pm, inside the Wellinton United Church. Featuring many of your favourite Wellington Community Market vendors, this is the perfect opportunity to stock up on goodies for your holiday table and all of your gifting needs.
Busy Hands is back at Highline Hall in Wellington from December 10-11! Come by for handmade goods from dozens of your favourite local artisans such as Honey Pie Hives & Herbals, Vickie’s Veggies, and more, perfect for all of your holiday gifting needs!
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If you’ve ever wanted to check out Wander the Resort, the Winter Wanderland Market is the perfect opportunity! Come by Wander from 11am to 5pm on December 11th for a holiday market full of festive cheer on their stunning property along the shores of Lake Ontario. Complete with artisan vendors, gingerbread house decorating, hot chocolate, and visits from some local celebrities (aka Noble Beast Farms Alpacas), this is a perfect event for the whole family.
In addition, the Ode to Joy Art Show & Sale at Andara Gallery, the Give a Little Bit Holiday Group Show at Melt Studio & Gallery,(join them for a holiday reception on December 17 from 1-4PM) and The Art of Giving show at Arts on Main Gallery continue through December, so be sure to check those out if art is on your shopping list this holiday season.
While Countylicious is over, there are still plenty of reasons to dine out in PEC this December. First of all, several spots have added seasonal specials and updated menus to their roster, making for even more reasons to visit The County during the winter months. For instance, both Stella’s Eatery and Parsons Brewing have added a Sunday brunch service to their weekend programming, which will be available until spring. Additionally, Stella’s has launched Sparking and Seafood Wednesdays, where guests can enjoy a special seafood menu and 1/2 price sparkling wine – talk about a mid-week treat! Midtown Brewing is mixing things up with a menu refresh this month as well, so don’t miss this chance to dine at this Wellington institution.
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If you’re looking for some special dining experiences to add to your December festivities, we’ve got you covered:
- On December 3rd head to The Waring House for a plant-based feast from Chef Chris with Frost: A Plant Based Tasting Menu
- Also at The Waring House, PEC Wine Society and PEC Single Malt Society are each offering a Wassail-themed dinner this month, on the 7th and 15th respectively
- For another vegan dining option, be sure to check out the weekly “Dinner & a Show” event at Karlo Estates. This month you can expect performances from Tony Forbes, Jeremy Kelly. and Elmwood Harmony.
- Sand & Pearl will be popping up in Milford at PECish Baking Co. throughout December. Join them on December 17th, 24th, and 31st for all the usual deliciousness from PECish plus special coffee, campfire grilled oysters, chowder in bread bowls and more. Plus you can pre-order seafood platters to go for your Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations.
- Another spot making Sundays in the County extra special this winter is Lighthall Vineyards, who are introducing Raclette Sundays to their cheesy offerings. Come my the winery on December 11 + 18, January 15 + 29, February 12 + 20 and March 12 + 19 to try their house-made raclette for just $15 per person from 1-3PM while supplies last. Pair with their chardonnay for the ultimate tasting experience!
In addition to all of the holiday markets happening this month, there are also a plethora of festive events taking place throughout The County, and you’re invited to celebrate with us. First up, after you spend some time at the Very Merry Market on December 3rd, stick around Wellington for A Whoville Holiday in Wellington Park. Starting at 4PM this family-friendly events provides an opportunity for the kids to meet Santa, enjoy a bonfire and do some carolling while the town of Wellington lights up for the holiday season.
The County Museums have a number of festive events on this holiday season. Come visit Santa’s Village at Ameliasburgh Heritage Village on Friday December 2nd, 9th, and 16th from 12-3pm. During these special days you can tour the village and discover Santa’s sleigh, listen to stories and of course take a picture with the big man himself! Then on December 10th and 11th, head to Macaulay Heritage Park for some historical holiday cheer! Come see Macaulay House all decorated for christmas and take a tour inside this beautiful historic home while enjoying a nice cup of hot chocolate or cider. You can also visit with Santa, shop the Mistletoe Magic Artisan Market, enjoy live music, readings and special holiday displays by Shatterbox Theatre.
Three Dog Winery is under new ownership as of Summer 2022, and if you haven’t stopped by yet, their Holiday Open House is the perfect time! Join them on December 10th from 11-5PM for food from The County Canteen, live music from Jon Jones, wine tastings, hot chocolate by the fire, and a selection of awesome vendors to shop from. Plus, proceeds from wine by the glass sales during the event will go to charity.
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Have an unforgettable experience at the Merrill House with their Experiential Cocktail Night on Tuesday, December 13th. Their decadent mocha martini, Champagne cocktail and gingerbread macarons will be paired with scents, music and visual stimuli, that are sure to make for an unforgettable holiday experience.
The Waring House is getting into the full festive spirit with plethora of holiday events that are sure to leave you happy, full and smiling. On December 15th and 16th, get together with friends for their Christmas Lunch Buffet, or spend Christmas Eve with some festive live music from local band The Reasons. On the big day, The Waring House is also offering a Christmas Dinner Buffet featuring turkey, all the trimmings, and so much more.
Dig out your ugly Christmas sweaters for the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party at Karlo, as part of their Friday Night Wine Lounge series. Enjoy funky Christmas music and great wine related prizes. Come get your groove on, do some last minute shopping and have a blast. Reserve your spot here
Looking for something to do this New Year’s Eve? Look no further than New Year’s Eve at The Royal. Tickets are just $25 and give you a complimentary glass of champagne and access to the hottest party in The County. With a live DJ on hand, be sure to bring your dancing shoes and ring in 2023 in style. Get your tickets here.
Wind Down & Relax
The holiday season can be hectic, so be sure to take some time to relax this holiday season with these day packages from the Lakeside Motel, Wander The Resort and The Royal Hotel. These also make great gift ideas, perfect for a winter escape to The County.
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Head to The Lakeside Motel in Wellington for a spa experience featuring a Sauna, Cold Plunge, campfire drinks and charcuterie. Winter pricing is just $30 for 30 minutes or $45 for an hour. Call the Lakeside to book!
On the other side of Wellington is Wander The Resort, where you can book a Wander In Day Pass to access a variety of resort amenities including their pool circuit, hot tub, and sauna, You can also enjoy lounging by their outdoor bonfires and head into the clubhouse for food and drinks. Simply call or email to book.
If you’re looking to relax with spa services like massage, body treatments, and facials, be sure to check out The Spa at The Royal Hotel. Spa guests also receive priority dining reservations, access to The Royal’s dry sauna, and more.
Stock Up on some Holiday Baking
The holiday season is busy enough, so why not leave the baking to PEC’s finest bakeries? Keep reading to discover some of the sweetest spots to visit and order from this holiday season.
PECish Baking Co. has become a Milford institution since opening in 2021, and they have recently moved into a larger space to better serve you this holiday season and beyond. Open Fridays and Saturdays, PECish has incredible breads, delightful croissants, cruffins! and so much more. Order in advance on their website for pickup and stock-up for all of your holiday entertaining needs.
