Over the years my family has taken more trips with the kids than we can count. We have moved from India to Canada and places in between, and find the best way to get comfortable in a new city is to get away from it. Road trips, in particular, are a great way to explore the area. Recently, we were invited to experience the Viamede Resort just outside of Toronto. It was a memorable and enjoyable weekend. Read why here.
The last few months have been quite hard on my family. The sudden sickness and subsequent death of a loved one, heartbreak and travelling back and forth between India and Canada has taken its toll on all of us. So when the team behind Viamede Resort reached out to ask if we would be interested in experiencing a lakeside holiday with them, I knew that’s exactly what our family needed.
The Viamede Resort is located a two-hour drive away from Toronto in the Kawartha region. It is spread out on the banks of the beautiful Stoney Lake, and comprises of a main building, a number of small and large cottages, children’s playground, picnic areas, farm, dock, a restaurant and a boathouse – now converted to a pub. There is a natural and peaceful charm about the whole place that soothes your soul.
We stayed in a large cottage overlooking the lake. It had been booked for us to accommodate our older kids and came with two bedrooms, a fireplace and a fully functional kitchen. The bathrooms have been fully renovated and to the kids’ sheer delight their room had a bunk bed! There was even a BBQ grill on the deck. Imagine the joy of barbecuing and sipping a glass of wine while looking out at the lake. This is on our bucket list for the next time we visit.
The cottage was just right for a weekend’s worth of chillaxin’ – a concept I was introduced to by my kids! The things we learn!
The main building also has standard rooms if that is your preference and they are closer to the facilities, dining and the pool.
Dining In or Out
There are a number of dining options at the Viamede Resort depending on your needs. The kitchen in the cottage is equipped with dishes and pots and pans to help you cook in the room. But that’s definitely not what we wanted to do. We ate mostly at 1885, the main restaurant, where a buffet-style breakfast is served every morning. Lunch and dinner is also possible here and the food is freshly made and just right for this lakeside setting. We spent much longer here than we intended to every day thanks to the extended dining room. There is a Fussball table, a dart board, Ping Pong and a number of books and games and we ended up lingering here every morning. The slow mornings really helped reset and reboot our brain. And of course, there is the sweet taste of victory when your 12-year-old defeats her Dad in a game of hard-fought table soccer.
There are other mealtime options as well along with a communal barbecue area by the boathouse and picnic baskets that one can order beforehand. We will have to try that the next time we visit.
Travelling with Allergies
One of the challenges of travelling with my kiddos is the food. My youngest has food allergies and navigating a restaurant menu takes a little bit of work. The chef at Viamede resort was very accommodating of my daughter’s needs, and at every meal, there were a couple of options. Breakfast time though she pushed the more wholesome options aside for allergen-free pancakes made especially for her; along with a good dunking of maple syrup of course!
Fabulous Mt Julian
In addition to these options, Viamede also has one of the most fabulous dinner experiences ever. Mt Julian is a fine dining restaurant on site that offers a 5, 7 or 9-course chef-created tasting menu that is customized to one’s preferences and dietary requirements. Ben, our host and the undeniable force behind the Viamede Resort, walked us through wine pairings and the story behind each carefully crafted course. The ingredients are fresh and locally sourced and many are grown or foraged directly from the farm and forest close by. The restaurant is geared more towards adults and so my hubby and I took the time to step away for a date night and Viamede provided takeout pizza, fries and juice for the kids. They hung out in the cottage and played board games while we had the most phenomenal meal EVER!
You can click on the image below and it will take you to Instagram where you can see each dish. You can also search for their hashtag #BoldlyDifferent on social media and you will see other guests’ experiences at Viamede.
Go ahead, and you can thank me later.
Replete with delicious food we waddled back to the cottage and took the kids out for an after-dinner walk and s’mores at the resort firepit. The lake and the surrounding forest at night time is a memorable experience.
Activities at Viamede
The resort is a wonderful combination of a quiet cottage retreat and an activity-packed dynamo. There are a number of activities for everyone fully enjoy the location:
-Outdoor and Indoor swimming pool wth a swim-out area
-European-style sauna and steam room
-Paddleboarding, kayaking, canoeing
We tried all of these except the last. We didn’t have any time for biking because most of our days were spent on or by the water. My older daughter is quite experienced kayaking and canoeing, and as it turns on the paddle board. She showed her mama a few moves and ended up taking her little sister around for a ride. Oh how the tides have changed!
I was especially appreciative of the “trust your guest” philosophy where we could check out the life jackets and any other equipment and bring it back when we were done. This only added to the relaxing ambience of Viamede and gives you a flavour of how well the establishment is run.
In all, we spent 2 nights at the Viamede and it worked for us because we were on a tight schedule. If you have a more flexible schedule, go ahead and book another day – that just means more time chillaxin’ on the hammock. Thanks to Viamede resort it was our word of the weekend and has set the tone for summer.