Summer is almost over as this is Labour Day Weekend. I’m going to tell you about my summer vacation. Sounds just like what a lot of kids do when they go back to school in September. Write about your summer vacation…
Well my dear wife and I have done a few things over the summer I can share with you as a review of hotels and places to eat, or not.
Wakefield Mill is a resort hotel with spa and restaurants in the Quebec side of the Ottawa region. It’s less than an hour drive from downtown Ottawa so it’s a nice weekend getaway idea. But it is only an idea. In reality it wasn’t the best choice for a romantic weekend. The room was okay, however it takes a while to get hot water to the shower or tub. The tub is in the main room and didn’t come with instructions. But after we cleaned up the flood it wasn’t bad as we both could fit in the huge tub. The view out the window was pretty good even on a cool rainy and windy weekend. We had booked ahead for room and spa treatments. Disappointing for my wife, her therapist called in sick and she had to settle for “not the massage” she booked. There are several types of massage and what she booked was no longer available due to the sick call. ($95 for something you didn’t want?)
The food available at the Wakefield Mill was not of a high quality. The words to describe would be, bland, over sized chunks of tofu tempura and a whole baby bok choy tempura, tasteless, did I say bland? I’m not normally a harsh critic however it was really not good. My wife ordered the Eggs Benedict and the Hollandaise sauce was like vinegar, the eggs were coddled not poached and the English Muffin may not have been an English Muffin at all.
Rated … I would not go again.
Nest up, we took a night in Montreal. My wife had a work function to attend and asked me along. So we headed out to Montreal and stayed at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott Old Montreal. This was a nice room and was close to the event and in Old Montreal which was great for eating out and shopping. The price was a little high but the location was great. The included breakfast was unfortunately not what I would have liked. Sort of DIY everything. Make your own toast, waffles etc. The cold cereal and coffee were not DIY.
We did eat at a very good restaurant in the area that from appearance I wouldn’t have entered but it got good reviews and I can taste why. It is called Amigo at 1027 boul st laurent. 2 floor. Enjoy!
Later in August we traveled by Via Rail to Toronto from Ottawa and stayed at the Renaissance Downtown Toronto so we could attend a Blue Jays game, visit the Ripleys Aquarium and look at the CN Tower from the ground. Not fond of high things. The aquarium, in my opinion, is worth the visit. Sharks, Stingrays etc all abound and much much more.
The Renaissance hotel was a nice treat, however it would have been great if the wifi was free rather than $12 a day. I’m just saying, even coffee shops have free wifi. We did make use of the pool and hot tub for the short two night stay. We did do a lot of walking around the area and had a few meals in a couple nice places.
The first place to eat on my list was Fionn MacCool’s at 310 Front St W, one of Prime Pubs establishments. The food was very good and the service was extremely friendly. I’d go here again. Keep in mind it right across from the Blue Jays game so it could get very busy before and after the game.
Another nice pub style place was the Amsterdam Brewhouse. Now this spot got a lot of mixed reviews and I actually wasn’t even going to visit based on these bad service reviews. But at the last hour of our stay we took a walk and ended up face to face so… we went in for lunch. Again a pleasant surprise, the food and service was good, but I should say we were attending off hours as it was after lunch hour and before dinner. So I’m not sure how bad the service gets when it’s packed and it is a large space to service. The beer is also good here but keep in mind this is not a large brewery and it’s common that some beers are out of stock or seasonal.
We also stopped for a few refreshments (beer for me) at the Mill Street BrewPub but not in time for a small tour. But the beer was tasty and cold after the long walk to the Distillery District from the hotel.
This weekend, Labour day, my wife and I went to the ByWard Market area and the Rideau Centre to shop and tour around. Of course we had a meal while there and this time we tried The Courtyard Restaurant at 21 George St. Ottawa. We enjoyed a late Brunch, my wife again ordered the Eggs Benedict (Florentine style) and this time it was delicious. The Hollandaise sauce was done right and the eggs perfect, spinach fresh and just wilted on an English Muffin. Chef Ramsey would be proud.
Now back to rush hour traffic and “Winter is coming”.