Tag Archives: ontario

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 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


Benmiller Winterlicious - Duck RaviolliBenmiller Winterlicious - Pork Soup

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

Benmiller Winterlicious - Fish and ChipsBenmiller Winterlicious - Gnocchi


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


 Winterlicious - Poached PearWinterlicious - Cheese Plate

Blyth farms chevre with spiced pecan and Inn made lavash
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




Foodie in Benmiller

19 Jul


By:  Diva Jenna Ujiye

An inn, restaurant, spa and retreat, The Benmiller Inn and spa truly is a gem on Ontario’s West Coast. If you haven’t noticed, I am a foodie and I typically plan my trips around where I am going to eat! Not long ago my friend Rebecca asked if I wanted to head out to Benmiller for a quick lunch. Yay! Of course I wanted to go. I knew chef Spencer would have many items on the menu that I would want to try.

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I ordered the reuben panini and Rebecca got the smoked cheddar chicken sandwich. As you can see from the photo, the food smelled so good that we ate first and then remembered to take the photo. After we finished we ran in to dining room manager Marianne and she had not started her meal, so I was able to capture the beauty of the plated food. She was having mushroom flatbread and seared flat iron steak with frites.

IMG_4620 IMG_4619

I took some photos of the menu and wanted to try out everything! Now I know I have written about the Benmiller Inn before, so if you read this blog often you will also know that Benmiller has many unique rooms, a pool, meeting rooms and a spa. A perfect oasis for a vacation at any time of the year! They also have some great events, so check out their website here: http://benmiller.ca

Benmiller is located just outside of Goderich in Benmiller Ontario, along the beautiful Maitland River:

Benmiller Inn and Spa
81175 Benmiller Line
Goderich, Ontario
Canada N7A 3Y1

Tel: (800) 265-1711 or (519) 524.2191
Fax: (519) 524.5150

Canoeing and Carrying on

13 Jun

Canoeing on the Maitland

By Diva Jenna Ujiye

I have always been one to enjoy being on the water and try to get out canoeing at least once a year. A few weeks ago I headed out on the Maitland River and set out for a weekend of canoeing and camping with a bunch of friends. I was fairly excited as last year the water was really low and we weren’t able to get out at all.

Fishing and canoeing Getting ready to canoestretch of it! We started out at Belgrave Road and meandered the river for a few hours until we stopped right at Auburn. My boyfriend had rigged up our canoe with a motor, but the water was flowing fairly quick and we didn’t end up using it (luckily, as it just seemed totally silly!).

Now what I find is the major trick to canoeing and camping is the packing. You have to make sure you bring enough – but not too much – so your canoe is still comfortable. We were able to do this by dropping of the majority of our overnight needs at the camping site and just taking our lunch and extra clothing with us.

At the campsite Canoeing on the Maitland Canoeing on the Maitland

My favourite parts of the trip were as follows:

- Seeing the forest floor covered in our Ontario flower – the Trillium

- Watching a friend endlessly catch tiny little fish

- Stopping for lunch in an amazing picturesque setting

- Giggling while one of the canoes somehow filled with water and sank (of course all in good fun, they just emptied it and were good to go again without loosing anything)

If you are looking for more information about paddling in Huron, here is a link to the Huron County Fishing and paddling guide: http://www.ontarioswestcoast.ca/?page_id=248

Wandering Wawanosh

11 Jun

By Travel Diva Jenna

Wawanosh - Belgrave Creek

Wawanosh Valley Conservation Area is located just west of Belgrave, Ontario, on Belgrave Road and ishome to the Wawanosh Nature Centre and Wawanosh Trail. If you grew up in Huron County, I’m sure many of you remember heading out to the centre with your school and learning about birds, fish, creatures, mapping and orienteering. I sure do!

It was great to head back to Wawanosh and see what has changed and remember the past and time I enjoyed there.  The Maitland Valley Conservation Authority runs great learning and outdoor experiences at this wonderful location, but it is also a place where you can visit to hike the trail and take in the beauty.

IMG_4511 IMG_4510

Erin Dolmage met me and 45 others, a couple of weeks ago, to show us around the site . She mentioned that the site can be rented out for groups activities and camping.  They also have a variety of public events throughout the year. They have an interpretive centre where unique-to-the-area species are highlighted, snow shoe rentals and more. It is a beautiful setting with both the Belgrave Creek and Maitland River intersecting through the property.

Events held at this facility each year include Snowfest  and the Owl Prowl  just to name a couple.  You can also hike, walk, cross country ski and snowshoe the 3km loop trail whenever you feel like it.

