On the one sunny day of this past week, my bestie, Erena, and I journeyed back to our favourite country town about an hour east of Toronto: Port Hope. It was Saturday and it was Farmers’ Market day in the parking lot behind the Municipal Offices so we tucked Erena’s vintage ‘vette into a shady parking spot and strolled the market stands, grazing our way thru the yummy treats and picking up some new treasures from the craftspeople there, too. The overpowering fragrance of bacon beckoned me on towards The Social’s stall….yes, one bacon sandwich, please. Mmmmmm….Erena enjoyed some homemade perogies from the lady opposite the bacon…they were apparently so good that her eyes rolled back as she noshed away on half a dozen…LOL
I found some lovely local wines to wash down the bacon when I stopped in to say hello to Tim Kuepfer (below) of Broken Stone Winery in Pr. Edward County. www.brokenstone.ca I found the pino noir very tasty and the other guests loved the chardonnay. Apparently Broken Stone participates in local wine tours so do check out their website to discover this emerging new wine region in Ontario.
We then discovered Gary & Robin from the Tallboots Farm who were selling an awesome selection of jams, preserves, pickles, tarts, cookies and….oh boy….hand-crafted chocolates!! www.tallbootsfarm.ca The jams were delish and both of us purchased a jar of the triple raspberry jam (I just had some on my toast for breakie this morning) and the chocolates we bought didn’t last long either!
One lovely young local serenaded us as we all walked around…
…and we enjoyed meeting many of the farmers and vendors (below). As we got there a bit late (around 12 noon) most of the produce was long gone but we did see some massive radishes and lots of live tomato plants. We gotta come back earlier on summer Saturdays to grab the veggie deals.
Desperately needing a good cuppa coffee (and a quick tinkle) we left the market, walking thru the historic streets (below)…
…and found our fave cafe, Queenies Bake Shop, the happiest shop on Walton St. The food and bevvies are superb and the hospitality warm and friendly. Thanks to the ladies and chef Adam (below) for looking after us once again.
No trip to Port Hope would be complete without a quick visit to Kenneth Bell‘s fabulous bling boutique just a couple of doors down from Queenies. www.kennethbell.com Ken was heading off on a road trip with his wholesale treasures so we hung out with his assistant, Sherry (below) and played dress-up with young model, Madi (bottom pic) who showed us a very Rhianna-ish multi-strand chain necklace.
We also spent some time (and dollars!) with the ladies of Bubbles & Gems, another few doors down from Ken’s store. Erena picked up some lovely jewellery there and I enjoyed browsing thru the groovy purses. http://www.bubblesandgems.com/
We decided to take a quick nature break and visit the lakeside boardwalk just a little east of the downtown core as well as visit the beach at the foot of the Ganaraska River, so after a quick visit to our friends at Facey’s and Engine Gallery (see my previous blog posted in May), we headed off into the wilds of Northumberland County and look what we found…..sheer leafy bliss!
And we weren’t alone. One bold as brass chipmunk came right up to me, posing for pics and obviously looking for some nibblies. Next time we go, I’m taking peanuts with me as I have a feeling this little guy would take them right out of my hand.
We walked back to the car, then headed off towards town and hit the beach.
I had fun paddling in the cool waters of Lake Ontario…how clean and clear it was, too.
We decided to end our day in Port Hope by dining at Crawford’s Lakeview Cafe, just up from the beach. What a charming cafe with a lovely wrap-around porch where we dined on fish and chips (me) and a gourmet burger (Erena), topped off with homemade desserts of apple pie and icecream (me) and a lemon slice (Erena) …yummmm.
Apparently Crawford’s serves THE best breakfast for miles and Chef Pino Ruberto told us that his French toast and pancake stacks attract diners from miles around! We’ll be back for breakie soon, that’s for sure.
As we left the cafe, we witnessed what, to me, looked like a scene out of Jurassic Park: strange dinosaur-like creatures invading the streets. I never knew baby Canadian geese looked so weird!
So goodbye to the beach, the cafe and the goslings…Port Hope, we’ll be back again soon!
Plan your own trip to Port Hope by first visiting: