Tag Archives: Huron County

Spring is here!

7 Apr

by Travel Diva Jenna

Hiking Guide Cover

Finally we have reached temperatures above 10 degrees! I am excited to get out and Hike this year. Did you know that Huron has 29 hiking trails? What a great opportunity we have in the area! I haven’t decided what trail to start with, so please send me your recommendations. Take a look at the Hiking guide here: www.hikehuron.ca

Winterlicious Getaway at Brentwood – Part 2

24 Mar Entrance to Brentwood
Peter & Joan with Sof & Olga (seated) (Photo courtesy of Brentwood's FB page)

Peter & Joan with Sof & Olga (seated) (Photo courtesy of Brentwood’s FB page)

by Diva Trista Russell

Earlier this month I wrote about my overnight stay at Brentwood on the Beach, and I promised another post with some stories about the interesting guests I met. Well here it is!

Betty & Pat: These two ladies were from the Harriston area, and I had a chance to chat with them during dinner on the Sunday night. They found Brentwood online, saw pictures of fellow quilters on the website that they knew, and decided to make a reservation! These two lovely ladies enjoyed manicures, pedicures, and massages during their stay. Their praise for Brentwood was recently posted on Brentwood’s Facebook page: “What a great winter getaway we had at Brentwood. The Winterlicious dinner was awesome and the brunch the next morning was wonderful. It was so relaxing and soothing to be pampered and cared for by your staff. We had a lovely time and will certainly be back again.”

Guests relaxing

Guests relaxing

Gwen & Don: This couple was from Stratford and I sat down to talk with them during brunch. This active couple loves to run and won a stay at Brentwood as door prize from the Pinery Provincial Park Road Race.

Andy & Michelle: From the Kitchener-Waterloo area, this couple enjoys outdoor activities and were excited to head to the Pinery Park to do some cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

 

Gwen looking out at Lake Huron

Gwen looking out at Lake Huron

Anthony & Daphne: Anthony is Brentwood’s computer expert and he and his family lives in London. After they were married, they spent their honeymoon at Brentwood!

Sof & Olga: This has to be one of the craziest stories! This couple from Toronto were repeat Brentwood guests. Sof said he booked the Winterlicious getaway after he saw the picture of the Rouladen dinner on Brentwood’s newsletter. Before their stay, they decided to spend some time cross-border shopping. On their way back from Michigan, their truck broke down in Michigan. After a 1.5 hour wait, they were towed to the border, but the driver had no passport so they were left at the border. Another tow truck driver arrived almost an hour later to tow them. After a long and stressful afternoon, you would expect they would have headed home and cancelled their stay. Instead, this couple was focused on heading to Brentwood! The tow truck driver towed them over the boarder to St. Joesph’s, where they arrived after dark when dinner was just finishing. When Peter and Joan heard about this, they invited the tow truck driver in for dinner. While it was a bit later then they would have liked, Sof and Olga enjoyed some dinner and some Brentwood hospitality. Such dedicated guests!

Joan feeding the tow truck driver (Photo courtesy of Brentwood's FB page)

Joan feeding the tow truck driver (Photo courtesy of Brentwood’s FB page)

Entrance to Brentwood

Entrance to Brentwood

Winterlicious at the Black Dog in Bayfield

5 Mar

By Travel Diva Jenna Ujiye

BlackDogWinterlicious10

Before I tell you about my most recent Winterlicious I wanted to make sure that you all know that there are only 4 days left to try out these amazing 3 course meals for $29.00. To find menus and information visit: www.tasteofhuron.ca

Last Friday I headed out to the Black Dog Pub in Bayfield to try out their Winterlicious menu. My three friends Ang, Nisa and Nat joined me and it turned out to be a wonderful evening! I was the only person to order the specific Winterlicious meal and it was yummy!

One of the great things about this facility is the bar offereings, many choices in liquors, beers and wines. Now there was a confusion with the first course, I read the cheddar and ale portion of the menu and thought it was soup. Well I think I need a lesson in reading, cause the first course was actually Traditional Potted Cheddar with Mill Street Organic Tankhouse Ale and Toasted Olive Bread. So it turned out to be cheese and bread. The cheese was very strong and had a unique flavor and the olive bread was nice.

Cheese and Bread

Traditional Potted Cheddar with Mill Street Organic Tankhouse Ale and Toasted Olive Bread

Best Beet Salad

Best Beet Salad

Village Salad

Village Salad

Nat ordered the village salad and Ang got the beet salad, both of which I have had and I must say that the beet salad is one of my favourite courses at the Black Dog.