If you are looking for more information you can visit: http://www.mvca.on.ca/programs_conservation_wvca.php

A Tiger in Rural Ontario

15 May

By Diva Jenna Ujiye

A couple of weeks ago I decided to explore the hiking trails in Huron County. There are 29 public trails, so I made a plan to hike sections of three of them. I started off at the Sifto monument at the top of the hill across from the Huron Historic Gaol. This lookout area has a really great view of the Menesetung bridge, the Sifto Salt mine, the Maitland River and Lake Huron.

lookout2 Lookout at Sifto Monument

So you may be wondering why I mentioned a Tiger in the title of this blog, well Tiger is actually a person. William “Tiger” Dunlop was a physician, author, woodsman, soldier, politician and raconteur and  one of the founders of  Goderich. I hadn’t hiked the Dunlop trail in years so my next stop was the Tiger Dunlop Trail. This trail is 3.2 kilometers and is great for biking, walking, running, and cross country skiing in the winter. It ends at the Tiger Dunlop Tomb, where there are plaques explaining the history of the man.

maitland1Lookout from Tiger Dunlops Tomb

This trail meets up with the Goderich to Auburn Rail Trail and the Maitland Trail. Seeing as I wanted to finish the trails in a couple of days I decided to drive to a parking area along the 48 km Maitland Trail. I hiked about 6 kilometres along the Maitland River and took in some great views. I even caught a beaver working on his dam, watched two eagles dancing and witnessed a blue heron! I will say I was surprised at the damage that still existed from the 2011 tornado in the area. I know that nature (and the amazing trail volunteers) will take over soon though! If you are in to Hiking, make sure to check out all of our trails in the area at www.hikehuron.ca


Chris Hadfield calls in to the East Street Station

16 Mar

by Diva Jenna Ujiyetrentsevern-1

I was at the East Street Station to watch the Trent Severn Concert and in the middle of their set Commander of the International Space Station, Chris Hadfield, called in to chat with us! How cool is that? Not only was this one of the most interesting phone calls I have ever been involved in, the whole concert was awesome. Trent Severn, made up of three amazing musician singer/songwriters Emm Gryner, Dayna Manning and Laura C. Bates, have come up with some really great songs and harmonies. Their eclectic Canadian folk blend  is well put together and they play from the soul. I am just editing the videos I took, so I will post them later!

Hadfield told us that this was the first concert he had ever called in to from space. He also mentioned that it was 1:40am and that the sun was about to rise. He joked with the band that becoming commander has added to his to do list, have to make sure the lights were out and the garage door had to be put down!

I took a video of the conversation with Chris Hadfield, but with 928 minutes left to upload it, I’ll post it later. My friend George Zoethout from Huron Image Factory posted the same video, but from a different angle, so here it is!

Here are a few more photos of the event!

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This week in Bayfield …

11 Mar

BAYFIELD … Bayfield Film Festival

See “ARBITRAGE” starring Richard Gere & Susan Sarandon at the Bayfield Town Hall on March 14 at 7:30pm. Just $10 at door! Presented by the Bayfield Film Society. http://ow.ly/i8dt2

A troubled hedge fund magnate desperate to complete the sale of his trading empire makes an error that forces him to turn to an unlikely person for help.

Bayfield Town Hall Heritage Society

* * * * * *

Escape to the Country … 


BAYFIELD … Little Inn of Bayfield March Break Special -

Experience Spring at The Little Inn of Bayfield and enjoy our 2013 EAT FREE or SLEEP FREE Packages!  Choose from a One Night Dinner Package and enjoy your second accommodations free!


Choose from a Two Night Escape and enjoy your second night dinner free!

*Available over March Break                    *excludes Easter Weekend                      Available until April 30, 2013


Benmiller Inn – Local Food, Great Atmosphere

8 Mar

benmillerfeb-5 benmillerfeb-3

by Diva Jenna

A couple of weeks ago the divas met at Benmiller Inn to chat about 2013 blog story opportunities and to meet each other!

The meal was seriously awesome. They started us with an amuse bouche – which I just call happy mouth – which had smoked salmon, cream cheese, wasabi and was served on a small potatoe pancake. We all wanted more!


The menu is seasonal and Chef Spencer Vail changes it up fairly often. They also highlight the local producers and farmers of the area, which is something a foodie loves to see. A couple of the Divas ordered off the the prix fixe menu, which is three courses (a couple of choices for each course) and the price point was $29!