The Royal Hotel has been serving up outstanding baked goods in their restaurant and from their grab & go counter since they opened almost one year ago, and this holiday season they are offering pre-order for anyone in need of sourdough, cookies, croissants, quiches, and fruit tarts for their holiday table. Simply inquire in person at their grab & go counter or contact email@example.com for more information.
From bread to sausage rolls and beyond, Agrarian Market has everything you need to prepare for an epic holiday season. Check out their grocery order form on their website to secure your holiday tourtieres (both vegan and non), pastries, quiches, and even a whole assortment of prepared meals to make feeding a crowd that much easier.
The Village Bakeshoppe is a fully-inspected home bake shop in Bloomfield, and they bake up some epic treats on weekly basis that you’re definitely going to want to add to your holiday eats this season. Classic whipped shortbread and rasperry crumble shortbread are new to menu for the holidays, but it’s joined by their famous maple cinnamon “Big Bun” with maple cream cheese icing, which is what we dream about eating on Christmas morning. Follow them on Instagram for updates about weekly orders and order from their website for a delicious weekend.
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The Cookie Mama is another at-home bake shop which specializes in indulgent, skillet cookies that are absolutely to die for. Larissa’s December menu features classic flavours like chocolate chip and peanut butter, but also highlights classic holiday flavours like snickerdoodle, candy cane, gingerbread, Ferrero Rocher, Orange Chocolate and more! These cookies come in two sizes and make great gifts or stocking stuffers, and can be ordered via DM on their Instagram.
Farmhouse Eats is the bakery you know and love located just behind the farm stand at Hagerman Farms, and this year the bakery’s staying open on weekends through December 17th for your holiday baking needs! Stop by for classic baked goods, holiday favourites like fruitcake and christmas cookies, and cookie decorating kits to entertain the kiddos.
As always, come to The County and head to one of our many Main Streets to do your holiday shopping. Many businesses in Picton will be staying open until 7PM on Fridays as well, so be sure to plan to do some shopping before your dinner reservations the next time you’re in town.
Can’t make it to The County? Most retailers as well as wineries, breweries, cideries and distilleries offer online shopping and delivery throughout Ontario. So stock-up ahead of the entertaining season from Prince Edward County producers you know and love.
Check out our complete event listing here.
Follow us on Instagram for updates about holiday hours.
Get Cozy in Prince Edward County this November
November has a reputation as a quiet month, somewhat of a lull between the festive months of October and December, but here in The County it’s anything but! We love November for the extended fall vibes, just the right amount of chill in the air, and the darker nights which make it perfect for making the cozy vibes of the holiday season last a little longer. Plus, there’s lots going on to satisfy every County craving, from Countylicious to Wassail and so much more. Read on for a round-up of what to get up to this month all throughout the not-so-little, almost-island that is Prince Edward County.
Dine Local with Countylicious
Countylicious is back through November 22, and it’s the perfect opportunity to try out 15 of The County’s best eateries at great prices. With prix fixe menus to suit every taste, you won’t want to miss this culinary experience. Head to countylicious.ca to browse menus, discover exclusive accommodations offers, and to make your reservations! Want to make the most of your Countylicious experience? Try your hand at Countylicious bingo and complete a row for a perfect foodie experience in The County this November.
Book an Experience
Experience The County like never before with an immersive weekend in PEC curated by Closson Chase Vineyards and Rosehall Run Vineyards: SavourPEC. From November 11-13, enjoy vineyard accommodations at Huff Estates, learn the art of barrel blending at Closson Chase and Rosehall Run, and create a culinary herb garden with Carson Arthur. The highlight of the weekend is a multi-course winemakers’ dinner with Keith Tyers of Closson Chase and Dan Sullivan of Rosehall Run. Set in a private venue and catered by Chef Matt DeMille, concluding with an intimate performance from County-based musicians VILLAS.
Winter Solstice Workshop with Anette Larsson
As the days grow shorter, we light fires and bring out blankets in preparation for a long winter ahead. In this workshop we will create a vellum paper star that will bring some much needed light and brightness into our environment. The process to make the star is simple but time consuming, and it is most fun to do in a group of people.
This workshop will take place in the Studio Loft at Chetwyn Farms – their newly converted 1800 barn – where a small, intimate (10 only) group will work in an open, airy space with the instructor Anette Larsson. Watch alpaca in the nearby pastures from the floor to ceiling windows in the studio space, enjoy a light lunch and other refreshments. This 4 hour workshop is followed by a hands-on “Alpaca Encounter” a guided tour of the alpaca farm and the glorious fleece they produce.
The County Picnic Festive Tours
The County Picnic, whom you know from their epic, hand-curated, insta-worthy picnics throughout PEC, is offering festive tours daily throughout November. Enjoy mulled wine, seasonal, beer, holiday photos, and local markets and shopping for just $215 per person, including lunch and tasting fees. For more information contact The County Picnic today!
ANDARA Gallery’s 3rd Annual “HOLIDAY PHOTO IN THE BARN”
From Thursday-Sunday, November 12th to December 19th, singles, couples, family and friends can schedule a FREE “Holiday Photo in the Barn” photo session between 12:00 Noon to 4:00 PM at ANDARA Gallery (54 Wilson Road in the heart of Prince Edward County) in exchange for a donation to Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation’s “Back The Build” campaign!
The century-old barn located on site will be decked out for the holidays with a festive portrait seating area featuring a stunning 16-foot Christmas tree from Denmar Farms. Everyone is invited to book a FREE photo session – alone or with a pet, friend or family member … or with a small group of family, friends or work colleagues (max of 8 persons) for a safe, socially distanced holiday photo!
Light Up the Night
The beloved Firelight Lantern Festival is back in full force for its 10th year, November 4-5, 2022. Hosted by The Department of Illumination this festival is a community art event that celebrates finding light in the darkness through handmade lanterns, illuminated art installations, puppetry, performance art, and more. This year’s theme is The Enchanted Forest, and you certainly don’t want to miss it.
This year’s Firelight Lantern Festival kicks off with a 19+ event on Friday, November 4 featuring Kingston’s unique and experimental folkestra, The Gertrudes. You’ll also find food, drink, dancing, art installations and interactive performances at this special 10th anniversary event.
Then on Saturday, November 5 it’s time for the main event. Starting with the magical, all-ages Lantern Parade, which will proceed from Benson Park to Crystal Palace, where Bangerz Brass will take the mainstage while you take in the amazing installations, performances, and food & drink.
So don your fairy lights and get crafty, it’s almost Firelight Lantern Festival Time!
Shop Local for the Holiday Season
As a rural destination, Prince Edward County is home to countless small businesses that deserve your support. You love shopping our Main Street shops in the warmer months, so why not return to The County to do a little holiday shopping and share some of your favourite place with your loved ones this holiday season? Shops in Picton, Bloomfield and Wellington will be open through November and into December, so be sure to explore our shop listings and make a plan for a holiday shopping weekend in PEC.
