Memories of Mom Camp Part 2: I’ve been visiting Grey County steady for the last 13 years with our gang, but oblivious to the array of culinary gems and emerging wine and cider region that lies just a little deeper north beyond The Blue Mountains region. If you’re looking to add even more unique experiences to your Mom Camp/Retreat after your first leg at Blue Mountain Resort, here are More Places to Stay, Sip, Dine & Unwind in Grey County!
*Disclosure: Accommodations, meals & activities were provided complimentary by Grey County Tourism in exchange for my review. As always, opinions are my own*
Where to Stay: The Resting Place at Coffin Ridge Winery
Just 45 minutes away from Blue Mountain stands one of Grey County’s newest B&Bs – The Resting Place. From the spectacular views overlooking this emerging wine/cider region & the stunning Georgian Bay, to gorgeous, roomy spaces to unwind and entertain (including a Chef’s Kitchen!), this quaint & impeccably maintained stand-alone home would make a perfect place for your next Mom retreat.
Watch the vid below for a peek inside, with views of 3 bedroom suites, theatre/workout space, the Writer’s Haunt loft, and wrap around porch which made a beautiful spot to enjoy my morning coffee and wine down with the girls in the evening.
- Unlike typical B&Bs, when you rent The Resting Place you’ll have the entire space to yourselves to enjoy with your travelling group alone. It will cost you $500/night (with a 2-night minimum), $400 in low season (Nov-Apr). There’s a loft above the garage – The Writer’s Haunt – that one of our crew got to enjoy, but is not included in the cost to rent the whole house, and we’re told they no longer rent to the public unless extra room is required of your group. For reservations, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- There is a pool on-sight, which we didn’t have a chance to use. The outdoor garden/patio space is not as neatly maintained as the inside, but was still a nice spot to enjoy some solitude.
- The Resting Place can accommodate 6+ comfortably and includes other conveniences like WiFi & free parking
- You’re one short stroll away from enjoying the delights of Coffin Ridge Winery – head down to the vineyards & red Muskoka Chair row for gorgeous sunset snaps of your Mom gang
Where to Sip n’ Dine:
It’ll be hard to choose from the gastro-friendly experiences you can enjoy in Grey County, but for certain, there will be something for everyone in your group, as well as a sip for every preference with the region quickly becoming Ontario’s prime destination for wine, craft beer & cider lovers. If you can, plan your visit in June when CIDERFEST takes place. At one affordable price (this year $30 – a steal!), you’ll snag a passport to savour 10 days worth of sampling this apple growing region’s cider & food pairings at hot spots along the Apple Pie & Sinners & Saints Trail. More events happening this Summer & beyond HERE
Sip n’ Savour in Style with The Beer Bus Co.
Leave the car in park, and experience the tastes of the region with your gang aboard The Beer Bus. So many tours to choose from, and they’ll even customize your stops to your group’s liking. Our savvy, friendly driver Ben made our tour most enjoyable willingly cranking our fave Mom Camp tunes along the way. It’s a terrific way to take in the views of the region, and enjoy your bevvies responsibly. Tours range from $95 – $150, and your pick up/drop off can be customized.
Sip n’ Savour Stop 1 – Coffin Ridge Winery, Annan
We skipped down from our Resting Place digs and enjoyed flights of their Forbidden Family of vinos & ciders (dry, hopped & pink), paired with a selection of charcuterie & fine local cheeses – the lavender + earl grey & Tropical Hopped blends were my fave and I grabbed some to take home. We got to “meet the maker” and learned more about this emerging cidery & the fine attention to detail & quality the makers undertake. They have neat coffin shaped wine boxes you can gift a bottle of your fave vino in too!
Stop 2 – The Cheese Gallery, Thornbury, ON
Situated along Thornbury’s culinary haven Bruce Street, The Cheese Gallery is a cheese shop & tasting bar nestled within an art gallery setting. The shop features artisanal foods, drinks & works of art of locals, and has become a favourite neighbourhood gathering place with a European market feel & the friendliest service. Try a hard apple cider paired with the applesmoked cheddar grilled sandwich (YUM!) and/or a cheese board with some of the finest local & international cheeses. I loved the Grey Owl with chutney. You can pick up some unique gifts in their on-site boutique, like the Maple Bacon Onion Chutney & Balsamic Fig spreads I couldn’t resist!
Stop 3 – Georgian Hills Vineyards, Clarksburg, ON
Georgian Hills Vineyards has gorgeous views through the vines growing on the hills overlooking Georgian Bay, no wonder its a sought-after spot in the region for Weddings & other outdoor celebrations. We enjoyed charcuterie comprised of local meats & cheeses paired with a flight of ciders (the one infused with pear was my fave!), and some of their award-winning wines. The dessert pear wine is a must – try – I snagged a bottle of it to bring home, as well as their red pepper jelly for gifting.
Stop 4 – Beaver Valley Orchard Cidery, Kimberly, ON
Sample some of their award-winning ciders (the organic ginger was my fave) inside their newly restored century barn. There are some great spots to stop & snap some IG-worthy snaps of you and your Mom pals too!
