It is not the first time we visit Perth and have lunch there, but the first time we had a chance to not just try the best foods in town, but learn some history of the architecture and get insight of top local scandals. The tour begins at the Matheson House Museum at 11 Gore St. East downtown Perth. The Museum is worth a separate visit – it is filled with numerous household items and furniture from the past. The Walking Food Tour is the first in its kind in Lanark County, and as we heard attracted a lot of guests since its debut last year when Perth celebrated 200th Anniversary. To get most of the tour make sure to have active start of the day and come hungry – you will have six-to-seven samples of local flavours varying from European cuisine to fancy desserts…
The tour is not a fast paced one, so you will have time to enjoy all the foods offered, and it is always a surprise – there is no menu!
While walking from one restaurant to next one we were trying to guess what is coming – something sweet or spicy?!Perth Walking Food Tour
Every tasty dish comes with a piece of local history in a short story or anecdote form! We visited a lot of well established places and some that just recently opened – one of them is “Rocky River” well worth to mention here. They have beautiful shaded patio at the back that would be great on a summer day, but when we got there it started to rain, so we went inside.
And even it was almost the end of our tour the table was set for a feast!
Perth Walking Food Tour, table is loaded at “Rocky River”…
It took us a while there, the food was excellent, the rain was pouring, so we relaxed and enjoyed… Next stop was at the local brewery – what a busy place it was! We got a table by the window and waited for the rest of the rain to stop…
We eat so much of good food that decided that we didn’t want to have dinner!
If you are interested:
“The Perth Walking Food Tour” runs Saturdays from mid-May to the end of June, cost of $35 per person; beginning at 1 p.m. at the historic Matheson House Museum, at 11 Gore St. E. Perth, Ontario.
“Dancing Bass” Lodge – the the name says it all… the place should be rich for fish and all day water fun! It was so desired escape from the bustling life of the large city…
The house is located in beautiful Lanark County, quite easy to access from major roads and only about 30 minutes away from Ottawa!
There are only a couple of cottages that are currently available for rent and those are located on the shore of the Lower park Lake. The location provides for the endless view of the lake surrounded by the forest…
From the terrace of the cottage we watched nice sunsets and could not stop admiring the tranquility of the coming evening – only some random sounds of the bird or loons…
Early in the morning when one could see the light fog over the surface of the water we would grab out fishing rods and set up right on the small pier with hope for a catch. The lakes are rich for various fish and if you have enough patience you won’t go away with empty bucket!
Back in 60s here was a fish camp with 10 Log cabins. The current management took over about 10 years ago and they are doing an excellent job in rebuilding the old log houses. The cottage has all new furniture, large bathrooms, bright all equipped kitchen with dishwasher and wood stove in the living room for cooler days.
The original farm house from the late 1800’ still sits on the property, along with a sugar shack and barn, it is located on the border of two lakes, Lower Park Lake and Horne Lake.
Both lakes offer lots of fishing and endless water activities. We had a boat ride to the swimming hole – and that was fun!!
The day seemed too short – not enough time for all the activities; from the terrace we loved to watch the hummingbirds, the lake and just relax…
Dancing Bass Lodge is currently offering two completely refurbished cabins to rent for a minimum of four days from on or about June 1st to the 15th of October.
Make sure you call them for best directions from the main road!
To make a reservation https://www.airbnb.ca/rooms/14296437 email email@example.com; phone : 613-259-5713 or 602-421-1066
Every summer we try to make a few local trips to explore our province and one of the regions we love to visit is Lanark County, which offers perfect combination of small towns, cottages on the beach and wild life. And after spending couple days in the cottage (“The Dancing Bass” Lodge cottage) we went to Perth for some shopping and lunch.
That lunch was a very special treat for us! Based on the art of Famous Canadian Group of Seven Chef Jamie Troutman from “The Stone Cellar” created the menu that interprets various elements present in paintings in “edible art”. Hours of research made it possible to reflect the famous Canadian art in the fine Canadian cuisine. In his creations Jamie is using the true Canadian ingredients coming from local farms. Chef Troutman, as per his own words, using the “deconstruction of the elements” from art into cuisine.