Attend at a Craft Fair or Art Show
Looking for something special for a loved one this holiday season? There is no better time than November to find perfect, unique gifts for the holidays. And with more than X art shows in PEC this month, there’s no better place than Prince Edward County to do it.
The Maker’s Hand
The Maker’s Hand is back! This bustling 3-day event is one of Eastern Ontario’s most well-regarded fine craft shows. Having paused during the height of the pandemic, we are thrilled to see this show returning to Highline Hall at Lehigh Arena from November 11th-13th, 2022.
This year’s show will feature many new artisans, as well as returning favourites from across Eastern Ontario. Find uniquely beautiful and functional items perfect for gift giving, or to keep for yourself. All items are handmade in Canada. Admission is $5 for unlimited access all weekend. Children under 12 enter for free. Lehigh Arena is wheelchair accessible and parking is free. For complete details head to themakershand.com.
Holly Jolly Market at Base31
Head up the hill to Base31 November 18th-20th for the Holly Jolly Market to shop from local vendors and enjoy festive experiences like shopping for holiday florals and wreaths, meetings with Santa, and more! Be sure to stay tuned to @hollyjollypec on Instagram for more information as the market approaches!
The Local Store’s Annual 12 Days of Christmas Market & Sale
Don’t miss the largest collection of work from over 120 Prince Edward County artists, artisans and local food producers at The Local Store. On through November 6th, discover specially produced seasonal gifts, decorations and food before The Local Store closes for the season (though they are open online all year round!).
Good Things in Small Packages Art Show
Mad Dog Gallery is proud to present their 21st annual “Good Things in Small Packages” show opening on Saturday November 19th at 10am. Good Things in Small Packages show is a diverse show of miniatures and other smaller affordable works by Mad Dog Gallery artists. Come by for Acrylic work by Brian Clark and Andrew King, Colloidal by Julie Duff, Oil work by Doris Richardson, Celia Sage and Susan Straiton, Pastel by Rosemary Brown, Pottery by Bill Reddick, Textiles by Anne House and Marianne Sanders, and Watercolour by Andrew Innes. This year they are excited to announce painter Alison Fowler as their guest artist.
Show continues until January 2023. Mad Dog Gallery is open most days 10-5 and they ask that you please wear masks while accessing their space.
30th Annual “Handmade” Christmas Craft Show
Jump start your Christmas shopping with the 30th Annual “Handmade” Christmas Craft Show on November 5th at Lehigh Area, which features 2 rooms full with over 55 local vendors showcasing their Handmade unique works of art. Hungry? Stay for lunch and enjoy Barn and Country Catering’s mouth-watering menu.
“Love Art, Love Local and Love Giving” Holiday Show and Sale
Celebrating its 15th Anniversary, the Prince Edward County Arts Trail is a self-drive tour of professional, year-round artist studios and galleries, and is a signature experience for thousands of art lovers, buyers and collectors who come to the County each year. The Arts Trail’s professional artists and curators create and present unforgettable works in sculpture, paintings, glass, ceramics, silk, photography, jewellery and more.
To compliment this festive season, the PEC Arts Trail is pleased to announce the launch of their “LOVE ART, LOVE LOCAL AND LOVE GIVING” promotional campaign. From November 14th to December 23rd, 2022, residents and visitors alike are encouraged to shop online or visit member studios and galleries in person to meet the professional artists and curators and see great art in a range of media.
To plan your visit, go to their website at artstrail.ca, download the bilingual Arts Trail Guide and Map and watch for the distinctive blue Arts Trail signs out front of member studios and galleries. Prior to visiting, everyone is encouraged to check individual Arts Trail member websites for hours of operation and COVID-19 safety protocols. Masks and social distancing continue to be mandatory at all Arts Trail locations.
“From unique and welcoming artist studios to contemporary, rustic and historic galleries, this self-guided tour is always an inspirational adventure,” says Arts Trail Co-Chair, Jim Turner, curator and co-owner of 2Gallery. “The Love Art, Love Local and Love Giving holiday promotion allows Arts Trail members to showcase all they have to offer this festive season while providing visitors with the opportunity to support the arts, shop local and give the gift of art this holiday season,” he adds.
Arts Trail maps are also available at our Visitor Information locations, open year-round.
ANDARA Gallery Presents: ODE to JOY Art Show and Sale
ANDARA Gallery presents its 3rd Annual ODE to JOY Art Show and Sale of paintings and photography.
“ODE to JOY” runs from November 12th to December 23rd, 2021 at ANDARA Gallery 54 Wilson Road, Bloomfield in the heart of Prince Edward County. The Gallery is open 11 AM to 5 PM daily, year-round.
In addition to offering contemporary impressionist paintings in a range of sizes, encaustic painter, Andrew Csafordi will also offer a collection of small works that make perfect gifts for any art lover or collector this holiday season. His paintings are a fusion of layers of colourful beeswax and mixed media on wood panels combined with energy and imagination. Working back and forth across the board, he sculpts the wax with brushes and carves into the wax with various tools to create unique and beautiful works of art.
Tara Wilkinson will showcase fine art photographs in a variety of sizes and price points from her global travels.
Give a Little Bit: Holiday Group Show
The annual Holiday show at Melt Gallery is returning this year from November 18- December 23rd. This show will feature work by a number of Canadian artists and artisans, with the priority of highlighting small works that are perfect for gift giving. Join them in celebrating the festive season with a curated selection of unique, one of a kind pieces.
Decay: Group Show
In autumn, the beauty of decay reveals itself. Leaves and petals wilt and fall, green fades, and as a final goodbye trees become a fiery display of gold and red.
Also at Melt Gallery, Decay celebrates the poignant beauty found within the process of decomposition, rot, deterioration, and decline. This show reframes the loss of summer and of life and invites you to find the beauty in Decay.
Come see an exciting array of new work by over 30 Canadian artists, through November 13th. This exhibit will feature the work of encaustic artist Susan Wallis along with new and returning members of our Melt Gallery family of artists. The show will focus on the theme of Decay and how these various artists have chosen to interpret it. The show features works in glass, metal, ceramics, painting, photography and more.
BILL STEARMAN // The Quilt as Art. I will be silent no more.
The perfect exhibition as the weather begins to change. 2gallery is thrilled to announce a Solo Exhibition by Prince Edward County’s master quiltmaker Bill Stearman, on now through November 21st. Entitled The Quilt as Art \ I will be silent no more, this exhibition demonstrates why Stearman is not content simply creating beautiful fabric works that provide warmth. His pieces are political and cultural statements that challenge preconceived notions, highlight inequalities in our society, and champion voices that need to be heard.
