Canada, Wakefield

Wakefield: A Quick, Quiet One-Day Getaway

The Inspiration

I’ve been listening to Jay Shetty’s podcast and was intrigued by all of his tips on how to live a more purposeful life. One of his practices which really caught my attention is him setting aside a weekend for him and his wife every 30 days to put away their devices and just spend time with each other. They usually travel somewhere within a few hours drive away to share some quality time together for the whole weekend. We’ve been inconsistently trialing this for the past half a year or so, but we realize it’s not feasible financially or time-wise to dedicate ourselves every month to a getaway. This month, we decided to go away on a one-day getaway instead as this seem much more doable. We did not lock up our phones, but we were more mindful before picking up our devices.

The Freedom

The good thing about not travelling anywhere far is not having the pressure to get up super early to catch a train/bus/plane. We ate a simple breakfast and slowly got into our trusty Tesla. It was also nice we did not to have to worry about packing either. We just packed 2 water bottles, some of winter gear (hats/scarfs/mitts), then were on our way. Since we were only driving for around 30-45 minutes, we did not even need to stop anywhere to charge our car. 

Le Hibou

We didn’t really have set plans for our short getaway. We just quickly looked up restaurants in the area before we left to decide on a brunch spot. We chose Le Hibou, which had a solid brunch menu and very impressive ratings online. We got there around 1pm and it wasn’t terribly busy. We got a table right away at one of their nice booths facing the waterfront. It was lovely. I had the eggs benny and Aaron had the soup of the day and the salmon tartine. The service was great and we did not have to wait too long for our meals; although we did not mind waiting since our goal was to spend time with each other.

As a plus, the food here was amazing. The carrot, ginger and coconut soup was very comforting but not very heavy. The benny had perfectly poached eggs over a nice muffin. Sandwiched in between was some house pancetta. The hollandaise sauce was excellent! The item that really shone for me was the home fries. It was perfectly seasoned and nice a crispy on the outside. It’s probably one of the best I’ve ever had. Aaron’s salmon tartine was very nice topped with beautifully pickled red onions. This is all on top of some herbed goat cream cheese and their house bread. I’m not a goat cheese fan but it was very good otherwise. It was also served with a salad which had a really nice sweet but light dressing. After brunch, we took a quick walk outside to the waterfront before getting too cold and heading back to the car. 

The Tourist Spots

We did not have a lot of activities planned but Aaron wanted to see the local farm here – Juniper Farm. Due to the season, most of their livestock is indoors but we did hear some chickens clucking. We did check out their cute Farm Store and purchased some local cheese and sausage. We also wanted some eggs but they were already sold out so come early if you want eggs!

Juniper Farm Store

After the farm, we drove to the Wakefield Covered Bridge. It was nice to see this rebuilt bridge, which was once completely destroyed by fire in 1984. It was terribly chilly by this time and we weren’t able to stay long.

Wakefield Covered Bridge

The Coffee at Café Molo

It was time we warmed up, so we headed back into town for some coffee/tea. I had a chai latte and those who have been following this blog will know by now that I do not enjoy overly sweetened drinks. I asked if it was sweet and the barista kindly said he would use the Tazo tea bag instead of the syrup and it was perfect – not sweet at all, just the way I like it. Aaron had an americano. We got our drinks and settled in to a table by the interior part of the restaurant. There was plenty of seating and many were by the window but we were worried it would be too cold for me. I kept thinking how nice it would be to visit here in the summer. We would be able to walk instead of drive everywhere and able to make use of their nice patios. Regardless, I love the hygge experience so I did not mind wrapping myself in my oversized scarf enjoying my chai latte, and reading a nice book. I’m currently reading Malcolm Gladwell’s Talking to Strangers and it’s excellent so far. Aaron wanted to use this time to work on a Medium article he’s been meaning to write. Sure, we cheated a little and did not spend 100% of our time talking with each other but it was still nice to read/write in the presence of each other.

The Lounge at Wakefield Mill

Café Molo was closing at 5pm and our dinner reservations weren’t until 6pm so we decided to head over to the signature Wakefield Mill for some drinks. The outside of the Mill was very pretty a night with lots of pretty lights. I read online they had a lounge, restaurant, spa and accommodations. I was expecting something like Fairmont Montebello with a large common area. The lobby was not very large. There was a small front desk, some banquet halls on one end of the hallway and their lounge/bar on the other end. We got a table by the window overlooking the waterfall. It was beautiful. We had a drink and enjoyed some mellow restaurant Christmas music. They also had food here and we were tempted since the food smelled really good but we had dinner reservations already.

Wakefield Mill

The Village House

For dinner tonight, we dined at The Village House, which had amazing reviews online. On their website, they described their style as “upscale comfort food” run by a husband and wife team. It sounded lovely so we had to visit. They weren’t terribly busy at 6pm when we arrived but got busier as time passed. 

For drinks, Aaron had their Malbec which was not on the wine list but was apparently their special back up wine since they ran out of their Cab Sauv for the night. It was lovely and definitely deserved to be on their menu as a regular. I knew I was having seafood for my main so I tried their Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand which was not too dry and very refreshing, just the way I like my whites. 

For first course, I had the steak tartare. It was unique in that it was topped with a cured egg yolk. The focaccia crostini was perfect. I really enjoyed for my first course. Aaron was really into soup today as he chose again to have their seasonal soup, which was another coconut soup with ginger and tomato for the base this time. It tasted very similar to the soup from this morning and was creamy and comforting.

For our mains, I had the East Coast Scallop, which was just a combination of all my favourite things, scallops, porchetta, broccolini and chill orange marmalade. This is paired with some gnocchi and roast fennel. It was perfect. It was a lovely collection of flavours and textures. Aaron had the Alaska Farm Maple and Herb Braised Beef Short Rib. This was served with swiss chard, carrots, Le Corpin mushroom and butter mashed potatoes. It was definitely very hearty and flavourful.

We were pretty full by this time but I could never say no to classic vanilla bean creme brûlée so we had to share that. Aaron had an americano. I rarely drink black coffee but it sneaked a few sips of it and it went really well with the creme brûlée. So with our stomachs and hearts full, we head home back to Ottawa, feeling grateful for this opportunity to spend one whole day together in the midst of our busy lives.

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