The shot glasses made of clear ice represent the art of Lawren Stewart Harris, who was criticized as being cold, but in fact deeply spiritual and one of the skilled abstract painters.
From ice and cold we suddenly surrounded by flowers and greenery of “Tangled Garden” by J. E. H. MacDonald – Jamie Troutman’s sunflower salad full of summer colours and fresh herbs… MacDonald’s art is distinguished by dark palette, tough, rich and at the same time elegant design. And Jamie is using the dark of the stone slab as background for the splash of colours…
From flowers and greenery of the garden we travel to Nova Scotia with help of another Jamie’s culinary creation based on “Nova Scotia Cove” again by J. E.H. MacDonald. Scallops and wild rice combined in a beautiful setting with shells to represent seashore…
We keep our taste buds tuned as next we get served Canadian beef – so tender! …accompanied by some root vegetables… chef’s creation based on the painting by Arthur Lismer “Habitant Farm”…
Lanark County is well known for Maple Syrup producers and it would be logical to find this unique Canadian product in local cuisine and famous art.
J. Troutman “Maple Glazed Cheese” based on “The Red Maple” by A. Jackson.
Our experience would not be complete without the dessert!Apple dessert based on “Asters and Apples” by J. MacDonald
If you decide to indulge in creativity and fine cuisine make sure to make a 48 hours reservation, and if so, you may need to find a fine place to stay. Luckily the area offers a good variety of hotels – one of our favourites is “Perth Manor” which offers classic architecture, cozy rooms, beautiful garden and friendly atmosphere.
The Stone Cellar Restaurant Address: 71 Gore St E, Perth, ON K7H 1H Menu: thestonecellar.com Reservations: opentable.com Phone: (613) 267-0200
Perth Manor Hotel Address: 23 Drummond St. West, Perth, ON Phone: (613) 264-0050 and if this one is not available –
Best Western Plus Perth Parkside Inn & Spa Address: 82 Peter St, Perth, ON Phone: (613) 326-0082.
Last summer we planned to visit the International Puppet Festival, which is held annually in Almonte, Ontario. Unfortunately this year’s Festival was cancelled due to shortage of funds – however we found out that it is possible to have a puppet making workshop, which was a very attractive idea. We stayed in the Blue Hen Farm B & B, which is not far from Almonte, so we signed up and could not stop discussing various ideas for our puppet characters. Some of you may remember the TV shows with Noreen Young and her famous puppets… Well, I never even thought that one day I will be able to meet all of them in person! Even more – make a puppet with my hands!
When we came to Noreen’s house she greeted us at the door and we went to her workshop in the basement and saw her show room… It was SOO COOL!!! All her puppets were there including Gloria, Jacob and Iggy from “Under the Umbrella Tree” episodes. There were a lot of various characters, all dressed up and ready for the show time! For a moment it felt like I am part of this colourful crowd and we can chat any nonsense!
In the next room we met two bunnies who could talk! The rabbit had pink ears and his girlfriend was wearing a dress…
My favorite puppets from Noreen’s collection are the ones with an arch for the head and you move the sticks as your hands or feet – it was so funny!
After giggling and laughing we went to the room to make the puppets… We started with the mouth… then added the head… Noreen said don’t think about the character now – It will come by itself! We took her advice and just followed our inspiration!
At about noon we had a break for quick lunch and went to town shopping. Our newborn puppets needed some clothing! There is a store in Almonte called “The Hub” – what a treasure chest – we found a black suit, a dress, couple pairs of pants, pair of shoes… – all we need in 20 minutes and of perfect size (for a puppet of cause)!
We rushed back to finish our puppets and finally, after extensive gluing, painting, cutting we were ready to present our puppets to the world!
And as Noreen suggested, we all made different very original characters and we had so much FUN!!!!!!!!!
After the four and a half hour drive from downtown Toronto we arrived at the Blue Hen Farm. Right at the turn we saw an old cupboard filled with jars of homemade preserves and a sign “Honk for Service”… And we saw the farmhouse in the opening between trees.
Farmers Jeff and Leslie greeted us and as we entered the house we were amazed by the old fashioned setting of the rooms – furniture, chandelier and even the old upright piano that produced some wonderful melodies after our evening meals…
Leslie and Jeff used to live in Ottawa and have jobs as many of us do… The idea of farming came up after some changes in jobs and also as a result of research of the food industry, commercial farming and agriculture.