Before discovering quilt-making, Stearman struggled with storytelling as a path for making sense of his life. “I’m just a guy who likes to make quilts … and tell stories. Like the rest of life, it seems what can be accomplished in quilt-making is limited only by my imagination.”
In Stearman’s creations, fabrics and carefully placed stitches express joy, anguish, hope, gratitude, and love. They provide glimpses into deeply personal and important stories – stories that matter. Bold statements that provoke thoughtful consideration.
“I know I have something to say – and I want to speak my truth. Even if my voice shakes. I doubt these quilts, and their stories, will remind you of your grandmother’s quilts.”
‘Curator’s Choice’ at Oeno Gallery
Oeno Gallery at Huff Estates presents Curator’s Choice—a rare, eclectic offering of significant 20th and 21st-century fine artists.
For this exhibit, Oeno Gallery has assembled an impressive list of sculptors and painters including Joe Fafard, Joseph Drapell, Harold Feist, Paul Fournier, Gershon Iskowitz, Harold Town, Graham Coughtry, Nazy Sakhavarz, Milly Ristvedt, Otto Rogers, K. M. Graham, and David Bolduc.
This special collection will be on exhibit through November 6th, 2022.
Eddie Christmas Market in the Red Barn
Head to the Eddie Hotel & Farm for their Christmas Market on from November 25-27. You won’t want to miss this festive market featuring dozens of vendors and festive activities for the whole family. Learn more here.
Annual Closson Road Christmas Crawl
Just like the old Christmas pub crawls only this crawl includes wine, cider, beer, food and artisan Chistmas Shopping on the weekend of November 25-27. Enjoy local wine, beer and cider while doing your Christmas Shopping. In addition to supporting local businesses you also have a chance to win several gift baskets filled with 100% local items.
Sunflowers for Ukraine – A Silent Art Auction Fundraiser
This hybrid (in person and online) auction features over 25 sunflower-themed artworks donated by local artists in a wide range of artistic mediums: from painting and textile arts to mixed media, ceramics, wearable art, and more. All proceeds will be donated to the Canadian Red Cross to support their humanitarian efforts in Ukraine
The artworks can be viewed in person at Macaulay Church Museum (35 Church Street, Picton) starting November 2nd, and during opening hours for the entire month of November (11-4, Wednesday-Saturday). Or you can view online here.
Festival of Trees
The Festival of Trees is a long-standing community fundraising event here in PEC and it’s back and in person this year at Isaiah Tubbs Resort & Conference Centre. There will be a silent auction, live entertainment, and a bucket draw raffle, all in support of The Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Auxiliary. Admission is free. Looking for other ways to support? Check out the Christmas Boutique at the Second Time Around Shop and you can pre-order preserves and baking from Perfectly Preserved.
The Art of Giving
Arts on Main Gallery is home to The Art of Giving show from November 18 – January 25. Swing by this gallery on Picton Main Street to explore a special showing of 12×12 artworks designed for gifting. There will also be a special opening reception on Saturday November 19 from 2-4 PM.
Catch a Performance
There is always a chance to find some live performance here in The County, even in November! In addition to regular music at venues like The County Canteen, The Acoustic Grill and The Waring House, these special events are sure to get your toes tapping.
Dinner & a Show at Karlo Estates
Tantalize your senses with a three-flight wine tasting, perfectly paired to delicious handcrafted cuisine while listening to live music in the opulent speakeasy at Karlo Estates. Their “Dinner and a Show” Tasting is your chance to sample wines led by vintner Sherry Karlo paired with a handcrafted one-plate meal. Each week will feature a rotating menu and musician. An intimate evening of wine, food, and music. Join them on November 5th for Tony Forbes, November 12th for Victor Cooper, November 19th with Brian McMillan, and November 26th with Elmwood Harmony.
THE BOWIE LIVES: A Bowie Spectacular at The Regent Theatre
The Bowie Lives performs Saturday, November 26, 2022, at 8 pm at The Regent Theatre, Picton. Michael Bell is an award-winning vocalist who channels the sound and styles of David Bowie, and with the help of an all-star band, theatre and costumes capture the imagination of fans young and old. Michael’s first theatrical production “ChangesAllBowie” toured the “A circuit” in the late ’80s. He hung up his “Ziggy” in the early ’90s and never imagined professionally performing Bowie again. After David’s untimely death on January 10, 2016, his calling returned, as did the industry interest. Contacting long-time musical director Michael Beauclerc, they began auditioning players to fill out a band capable of performing some of Rock’s most challenging material. The Bowie Lives brings all the sounds and visions to the stage, from Space Oddity to Lazarus.
Get your tickets here.
David James Allen Live at Mount Tabor Theatre
David James Allen is bringing songs from The Architect, new songs and curated collection from previous releases to the historic Mount Tabor Theatre in a solo, one man band configuration complete with drum machine, harmonicas, loops and organs. Featuring Evan Redsky and local artist KASHKA, you won’t want to miss this cozy performance on November 26 in Milford. Get your tickets here.
Toast to the Vines
Wassail is back this year from November 18 – December 4. This year you can expect a self-guided tour, but wineries throughout The County will be putting on a festive show for this annual County tradition. From pancake breakfasts paired with bubbly to musical performances and more, don’t miss this perfect opportunity to toast to the vines as they are put to rest for the winter and stock up on bottles for the upcoming holiday season. Stay tuned for more information about this year’s Wassail, including participating wineries and activities.
Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to for more November inspiration.
11+ Activities to Experience this Holiday Season in The County 🎅🎁
November’s here and that means it’s time to start planning your holiday experiences and shopping excursions. Luckily The County has plenty to offer to help you get ready for the holidays.
Holiday Photo in the Barn & Art Sale
Stop by ANDARA Gallery to take a festive family holiday photo in their barn and while you’re there take in their ODE to JOY Art Show & Sale. On now through December 23, 2021.
For more information and to learn how to book your seating in advance go here.
Main Street Magic
Explore the Main Streets of Picton, Wellington and Bloomfield and discover the many independent, local shops that make our Main Streets so vibrant.
Check out our shops listing and plan your gift giving adventure today.
Experience Christmas Past
Step back in time with Ol’ Tyme Christmas in the Cabin at Ameliasburg Heritage Village every Friday through December 10, and come out for one final day of merriment on December 20th. Santa will be on site for free family photos when you bring a donation to the Storehouse Food Bank.
Click here for more information.
Go on a Christmas Crawl
The annual Closson Road Christmas Crawl takes place from from November 26-28. Discover artisan gifts and enjoy local wine, beer and cider while doing your holiday shopping on one of The County’s most hopping wine country roads.
Christmas at The Eddie
Stop by The Eddie for their first Christmas Market. Here you’ll find artisan vendors, a glühwein lounge and more in their heated barn from November 26 – 28. Or from December 10-12 join Festival Players for a weekend of holiday concerts featuring The Bookends & Seventh Town.
Get details about the Christmas Market here and book tickets for Celtic Yuletide here.
