A few weeks ago, my boyfriend Alex and I ventured up north to Parry Sound, Ontario, for a weekend at his cottage. Located on the small and beautiful Loch Ern, the cottage is truly a Northern Ontario dream. A giant wooden staircase cascading down to the dock, a masterfully created wooden sauna perched on the edge of the small lake lined with pine trees and rocks, and a big picture window in the cottage living room to admire it all.
The cottage has been in Alex’s family for decades. Some of his most cherished childhood memories are at the cottage. And in the short six years that I’ve been going there, some of my best summer memories have taken place there, as well. It’s become one of our most anticipated adventures of the summer, and a summer without a trip to the cottage, seems almost incomplete.
This year we chose to venture up there towards the end of the summer, which is my favourite time to go. Not only have the bugs seemed to disappear and the small lake fully warmed by the length of the summer sun, but it feels like a sweet ending to an already delicious summer.
It’s the dessert of all summer adventures, and really helps to put the summer to a close with lots of peaceful days to enjoy by the water, and restful evenings to reminisce about another amazing summer gone.
One of our favourite things about a trip to the cottage is planning several days worth of meals. Breakfast, lunch and dinner, there is never any shortage of food while we’re up there. This year Alex and I decided to make a charcuterie board like we never had before. Although we’ve paired Brie with bread many times before, we’ve never really mastered the art of the charcuterie board. But this time, we fully embraced it.
Loaded with Brie, blue cheese, prosciutto, salami, stuffed olives, grapes, raspberries, sundried tomatoes and crab stuffed mushrooms, the platter was truly my charcuterie board dreams come to life. I spread it all on a wooden cutting board to fit to the rustic feel of being up at the cottage.
We paired it with a Riesling from one of our favourite wineries, Rosewood Estates in Beamsville. A few weeks earlier we’d taken a spontaneous little wine tour through that area and landed ourselves at Rosewood. After tasting several different kinds of rosé, reds, whites and even meads, we decided on the Riesling. It was after making the decision to buy this particular wine that we read the description and recommended pairings for it. And when we read the suggestion to drink this wine on a patio at a cottage, we knew it was the perfect choice for our upcoming getaway.
We spent our days playing in the water, taking out the paddle board and lazing in the hammock. All these intense activities were of course fuelled by lots of ice coffee, not only in the morning, but all day long.
This cute shirt was purchased from Wish You Were North West, a company based out of Washington. When I saw it online I knew I just had to have it for our weekend away, because iced coffee, lakes and campfires are truly some of life’s greatest pleasures, and we had lots of all three while we were away.
On our drive home, we decided to detour to a burger joint right on Highway 11. Webers is a place I’ve been going to since childhood with my own family, and having just come from a place where Alex has lots of memories with his, it seemed perfect to merge our two childhood traditions together.
The burgers were perfectly juicy, the fries were crisp and savoury and the milkshakes were a nice sweet touch. It was just like I remembered from childhood and sharing it with Alex finally, was an added bonus.
Another summer adventure at the cottage has come and gone, but it was a beautiful adventure to share together. We’re so lucky to have a place to go that helps us draw the summer season to a close, and go into the next season feeling mentally prepared and rejuvenated.