Guest Writer: Stef Richardson
I consider myself a small town gal (raised here in Grey County) with an interest in all things food, culture, community & people. Known for my clogging, blogging and vlogging, my work seeks to showcase the love and appreciation I have for all that is discoverable in Ontario. There is something equally invigorating and addictive about creating relationships with business owners across the region and getting a behind-the-scenes tour of all that they're passionate about. I'm all about digging lokal and sharing my discoveries with the adventurous + foodies at heart. Follow along @lokaldigs
Grab your scarves, curate a playlist and buckle in because tis’ the season for fall road trips around the county. Located in West Grey you’ll find a small trio of towns that offer quaint and unassuming shopping and dining options; Neustadt, Hanover and Durham. If you happen to be blogger scouting, you’ll usually find me matcha latte in hand, stuffing my face with donuts (honey dipped) and trying to squeeze in one more destination. The best part is that these gems all are connected by a 10-minute drive which makes it perfect for town hopping.
Touring the country roads in the fall becomes a sensory experience that is almost yearned for by the time September rolls around. It may be the way the ground crunches as you weave through local trails or the way the everchanging leaves sway in dance among the auburn lit trees. It’s what draws us out to experience this wonderful land we live on.
In my opinion, hiking is much more enjoyable if there is a bit of snacking, sipping or shopping to follow. With every hike comes great thirst and to help ease the decision making, I’ve gathered a shortlist of must-visits if you find yourself coasting through West Grey in search of somewhere new to explore. Make sure to research their weekday hours + in-store policies for minimal disappointment.
Atelier522 – I immediately fell in love with every single item in this charming shop. It’s dressed in everything from gorgeous handmade candles, dried florals, tapered candles to well-designed items for the home like rugs, doormats and linen table cloths. There is something to admire in every corner of this shop – trust me!
Noah’s Inn Fish + Chips – Ahoy, if you’re into super light and flaky fish and chips and/or stringy and piping hot mozzarella sticks, this might be your new spot. It’s worth noting, this restaurant isn’t just for fish lovers! They offer souvlaki, burgers, deep fried pickles and candy with the bill. In my book, any restaurant that gives candy with the bill automatically wins.
Ashanti Coffee – I can now check pumpkin spice latte off of my never have I ever list. If you’ve ever wondered what fall in a cup tastes like, a PSL is it. Located on the main strip, this café offers a variety of teas, speciality coffees and many pastries, sandwiches and treats to curb any craving. Strategically placed, it’s right across the road from Temptations and if you’re an avid seasonal decorator, you best to take a peek in there before heading out of town.
Schultz’s Bakery – This mom + pop bakery may be known for their simple, light and crushable donuts but I’m here to claim deliciousness on their buns, flakys, and cupcakes too. You can expect your mouth to water and your wallet to jingle because you’ll be wanting one of everything. I’m notorious for getting a six-pack of all the dipped varieties: honey dipped, chocolate dipped and maple dipped. Canadian-eh!
McGowan Falls – McGowan Falls may not be your average waterfall (small and mighty) but it’s very much worth the visit. The sheer sound of the water crashing at the base is enough to let your mind pause for a few meditative moments. There are picnic tables available for use and if you’re the adventurous type, try tossing in a fishing line or dipping your toes into the current for a bit of a rush.
Chicory Common – I was quite impressed with the options packed into this local biz and can see it being a one-stop-shop for many locals with an interest in organic products, bulk spices, supplements and non-dairy substitutes. Embracing and offering options to small town hubs is what I love to see.