Last summer the boy and I didn’t have the time to take a substantial vacay, so we did a weekend excursion to nearby Stratford, Ontario instead. Although many now recognize Stratford simply as the birthplace of Bieber, the town truly is a charming little getaway spot to escape summer in the city.
We stayed at a cute B&B called Albert Square that had a beautiful wild garden in the backyard and served delicious local strawberries and cream for breakfast.
We saw a fabulous production of West Side Story and toured the Shakespeare gardens with grand statues of the famous playwright.
We paid a visit to the farmers market at the Stratford rotary complex and picked up local cheeses and breads to eat for a picnic by the Thames River.
I purchased some delicious black cherry loose leaf tea from Distinctly Tea, perfect for summer pool-side brews!
One of the highlights was eating at Rundles, a renowned restaurant on the ground floor of the Rundles Morris House, designed by the Canadian architectural firm Shim-Sutcliffe.
A soothing water feature complete with lily pads and koi created a dramatic entry to the restaurant.
The modern architecture, complete with exposed concrete, plenty of stainless steel, airy glass, and warm wood stands out against the rest of Stratford’s more traditional and historical buildings.
It’s the food of course, modern French cuisine prepared by Chef Neil Baxter, that really exceeds expectations though:
The boy ordered duck confit with braised eggplant and steamed edamame – delish!
I tried the Ontario lamb with golden beetroot caponata, wilted greens, enoki mushrooms, roasted squash, and fresh goats'-milk cheese- quite the combo!
One of the more interesting apps was a shrimp, Dungeness crab, and cucumber roll with orange and ginger essences, and tobiko coloured with wasabi- such beautiful presentation!
I really enjoyed the slightly smoked salmon tartar garnished with Florence fennel and sour apple, and salmon roe
The desserts were really imaginative. We had the DARK dark chocolate praline, espresso granita and "Indian Summer" zabaglione, which was served in a martini glass.
But the best by far was the poached apple dessert which was served with candied apple ice cream…mmmm!