Thornbury Village Cider House: http://thornburycraft.com
Thornbury Café: https://www.thornburybakerycafe.com/
Thornbury Village Cider House
We were so busy enjoying ourselves on our Beer Bus co. tour that we ran over time and missed our stop at this ciderhouse (and the decadent chocolate dessert…le sigh!). It’s one of Grey County’s newest Ciderhouses, and our guide Ben says it’s a must-do.
The Spy Ciderhouse & Distillery
If you’re looking for a more exclusive pit stop for your girls’ retreat, add this one to your list. Opening later this Summer, it’s the region’s best kept little 007 secret. We got to sample their organic Spy Cider at The Cheese Gallery and it’s delish!
Grandma Lambe’s Fruit Market, Meaford, ON
Their eye-catching sign from the road & “freshly baked butter tarts” lured our mom crew into this sweet little market, and we’re so glad we popped in and grabbed some treats for loved ones back home.
Immersive Dining with Chef Zach Keeshig
If you want to step up your dining endeavours even further, book an intimate tasting experience with local Celebrity Ojibway Chef Zach Keeshig during your stay at The Resting Place. He forages & sources all his ingredients locally and preps the meal on-sight. He made a sensational spread for us, including Georgian Bay Smoked Fish Flat Bread, Sauteed Beef Tongue (yes guys, I ate tongue, and it was tasty until my mind got the best of me!) w/ Braised Beef Cheek and Foraged Duck Egg Ravioli, Apple Sorbet w/ organic blueberry compote & a Maple Caramel & Chocolate Tart (which may very well have been the most divine dessert I ever did taste!).
Our tasting menu was a bit lightened up from what Chef Zach usually offers, and for $100 per person (min 3-person party), you’d usually get a 6-course offering. He takes reservations via his Facebook page @Chef-Zach-Keeshig, and that’s also where you’ll find info on the private foraging dinners he’ll be hosting this Fall at his outdoor dining room.
Thornbury Café – Bruce Street, Thornbury
After bidding a bittersweet farewell to The Resting Place, went back for more of Bruce Street and brekkie at @Chef-Zach-Keeshig was not a bad choice at all. It’s a local favourite, small-town café that’s been a landmark in Thornbury for over 80 years.
Started with a mother-size café latte to wash down the Avocado Toast, Yogurt Parfait, and ginormous, gooey cinnamon bun baked on premises we all shared. I was full & satisfied til’ dinner that day! SO good!
Where to Unwind – Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain
Before we headed back to our broods & everyday routine, we got to experience ultra rejuvenation at Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain. Every mama deserves some soul-fuelling “me time” we often feel too selfish to indulge in, and this is certainly the spot for it.
Before/after your spa experience, go for a mindful stroll in their newly opened Forest Bathing Trail – only the 2nd one in Canada to be certified by the Association of Nature & Forest Therapy Guides & Programs (ANFT). “What the heck is forest bathing?”, some of you asked! Forest Bathing, also known as Shinrin-Yoku, is simply taking a slow walk in the woods while taking in your surroundings using all 4 senses (if you let yourself go enough, you may even tap into your 5th). The trail leads you through seven suggested marked stations (“invitations” for the senses) that will correspond to the forest bathing guide you’ll receive from a Spa Services Agent. The trail is short (and despite a bit of noise from local work crews), was quite enjoyable. While the spa is tech-free, cameras/phones are allowed along the trail.
After our nature stroll, we unplugged and got to enjoy the Scandinavian Baths – my first experience. Check in was simple, and you’ll get a locker with e-access to store your belongings in the changeroom. You’ll need a swimsuit, water-friendly shoes, and I’d suggest, a sun hat, shades & sunscreen if visiting during warm/sunny seasons. You’ll get a complimentary towel & if you desire, a comfy robe to cover up with (extra $).
Be forewarned – once you hit the bath area, their quiet zone policy is in effect & fully enforced. We were so giddy about our experience we forgot and did get “shushed”!
Along with feeling the release of tension & endorphin rush from the three-cycles of Hydrotherapy (hot – (numbing) cold – relax) from immersing in the Norwegian Steam bath, Thermal/Nordic Waterfalls & cold plunges, you can take a breather or devour that book you never get to read on one of their many lounge chairs, catch a nap on a hammock, or detoxify in the sauna room.
To Know before you go:
- Baths access is first-come, first-served and waits can be quite long during peak times (especially weekends) due to capacity limits. The cost is $65+, or you can save a bit on “Unwind Wednesday” at $55+.
- Adding RMT to your experience gives you access to the Baths & robe rental
- Bathing suits are mandatory.
- Phone-free Spa: to give you a true digital detox, no cell phones are allowed in the Baths area. Kindles for reading were allowed.
- The Scandinave Spa experience was the best way to end our Mom Camp Grey County adventures, and after grabbing a quick-service snack to go from their Bistro, we hit the road back to our families savouring a much-needed feeling of mom-zen.
Looking for more/less then what’s mentioned here? No problem – Grey County Tourism would love to work with you and your group to help you plan your ideal experience & connect you with businesses/vendors. Simply get in touch with Grey County Tourism at email@example.com and/or search visitgrey.ca and follow them on Instagram @visitgrey for trip ideas. I’m told there may be a forthcoming Mom Camp adventure package 😉 Sign me up (again!)
Love & light,