By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: My husband and I don’t have the time to take a two week vacation this summer but we would like to have a getaway weekend possibly with some great cuisine. If you could please recommend some places, we’d love to hear them.

A: Ontario is a virtual playground for kids and adults alike especially in summer months when the lush green forests fill with excited campers and naturalists who crave the great outdoors. And for those of us who wish to indulge in the finer things in life, there’s an ample supply of quaint country inns, bed and breakfast establishments and cozy resorts tucked up north in Muskoka country or deep in the heart of wine country. Whatever your palette craves, there’s sure to be a getaway perfect for you.

When I want to getaway into the Muskoka region, the beauty of Deerhurst Resort (1-800-461-4393 is high up on my list. Besides the manicured golf courses and beautifully styled suites, you get an Aveda spa, indoor pools, fun nightly entertainment and great cuisine. Another beauty tucked in this part of Ontario is the historic Windermere House (1-888-946-3376

Ever since 1870, this popular Muskoka establishment known as the “Lady of the Lake” has been providing guests at its upscale Rousseau Dining Room with tantalizing views as they munch on some of the best cuisine this side of the Muskoka not to mention their stellar wine list that won the “Award of Excellence” from Wine Spectator in 2000.

In Bayfield, surrounded by a quaint lakeside village, Executive Chef Jean Jacques Chappuis at the Little Inn of Bayfield (1-800-565-1832 uses the freshest ingredients from “the Breadbasket of Ontario,” Huron County to create a symphony of food at this four-diamond inn. The Chef’s cellar has won the coveted Wine Spectator Award of Excellence annually since 1994. Your menu could include Huron Air Dried Beef Val D’Aosta Style, house smoked salmon among other delectables. Inquire about his popular cooking classes.

Meanwhile about an 1.5 hour drive from Toronto in Grafton, there’s Ste Anne’s Country Inn and Spa. (1-888-346-6772 A destination on its own, World Culinary Olympiad two-time gold winner Executive Chef Christopher Ennew emphasizes local produce in everything he creates. From rhea to lamb tenderloin shanks, there’s sure to be a delectable feast anytime you visit. Menu changes regularly. It’s also BYOB at this five-star premise.

And lastly, overlooking the Niagara Parkway sits Riverbend Inn & Vineyard. (905-468-8866/1-888-955-5553 Surrounded by its own private vineyard, this Georgian-style mansion situated off the Niagara Parkway is minutes from one of Canada’s prettiest towns known for its boutiques and antique shops.

Hotel Maverick John Wiens from Prince of Wales Hotel fame has transformed the former digs of the Afrukhteh Niagara Fine Art Gallery to its former grandeur. Dark woods, fireplaces and rich tones of golden and wine add to the upscale.


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