Tag Archives: dining

A place maybe even better than home: Colborne B & B

5 Jul

colborne1By Diva Heather Boa

GODERICH – Suzanne and John Anderson, the owners of Colborne Bed and Breakfast, make their job look easy.

But underneath their welcoming and easy-going style is a careful staging of every detail from the stock in their kitchen to the furnishings in the rooms to ensure that guests in their home have a memorable experience.

“We meet so many wonderful people from all over the planet,” said Suzanne, as she worked in the kitchen to prepare a lunch of baked eggs that swam in a pool of butter and cheese topped with fresh herbs, bacon from Metzger’s meat shop located 20 minutes down the road, artisan bread that was cooked in a wood oven, fresh salad greens grown in a hoop greenhouse on an organic farm, and baked apples dripping in maple syrup, yoghurt and a special granola mix made from a local baker who happens to live across the street.

colborne5colborne2colborne8colborne6“We try to serve local as best we can. Our guests deserve the best,” Suzanne said, as she dabbed the baked apples with yoghurt while a cameraman from a local film crew tracked her movements.
colborne9On the table were also croissants from neighbouring Cait’s Kitchen, chili sauce from her grandmother’s recipe, and jam from the local market (her own ran out mid-winter). To meet special dietary needs, there’s a butter replacement and a dairy-free cheddar-style shreds in one of the egg dishes.

John and Suzanne have been welcoming guests into their red brick home on Colborne Street, just off Goderich’s unique downtown Courthouse Square, since purchasing it in 2010. There are four spacious rooms, with hardwood floors, high ceilings, wide baseboards and ensuite washrooms. The decorations are warm, with clean lines and elegant simplicity.

There is also a lovely loft space that can be rented longer term and offers more privacy.

Some of the windows overlook a tranquil garden, with space for guests to escape with a book or a cup of tea. Everywhere, there’s somewhere to sit and relax, from couches in the shared living room with its rows of books and games to bistro seating in window nooks to stuffed leather or wingback chairs by fireplaces.

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Their home serves as a resting place for guests who have come to town for family events, local festivals, shopping or beach experiences. Or they’ve come for one of the experiential packages, like the Spa Getaway, offered during the off-season. Colborne Bed and Breakfast has partnered with Irene Duguay Spa Services to offer a full weekend of dining and relaxing, plus a shuttle trip to the spa for a bit of pampering.

On this particular day, it was cold and pouring rain but swaddled in a blanket with a warm compress on my face, soothing instrumental music in the background, and all sorts of exotic scents mingling in the small room, I was toasty and relaxed. I even managed to forget that I was being filmed by a cameraman as Irene efficiently explained what she was doing as she applied a deep cleanse, then steaming and masking, using Eminence organic skin care products. She moved with a certain calmness, as though there were a sleeping baby in the room that shouldn’t be wakened.

“I went to a show in Toronto and I just fell in love with the product,” Irene said. Every spring, she returns to Toronto for training on new techniques using the Eminence products.

massageWhile the mask worked its magic, Irene gently and methodically massaged my hands, arms, shoulders and feet, both of us content in the silence, broken only by interview questions from me or explanations of what she was doing from her.

As I lay there, I schemed on a girls’ spa getaway at Colborne Bed and Breakfast with my favourite friends for next winter. I’m sure it will be exactly what we need to celebrate our friendship amid hectic lives.

For more information on Colborne Bed and Breakfast, visit online or give them a call toll free 800-390-4612 or 519-524-7400.

 

 

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Dinner at Hessenland with a heaping of precision, consistency

7 Dec

hessenland1By Diva Heather Boa

ST. JOSEPH – There are two reasons to be a fan of the simply elegant European dining experience at Hessenland Country Inn: Precision and consistency.

With the ownership team of Liz Ihrig at front of house and Frank Ihrig in charge of the kitchen, there is a never-failing attention to detail that is almost spooky.

We’re here for a business meeting of eight women – the annual meeting of the Ontario Travel Divas, with a photography seminar provided by Erin Samuell of A Simple Photograph, division of blog ideas for the next year, and dinner. We’re in luck because the restaurant is open this weekday night to accommodate a Christmas party in its vast main dining room, with a wall of windows and patio doors that provide a picturesque view of the countryside near the shores of Lake Huron.

IMG_4928We meet in an intimate space at the front of the restaurant, and hear not a peep from the party.

Twinkling white Christmas lights in garland border the window and stockings carefully hung on the mantle serve as a backdrop to a table perfectly laid out with silverware, carafes of water set at intervals.

I could order with my eyes closed: Kalbs Schnitzel Wiener Art ($24.95), which is a Huron County veal that’s been breaded and sautéed, with just enough smooth, brown gravy to make it decadent. And on the side I choose spaetzle, a soft egg noodle that is delicious without adornment, and red cabbage, made interesting with clove and something sweet. This is the same order I have every time, and every time it looks and tastes just as wonderful (unless it’s Mongolian Grill night, when I choose a whack of raw meat and vegetables and take it outside to the grill for frying and spicing by Frank.)

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On a visit this past summer, the kitchen also made a special order birthday Pavlova, a fussy dish with its meringue base, topped with fruit and whipped cream.

Our waitstaff finds the perfect balance between professionalism and friendliness, somehow always managing to appear when we’re in need but disappearing from the cozy dining space when we are settled.

Hessenland also serves its own beer, Hessenland Helles Bavarian style beer, and this spring will begin planting grapevines with the expectation of pouring its first glass of wine in 2018.

Hessenland is currently running pre-Christmas hours, Friday and Saturday for dinners only. Group reservations for 20 people or more on the remaining weekdays until Dec. 17, at which time it closes until Spring.

