This year, as an extra layer of Notable, we have decided to add places to our Grey Goose Notable campaign. It makes sense, after all; the designation of “Grey Goose Notable” is not just a person, but also an experience. Throughout the remainder of the campaign, we will highlight four must-experience places in Canada for the culture and travel-loving young professional. We begin with an option for the perfect weekend escape, for those times when the urge strikes to blow off your weekend commitments and take a break from the city…just because you can. Just over an hour drive from downtown Toronto is the elegant Langdon Hall Country House Hotel and Spa, a year-round escape that offers the ultimate rejuvenating weekend in a fit-for-royalty experience.
With 52 guest rooms and suites, the 25,000-square foot Langdon Hall Country House Hotel and Spa is a member of the prestigious international Relais & Châteaux hotel group, and has been named the best hotel in Canada in the annual Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Choice Awards in 2011 and 2012. Year round, the hotel offers a little something for every mini-vacation-needing young professional, from the nature-lover, “precious” spa-regular, athlete, wine enthusiast and foodie. Warm and romantic, with no shortage of wood-burning fireplaces, and set among multi-coloured fall leaves, a visit to Langdon Hall would make for the perfect couples getaway weekend this fall.
With nothing commercial about it, Langdon Hall looks like the home you dreamed of one day living in as a child, the main house a grand country estate rich with history and an elegant, classic design. It was originally built in the late 1800s as a summer home for New York-born Eugene Langdon Wilks, and then restored in 1989 by current by owners William Bennett and Mary Beaton. You and your significant other may feel like Will and Kate the moment you approach the circular driveway that leads to a grand entrance that naturally renders your posture a little straighter.
Foodies will make the trip just to check out Langdon Hall’s award-winning Dinning Room, which has been awarded the coveted Five Diamond Award from AAA/CAA - the only one in Ontario. In a comfortable, yet formal (no shorts allowed, jacket required) dining experience, a meal at Langdon Hall is designed to be savoured and is just as good, if not better, than any latest and greatest downtown restaurant. For a pre-dinner cocktail, Wilks' Bar, with its comfortable chairs and wood burning fireplace, offers a cozy setting to enjoy one of its carefully crafted feature cocktails. These may include the Grey Goose-infused Raspberry Blossom Martini, the Smoked Caesar (featuring smoked Grey Goose) or the Sage Advice, made with muddled sage leaves, cucumber and, of course, Grey Goose.
In the Dining Room, acclaimed chef Jonathan Gushue is young and creative and offers a weekly-changing menu as he incorporates fresh ingredients from the field, farm, forest and water. The French-infused fare appears meat-heavy at first, but vegetarian options are available. Giving new meaning to the term “home grown,” the kitchen relies seasonally on an on-site vegetable garden, which guests are welcome to tour. The sophisticated creative cuisine is known for its attention to detail; Gushue even makes his own butter. To impress your own dinner guests, those with a passion for cooking may join chefs for a cooking demonstration at 10:30 on Sunday morning.
For the winos or wine-curious, you and yours may join a sommelier every Saturday afternoon for a wine tasting at 4pm in the Main House or on the Terrace. Additionally, formal wine tastings can be arranged, with an hour-long tasting by sommelier Kathleen Moore, who highlights specific wine regions. Or, if you prefer, a post-dinner port tasting is an option as well; however, a minimum of eight participants is required (we’re sure you’ll make friends quickly).A full spa, outdoor pool, tennis courts and 12 kilometres of woodland trails throughout the property mean you won’t get bored easily. To add to the regal feel, get into a game of croquet on the property’s croquet lawn. Off-site, an active day can be spent golfing, hiking, biking, canoeing or exploring and antiquing the nearby towns and farms and Mennonite villages. Don’t worry, Langdon Hall takes care of the details for day trips, providing all you need to go on your merry way, including transportation, gear and even a packed lunch.
For some well-deserved pampering, the full-service spa at Langdon Hall makes you feel you have entered a dream, in your castle far away from the world. Services include therapeutic and alternative massage therapies, body treatment wraps, facial treatments and hand/foot therapies. To freshen up for dinner, beauty services include waxing, tints and make-up application. Of course, you could just relax in the whirlpool and sauna. So you don’t miss your weekend workout session, an exercise room provides ample cardio and free weight equipment. If you must, a personal trainer can be arranged.
Catering to an active lifestyle, offering a little self-reward and rich with heritage and culinary delights, Langdon Hall is definitely Grey Goose Notable and is our number one choice for a romantic weekend away for the Toronto YP. Tucked away from the world (yet an hour from the city), the hotel can be described as dreamy. You’ll understand why as you turn off your phone and make yourself at home in the warm, wooded interior of the estate, wander the surrounding peaceful trails and gardens and eat and drink like kings and queens.
Photos courtesy Langdon Hall