It’s official: the Drake Devonshire Inn – Prince Edward County, Ontario’s first foray into true hipsterdom –– is genuinely worth the visit, even if only to witness how a Toronto institution has made nice in the countryside without losing sight of its urbanite roots.
A mere two-hour drive from the smoggy buzz of hog-town, the Drake Devonshire is a seamless transplant of the original Drake hotel, the self proclaimed “hotbed for culture,” in Toronto’s artsy west end. Cutely outfitted with high-design kitsch – a small scale antique teak rocker here, a vintage Eames piece there and a couple of Ping-Pong tables to bring it all together – this one-time country inn has die-hard city-dwellers flocking from nearby Toronto, Montreal and New York, leaving behind the concrete and din of their native cities for bike-rides in Sandbanks Provincial Park and yoga by the lake.
If that’s not enough, Prince Edward County is teeming with verdant wineries. Many are worth your time, but one that deserves your lunch money is Norman Hardie – a vine-y oasis that welcomes you into the County with wine tastings and wood-fired pizza, pretty much as authentic as it comes this side of Napoli. That is if you’re able to pry yourself away from the Double D.
With 13 cleverly curated rooms – think Andy Griffith meets Wes Anderson – an airy light-filled restaurant with views to Lake Ontario that transplant you to the Atlantic and a round-the-clock menu that features anything from suckling pig to spot-prawn puttanesca, the Devonshire – despite its deep connection to what is trendy – is no passing fad