2013 – Prince Edward County, ON
Nestled in the rolling hills of south-eastern Ontario is Prince Edward County (Canada). Just south of Belleville (along Highway 401) townships such as Bloomfield, Milford, Wellington, Hillier, Picton and others offer an old-world Ontario experience.
Prince Edward County was built on settlements of British Empire Loyalists and for over the past100 years has become one of the favorite destinations because of the Sandbanks Provincial Park. Sandbanks Provincial Park is known as one of southern Ontario’s sweetest jewels because of it’s beautiful rolling dunes that strewn it’s beaches. For over a century, Prince Edward County provided a warm welcoming backdrop for fishing and cottaging, it has history that is steeped in old world community and BritishLoyalist traditions.
Agricultural artisans, wineries, craft-breweries including a premium distillery have started to take advantage of this fertile land and hard working people. I believe the first began to operate in 1990 and since then the influx of new blood, coupled with the interest in local produce, has begun to revitalize the region. If you’re into local agriculture, there are so much to enjoy in Prince Edward County.
The Black River Cheese Company
If you enjoy a ‘really good’ cheddar, The The Black River Cheese Company of Milford township is worth a stop to grab some award winning and world championship cheeses. The Black River Cheese Company was born out of the need to promote the regions dairy farmers. This cooperative began in 1901 and is still crafting world-class and award-winning cheeses using local dairy products. A must for the cheddar aficionado!
Jackson’s Falls Country Inn
Also located on the outskirts of Picton in the Milford Township is Jackson’s Falls Country Inn. If you get a chance to pop by their inn which sprung out of a century old single room school house, you won’t be disappointed. They often have events which include local artisans and musicians! Make sure you visit their website to see if there are any special events. The proprietors Lee and Paul are a fantastic team and extremely personable and warm-hearted.
Picton Acoustic Grill
Originally discovered on a previous adventure, the Acoustic Grill warranted a return visit. This time we happened to choose a Saturday afternoon lunch, and we were not disappointed. Be sure to check out their specials, you will not be disappointed!
Copper Kettle Chocolate Company
Another gem found in the county is The Copper Kettle Chocolate Company. Sue Burgess, the chocolatier that runs this shop is a true artisan and craftsperson, you can taste the art yourself. Sue’s a person with convictions and opinions – and she’s not afraid to express them. She professes to produce only chocolate that she adores herself, she will not compromise and produce product not up to her personal standard. This attitude can work for you or against you; in this case, it works very-much in her favor. When an artist is passionate about their creations they put their heart and soul into it. Well, Sue dishes out little pieces of her heart and soul in every piece of chocolate she sells. Not to worry though, Sue has discovered a renewable source of heart and soul, it’s her own self.
66 Gilead Distillery
They even have a local distillery specializing in gin, vodka and rum. 66 Gilead Distillery was born out of the passion of 2 doctors from Toronto. The level of dedication and heart can be felt when they begin to talk about their very own cooper (barrel-maker) who runs his shop inside an old barn next door. The Cooperage is affiliated, but not run by the distillery. As you pull up to the distillery, chicken’s run around. Bloomfield 66 Gilead Distillery & Pete ‘the cooper’ of The Carriage House Cooperage. 66 Gilead Distillery