Creemore: Northern Comforts
Creemore is a rustic hideaway that feels like a Pinterest board come to life. It’s also a beer geek’s nirvana and a haven for city-weary gourmands
Two years ago, Caesar Guinto (formerly the ROM’s executive chef) and his partner, Sam Holwell, were looking for the ideal spot to open a country restaurant when they stumbled on pretty Creemore. Taking over a bookstore and neighbouring antique shop, they blew out the ceiling to create cathedral airiness, lined every square inch with reclaimed hemlock and opened their doors last summer. The menu lists pork belly steamed buns, fried chicken and duck Pogos, all made with ingredients from surrounding farms. That kind of fuss-free food feels perfect in the folksy, jovial room—a place where chummy servers pull up chairs to chat, regulars gossip on the verandah, and newcomers are made to feel like old friends. 134 Mill St., Creemore, 705-466-2900.
Creemore Springs Brewery
In the village of Creemore, beer is big business: about 100 employees work for the Creemore Springs Brewery, which shakes out to about a 10th of the town’s population. The brewery occupies a renovated Victorian hardware store on the Mayberry-cute main street, where beermakers bottle Creemore’s signature central European brews. Their popular bohemian pilsner follows the ironclad 16th-century Reinheitsgebot, or the Bavarian Purity Law, which dictates that brewers only use four ingredients—water, malted barley, hops and yeast. Daily tours through the plant offer a glimpse of the small-batch brewing process, and after the tour, guests are treated to a tasting in the storefront, where copping a beer buzz is heartily encouraged. 139 Mill St., Creemore, 1-800-267-2240.
In the candlelit dining room of his farmhouse, revered chef Michael Stadtländer creates an intimate dinner for 12 guests (the meals sell out months in advance, so you’ll need to plan way ahead). He sources almost everything from the farm, of course, but uses French techniques to make each dish luxurious. A menu might include butter-poached Georgian Bay lake trout drizzled in a caviar sauce, a blackcurrant sorbet palate cleanser, and a plate of wood oven–roasted Eigensinn piglet served with Swiss chard, cider-braised beets and pork jus. $300. 449357 10th Concession, Grey Highlands, Singhampton, 519-922-3128.
Pretty River Valley Country Inn
Velvet-antlered reindeer and Icelandic horses with Jared Leto manes roam this 50-hectare working farm. The owners raise rare-breed pigs for sausage and bacon, and heritage chickens for eggs. They also make their own honey, apple cider, maple syrup and lavender jelly. 529742 Osprey-Blue Mountains Town Line, Nottawa, 1-855-445-7598.