Living here in Ontario, I always count myself lucky that we have so many vacation-worthy destinations right in our own province. Whether you feel like touring wineries in Niagara-on-the-Lake, relaxing dockside in Muskoka, or exploring the natural wonders of the Bruce Peninsula, there’s truly something for everyone. Recently, Tania and I went on a mini-getaway to one of my very favourite local destinations: Prince Edward County. Known to locals and visitors as “The County”, the region is famous for its award-winning wineries, gourmet farm-to-table cuisine, charming towns, and of course, the gorgeous beaches of Sandbanks Provincial Park. I’m lucky enough to be quite familiar with The County because I grew up visiting my aunt and uncle here almost every summer. They’ve lived in the area for several years, before it was the tourist hotspot it is today, and often joke that they were early adopters! Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be sharing some of my top finds in The County, starting with a new favourite: The Old Third Vineyard.
The Old Third is located on Closson Road in Hillier, a stretch known as the “Golden Mile of Prince Edward County” because it’s home to several wineries and cideries, farms and B&Bs, all within a short distance of one another. “The Old Third” is actually the original nickname that locals had for this area back in the 1800s. The centerpiece of the property is a beautiful rustic barn, which was built in the 1860s and fully restored in 2006. Decorated with string lights, leafy plants and tall pillar candles, the barn has a cozy and romantic vibe, so it’s easy to see why it’s a popular locale for weddings and events.
I came across The Old Third when I was researching places to eat in the area. Aside from the few County wineries that have a full restaurant, most wineries that serve food specialize in one dish: pizza. Don’t get me wrong – I love pizza – but sometimes you want a little something different. When I saw that The Old Third had a pasta bar, I was sold!
The pasta bar is open Fridays through Sundays from 12-4. It was tough deciding between all of the different options on the menu, but ultimately we went with the Due Formaggi (Two Cheese): tagliatelle in a leek and gorgonzola cream sauce, topped with fried leeks, green oil and pecorino. It was delicious! Neither Tania or I are big eaters, and we’d already enjoyed some food at another winery in the area (see my note above re: pizza!) so we simply got one plate to share, which was more than enough. I also enjoyed a glass of their Chardonnay.
You order your food directly at the counter, and then you’re free to sit wherever you’d like – the barn has three levels, so there’s lots of areas to choose from! We chose a table at the very top, which overlooked the kitchen. It was fun to peek in and see the chefs hard at work preparing the pasta dishes!
There’s also an outdoor seating area with picnic tables if you prefer an al fresco meal.
We really enjoyed our trip to The Old Third winery! If you’re in the County and looking for a great winery lunch spot (that isn’t pizza), I highly recommend you check them out.
Do you have a favourite restaurant in Prince Edward County? Please let me know in the comments, or feel free to send me an email. I’d love to hear your recommendations!
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