By Amanda Wakely
Niagara-on-the-Lake is a far cry from the more ostentatious nearby Niagara Falls. A well-preserved nineteenth-century town and less commercial option for a break, this well-kept Canadian secret is worth a visit. Rows of suburban perfection with boutiques, post-colonial style houses, wineries, luxury real estate – all on the edge of Lake Ontario. Home to the Shaw Festival Theatre and Canada’s oldest golf course – this quaint town full of elegance, charm, and sophistication offers plenty of luxurious experiences.
As once said by George Bernard Shaw, “There is no love sincerer than the love of food.” While staying in the hometown of the Shaw Theatre, it would be a shame not to enjoy a full Shavian experience and spend some quality time indulging in gourmet dining and vintages. Niagara-on-the-Lake has an impressive array of world-class dining options and is sure to impress the connoisseur. The locavores and foodies will not be disappointed either, with plenty of ethically and locally sourced food, which can be enjoyed in idyllic and stylish settings.
Oenophiles will be able to appreciate some fine vintage wine or champagne from their impressive wine list created by sommelier owner James Treadwell. All food is seasonal, and locally and ethically sourced, straight from the farm. Emphasizing the best artisan producers from the Niagara region and surrounding areas, their “farm-to-table” concept restaurant is sure to please.
HobNob Restaurant & Wine Bar
Enjoy an elegant evening of refined dining in a romantic and contemporary setting. HobNob is a French restaurant serving delicious, high-quality food sourced from local farms. The surroundings are also superb, a restored 1832 manor house with a cosy fireplace.
Home to over twenty wineries, Niagara-on-the-Lake is a leading manufacturer of ice wine. A process that originated in Germany, ‘eiswein,’ is produced by picking grapes which have frozen on the vine resulting in a sweet-tasting dessert wine. Take a premium private tour and go wine tasting with expert sommeliers. Inniskillin and Peller Estates are a couple of the distinguished wineries making fine wines in the area. Take full advantage of being in wine country and taste and learn about some of the most exceptional wine.
Niagara Vintage Wine Tours offer exclusive private winery tours in a limousine or Mercedes, stopping off at four notable wineries for private wine tastings with a sommelier. Also available are underground barrel tours, vintage red wine tastings, and ice wine tasting in an award-winning -10 C ice room bar.
Take some time to indulge on a private wine and chocolate tour or take a wine, whiskey, and culinary treat tour with Wineries of Niagara-on-the Lake. Taste the finest artisan chocolate, ice wine, whiskey and enjoy some culinary treats. You can customize your itinerary to your own desire.
If you are looking to please and pamper yourself, check out the 100 Fountain Spa at Pillar and Post. A spa in a 5-star country hotel with a Tuscan décor and rustic feel. Unwind and revitalize at this elegant award-winning spa with a massage or an executive/sports pedicure, followed by a drink in the bar afterwards. Or spend a whole day rejuvenating with one of the full day spa packages with a vintage stone or hot herbal stem massage.
Prince of Wales Hotel
Stay in Victorian elegance at the Prince of Wales Hotel, located on the main street of Niagara-on-the-Lake. Excite your palate with a meal at the hotel’s romantic and contemporary restaurant Noble, with mouth-watering dishes using locally sourced food and with a French influence. Enjoy upscale eating or sip tea in the quirky tearoom.
A luxury boutique guesthouse offering spacious accommodations. Georgian style rooms and many amenities – this provides a comfortable and elegant stay. Situated in the old town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, it is close to shops, art galleries, Lake Ontario, and North America’s oldest golf course, Niagara-on-the-Lake Golf Club.
Things to do
Take a journey back in time and explore the old town on a horse-drawn carriage. Take a picturesque tour through the scenic old town and to the lakeside with a guided tour. Or take a horticultural tour through the beautiful 100 acres of the botanical gardens with a tour guide. The tours start from outside the Prince of Wales Hotel in the center of town.
Shaw Festival Theatre
A delight for any visiting thespians in town, the Shaw Theatre was set up by fans of the prolific playwright George Bernard Shaw and stages Shaw and shaw-like (Shavian) plays. The second-largest theatre in Canada, this world-class theatre runs from April to December. If you fancy some culture – the Shaw is the place to be. The theatre is hoping to reopen in the fall after shutting down due to the pandemic, so be sure to keep updated on the website.
Experience Niagara-on-the-Lake from the air in a helicopter ride and take the scenic route to the majestic and breath-taking Niagara Falls for a 20-minute ride and then back to a winery for wine tasting and a gourmet meal. Participating wineries are Peller Estate Winery, Trius Winery, Chateau des Charmes, and Vineland Estates Winery – all notable wineries. The company also has private romantic heli-tours.