Join Midtown Brewing in Wellington to check our their 5th annual Christmas Market on November 27 from 11-3. Here you’ll find 12 amazing local vendors with everything from sweets to homewares and art – and of course great beer!
For more details click here.
Busy Hands is Back
Busy Hands is back and in person! This year they’ll be set up at The Armoury on Picton Main Street on December 4 and 5. Their annual craft fair is the perfect place to pick up handmade gifts like honey, mustard, preserves and maple syrup as well as woodwork, pottery, jewelry, textiles and more.
For more details click here.
Give the Gift of Art
This holiday season you are invited to LOVE ART, LOVE LOCAL AND LOVE GIVING with the Prince Edward County Arts Trail. Plan your visit or shop online and give the gift of County art this holiday season.
For more information click here.
Christmas in Wellington
Celebrate Christmas in Wellington with a 2-day gift giving pop-up at Wellington Heritage Museum.
Learn more here.
Family Fun at Macaulay House
Celebrate the holiday season at Macaulay House with the whole family on December 11th and 12th. Enjoy a festive tour, caroling on the lawn, holiday readings for kids presented by Shatterbox Theatre, hot chocolate, apple cider and more.
Find out more here.
Give a Little Bit: Holiday Group Show
Melt Studio + Gallery will be celebrating the holiday season this year with Give a Little Bit, a group show in our Main Gallery from November 26 to December 26. Give a Little Bit will showcase the talent of local artists and artisans while offering one-of-a-kind gifts for the holidays. The show will feature small works of art, perfect for gift giving, from various disciplines ranging from handcrafted tables and 3D paper-dioramas, to landscape photography and encaustic paintings. In the spirit of gift giving, Melt Studio + Gallery will be hosting a raffle for one of Susan Wallis’s encaustic paintings, with all the proceeds being donated to Kenhte:ke Seed Sanctuary and Learning Centre in Tyendinaga.
Experience Christmas at the Harbour
Come by Picton Harbour to experience a 2-day Christmas Festival along the boardwalk. Complete with lights, music, art installations, games and Santa visits, this is a magical festive event you won’t want to miss.
Learn more here.
Add Art to your Christmas List
On December 11-12, visit The Waring House for a special Christmas show featuring 12 local artists. Shop for paintings, jewelry, pottery, wire creations, wood work, painted silks, art cards, Christmas decor & more.
Learn more here.
Get in the Holiday Spirit
Head to Karlo Estates for a bit of Christmas cheer in the form of Carolling Karaoke. And if you pluck up the courage to take the mic to sing at least two carols and earn yourself a wee nip of their VanAlstine White port-style fortified wine.
Learn more about their December 10th event here and their December 17th event here.
Visit a Winter Wanderland
Bundle up in your coziest knits and mittens and head to Wander the Resort at their first-ever Winter Wanderland Market – a dreamy outdoor market featuring a curated selection of products from County artisans and Wander partners.
Learn more here.
Pop-up and Shop
Head to Main Street Picton on December 17th to celebrate the season with a series of craft pop-ups. For one day only local craft vendors and shops are joining forces to bring you the ultimate Christmas shopping experience. You’ll even have a chance to win by completing a Main Street Christmas Craft Crawl passport by visiting each vendor and collecting stamps on your passport for your chance to win a grand prize filled with items from each vendor and shop!
Learn more here.
Experience a Christmas Classic
Head to the The Regent Theatre to experience acclaimed Canadian actor RH Thompson in a solo touring rendition of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
Learn more here.
Check out our Dine Here campaign and discover 50+ County restaurants, cafes and eateries and plan a culinary adventure in the lead up to the holidays. Many spots have special offers, seasonal menus and festive experiences on the docket, so be sure not to miss out on dining in The County this season.
Learn more here.
What’s new for Summer 2021 in PEC 🍜 🍺 🎨
Looking for something new to do in Prince Edward County? New ventures and the optimism they embody are always cause for celebration – never more so than now, in these unpredictable times. So a heartfelt and hearty huzzah to this latest crop of openings, expansions and reimaginings in Prince Edward County. May these offerings fill your belly and lift your spirit.
Please note that public health travel advisories and orders are changing frequently during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Please consult our COVID-19 Essential Info page for the latest updates.
A must-visit for your Sunday morning is the Picton Town Hall Farmers’ Market. A wide variety of Prince Edward County vendors are offering locally grown and made goods; do your grocery shopping, grab a snack or enjoy some lunch in the nearby shady Benson Park.
The Grist Mill is a wedding and event venue located in Consecon at the old Cascades Pub and Grill. Four days a week, The Grist Mill operates as a public space where guests can gather to share a drink, while enjoying live music, drag events and food from pop-up caterers. Food is served on Friday night and Sunday Brunch. Fridays, find PJ’s Jerk. Saturdays Matty Boy BBQ is there with his Texas Style BBQ.
All those good smells coming from Milford lately? They’re coming from the new PECish Baking Co. Matti Matyasfalvi, baker and self-described breadhead, is turning out bread, croissants, cookies & more every week – made preservative and additive free with local wheats, honey, and butter. Take note – these fresh-from-the-oven treasures sell like, well, hotcakes – so order ahead for best selection. Long-term plans include a café and general store.
RELATED: Insider’s Tips for a County Summer Getaway
Lighthall Vineyards has a new food offering from the owners of Sand and Pearl. FirebirdPEC serves wood-fired rotisserie chicken and fresh crisp salads al fresco. Winemaker Glenn Symon has expanded his cheese offerings, and this year, the crew will be working out of a new tasting room. Assistant wine maker Chris Thompson has his own wine on the go, introducing Legal Smile Wine Co.
At Closson Chase, the new Au Verre by The Marans replaces the Swinery, offering full service dining plus grab and go options. Sip wine by the glass and eat outside by the iconic purple barn.
Well-known Wellington Farmer’s Market manager Naz Karsan will be popping up his latest venture called TikkaChaat. Naz will offer fresh and frozen cuisine inspired by his family’s roots along the coast of east Africa, most notably Zanzibar. Follow his Instagram for locations.
Sarah Rogers has opened the eponymously named Sarah’NDipity Eats & Treats on Gilead Road. She makes healthy meals and delightful sweets for you to order ahead and take home to enjoy. Let her do the kitchen work for you!
RELATED: Visitor Checklist
Taste of Country occupies the corner previously home to Schroedter’s Farm Market at the intersection of Hwy #62 and Cty. Rd. 1. They carry a wide selection of frozen foods, baked goods, gift items and other specialty goods, and are partnering with a chef for prepared foods to go. They’re also an LCBO outlet and carry local brews and Kinsip spirits.
While Waupoos has always been known as The County’s blueberry spot, there is a new kid on the isle – meet Laura’s Organic Blueberries, located just down the road from Sandbanks. Picking starts in late July into August.
Adega Wine Bar has all the chops to be a full service wine appreciation spot in Consecon, at least when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. Located at the Grist Mill in the centre of town, Adega is part wine bar, part wine retailer and serves as home base for owner Thierry Alcantera-Stewart’s wine consulting, tours and tastings.
Built into a limestone hill, Slake Brewing offers stunning panoramic views of The County from its taproom and patio. They currently produce clean, balanced, easy drinking ales and lagers but will soon be introducing mixed-fermentation beers. All Slake’s beer is proudly brewed with 100% Ontario malt.
Looking to take a deep dive into the ins and outs of Caesar making? The Weekend Social, tucked behind the Bean Counter Cafe, is opening its doors to small groups this summer, for workshops, experiences and its new Caesar bar. Keep an eye on their social for upcoming dates and events.
PEC Wine Explorer app is a one-stop shop for all your wine touring needs, including detailed profiles for all local wineries, tourism businesses and retailers, as well as lists of unique wine activities. Discover which wineries host elevated tastings, which ones will welcome your dog, or which sell the wines that match your preferences. New activities are always being added, so download today, find a wine you love, and plan your perfect trip to PEC wine country. Not in The County? Most of the PEC wineries are only too happy to ship bottles to you and the app can help make the challenge of selecting the perfect bottle easy by matching your individual taste preferences to a database of all PEC wines.
Wondering what that glass glass building going up near Terra Cello and Huff Estates is? Stillus is a new craft distillery hoping to put Canadian vodka and spirits on the map. They’re aiming to be open for summer, but COVID construction delays mean we’ll have to keep watch on their social channels for exact timing.
Encaustic artist Susan Wallis has moved Melt Studio Gallery into the space formerly occupied by Maison DePoivre Gallery in Barrack 3 at Camp Picton (Loch Sloy). Susan is introducing an experience this summer that invites guests to Pause. Partnering with Tamara Segal of Hawthorn Herbals and Bay Woodward of Honeypie Hives & Herbals, guests will begin with a walk in the forest, getting grounded in plants and their uses, and foraging for mementos to be used in their art. Then at the studio they’ll work with Susan to create an encaustic piece – encaustic art being an ancient technique involving layering pigments, fibres and more in beeswax.
Get up close and personal with the herd at Noble Beast Farms in Bloomfield. Shepherds Paul and Nadia will show and tell about their 80 quirky alpacas, Thunder the famous donkey, and other rescued animals. The farm’s signature summer offering is Alpacas No Zoom Zoom, a half-day event with a light farm meal that will allow you to truly unwind and reconnect with nature. Disconnect from zoom and reconnect with nature through the eyes of the alpacas on the farm. They also have a shorter trek for those who prefer a one-hour visit called The Bloomin’ Welly Little Trek. These will sell out fast!
Don’t ride the teachers at Mayrose Farm! Patti Stacey is a second-generation PEC farmer whose pack of mini-horses are equine therapy animals. This summer she’s launching a new experience giving families and groups a chance to snuggle up to the miniatures, lead them through an obstacle course, and take home an equine themed treat bag. Horse hugs are welcomed.
Beekeeper Elis Ziegler has expanded their experience this year, offering a Bees & Blooms experience and a Bees & Brunch option. Deepen your connection with nature, pollinators and the food we eat with a unique and immersive adventure. Use all of your senses at Elis’ off-grid homestead while you learn about bees, make a balm, taste seasonal honey, spend time in the People’s Garden and have a locally made snack.
Lovers of the Nordic vibe can rejoice in the opening of SCANDISKIN, a skincare and lifestyle shop inspired by the wellness rituals and rugged landscapes of Scandinavia. At its core, SCANDISKIN is an indie brand of small-batched skincare inspired by the fresh-faced, clean Scandinavian aesthetic. There are also books, candles, tea, art, towels and home spa goods made of natural materials such as wood, wool, hemp, jute, paper, cotton, aluminum, with minimal packaging to help you embrace and celebrate timeless Scandinavian lifestyle concepts.
Bloomfield’s Main Street fixture Garb has a new sister shop. Owner Shyrl Nussey has retired her Brag store brand and launched a boutique called Swan Song in that space. The new shop features clothing, jewelry, and body and skin care products.
Spark Box Studio is popping up in Bloomfield for the summer at Handworks on Main Street. They’ve curated an art gallery that can be viewed from the outside of the tiny building made of entirely of windows!
Susan Jaehn-Kreibaum, owner of The Empty Nest Bed & Breakfast has a new online shop: emptynestshop.ca. The site features granola, body lotion and lovely hand-painted cards by Kate Jaehn-Kreibaum, a watercolour artist based in the County. This is also the place to learn more about and book their workshops on journaling, as well as art and one-on-one guided watercolour classes by a local artist, with plant-based diet workshops coming soon.
The former Fields on West Lake has new owners and a new name—The Eddie Hotel and Farm. Mike and Alex are eager to create spaces for residents and visitors alike. This summer they’re partnering with Festival Players to present the open-air Six Feet Festival. Savour a glass of wine, sit back, and enjoy a socially distanced evening with some of Canada’s most extraordinary artists. The Eddie also plans to bring in concerts.
Also on site, the former Blooms on West Lake is now Nellie’s Shoppe and Flower Market. More than just flowers, the shop carries hostess gifts, candles, thank you notes and more to help with your next party, bouquet, or apology to your spouse.
The Hayloft Dance Hall has new owners with big plans to expand the venue’s offerings to include comedy, burlesque, drag, cabaret and more! Events will be more intimate, hosting 50 seated guests. They’ll also be open daytime on weekends, with Big Mike’s BBQ serving food and drinks on their patio.
by Sue Hierlihy
A New Place Called Home
For those of us with wanderlust, it’s been a tricky time. We’ve been dreaming of the trips we want to take. The places we want to explore. Instead, we’re left to find ways to experience our favourite destinations from a distance – through delivery, virtual experiences or just bookmarking inspo for future visits.
For those of you jonesing for trip to the County, there’s now another way to visit from the comfort of home: through your TV screen!
“A New Place Called Home” is a just-launched television series focusing on the people behind some of The County’s most beloved enterprises. People who made a big change in their life to come to The County and start a new journey. Created and directed by County resident Chrystelle Maechler, “A New Place Called Home” tells the stories of six County entrepreneurs: what brought them here, what inspired their journey and what keeps them going in their new place called home.
You can find the six-episode series of documentary shorts on VOD on Bell Fibe, channel 1 (listed under Kingston) and on the Bell Fibe TV app.
A new project in a new home
Chrystelle Maechler creates content for film, radio and television as a screenwriter, director and voice artist. When she and her husband came to The County, they were looking for their next project, and the idea for “A New Place Called Home” came to them. It was a very personal project. Chrystelle hails from France and husband Andreas Krätschmer, who filmed and edited the project, is from Germany. They’ve moved around a lot. The notion of “home” and how people perceive it was intriguing to them. Meeting and interviewing the show’s subjects was a great way to get to know their new community.