The second course that I had was Pan-Seared Metzger Smoked Pork Chop with Herbed Stuffing, Mustard-Cider Cream, Braised Red Cabbage and Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes. The mashed potatoes where so creamy and even with all of the food on the plate I wanted more!

Metzger's Pork Chop

Metzger’s Pork Chop

We joked about having favourites and Nat and Ang both got what they normally get. It’s great to try something new, but if you love something it is sometimes what you have to go with. Nat got the curry, which is a favourite of many and Ang got the weth’s mushrooms on toast with brie, which looked super scrumptious. Nisa tried something she had never had before the pasta e verdure, which comes in a lovely cream sauce and has weth’s mushrooms in it as well!

Weth’s Mushrooms on toast with brie

Weth’s Mushrooms on toast with brie

Vegetable Curry

Vegetable Curry

Pasta E Verdure

Pasta E Verdure

For the final course my mouth was exploding with love for the Apple Fritter with Vanilla Ice Cream and Butterscotch Sauce. My friends Selena and Meighan were both trying out the Winterlicious the same night and both stopped by the table before leaving to pump me up about the Apple Fritter. It really was a treat. Nat and Nisa both got the sticky toffee pudding, we’ve had it before and it is amazing! Overall we had a wonderful evening with superb food!

Apple Fritters with Vanilla Ice Cream and Butterscotch Sauce

Apple Fritters with Vanilla Ice Cream and Butterscotch Sauce

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Sticky Toffee Pudding

The Black Dog Village Pub and Bistro

5 MAIN STREET N., BAYFIELD ONTARIO – PHONE (519) 565-2326

http://blackdogpubbistro.ca

Winterlicious Getaway at Brentwood on the Beach – Part 1

2 Mar

by Diva Trista Russell

Lovely sunset over Lake Huron (photo courtesy of Anthony Sitko)

Lovely sunset over Lake Huron (photo courtesy of Anthony Sitko)

I’m excited to tell you about my relaxing little holiday on Ontario’s West Coast as part of the Taste of Huron program! I was lucky enough to stay overnight at Brentwood on the Beach, which is a luxury bed and breakfast on the shores of Lake Huron at St. Joesph’s (between Grand Bend and Bayfield). The special Winterlicious package I booked included a traditional German dinner, four star accommodations, and brunch the next day.

I had heard about Brentwood before, but I had never had the opportunity to stay overnight before. I had no idea that it was such a large and beautiful property! Peter and Joan Karstens own and operate Brentwood, which is a 10,000 square feet house with 9 guest rooms, a salt water pool, hot tub, sauna, guest kitchen, and common areas with books and games for guests to enjoy. When I arrived, two other guests were curled up on the couch reading a book by the fireplace.

The traditional German dinner included rouladen, which was made out of a Metzger's beef roll made with dijon mustard, pickles, and bacon. Very tender!

The traditional German dinner included rouladen, which was made out of a Metzger’s beef roll made with dijon mustard, pickles, and bacon. Very tender!

There were over 15 guests for dinner, and with the floor to ceiling windows in the dining room, many of us watched the beautiful sunset go down over Lake Huron before our meal. Peter is originally from Germany, so we enjoyed an authentic German dinner made by Peter and the Brentwood staff including garden salad, red cabbage, turnip, roasted potatoes, green beans, rouladen, pickle tray, and various breads. Dessert was German black forest cake, which was delicious!

Homemade Black Forest cake (photo courtesy of Anthony Sitko)

Homemade Black Forest cake (photo courtesy of Anthony Sitko)

I had a chance to chat with Pat and Betty, two ladies from Harriston, during dinner and discovered that these ladies discovered Brentwood on the internet and decided to come for a break from life at home. They also indulged in some in-house pedicures and massages while they were there!

The morning after I enjoyed a mini spa-like experience: a dip in the pool and hot tub and a quick visit to the sauna before brunch! Brunch included Peter’s famous German apple pancakes with homemade mulberry sauce, poached eggs, sausage, fresh fruit, yogurt, cheese and cold meat platter. All I can say is that if you come to Brentwood, make sure you try the pancakes as they are scrumptious!

The salt water pool was very warm and with the humidity it felt like the tropics!

The salt water pool was very warm and with the humidity it felt like the tropics!

Beach Room with lake view and fireplace

Beach Room with lake view and fireplace

What I discovered during my stay was that most of the guests were repeat guests. They loved staying there and decided to come back, which speaks volumes about the quality of Brentwood. Stay tuned for another post with some stories about the interesting guests I met during my stay!

