The Aberfoyle Mill

Happy Thursday, all! I hope everyone is having a great week.

I know it’s still only January, but I’m a big holidays person and I always like having something to look forward to. I love to bake, decorate and plan fun activities for any upcoming holiday, so even though Valentine’s Day is still a month away, I’ve already started putting out some small decorations and looking up recipes for some fun heart-shaped treats to make! I know some of you may already be thinking of restaurants for Valentine’s Day, since reservations book up so quickly. If you’re looking for a spot that’s unique, romantic and has great food, I may have the perfect suggestion for you! In December, Tania took me for a date night at a beautiful historic restaurant that we’d both heard great things about but hadn’t yet visited: the Aberfoyle Mill.

Located in Puslinch (a township just south of Guelph), the Aberfoyle Mill has a long and storied history. It was built by George McLean, a Scottish-Canadian immigrant, in 1859 and operated as a grist mill until the late 1920s. (Fun fact from their website: the mill won a gold medal for its oatmeal at the 1867 World’s Fair in Paris!) The mill was purchased by the Owens family in 1960, and they restored and converted the building into the quaint restaurant it is today. Stepping into the Aberfoyle Mill really is like stepping back in time. Many of the building’s original features have been preserved – even some of its original millworks, which were so neat to see! The restaurant is decorated with antique wooden furniture and a large collection of historic artifacts, from spinning wheels to blacksmithing tools. When we visited in December, the restaurant was decked out in full holiday splendor: festive greenery, vintage Santa figurines, a charming Christmas village, and perhaps most impressive, a toy-filled antique sleigh suspended from the ceiling! My favourite feature of the space is the massive stone fireplace, which gives it such a cozy and rustic vibe. It was constructed during the 1960s restorations; apparently the fireplace itself weighs almost 27 tons!

We were seated on the upper level of the restaurant, where we had a fabulous view of the dining room.

To start, we enjoyed a glass of wine with some delicious house bread while we perused the menu. The Aberfoyle Mill offers a diverse but curated selection of entrees, from prime rib to rack of lamb to duck confit (a vegetarian/vegan menu is also available upon request). I decided to order the pistachio-crusted salmon, and Tania opted for the chicken supreme.

The food presentation here is so beautiful! My salmon was served with a lemongrass ginger butter sauce and a soy glaze, but it’s the pistachio crust that really took it over the top – between that and the sauces, it was a match made in heaven. I never thought I’d describe salmon as ‘decadent’ but this certainly was! Tania’s chicken was stuffed with cream cheese, garlic and spinach and accompanied by assorted vegetables in a roasted garlic sauce (my side was a mushroom rice pilaf).

We couldn’t resist ending our meal with dessert, so we shared what appears to be the restaurant’s signature and most requested sweet treat: pistachio cheesecake with white chocolate and raspberry sauce. It was SO good – I secretly wish we’d gotten an extra slice or two to take home!

We had such a lovely experience at the Aberfoyle Mill. If you’re looking for a restaurant that’s cozy and homey, yet elegant enough for a nice date night or special occasion, I highly recommend giving it a try! Immediately after our meal, I texted my best friend – who just moved to Guelph with her partner – that we need to plan a double date here sometime in the near future. Reservations are recommended, and I do suggest calling a couple of weeks in advance if you can, as tables fill up quickly – especially if you’re planning for Valentine’s Day!

Do you know any unique, historic or romantic restaurants in Southern Ontario that you think I should try? Please let me know – I’d love to check them out!

One response to “The Aberfoyle Mill”

  1. […] sweet tooth, their famous white chocolate pistachio cheesecake for dessert! Check out my blog post here for a full review of our experience at The Aberfoyle […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: