If you are looking for an Ontario getaway, full of charm and picturesque views, then look no further than Perth, Ontario. We spent the weekend there last weekend, read on for all my recommendations!
Perth is about a 3 and a half hour drive from Toronto. While we went for only one night, because it is a bit further away than some of our other staycation destinations, if you can spend two nights there, that’s what I recommend.
We stayed in Perth Manor Boutique Hotel, which was absolutely gorgeous. Built in 1878, the building is full of history, and Linda, the owner, is a fabulous tour guide. Upon check-in she gave us a great overview of the history of Perth itself, as well as Perth Manor. Both Linda, and her husband Gordon are so welcoming and are full of knowledge of the area, and will happily give you restaurant recommendations. Gordon cooks the breakfast at Perth Manor, and I have to say, it was a delicious breakfast.
The hotel has 6 rooms, and each one looks as exquisite as the next. We stayed in the Victoria Suite, which overlooks the garden. There is also a fabulous dining room, and another room which could be called a living room, it’s worth walking around these rooms and talking some pictures as they are simply beautiful. The Manor also has a fabulous little bar, out in the conservatory, and they are fully licensed. It looks to be the perfect place to unwind after a day of exploring Perth.
Obviously, there is still a pandemic ongoing, so people may be weary of travelling, even locally, or staying in hotels. However, it’s important to say we felt completely safe at all times in Perth Manor, everyone was masked indoor, we all practised social distancing, the room was spotless and Linda even sanitised the pen before handing it to me to sign the bill.
Once you are in Perth, you will find there is plenty to keep you occupied. The town is located on the Tay River, making for some gorgeous views, and some great water-side dining and/or drinks. Our first stop was Weatherhead Brew Co, which was about a 5 minute walk from the hotel. There we enjoyed some flights of beer and a very tasty bean dip. They have indoor and outdoor seating so you can relax and enjoy a beer (or three!). My favourite was their Pilsner. They have a second brewery there, called Perth Brewery, unfortunately we didn’t have time to check if out, but we heard good things. If Gin is more your style, then check out Top Shelf Distillers.
If the weather is good, take a stroll around the town, you will find an abundance of cute stores that might tickle your fancy. Be sure to go to Stewart Park for a beautiful stroll. Some of the Fall colours were still on display while we were there, which made for a lovely walk.
If you’re a fan of Italian food, and really, who isn’t? Then I can’t recommend Bistro 54 enough. We hadn’t planned on eating there, but Linda and Gordon both highly recommended it, and boy are we glad we listened. The food was delicious, their pasta is homemade, and the portions were very generous. If you are looking for a nice meal out, then this is the place to go!
After you’ve had you’re wonderful breakfast at Perth Manor and you’re in search of coffee, then head to Coutts Coffee. It’s a really lovely cafe, with indoor and outdoor seating. It’s right on the water so the outdoor area is great and their coffee is excellent. If you fancy a little afternoon drink, then there are a few places to chose from; Mex & Co. is across from Coutts coffee and has a great outdoor area where you can enjoy your Margarita alongside the water. Fiddleheads is another option if you want a pub atmosphere, they also have a cute fake outdoor dining area and then you also have O’ Reilly’s Ale House. I would advise to make reservations ahead of time for most restaurants/bars, because of Covid they have limited seating.
Before you leave Perth, there are two more places that you must visit. That’s the Perth Cheese Shop and Perth Chocolate Works. The Perth Cheese Shop is wonderful and I could easily have spent the afternoon there. Along with their variety of cheeses, jams, chutneys and cured meats, they also have a homeware section with some very cute items. We bought a couple of cheeses and a cured meat, we actually just enjoyed them last night and they were so tasty. I highly recommend the caramelised onion cheese.
Perth Chocolate Works is a speciality chocolatier and you have to try their chocolate. I got some hot chocolate packets in there, and we bought a box of chocolates that we are savouring and still enjoying. You can chose which chocolates you want in your box, which is part of the fun!
If you are there during summer, there are also some great outdoor activities you can partake in such as kayaking or paddling on the Tay River. Perth is surrounded by dozen of lakes and a rural landscape, meaning there is no shortage of outdoor activities!
Until next time 🙂
Disclaimer: Our stay at Perth Manor was discounted, but all opinions expressed are my own.