Later, after getting settled in our rooms we headed down for dinner made by Chef Kostas who came out to tell us about the ingredients he used in his cooking, the dinner was amazing and filling.
As farmers do every day after dinner, we went into the barnyard to help with evening chores.
We found all the work surprisingly entertaining; we unloaded some 20 stacks of straw that will be used as bedding for the animals, fed the calves and pigs, brought the sheep and goats back to the barn and herded the chickens into their coop.
There was a special place where hens lay eggs, so we picked our breakfast! The eggs were dark and light brown, white and even light blue…
Once the chores were done, tired we went to our bedrooms; may be the mattresses were so comfortable or the day was long – falling asleep was no problem at all.
In the morning we woke up around half past six to the mouthwatering smell of bacon and eggs…
And after breakfast we went to the yard to do morning chores which repeats the evening in the back order – letting the sheep and chickens out, showering and feeding pigs… and saying hello to all of the farm animals.
The goats are very young and new to the farm and don’t know the barn yard, so they we carried to the pasture like babies!
Although all of the chores seem like quite a lot to do, they were our favourite part of the day. We also found that doing chores and waking up that early in the morning was very refreshing which was useful since we had a long day ahead of us. We found all of the animals so cute… and especially the three kittens that roam around the barnyard. There are also two dogs that help farmers by guarding the barn yard from foxes and other invaders.
Leslie and Jeff ask that visitors do not bring or wear any fragrances on the farm including mosquito spray, however they do supply their own free of charge so that you do not get bitten by pesky flies. Leslie makes her own natural soap – I found it very smooth and took a little piece home as a souvenir. Around the house we also found natural fragrances, bug spray and soap – all handmade from natural ingredients that smell like summer fields…
Their mission statement is free range thinking, meaning all of the animals are free to roam the field and raised with no antibiotics or chemical supplements at all. “Being a novice in such a tedious business as farming should be challenging for city folks” – I asked… yes, and they learn every day.
We also had a chance to learn – about how to feed pigs and chickens and how to take care of sheep and goats; we would join Leslie to let the animals out of the barn with the first rays of sun and get them all back in the evening…
For us it was just two days – but these days were filled with smiles and laughter, delicious homemade meals and that feeling of love and happiness…
We took a lot of pictures that will remind us about this wonderful place and people that are so enthusiastic about what they do. Thank you Jeff and Leslie for teaching us some very basic skills that we miss in our city life!
So, time to leave The Blue Hen Farm… I think I saw tears in some eyes…, we hope to come again.
Adventures during our Perth-Ottawa Road Trip. Summer 2016
We left Toronto early in morning and after about an hour on 401 as usually stopped over at Big Apple. The place is well known for cute cafeteria, large giftshop, children`s outdoor pet zoo, and clean washrooms.
After arriving to Perth, we first stopped over at the Fairgrounds where the place was already prepared for the 200th years celebrations. One could see the rib grillers’ stands from all over Lanark county and the vendors offering foods and drinks to all tastes. There was a mini amusement park for young children with bouncy castles and a climbing tower. The stage was ready for musicians and singers; close by the stone carvers were competing in their art – the winners’ sculptures will become part of the new stone bridge being constructed in Perth and funded mainly by donations.
Late afternoon we headed to the McReary’s beach resort. The resort has beautiful and spacious cottages and we stayed in one of them for the next 3 days. The resort is located on the beach and at the same time not far from the main road; that made it convenient for our local day trips exploring the area. Our cottage had fully equipped kitchen, bathroom, two bedrooms, living room and the deck with BBQ. The environment is really family friendly and kids were allowed to go around by themselves.
Once settled we all headed for a boat tour that was so much fun!
We swam in warm lake water, did spectacular jumps from the boat and raced each other. On the way back to the cottage we saw two eagles high up on a pine tree.
Next to the beach there one can find a boat house with many canoes and kayaks to borrow, but we were too tempted to relax in the indoor pool; under same roof there is a sauna and hot tub. After dinner we played for a while and later enjoyed a beautiful sunset and the marshmallows roasted on the campfire right behind the cottage.