“We moved here and after three months, the pandemic hit. There were three months of normalcy, and the rest was abnormal,” says Chrystelle. “We learned about the community through their eyes and saw how nice it can be when it’s normal. They were so adamant about how the community is so strong here, and people are so nice and willing to help.”
Selecting the interview subjects was tough. The original list was long, but when they finally landed on the subjects for the six episodes, themes started to emerge. The people profiled in this series all have different stories. Despite their different paths, they all share a love of community and a love of the land. Their stories are not just about geographic moves, but also a major life changes, restarts and a big internal journeys.
Meet the stars of the show:
Mel Cannons and Paul Tobias
Melissa Cannons and Paul Tobias are the restaurateurs behind Idle Wild, a pan-Asian kitchen that serves up take-out at their popular Wellington storefront. Residents and visitors alike are treated to contemporary takes on classic dishes. Look out for Korean japchae, Filipino adobo and lumpia, Thai curries and Japanese maki rolls.
Aaron Armstrong is the owner and farmer at Blue Wheelbarrow Farm, whose organic greens and produce have supplied The County’s best restaurants for years. Aaron is a friendly face at farmers’ markets around The County. While the farm is on sabbatical in 2021, you can keep your eyes on Blue Wheelbarrow for future agritourism experiences.
Susan and Glen Wallis
Susan and Glen Wallis are not only the hosts at AWAY in the County bed and breakfast, they are also celebrated artists. Susan’s encaustic paintings of landscapes, nests, birches and more are on display throughout The County and at her own studio gallery Melt Studio. Glen is a designer and fabricator who makes the Canadian Screen Awards in his shop at the historic Camp Picton air base.
Alison Lawtey is the owner of The Acres at High Shore bed and breakfast, a unique accommodation made of exquisitely re-designed shipping containers. Ali, a former marketing ace, has lovingly restored a heritage barn on the property. She is the steward for acres of wetlands that attract a whole world of birds, bugs, beetles and small animals.
Sleiman Al Jasem
Sleiman Al Jasem arrived in The County as a Syrian refugee, and quickly found his place in the community. When the owners of The County’s only commercial fishery were looking for a succession plan, they connected with Sleiman. He was mentored by them, then took over the business and launched The County Catch. Look for his fresh-caught fish at the Picton Foodland, in his Sophiasburgh area shop and on the menu at local restaurants.
Joaquim and Amor Conde
Joaquim and Amor Conde of Quinta do Conde moved from the big city to The County to revive a small acreage farm with organic and regenerative farming techniques. You can visit their farm store near Black River for produce alongside Amor’s Antiques, or check out their “table at the farm” harvest dinners. Everything they serve at these unique culinary events comes from their land, and the experience includes an opportunity to tour the farm with Joaquim and learn about their farming practices.
10 Ways to Enjoy The County – from home
If absence makes the heart grow fonder, it should be a lovefest-extraordinaire when things get back to normal in Prince Edward County!
In the meantime, there are plenty of ways to show PEC some love by having The County’s bounty shipped right to the socially distant safety of your front door.
Here are but a few …
Practise (isolation) hydration: Order PEC beverages.
If you’re craving some isolation companions, most of The County’s wineries, breweries, cideries and lone distillery will deliver the goods – and quench your thirst. Check their social media channels and websites for available products, details, order minimums and to confirm shipping locations and fees. Many are offering free shipping or personal delivery.
The new PEC Wine Explorer app can help you find the perfect bottle by matching your individual taste preferences to a database of all PEC wines, resulting in an easy to navigate, personalized wine list with matching accuracy over 90%. With over 35 wineries and cideries and 200+wines and ciders in the system, there is something for everyone.
Book some time (alone): Order PEC books.
Now is a great time to catch up on your reading, whether it’s dusting off that mystery you’ve always wanted to dive into, or perhaps brushing up on some County history. Books & Company has a good selection of books about and from PEC.
You can order books about The County from The County Magazine, including some favourites from local author Steve Campbell: Prince Edward County, An Illustrated History, and The County Handbook, a “wicked and witty primer to life in Prince Edward County, enjoyed equally by County newcomers and oldtimers.”
Email your local indie bookshop to ask about County authors, including Janet Kellough, Vicky Delaney, Ryan Aldred or Shani Mootoo.
You can also find books that feature The County at Invisible Publishing, a local, small producer of contemporary Canadian fiction, creative non-fiction, and poetry. The Picton-based, not-for-profit publisher’s cool lineup includes Don’t Honk Twice, an anthology of County short stories.
Slip into something a little more County
The County T-shirts 2020 collection shows some love for Carrying Place, County diving (we have shipwrecks; it’s a thing!) and the usual favourites featuring Bike PEC and Agri + Culture. PEC T-shirt Company has also added a COVID-19 “flatten the curve” T-shirt, with $5 from every sale going to “support vulnerable people impacted by the virus.” Of course, while you’re on the website, check out all the other awesome PEC-centric gear.
Shed Chetwyn Farms also has a gorgeous selection of distinctive, high-quality alpaca fleece and yarn. Shed has everything from stuffed toys and booties for the wee ones to pillows and throws for the home to nesting fleece for the birds!
Or click into The Local Store’s new online boutique, featuring dozens of County-made products, including glassware, jewelry, photography, pottery, and more.
You’re so sweet!
There’s definitely no social distancing in a bee hive, and that’s great news for lovers of PEC honey. You can order your sweetness from local producers such as Prince Edward County Honey Company and Honey Pie Hives & Herbals.
Want that sweet taste without leaving home? Several County producers sell their syrup online, including Justin’s, Roblin’s and Vader’s Maple Syrup. Visit individual websites linked to Maple in the County for information.
Holy cow, goat and water buffalo, these cheeses are good! You can pretty much order any of Fifth Town’s award-winning fromages individually, including Truffalo, Buffalina, Cape Vessy and Lemon Fetish, or get all of the aforementioned quartet in their cheese-care package, which also includes local salami and raw Fifth Town estate honey.
Wash your hands (again)
Everywhere you turn these days, somebody is telling you, advising you, begging you, ordering you to wash your hands! Again. And again. And again!
Luckily, The County has a number of amazing makers of quality soaps that will not only wash away those pesky germs, but leave your hands smelling fresh and clean. Check out the great soap products at Prince Edward County Lavender Farm, Millefleurs Lavender & Honey Farm, and Honey Pie Hives & Herbals. Gentle, hand-made soaps can also be ordered from Savon du Bois. And while you’re on their sites, add some of their other fantastic products into your cart – they’ll appreciate the support.
And remember that our favourite County distiller, Kinsip House of Fine Spirits, continues to crank out hand sanitizer, which they’re selling in their online shop. (Don’t worry – they’ve still got plenty of booze in their online store too!)
Face(book) the music: Stream your fave County artists.