We had soups and salads to start and moved on to the main course. We had a variety of dishes including: Chicken Supreme Risotto – Sun dried tomato, roasted red pepper, spinach, chevre, parmesan ($24), Metzger’s Cast Iron Roasted Beef Tenderloin – pommes sarladaise, spring vegetables, whisky spiked hunter sauce ($28) and Willowgrove Hill Pork Chop – sweet and sour cabbage, potato rosti ($28). We were all very pleased with our meals and a couple of the girls even moved on to dessert!

If you are looking for a nice evening out and an excellent meal, Benmiller Inn will definitely impress. Oh and did I mention they also have a great Inn and a spa, but I’ll save that for another story!

For prices, menu or to book please visit – http://www.benmillerinnandspa.com

March Break in Huron …

4 Mar

childrenFrom crafts to sports, the County of Huron has lots of activities for your family during the week of March 11-15 in recreation and culture facilities, pools and arenas. Find active and interesting camps in your neighbourhood or a specialty camp for the athlete or artist.



March Break Theatre Week at the Livery – For age 12+ / Registration $100
A week of theatre at the livery … workshops on vocal technique, how to approach a script, movement, improvisation, scene study, learning to love Shakespeare with Emily Johnston.  www.thelivery.ca – 519-524-6262

YMCA Day Camp - March Break Madness
An exciting week jam-packed with games, competitions, trivia and fun with friends.
Members $110/week or $30/day | Non-Members $125/week or $35/day
9am – 4:30pm; before/after camp care – 8am-9am: 4:30pm – 5:30pm (no cost)

Register online www.ymcaswo.ca



NORTH HURON – March Break Mania (suitable for youngsters 4-10 years of age)

Monday, March 11/13:  Candy Land Day – 8:30-5pm / $35 – skating, lunch, swimming, games, qualified leaders

Tuesday, March 12/13:  Glow-in-the-Dark Bowling - 8:30-5pm / $40 – 2 way bus transportation, bowling, swimming, craft, qualified leaders

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 – Easter Bunny Day - 8:30-5pm / $35 – skating, lunch, swimming, games, qualified leaders

Thursday, March 14, 2013 - Pirates & Princesses – 8:30-5pm / $35 – skating, lunch, swimming, games, qualified leaders

Friday, March 15, 2013 - St. Patrick’s Day Party – 8:30-5pm / $35 – skating, lunch, swimming, games, qualified leaders)

Phone 519-357-1208 or email receipt@northhuron.ca


EXETER:  Monday 11th – Ringette Bunny Fun Day – 9am-4pm (SHRC)
EXETER:  Tuesday 12th – Green Camp for Kids (ages 6-12) $30/child – skating, snow shoeing & crafts (team-oriented)
EXETER:  Wednesday 13th – Bingo (ages 10 & under) – 11 -12:30 – $2/child | South Huron Day Camp (ages 6-15) 8am-5pm … bingo, skating, snacks, crafts, physical activity – $30/day
EXETER:  Thursday 14th – 3 on 3 Hockey Tournament for Atom, Pee Wee & Bantam Divisions – $200/team
CREDITON:  Friday 15th – Fun Day in Crediton – 10am – 3pm – crafts, lunch, snacks, games $10/childFREE PUBLIC SKATING


WINGHAM:  Monday – Friday (11th-15th) 11:30 – 1p.m. – North Huron Wescast Centre

BLYTH:  Monday (11th), Wednesday (13th) – 1pm. – 3p.m. – Blyth Arena

BRUSSELS:  March 12-15 1:30-3:00 | Shinny 3-4:30 – Brussels Arena
EXETER:  Tuesday (12th) 2-4pm | Wednesday (13th) 12:30 – 2p.m. | Friday 12-2:30pm – South Huron Recreation Centre
EXETER:  Parents & Tots Tuesday -1-2pm, Wednesday 10-11am - South Huron Recreation Centre
EXETER:  Shinny Hockey – early morning until 4pm – $8/person/hour … call staff for availability 519.235.2833 – South Huron Recreation Centre
HURON PARK:  Friday (15th) 5:15 – 6pm – Stephen Arena
HURON PARK:  Parents & Tots Monday (11th)  4-15 – 5pm – Stephen Arena


WINGHAM:  March Break Swim at North Huron Wescast Community Complex

WINGHAM:  Monday 11th – Friday 15th – 1p.m. – 3p.m. | Cost:  Ages 0-5 yrs Free | 6 – 17 $3.50 | 18+ $4.50

