Dan and I had the pleasure of visiting Stratford last weekend and it was a weekend of R&R that we both appreciated. Here are a few of the highlights…
We arrived in Stratford around 3:30pm, hitting up the shopping district and popping into a few stores, including Bradshaw’s and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. We then checked in at The Bruce Hotel, and I was surprised at how large the house is upon pulling into the drive way. Check-in was easy and Lauren at the front desk, gave us a quick tour enroute to our room, pointing out the dining areas, pool and espresso bar. Our room was quite spacious, with a king size bed, sitting area and desk, and an outdoor terrace. It also had a large separate washroom with a rain shower and soaking tub.
We opted to stay onsite for dinner, eating in the Lounge. I had the Braised Lamb Shank with braised red wine cabbage, hazelnut crunch, mustard jus and parsnip (a sub for the butternut squash mash apparently since I asked for no dairy to accommodate my IBS diet) – it was very tender and tasty, though I would have liked to try the butternut squash accompaniment. Dan had the Steak Frites with red wine onion jus, caramelized onions and skinny fries – it was also very flavourful (we sampled each other’s meal). We both opted for dessert too, with him ordering the Rocky Road (blondie, dark chocolate, marshmallows and butterscotch ice cream) and I had a simple, but fresh-tasting Raspberry Sorbet because unfortunately for me, the usual desserts all contained dairy. The foodie in me really wanted to excuse the restrictions, but I knew I would regret it later if I did. However, I was grateful that they could accommodate me. After dinner, we had some very tasty-looking cookie wontons from turndown on our bed, which Dan enjoyed eating while I read our Shakespearean fortunes. Next, I opted to relax in the public jet tub and pool. The atmosphere with the wooden ceiling and the skylight is beautiful, even at night. A nice hot soak followed by the cool of the pool was quite refreshing. We spent the night in, slipping out once or twice for the cookies (for Dan), and I had a nice soak in our soaking tub too. It was a great excuse for a R&R retreat for the two of us.
The next morning, we went down late for breakfast – the food was well presented and filling. We both ad the Bruce Silver Spoon option (eggs, toast, potatoes, fruit and a meat), but he chose sausage and I had bacon. My favourite part of the meal was the potatoes (triple cooked spuds per the menu) – they were so good! We checked out of the room shortly afterwards and packed our things into the car but headed out behind the hotel towards the water. We were extremely lucky – the swans happened to be right at edge of the water as passed Upper Queen’s Park. They ended up coming onto the field there and posing for photos for me, along with a few mallard ducks too! We also sat near the water as well and the swans followed us, delving in and out of the water and rushing the little kids who tried to feed them corn. It was quite entertaining, but I got some really great photos (to come later of course). I will note that I later discovered that had sunburn on one eyelid, so my face was definitely glued to the camera part of the morning. We then took a stroll along Lake Victoria and did a round on Tom Patterson Island too – it was a lovely sunny day, though a bit cool and windy.
I'm a 20-something woman working my way through life in Canada, traveling when I can afford it and seeking out my passions one day at a time.