Brentwood on the Beach
33937 Moore Court, RR #2,
St. Joseph Shores
Zurich, Ontario
www.brentwoodonthebeach.com
Email: info@brentwoodonthebeach.com
Phone: 519-236-7137

Ensuite bathroom with whirlpool tub

Ensuite bathroom with whirlpool tub

Common area with books and games for guests

Common area with books and games for guests

Breakfast is served!

Breakfast is served!

Peter's famous German apple pancakes (yes, a full one is the size of a dinner plate!)

Peter’s famous German apple pancakes (yes, a full one is the size of a dinner plate!)

Eddingtons Winterlicious

1 Mar

By: Diva Jenna Ujiye

The Divas at Eddingtons

The Divas at Eddingtons

This week has been a perfect week to get to a couple more Winterlicious events. On Wednesday five of us divas went for a wonderful meal at Eddingtons in Exeter. Karen, Claire, Christine, Trista and I had a marvelous time!

Trista, Karen and I all decided to go with the Winterlicious menu. Eddingtons had two choices for the starter and main, here is the menu:

Starter – Local atibo white bean and root vegetable chowder. Or Late harvest kale and beet salad. Parmigianino, hardboiled egg, sunflower seeds and sundried cranberry, tossed in a local garlic dressing.

Bean Soup

Bean Soup

Kale and Beet Salad

Kale and Beet Salad

Main – Local Pork shoulder braised in an apple cider vinegar served on a caramelized onion and blue cheese tart accented with a Grand Bend potato and root vegetable medley. Or  Supreme breast of chicken stuffed with fresh herbs, roma tomato and flavorful Italian sausage glazed in a Chianti red wine and shallot reduction. Served with garlic mashed potatoes and market vegetables.

Pork Shoulder

Pork Shoulder

Chicken Supreme

Chicken Supreme

I had the  soup to start and the pork as my main and they were both great. The bean chowder had a nice mild flavor letting the beans and vegetables show their true flavours. The pork was super succulent and tender.

Claire and Christine both decided to get their courses off of the menu. Christine started with the Thai Chicken Salad and Claire had the martini scallops, both starters looked yummy! They both got the gourmet macaroni and cheese, and my the silence at the table you could tell they liked it!

Thai Chicken Salad

Thai Chicken Salad

Martini Scallops

Martini Scallops

To end the meal Karen Trista and  I had Sticky toffee pudding cake with a coastal coffee caramel sauce, Christine had and apple dessert and Claire had the flourless chocolate cake… Wow, it was amazing!

Apple Cake

Apple Cake

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Sticky Toffee Cake

Sticky Toffee Cake

The Taste of Huron Winterlicious dining program is running until March 9 at various restaurant around Ontario’s West Coast, if you want more information, visit here: www.tasteofhuron.ca

Eddingtons of Exeter:

Address: 527 Main St S, Exeter, ON N0M 1S1

Phone:(519) 235-3030

Website: http://www.eddingtons.ca/

Winterlicious at Benmiller Inn

23 Feb

By: Travel Diva Jenna

Benmiller Winterlicious - Happy Divas

The Group – Ang, Sarah, Jenna, Monica, Kate, Courtney, Griffyn, Katie and Melissa.

I finally got out to my first Taste of Huron Winterlicious event at Benmiller Inn and was it ever delicious! What made the dinner even better was that 7 other divas joined me on this culinary evening, oh plus our token “dude” Gryffin! The Winterlicious events are such a great opportunity for people to try out menus at restaurants across Ontario’s West Coast, Prix Fixe menus, 3 courses and the cost is $29!!!

Benmiller Inn wowed us from the start, before our first course came they served us a mushroom wonton amuse bouche, which indeed made our mouths happy! Of course the whole menu is available during Winterlicious, but all of us decided to go with the special. Between all of us we ordered one of everything. I have always had a tough time getting great photos at Benmiller, since the lighting is low and I never bring extra lights, luckily Katie Schedlich was along with us and had the idea to use our phone lights to make the photos looked posed and perfect… so much better than a flash! Below are the menu options and photos of the food:

Benmiller Winterlicious - Amuse Bouche

Above – Amuse Bouche – Mushroom Stuffed Wontons

 Starter

Benmiller Winterlicious - Duck RaviolliBenmiller Winterlicious - Pork Soup

Everspring farm Muscovy duck confit ravioli, honey beets, sea buckthorn mirin glaze.
or
Slow roasted Metzgers pork, udon noodle, dashi broth, chili oil, scallion