The next morning we went to Perth to see the 200th year anniversary parade, which was very well organized and included a lot of various performances. After the parade we stopped by the ice-cream shop before heading to the park.
Not far from the park there was a farmers market where we bought local maple syrup and some homemade jams; the stands were also filled with crafts and flowers. It was a fine place to browse…
In the park the speeches were already underway and we could see the Mayor and other city officials on the stage. At the end of the ceremony the Mayor handed the special capsule with the money collected for the construction of the new stone bridge to the builders.
After the official part everyone headed across the park to the spacious lawn where the dressed up musicians and dancers were getting ready to perform. The Scottish kilts in different colours, traditional musical instruments and actors were all mixed with the arriving public.
For the next hour we all could watch the scenes from the past brought by the musicians and actors to show the history of Perth from 19th century. The show ended by the guns’ salute and marching of the bands.
On the way back to the cottage we stopped again at Fairgrounds to have some ribs, check out the stone carving competition and listen to some music.
The day was almost done, we only had enough time to get back to the cottage for some swim in a pool and dinner.
The next morning we left early for the Blue Heron Golf club. The club house was already busy with the arriving golfers, so we quickly got ready and headed out to the course.
The course has nine holes which makes it suitable for those new to the game or seasoned golfers. The beautiful landscaping adds to the natural surroundings creating pleasant environment – mix of water, forest and green lawns… after golf we all were ready to have good lunch, and decided to go towards Perth.
On the way we stopped by the General store to buy sandwiches. Forget the sandwiches – in the middle of the store there was a small table where a lady was painting the large egg… The painting reminded us some fine antique porcelains, Easter eggs and may be Christmas… the paintings were filled with very fine details such as flowers, birds, butterflies, little bunnies and colourful ornaments. Hard to resist – we bought two beautifully painted eggs and then turned to sandwiches – we were hungry!
After Perth our destination was Ottawa. Instead of staying in the city hotel we stopped at the Generations Inn., which is about thirty minutes away. Even before we open our bags right away kids went to swim in a lake… The Inn has three rooms with private bathrooms located in the old estate. The place is quite well known for the fact that the chief for the Ottawa Senators sometimes cooks his famous dishes for the guests, but you have to call in advance to find out when; we didn’t and so had to visit nearby restaurants.
Next morning we were in Ottawa. First we visited The Museum of History, Children’s Museum and Parliament Hill, later the Airspace Museum and we finished the day watching the amazing Light Show that is projected right on the Parliament building.
In the Museum of History “Napoleon” and “Gold Rush” special exhibits were well worth to visit. Going back in times of Napoleon and learning about his personality and various projects was really like visiting France and Europe of that time. In the halls of “Gold Rush” we were able to wash some golden nuggets and learn about gold mining history. At the exit the special scale displayed the value of your weight as gold equivivalent in $$ – so we all got on! Worth millions!!
Children’s Museum is always full of kids and their parents. It’s a wonderful world of real things scaled to toy size. One can be a banker, another a salesman of Turkish rugs or spices, be a sailor or mechanic or dress up and go on stage!
After lunch on the French side in a small lovely café and some rest we headed to the Airspace museum. And that is where we spent a lot of time learning about airplanes, history of aviation and space exploration.
A bit tired we went back to the city to have dinner. And again we went to the Airspace Museum this time for the conference to meet the real astronauts Jeremy Hansen and Robert Thirsk.
They were presenting the launch of the new recruitment campaign and there were various officials and a lot of fans. We even got a chance to chat with them and get autographs.
After such an exciting evening we were back to the Parliament Hill for the Light Show that presented the history of Canada in projected images accompanied by narration and music.
Tired after such a long day full of events we were ready to go back to Generations Inn for a good night sleep…
Next morning we were on our way back home. We decided to stop over in Peterborough and visit the unique lift locks. Dated back to 1900 the locks operate based on the natural powers created by the weight of the water in the tubs – this is the largest hydraulic lift lock in the world that raises boats up to about 65 feet high! It was a lot of fun to watch the boats go up and down – they looked so small compare to locks’ structure!
Before getting back on the road we stopped over for pizza lunch and then drove all the way home talking about places we liked most…