Most people travel to Prince Edward County in the summer and fall, but winter in PEC is just as much great. Plus, less crowds! There are so many fun outdoor activities and the vineyards are magical in the winter snow. Cozy barn lounges, fireside sipping and vineyard snowshoeing sound perfect to me! If you’re planning a trip to the County this winter, and I highly recommend that you do, follow my itinerary for a wonderful winter weekend in Prince Edward County.
Kick off your winter weekend in PEC with Fondue Fridays at The Eddie. The Eddie is a gorgeous hotel and farm located just outside of Bloomfield. Fondue Fridays are hosted at Ruby’s Clubhouse, a cozy stonewalled space in The Eddie’s beautiful Victorian era barn. There are two available seating times to enjoy The Eddie’s authentic swiss cheese fondue provided by The Cheese Boutique in Toronto. Make sure to book your tickets ahead to guarantee your seat. And then I recommend heading back to you accommodation and resting up for the big weekend ahead!
Start your day at the hottest new place in the County, The Royal Hotel. Pick-up some breakfast from The Counter Bar – a little birdie (my sister who works there) told me their almond croissant is a must try! Try to get a seat at one of the cozy booths and enjoy the gorgeous surroundings.
Hopefully you’re fuelled up because snowshoeing at Sugarbush Vineyards is next on the agenda! For $20 rent snowshoes and walk through the beautiful vineyard trail. An outdoor wine tasting is included afterwards, or hot chocolate is available for those not drinking.
Just down the street is the Gillingham Beer Garden, the best winter patio in PEC! They have seasonal beer, local food, fresh shucked oysters and wine from neighbour Domain Darius. And don’t worry about the cold! Gillingham’s has fire tables, lots of heaters, a huge bonfire and cozy blankets.
End your day at Karlo Estates Winery, in the coziest wine lounge there ever was. The Wine Lounge is located in the historic 1805 Karlo barn and is furnished with velvet couches, cozy rugs and big plush chairs. Enjoy fire-side wine by the glass or a tasting alongside dairy free cheese and plant based charcuterie.
For dinner head to another new spot, Bocado Restaurant in Picton. Bocado serves Spanish inspired food, cocktails and regional wine in their cozy Main Street space. If you’re visiting for the Family Day long weekend, they have a special family pre-set menu available. Reservations or take-away pre-orders are recommended.
Begin Sunday as you should, with a big Sunday brunch at Stella’s Eatery in Waupoos. The BEST brunch in the County is served on Sunday’s from 11-3. Their menu is always changing but if you see the Bannock Benedict, trust me and order it! Keep an eye out for the winter weekends which feature special menus to be enjoyed outside by the fire pits.
It wouldn’t be a winter weekend in PEC without a visit to Parsons Brewery for some outdoor skating! Grab your skates and check out the huge new rink that’s open for family skating (no pucks) on the weekends. After a spin around the ice warm up with a drink around the bonfire. The outdoor kitchen is also open on weekends for snacks and lunch (order the Ramen!). You can also pick up a s’more kit to enjoy!
If you’re up for one more stop on your Sunday Funday, head over to the Lakeside Motel. Their popular lakeside patio has been winterized for cold weather fun! The have a big heated enclosure and lots of fire pits for cozy fireside sipping. Order a cocktail and take in the beautiful winter views of Lake Ontario.
Sunday dinner will be enjoyed at the delicious Flame + Smith in Bloomfield. Flame + Smith specialize in wood-fired cooking which is absolutely perfect for a cold winter night! You might even get lucky and be sat right beside the toasty kitchen. The farm-to-table menu is always changing but you really can’t go wrong with anything here. Reservations are recommended but some bar seating is available for walk-ins.
If you’re staying for a long weekend, I recommend visiting Sandbanks Provincial Park on your last day. You read that right! You’ve likely visited Sandbanks for a beach day in the summer, but it’s also a great place to explore during the winter months. Outlet Beach in the winter can look pretty magical, especially if the waves have just been frozen. And the Dunes Trail is also really fun!
Some additional tips for a fun winter weekend in Prince Edward County. If you’re staying at an accommodation with a kitchen, I highly recommend picking up some pre-made meals from one of the County’s wonderful boutique grocers: Fawn Over Market, Campbell’s, Agrarian Market, Piccolina Mercato, or Bloomfield Public House Market.
March in PEC is Maple Madness month, so make sure to check out the participating venues.