August 5th, 2010
Fine foodie heaven lies four hours west of Montreal in glorious Prince Edward County. Along its Taste Trail you’ll find high-tech vineyards, fine inns, artisanal cheese and fresh veggies fit for royalty.
Set in a yellow colonial mansion, the romantic Claramount Inn & Spa is filled with fine French antiques, cozy nooks and a 92-degree salt-water pool. Our lovely nautical-themed suite was massive with skylights, crisp sheets and pretty views of Picton Bay (rooms from $175). 97 Bridge St., Picton, 1-800-679-7756, www.claramountinn.com
At the Claramount’s Clara’s dining room, chef Kelly Attwell creates seasonal fare with “whatever is fresh.” We love the Asian twists like ghee seared chicken and Great Lakes perch with wasabi aioli, and how the beets in our creamy cumin soup were grown in the Inn’s garden. Do book a table on the wraparound porch.
With aquatic massages in the pool and beer pedicures for boys, the Claramount Spa has an endless menu of forward thinking treatments. During our LomiLomi ($105) massage we listened to tribal tunes while a Hawaian-trained therapist worked us over with deep breathing and long sweeping movements. Aloha!
One of the oldest wineries in PEC, Huff Estates produces great vintages using traditional French techniques in a high-tech facility (the barrel cellar is gravity-fed). We adored the 2008 Riesling Off-Dry ($18) with notes of caramel and peach. On your way out stop at the winery’s on-site Oeno Gallery for a peek at local contemporary art. Huff Estates Winery, 2274 County Rd. 1, Bloomfield, 613-393-5802, www.huffestates.com
You’ll find dairy delight at the wind-powered Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Co. Over 26 varieties of cow, goat and sheep cheeses are handmade in a LEED rated building, then beautifully aged in subterranean caves. We mooed over the creamy Rose Haus with Chardonnay and baahed at the tangy Lemon Fetish with red fife flour rind. 4309 County Rd. #8, R.R. 4, Picton, 613-476-5755, www.fifthtown.ca