After touring through Burlington and the Royal Botanical Gardens, stopping by Niagara Falls, and traveling up along the Niagara River, my mother and I completed our first day of our March Break travels at Niagara-on-the-Lake. There are an incredible number of hotels, Bed & Breakfasts, wineries, and historic sites in Niagara-on-the-Lake (see the TripAdvisor overview here).
We stayed at Queen’s Landing in Niagara-on-the-Lake, a hotel and conference centre that is part of the Vintage Hotel line (which, incidentally, owns all of the hotel-style accommodation venues in Niagara-on-the-Lake). Truly, this hotel combined luxury with gracious old-world style, providing everything promised in their website (within the first 30 minutes of our arrival, an attendant dropped by our room with a fresh-cut rose):
“Queen’s Landing is a grand Georgian-style mansion with elegant decor, attentive service, and a breathtaking waterfront setting. You will find the romance of the water and an ideal blend of style and comfort with 142 recently redesigned guestrooms in this unique Niagara-on-the-Lake hotel […] Turn down service includes a rose placed on the bed” (Queen’s Landing, 2014).
Since it was March Break, and the hotel was a little less populated than normal, we were upgraded at no extra charge to a room with a fireplace and jacuzzi hot tub. We also lucked out and received a package deal; for the $199 we paid for our traditional guest room, we also received an incredible, free dinner from Tiara Restaurant inside the hotel and passes to a local brewery, winery, and chocolate factory.
At the Tiara Restaurant, our cheerful and friendly hostess ensured that we enjoyed our meal to its fullest. I tried the following elements on the menu:
- Starter: Warm Forest Mushroom and New Zealand Spinach Salad (Nanny Noire, Oven Baked Crouton, Balsamic Soya Emulsion) $16
- Entree: Pan Seared Organic Char and Nero Tempura Lobster (Sweet Potato and Smoked Almond Croquette, Fried Cabbage Leaves Chorizo Fennel Nage) $35
- Dessert: Peanut Butter Brownie Tower (Salted Honey Peanut Sauce) $10
Each of the menu items were absolutely incredible in taste, flavor, and appearance. We walked away from the meal fully satisfied with our choices.
After a long sleep in the incredibly soft beds of the hotel, we enjoyed our complimentary newspaper over coffee. Then we wandered a little through the boutique shops of the town, finding an excellent establishment purveying coffee and pastries for a little additional morning nourishment. I enjoyed exploring Fort George and seeing the views along the waterfront; there are also a plethora of historical plaques in the town (Wikipedia article). The historical and cultural significance of the region is extensive:
“Niagara-on-the-Lake teems with historical plaques, many national and provincial, reflecting its significance in the establishment of many of the province’s institutions. Among these were its first newspaper, lending library, parliament, historical museum, and governing body for the legal profession. Critical battles in the defence of Upper Canada took place here, at Queenston, including one in which heroine Laura Secord gained her fame. The town gave many black Americans their first taste of freedom, both as a stop on the Underground railroad for those travelling further into Upper Canada, and as a refuge in its own right. Its stock of Regency and Classical Revival buildings, considered the best in the country from the post-war of 1812 period, led the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada to recommend that the town’s historic district be designated a National Historic Site of Canada, a designation which was approved in 2003″ (Wikipedia article).
From our hotel at Queen’s Landing, we were within easy walking distance of all these interesting features. We also walked by the Shaw Festival Theatre. See below for all of my pictures from our wanderings and hotel stay!