A Weekend in Grey County, Ontario

Just two hours from Toronto is the perfect weekend escape, even in the spring and summer months.

The chic and modern tasting room at Roost Winery. Photo by Justin Harrington.

When I think of Grey County, Ontario, I automatically think ski, snow, and Blue Mountain winter weekend getaways. And yes, while Grey County is all about embracing winter, springtime in the area is just as worthy of a long weekend. I went for a couple of days to kick back, get out of the city (it’s only a two hour drive) and to feel a little spring rejuvenation. And Grey County has all of that in spades.

Picturesque Eugenia Falls is worth a quick stop. Photo by Justin Harrington.

A Stop by Eugenia Falls

I beg to find someone who doesn’t like waterfalls—and the ones at Eugenia Falls en route to Grey County are a pretty perfect place to get out and stretch your legs from your mini road trip. Tucked just off the road, this little gem of nature is easy to get to and worthy of a quick photo opp. A little hike around the wooded area is also nice if you’re not pressed for time.

One of the best-selling wines at Roost Winery. Photo by Justin Harrington.

Quick Wine Fix at The Roost

The Roost is a fairly new addition to Grey County, but it has the appeal and openness of a well-established vineyard. Owners Mike and Jess converted a barn set in the rolling hills and valley into a boutique vineyard and tasting room. And what it has in terms of pretty country views and modern chic interiors for tastings, it has equally in delicious wines to sip from. They specialize in grapes that perform well in cold climates. Not to miss are their L’Acadie, Two Wrongs Make a White, and their sparkling rosé that happened by mistake, and is also one of their best sellers. Order up a charcuterie board with meats, cheeses, chutney, olives and crackers to have with your wines.

Menu selections at the quaint Country Market.

Lunch at The Country Market

A staple in Grey County’s Ravenna community, this tiny roadside country store/market serves up piping hot soups, grilled sandwiches and other yummy treats. Tell anyone you’re stopping by here and you’ll get a “oooh, I love their soups!” or a “their sandwiches are amazing”, and you’ll definitely get a “you have to get a butter tart, they’re simply the best.” Do everything and get everything everyone tells you about because it’s that good… Yes, especially the butter tart.

The welcoming pools of the Scandinave Spa.

Take a Dip at The Scandinave Spa

You can’t make a visit to this part of Ontario and not partake in the hot/cold water therapy ritual at Scandinave Spa. Alternate between hold and cold plunge pools, saunas, steam rooms and relaxing. You’ll want to make sure you have a full afternoon or morning here to really get the benefits of this therapeutic system. The whole concept is this: start off in a warm pool that feels like extra warm bath water, then take a dip in a cold pool, relax, and repeat. You can even alternate the hot side of things in their steam rooms or sauna… it’s said to help circulation flow, stress levels and your skin. If you needed an excuse to get away and truly let your body unwind, this is it. Keep in mind weekends are busy at Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain–so make sure you get there early, or you may have a long wait.

Rooms with views (and pool access!) at The Blue Mountain Resort.

Check in To The Blue Mountain Resort

This hotel cluster and mini town are bustling even after the snow has melted from the ski hills and disappeared. Shops, cafes, restaurants and tons of things to do still happen here at the resort all year long. You can do a bit of yoga on lava rocks (you read that correctly, lava rocks in the heart of Ontario) to chill out and relax, or have a slow dinner at the Toronto fave Oliver and Bonacini restaurant. Book yourself a suite on the ground floor so you can casually walk out with your coffee in hand and go straight into the hot tubs.

You’ll want to try everything (I mean, everything!) on the menu at Sisi’s.

Dine at Sisi

A short drive from your hotel in the town of Thornbury is Sisi… a local dinner restaurant that I would honestly drive the two hours just to get to from Toronto. Incredible food, local flavours, crafty cocktails set in a comfy, chic atmosphere make this one of the county’s best dining options. Start with the nodini (knotted bread balls covered in yummy garlic butter), crispy cauliflower with a spicy sauce, the orange and fennel salad, eggplant parm and the to-die-for burger. Literally every choice is stellar, so you won’t be at a loss.

The rows and rows and rows of apples at TK Ferri Orchards. Photo by Justin Harrington.

Don’t Miss the Apples and Cider

Really a trip to Grey County isn’t complete unless you experience apples in some way. The county is a a hot spot for growing this delicious fruit. At TK Ferri Orchards, you can see how the delightful, fruity gems are grown, and even take part in some picking yourself. And if you’re not there at peak apple season, or apple blossom season, it’s easy to still partake in apples… in cider form at Thornbury Cider House (also a great idea to do BEFORE heading to Sisi’s for dinner!). They have an amazing selection of local ciders to tempt you, and even a great selection of beers for those who prefer a cold brew.

Sipping on cider in Grey County. Photo by Justin Harrington.

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