HURON EAST:  March 11-15 – 1:30 – 3:30 | Vanastra Rec Centre


WINGHAM: 2006-2003 and 2002-1998 | Cost: Players $400 no meal plan or $450 includes meal plan 

Goalies $300 no meal plan or $350 includes meal plan.  Information/reservation contact:

Kory Green 1-226-339-1327 kgreen@phasehockey.ca 


GODERICH:  March 9, 2013 – 1:00 PM – 4:30 PM, Huron County Museum, 110 North Street - 519-524-2686

Come Play A While…Toys You Loved!  – Revisit childhood memories and enjoy toys from across Huron County donated by and on loan from boys and girls; old and young; neighbours, friends and family.



CLINTON:  Saturday, March 9, 2013 – 10am-2pm – Make n’ Take Crafts – “Crown” craft to coincide with March Break activity theme “Visit the Queen” | 519.482.3673

SEAFORTH:  Monday, March 11 – 1pm-2pm – Young Artists Workshops – Finger paint art, Printing with Veggies, collage | ages 6-12 | Registration required.  FREE program. | 519.527-1430
CLINTON:  Monday, March 11 – 1:30 pm-3pm – “Visit the Queen – Masked Ball”  princes and princesses of all ages are invited to a masked ball and theatrical entertainment at the castle with the Queen.  Attire can reflect Medieval times.  Mask craft included.  | 519.482.3673
GODERICH:  Monday, March 11 daily until Sunday, March 17,  10am – 8p.m – Make n’ Take Crafts – Open to children of all ages, but children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.  Contact the branch for more details | 519-524-9261

WINGHAM:  Tuesday, March 12, 2013 – 10:30am-12pm – Wingham Young Artists Workshop – $3/youth, Learn about different types of art media from a local art group | 519.357.3312
WINGHAM:  Wednesday, March 13, 2013 – 2pm – Reptile Kingdon – $3/person or $8/family .. hands-on event with some amazing reptiles such as snakes, lizards and scorpions! | 519.357.3312

HENSALL:  Thursday, March 14, 2013 – 1pm – 2pm Explore finger paint and collage.  ages 6-12 years.  Registration required.  FREE program.  | 519.262.2445

CLINTON:  Thursday, March 14, 2013 – 1:30pm-3pm – “Visit the Queen, Visit the Faire” The Faire is at the castle!  Join in the fun and check out the carnival booths.  Test your skills at the games.
BRUSSELS:  Thursday, March 14, 2013 – 1:30pm – March Break Storytelling and Magic – fun, games and magic for children 5 and up.  Registration Free.

GODERICH, Friday, March 15, 2013 – 2:30pm-3:30pm – Paper Bead Making Workshop – create bracelets, necklaces or 3D art.  Free Program open to children and adults | 519-524-9261

CLINTON:  Friday, March 15, 2013 – 10:15am-11:15am -  “Visit the Queen”  Tales with the Queen – o ye maidens and young men, the Queen will be leading songs and telling stories from the castle.  | 519.482.3673

WINGHAM:  Saturday, March 16, 2013 – 10:30 am-12 noon – Felt Finger Puppet Workshop, ages 7 & up, artisan Ruth McLean leads you in the creation of a one-of-a-kind puppet. Registration required.  FREE program. | 519-357-3312

CLINTON:  Saturday, March 16, 2013 – 10am – 2pm – Make n’ Take “Dragon” craft.


BLYTH:  Tuesday, March12th at 2pm. Queens Bakery Royal Tea.  Come dressed for a royal occasion, children of all ages.

BLYTH:  Tim Holland (The Puppet Tamer) back by popular demand  Saturday March 16th, 11am & 3pm (Kids Shows) 8pm (Adult Show)  Tickets are $5. Blyth Memorial Hall, Blyth Legion Fundraiser | 519-523-9300

HENSALL:  “EXPLORE ICE” THIS MARCH BREAK at IceCultures – have fun…find adventure…learn something new…support a great cause!  Cost of the 90 minute tour is $14 per person or bring a group of 12 and only pay $12 each. A portion will be donated to The Ontario Association of Food Banks (OAFB). 

During March Break they are offering scheduled plant tours from Friday, March 8 to Sunday, March 17.

Call Karen at 519-262-3500 / 1-888-251-9967

ZURICH:  Huron Ridge offers workshops for “little gardeners” for only $5 a child which includes supplies and a snack. Check out this link for more details: http://www.huronridge.ca/pdfs/spring_break_workshops.pdf


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