We have wine tasted all over the world, from Napa Valley, France, Italy, Greece, the Finger Lakes, and beyond. I love tasting wines from all over, better understanding the “terroir’s” unique importance on the taste of the wine, the unique grapes from each region, the wine making process, food pairings, and of course the deliciousness. I love all wine, from a hearty red in the Autumn and Winter, a cold rosé in the Summer’s high heat, Bellinis at brunch with the freshest peach puree made with sun ripened peaches freshly picked in our backyard orchard, Celebratory Champagne, which at my age, no longer calls for a “special occasion”. Every single day is a gift and special occasion. All the various wines, hold a special place in my heart with memories of where we had them and who we were with.
Each Summer we go on a variety of trips, ranging from the Adirondacks to Europe. Always making sure to get to Maine and Canada too. I am not one for traveling to Europe in July/August, I much prefer to go when the crowds have lessened and the heat subsides. I love the ocean breezes in Maine and sitting lakeside at our favorite golf course in Canada on Lake Ontario. We like to head to Europe in September or early Spring.
We work our way up to Niagara-On-The-Lake from the Greater NYC area, stopping for Sunday Brunch at The Ithaca Farmers Market. There we can enjoy coffee and the most delicious pastries and gather fresh flowers to bring to our hotel in Canada. I can’t rave enough about the crepes, especially the Nutella crepes with thinly sliced fresh strawberries and just the right amount of lightly sweetened whipped cream. The market has vendors creating foods from around the world. The line goes out the door for the breakfast burritos! In addition to food, there are many lovely artisan crafts. Stock up on early Christmas gifts while you’re there. You can bring your coffee and treats over to the picnic benches on the water and watch the boats pass by. It is about 3 hours from our home and a wonderful halfway point where we can get out stretch our legs before heading up to Lake Ontario,
If you choose to stay longer you can tour the Finger Lakes and their wineries. Another stop nearby is Taughannock Falls State Park. This gorgeous natural attraction boast Falls that plunge 215 feet past rocky cliffs that tower around 400 feet above the gorge. Visit parks.ny.gov for more information.
Then make your way up to Niagara-On-The-Lake stopping by the Falls on your way. We have stayed in hotels overlooking the Falls offering gorgeous views lit up at night with a spectacular firework show. We prefer to travel another 20 minutes or so to the quaint Victorian town of Niagara-On-The-Lake. There are many hotels to choose from. We stayed at The Pillar and Post. There is also the Oban Inn across from the Niagara Golf Course, the oldest golf course in North America. This charming hotel makes a fabulous ice wine champagne cocktail with views of Lake Ontario. Dine across the street at the golf course on the patio overlooking the pristine lake, watch the sailboats pass by as the sun sets. It’s so peaceful and lovely! Visit niagaraparks.com for more information or feel free to message us for assisting you on your travels.
Another wonderful stop is The famous flower clock, nearby visit the Niagara Botanical Garden. It is free to enter, parking is super easy and it is gorgeous. I love the walled gardens and the rose garden. It is one of my favorite gardens to visit. I always leave inspired to incorporate ideas into our gardens at home. They have one of the friendliest and most knowledgeable staff of gardeners I have ever met.
Now on to the best part! The Wineries, here, (in my opinion) it is all about the Ice Wine and the Rieslings, and they are really good! The chilly northern weather lends itself to producing some incredibly impressive ice wines and other wines as well! I love their rieslings, sparkling rosés, reds, all of it! We also love the incredible restaurants at some of the nearby vineyards. Two of our favorites are Ravine and Two Sisters, they are fabulous! Make sure to book your reservations in advance, and ask your hotel concierge for wine tasting vouchers too. Some of the hotels provide free trolley tours of the vineyards too. The Farm to Table food at Ravine is so fresh and I am always inspired to cook when I get home. The views and Italian themed menu at Two Sisters is also superb. The family has a home in Italy and ships many ingredients from there to Canada along with using local farm to table ingredients. The view is gorgeous!
If you want to have some cool fun in the summer heat, pop on over to the Ice House for ice wine slushies. Pick up one of their fun stickers while you are there.
We brought home a lot of wine and snacks from the region.
The Picturesque King Street boasts wonderful shops, restaurants, and my family's favorite little local bakery, The Niagara On The Lake Bakery, I could live on their fresh out of the oven cinnamon buns, linzer cookies, and piping hot coffee. It is a peaceful walk from the Pillar and Post Inn.
I hope you enjoyed traveling along with us and learning more about this region. I also hope you are inspired to go and as always if you have any questions please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org also visit us on Instagram @theparishouse. You can sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of the page.
What To Wear
Fashion on the wine trail: I love dresses when I travel. For me they are one and done! If you love high heels as much as I do I would however forgo them and opt for a wedge, cool sneaker, or espadrille. We provide fashion consultations upon request.
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Recipes Inspired By The Wine Trail
All Season Brunch Menu
Chinon rosé from the wine trail
Gardener Bloody Mary- recipe on Martha Stewart
We grow our own tomatoes, celery, horseradish and herbs for our Bloody Marys
Nutella Strawberry Crepes with fresh whipped cream
Maryland Crab eggs Benedict with hollandaise sauce of southern biscuits- Southern Living
Ham and cheese cups - a great recipe can be found on via Giada De Lorenza
Pain Perdu, Overnight French Toast with Pecans Recipe
I am not sure where this recipe originated from, I have made it so often over the years that I can do it from memory. I hope you enjoy and make it at your next brunch.
I stale baguette sliced thick ( I typically use about half of the baguette)
8 eggs beaten lightly
1 ½ cups of half and half
3 teaspoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
Pour half the egg mixture in a shallow baking dish
Top with sliced baguette
Top with remaining egg mixture
Melt 1 stick of butter (I prefer salted butter to balance the sweetness)
1/2 cup of brown sugar
½ cup of honey
½ cup of maple syrup
½ cup of chopped pecans
Melt the butter add next 3 ingredients then stir in pecans off the heat
Put in a large shallow baking dish and top with the bread slices and any remaining egg mixture
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and puffy.
Serve with more butter and maple syrup on the side
Nutella Strawberry Crepes
Make your favorite crepe batter
After they are prepared
Add nutella to taste
Top with thinly sliced strawberries
And a little whipped cream
Flower Girl Florals
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Thank You for reading!
See you again soon!!
Michele, The Flower Girl