Live music is such an integral part of The County vibe, but you don’t have to miss out just because you can’t physically be here right now. Many of the artists you’re used to seeing are streaming impromptu live shows on social media, including Instant Rivalry, Benni Vander, Miss Emily and many more.
The Waring House is showcasing several crowd favourites on its Facebook site, such as Greg Wyard, Mark Despault and Robert Keyes. They’ve even launched online trivia.
Check the artist’s individual Facebook, Instagram and web pages for upcoming streaming shows, or to see past performances.
Show someone some (safe) love
While it seems like COVID-19 has put the world on pause, nature and time are still doing their thing. Animals are blissfully unaware, happily grazing on all the fresh greens that spring brings. Birthdays and anniversaries happen daily. Babies are being born. So, to maintain some sense of normalcy, we must still celebrate all those special occasions – virtually, of course.
Make someone’s special day by sending them a gift certificate from one of the County businesses on SupportLocalPEC.ca, or have one of the aforementioned products shipped directly to their door. We guarantee it will put a huge smile on their face!
And when the time is right to visit The County, they’ll use that gift certificate and thank you all over again.
Reminisce about (viral-free) days gone by
Ever wonder why we call it the Loyalist Parkway? What the barley days were? Or, how that lake really got up on the mountain?
Brush up on your County history by following The County Museums on Facebook and Instagram – be sure to catch their daily ‘museum mind bender’ for insightful trivia and fun facts. (Did you know The County has had two exotic animal establishments?)
Prefer to binge-watch your history lessons? Grab the popcorn, settle in and get ready to be schooled by Peter Lockyer and his History Lives Here videos. The History Moments series packs nuggets of local information into 2-5 minute videos on topics ranging from local geography, industry, families, buildings and Indigenous People.
Enjoy our home (from your home): Keep tabs on what’s going on in PEC.
The County is like a swan on the water… everything seems calm up above, but down below, it’s paddling like crazy.
So, while businesses are finding new ways to work, there’s still plenty going on. Farmers are farming, brewers are brewing, winemakers are wine-ing, and just about everyone is planning for life after COVID-19.
We can’t wait to see you – hopefully soon. Until then, like the song from The Police says: “Don’t stand so close to me.”
Be safe. And don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @visitthecounty and Facebook at VisitTheCounty.
by George Amaro (updated April 2021 by Anne Munro)
20+ Places for Ice Cream in Prince Edward County 🍨
🎶🎵 I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! 🎶
It’s not just a little ditty from childhood, there truly is nothing quite like creamy, delicious ice cream on a hot summer day, whether you’re seven or 70.
Here in The County we are lucky to have several places to choose from, some of which even source their ingredients locally to craft that sweet summer treat. So when that urge to scream comes on, head on over to one of these amazing spots to find a treat for everyone because in The County there’s always something for everyone…
by Tracy Cassels
If you’re looking for some real, honest Prince Edward County ice cream, these places all have options that are locally-sourced.
Slickers [Picton and Bloomfield] | Handmade, local ingredients and excellent customer service despite the long lines. Tasters swear by both the Campfire and the Apple Pie flavours. Thanks goodness for two locations!
Sunflower Fields Ice Cream Shoppe [Cherry Valley] | Locally-sourced gelato, four acres of sunflowers and a corn maze. Can you ask for anything else?
Kawarthas in The County
While the following shops may not make their ice cream on site, we won’t turn our noses up at a scoop of Moose Tracks. And with locations all over The County, you’re bound to be able to find some of the cold, creamy treat whenever you feel the need.
Old Greenhouse Ice Cream Shop [Wellington] | Ice cream from Peterborough’s Central Smith Creamery, served in a heritage greenhouse from staff whose goal is to make you smile.
Sunflower Fields Ice Cream Shoppe [Cherry Valley] | In addition to their local gelato, they also scoop 16 flavours of ice cream from Kawartha dairy.
The Store [Cherry Valley] | When you are known as “The Store” you know you have to have everything, ice cream included.
Cones and Shakes [Picton] | Hidden away on Elks Street in Picton, this shop offers great value with large – I mean, HUGE – portions of Kawartha ice cream.
Campbell’s Orchards [Rednersville] | Pick some produce – strawberries, blueberries or apples, depending on the time of year – then go for an orchard walk or ride, try some cider, pet a sheep and finish off your visit with some scooped ice cream.
Orchard Drive Dari-Bar [Wellington] | A family-friendly diner with everything you could want, including Chapman’s ice cream in cones, sundaes and shakes.
Black River Cheese Company [Black River] | Not just the source for cheese, you can also get a healthy scoop of ice cream, then enjoy it while sitting by the banks of the Black River, making passersby jealous.
Kicking their marriage off right! | Photo Courtesy: @niceicebabyicecream and @sydneylauren13Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, or Vegan
Not everyone can do the usual ice cream and those with special considerations often get left off of the ice cream train. However, these places in The County cater to special diets so if you have someone with you who needs something a little different, one of these should be able to set you up.
Sunflower Fields Ice Cream Shoppe [Cherry Valley] | Dairy-free, lactose-free and gluten-free gelato options.
Old Greenhouse Ice Cream Shop [Wellington] | Sugar-free options.
Gelato has a greater proportion of whole milk to cream compared to ice cream, it’s whipped at a slower churn and it’s likely to be more dense than traditional ice creams. That makes this wonderful Italian treat creamy yet distinct from ice cream. Lucky for us, there are some amazing options here in The County.
The Bean Counter [Picton] | Coffee then gelato? I think I will.
Prince Edward County Lavender Farm [Hillier] | Beeline to the freezer at the back of the store for a cup of homemade lavender gelato. ‘Nuff said.
Sunflower Fields Ice Cream Shoppe [Cherry Valley] | Local, homemade gelato in various flavours that also happens to be dairy-free. Everyone is happy.
Remember when frozen yogurt became a thing? I date myself by admitting I do, but it’s fair to say it’s come a long way from TCBY to our local stops.
Old Greenhouse Ice Cream Shop [Wellington] | A few options for those who don’t seem to want that full cream treat.
The Lunch Box [Picton] | Tucked away in the industrial park, not far from Prince Eddy’s Brewing, this hearty little lunch spot makes great use of a FroYo machine, dreaming up delicious flavours like “black forest,” above, a mix of Oreo and sour cherries. It’s an easy answer when the urge for ice cream hits but you’re still thinking about your beach bod.
Who doesn’t want that tall twirl of soft-serve ice cream every once in a while? At these locations you get the choice of soft-serve or your typical scoop ice cream.
Old Greenhouse Ice Cream Shop [Wellington] | Their flavour burst system takes soft-serve to the next level with multiple colours and flavours. You can mix up to three (yes 3!) flavours,creating a mix between ice cream and a work of art.
Cones and Shakes [Picton] | How tall can they make your soft-serve? Honestly, the laws of physics seem not to apply. You’ll have to go and find out.
Content updated February 2020