Benmiller Winterlicious - Fish and ChipsBenmiller Winterlicious - Gnocchi

Main

Ausable gold potato gnocchi, Wild boar with cranberry & Berkshire pork sausage, Weth shiitake cream sauce
or
Panko crusted yellow perch goujons, Garlic box scape caper tartar sauce, pomme pont neuf

Finish

 Winterlicious - Poached PearWinterlicious - Cheese Plate

Blyth farms chevre with spiced pecan and Inn made lavash
or
Prosecco poached pear, vanilla ice cream, Johnston’s Apiary honey drizzle

I chose the Roast pork soup, Gnocchi and the poached pear, all of which were wonderful. To be honest I was full after the soup, it had three large pieces of pork that could be a regular serving for a dinner! But of course I was able to find room for the creamy gnocchi and the poached pear. Out of the whole meal I would have to say that my favourite dish was the gnocchi; the wild boar sausage mixed with the perfectly cooked cream sauce and potato dumplings made my taste buds jump for joy!

We left Benmiller feeling happy, full and excited for the next adventure. During the next week I will be heading to Eddingtons and the Black Dog for more Winterlicious dining… I can’t wait! The Taste of Huron Winterlicious runs until March 9, and there are 9 restaurants taking part! For menus and more information visit: www.tasteofhuron.ca

 

 

 

Something to look forward to in 2014

20 Dec

This blog post is a little different as it’s announcing a project that will be launched in Spring of 2014.

If you are a regular reader of OntarioTravelDivas you’ll know that Huron County offers a rich and vibrant life-style to its residents and a most pleasant place for visitors to explore.  Now visitor’s the world over will be able to learn a little more about our unique history through the Huron County Museum’s Henderson Digitization Project.    We’ll let you know when the site is officially launched …

HCM-a992-0003-342aContact:  Emily Beliveau, Digital Archives Assistant
Huron County Museum & Historic Gaol
519.524.2686, ext. 300

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Museum to Publish Hundreds of Photos Online in 2014

Newly digitized photographs from the Archives at the Huron County Museum reveal New Year’s Day festivities at Sky Harbour seventy years ago. The images, which were scanned from negatives, show trainees from the British Navy Fleet Air Arm enjoying a holiday meal alongside Sky Harbour
instructors and staff on January 1, 1944. The Huron County Museum is kicking off the new year by announcing the publication of these and hundreds more WWII air training photos on a new online collections site.

In Spring 2014, over 850 scanned images will be published on the web to conclude the Henderson Digitization Project. The year-long initiative was undertaken by the Archives at the Huron County Museum with support from a Museum and Technology Fund grant from the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Sport.

Between 1940 and 1944, Sky Harbour was the site of No. 12 Elementary Flying Training School, one of many wartime training schools located across the country that operated under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. The new website will also feature pictures from No. 31 Air
Navigation School (Port Albert) and No. 5/31 Radio School (Clinton), all taken by Goderich-based photographer J. G. Henderson.

John Gordon Henderson (1913-1989) operated a photography studio on the north part of The Square for several decades, where Garb and Gear Source For Sports is now located. The Huron County Museum holds the collection of Henderson’s work as a professional photographer.

Before scanning, many of the images were only available as negatives, making it difficult to see exactly what—or who—was in the photo. The digital darkroom of the Henderson Digitization Project has made hundreds of images more accessible to researchers, and in a few months will make them available to everyone on the web.

Until the site launches, previews from the collection will be featured on the museum’s Facebook page, facebook.com/huroncountymuseum.

-30-

HCM-a992-0003-330aHCM-a992-0003-334New Year’s Day 1944, Sky Harbour [3 images]

[Image:12192013_13548_0.png]
Image A992.0003.330a, Huron County Museum

[Image:12192013_13548_1.png]
Image A992.0003.334, Huron County Museum

[Image:12192013_13548_2.png]
Image A992.0003.342a, Huron County Museum

HURON COUNTY MUSEUM
1
10 North Street, Goderich
519-524-2686

Skating on Lake Wawanosh

16 Dec
Outdoor  Skating is a great winter activity in Huron County

Outdoor Skating is a great winter activity in Huron County

by Diva Sophie Jefferson
Sometimes, weather systems come together to create the perfect conditions to freeze a body of water so that it is as smooth as glass and only slightly covered in snow.  Last week those systems aligned and my mom emailed me to remind me to bring my skates home – Lake Wawanosh was frozen and the skating was good.