 

 

 

Blyth’s Part II Bistro: Fresh tastes chase away winter blues

24 Feb

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By Diva Claire Carter

It’s official – winter in Huron County isn’t going anywhere for awhile.  Luckily, Chef Peter Gusso and the staff of Part II Bistro in Blyth have a delicious menu to help visitors beat the winter blues.

I visited Part II with a group of ladies on a quiet Wednesday night in February. The restaurant ceiling is draped with romantic twinkle lights, and reminded me of the carnival scene from the movie “Big Fish.”

We were warmly welcomed by our server, and all had some difficulty deciding on what we would eat.  After

Amuse bouche

Amuse bouche

ordering, we were treated to an amuse bouche of a curried cauliflower soup that featured Blyth Farm Cheese.  It was delicious and warmed us all up.

I ordered the pork spring rolls as my appetizer.  I was pleasantly surprised

Appetizer

Appetizer

when they were served on a bed of seaweed salad.  The spring rolls were filled with tender pork and perfectly cooked veggies.  The flavours of this dish had a lovely Asian influence, and the sweet sesame lime dressing tied everything together perfectly.  My dinner companions ordered appetizers including the spinach and pear salad, Caesar salad and beef tacos.  Each of these dishes was beautifully presented and delicious.

Main course

Main course

I ordered the steak as my main course, and continued to be overjoyed with my choices.  The steak was a tender sirloin, rubbed with garlic and rosemary, and smothered in a healthy serving of a peppercorn and mushroom cream sauce.  The steak was served with truffled mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables.  It was difficult but I managed to enjoy every bite of this savory meal.

I didn’t think I could do it, but I managed to find just enough room to enjoy the

Dessert

Dessert pavlova

pavlova for dessert. The dessert, created in honour of Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, had a meringue that was light and fluffy, and the berries atop whipped cream tasted like they had been soaked in a chocolate liqueur.  While I was beyond stuffed, I would have been full of regret if I hadn’t had this dessert.  I also had to share a photo of the creme brulee, another beautiful dish ordered at our table.

Dessert creme brulee

Dessert creme brulee

What did I like best about Part II Bistro?  The ambiance, great quality and presentation of the food all impressed me.  When our table of eight was completely silent after receiving each course, I knew we were all in foodie heaven. Part II is participating in Taste of Huron’s Winter

Dining Program on until Feb. 28. If you go, please be sure to advise them you are participating in the Winter Dining Program when you make reservations. It is also  hosting two beer tastings (March 27 & 28).  Call the restaurant for details, 519-523-2663.

Part II is located right across from the Blyth Theatre, making it a great place for a bite to eat before or after a show.  From Tuesday through Sunday, they’re open for lunch from 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. ($12-$15) and open at 5 p.m. for dinner (appetizers, $8-13, mains, $25-29).

 

Good Food, Good Company ~ Valentine’s Day in Huron

13 Feb

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Don’t miss our Poll at the End of this Post

BAYFIELD

Dinner for Lovers at The Little Inn of Bayfield
Feb 14 –  $65/pp | Menu | five scrumptious courses that include foie gras and flourless chocolate cake! | Gourmet offerings and a cozy atmosphere in Ontario’s longest continually-operating Inn in beautiful, historic Bayfield. | reservations required – call  1-800-565-1832

Valentine’s Day Rendezvous

Valid February 14th, only | Your package includes one night’s accommodation in the best room available on booking, Chef’s special Valentine’s Day Dinner Menu and a hot made-to-order breakfast in the morning. This package is available on February 14th only. | $305 per couple | Gratuities Not Included, Taxes Not Included | Available from 14/02/2013 to 15/02/2013 | Call for reservations:  1-800-565-1832

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BENMILLER

Be My Valentine!!

5-course Valentine’s Dinner for Lovers  in the Ivey Dining Room

$39/pp ~ February 11 – 17th


Accommodation Packages Offered All Month Long

Accommodation Packages Offered All Month Long | February Midweek Special – $319 per couple – Best available room at time of booking | $100 dining credit, Breakfast, Chocolate Covered Strawberries and a Split of champagne in room at check in

Saturday Night Special

$369 per couple – Best available room at time of booking | $100 dining credit, Brunch on Sunday Morning, Chocolate Covered Strawberries  and a Split of Champagne in room at check in

CALL 1-800-265-1711 for more information

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BRUSSELS

Cinnamon Jim’s Café in Brussels!

Valentine Open Mic Dinner & Show on Feb 15 | Show hosted by John Bryndza & Dave Hawkins | Two dinner seatings at 6:00pm & 7:15pm. Show @ 8:30 | Call 519-887-8011

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EXETER

 Valentine’s Dinner at Eddington’s

Exeter – Feb 14 – $95 per couple (+ tax & gratuity) | Appetizer, Entree and a Romantic Dessert for Two | Casual, Fine Dining in Exeter’s oldest House | Fresh Local Ingredients  Menu

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GODERICH

Valentines Dinner at Samuels Hotel

Friday Feb.15, 5:45pm & 8:00pm seating ~ $40pp prix fixe | Shared Starter | Soup or Salad | Main | Shared Finish | Price does not include beverages, taxes, or gratuity. | Call or Email to make your Reservations 519.524.1371 ~ www.samuelshotel.ca ~ kim@samuelshotel.ca

Thyme on 21

Thyme on 21 is offering a special Valentine’s Day Dinner too!  It is sold out, but watch for special Themed Menus being offered in the coming weeks.

How to do plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day?

Happy Valentine’s Day from Ontario Travel Divas