On Saturday we layered up and loaded in the van to head over to Lake Wawanosh, aka Man Made Lake, which is located on Creek Line between Belgrave and Belfast roads.  We had packed a chair to serve as a dressing room and shovels to act as Zambonis.   After everyone had laced up and taken a few turns shoveling, we had cleared an area large enough to have some fun.  In the past we have created figure eights, wagon wheels and other designs to skate on, but this time we went for the rectangle in case we could get enough players together for a West Wawanosh Classic game on Sunday.  The trees sheltered us from some of the wind and my sister, brother, mother and I had a great afternoon at the lake, skating free style through the snow and in endless circles of our cleared patch.

Winter came early and  Lake Wawanosh is frozen over.

Winter came early and Lake Wawanosh is frozen over.

If you are going to do some pond skating this winter, check out this page on the Red Cross’s website-http://www.redcross.ca/what-we-do/swimming-and-water-safety/swimming-boating-and-water-safety-tips/ice-safety .  Don’t forget to bring safety equipment-even a hockey stick can make a useful rescue tool.  Keep in mind that it may be safer to skate on ice created in low lying areas of fields after a thaw than on deeper bodies of water.

Spirits on the Trail

28 Oct
James Willis, founding settler of Exeter

James Willis, founding settler of Exeter

By Diva Trista Russell

The ghosts of Huron County’s past came back to life last week! The Spirit Trail Super-Natural Hike in Exeter was originally scheduled for October 17th, but with the rainy weather it was rescheduled to the following evening. Luckily, Friday brought no rain, but it was a chilly evening. I bundled up, flashlight in hand (just in case), and headed to MacNaughton Park in Exeter.

Since 2010, a volunteer community group called the Friends of the South Huron Trail have held this spooky hike. The hike along the South Huron Trail features characters from local history, with an environmental theme. The hike was free, and I saw hikers of all ages enjoying interacting with the characters.

The hike was about an hour, and after starting at MacNaughton Park, it loops back to the start via the Stirling Bridge. The moon was very visible about half way through the hike, which added to the “spookiness”.

Dr. Smillie (Canada’s first female surgeon) who was raised in the Hensall area

Dr. Smillie (Canada’s first female surgeon) who was raised in the Hensall area

Along the way I met some spirits from our area’s past, including Mr. James and Mrs. Jane Willis, Mr. Gidley, James Stephen Jr. (aka King Stephen), the Green Lady of Hay Swamp, Dr. Smillie, and former canning factory workers. Mr. and Mrs. Willis led the hikers through the moonlight trail with an oil lamp. Along the way, each spirit kindly introduced himself or herself (except for the Green Lady who caught us all by surprise!) and explained what life was like back then. All the spirits gently reminded us that we are future stewards of the environment – and that we have an important role in how we protect our surroundings.

 

 

former workers from the Exeter canning factory

former workers from the Exeter canning factory

King Stephen (Stephen Township was named after him)

King Stephen (Stephen Township was named after him)

 

Books and Bush Art

13 Aug

BUSHart Signby Diva Nicole Olson

Earlier this week, I ventured out to 86457 Norman Line just west of Wingham to check out Huron County’s largest book store, and Bush Art: Rustic Cedar Creations. This is also the location for the home and welding business of Brian Wellstead. The bookstore and Bush Art can be found inside their neatly organized barn.

After speaking with Brian, I found out that he makes his creations using recycled materials. The flower you can see in the photo is made from recycled saw blades and he makes others using pieces from old oil tanks. The angel was my favourite piece and was made using materials found from nature, and a scrap metal halo. I also loved the Christmas trees. There were all kinds of pieces there ranging from outdoor garden and lawn décor, Christmas and winter decorations, benches and even a doll house (which was extremely detailed and must have taken forever). The prices were very reasonable and there was a variety of sizes in most of the pieces. It’s also locally made, so who doesn’t love that!

BUshArt3GrapeVineTree BushArt2

BooksAtBushArtBrian mentioned that his son had been running the bookstore portion of the business. He said he started it at the age of 13 and it just grew from there. His son now runs Condor Fine Books located in Kincardine, ON. As I mentioned previously, this barn on Norman Line has been named the largest bookstore in Huron County. They have a selection from all different genres; Religion and Spirituality, History, Cooking, Thriller, Romance and more.

So, whether you need to spice up your outdoor décor, or make additions to your library, Bush Art is worth checking out!

Bush Art/Book Barn
86457 Norman Line
WINGHAM, ON  N0G 2W0
519-357-3597

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