Yashy Selvadurai Murphy, Travel Writer
The kids are back in school and you’ve most likely spent a summer running around with them and exploring all things kid friendly. Tired yet? It’s now your turn to relax and unwind and we suggest looking at cultural spots close to home. Secure trust worthy sitters (here’s looking at all the dadis, nanis, masis, aunties and uncles) and sneak away for a relaxing weekend getaway that isn’t too far from home.
Living in Toronto, my husband and I recently ran away for a weekend in Stratford, Ontario and highly recommend that parents take a couples only getaway every now and then. Find a spot that speaks to your passions and that will give you the chance to sleep in, unwind and focus on yourselves.
Stratford was the perfect backdrop for us to culturally immerse ourselves in the arts capital of Canada. There simply was no time to miss the kids on our first getaway because we did all the things we wouldn’t have been able to do with them along.
Located in Southwestern Ontario, and named after the birth place of Shakespeare, Stratford is most famous for its theatre and culinary scene. Many B&Bs are peppered throughout the downtown core and if B&Bs aren’t up your alley, there’s even a newly opened luxury hotel, The Bruce.
A weekend without diaper changes or spending ten minutes trying to find a missing toy that has to join the daily activities, offered us the chance to connect with each other and engage in activities that are a bit harder to do with kids around. Ahem…in our case it was all about theatre and music.
The Stratford Festival is home to plays and musicals, making Stratford a popular destination for theatre lovers. If Shakespeare isn’t your thing, don’t worry, they also offer popular musicals for you to enjoy. If it’s music you’re after, Stratford is alive with music.
You can find everything from jazz to rock ensembles at pretty much every corner and plenty of scheduled performances. We were thrilled when we got to dine at the famous Church and Belfry and enjoy our dinner with the Broadsway ladies who were performing as part of the Summer Music Festival.
Imagine enjoying a glass of wine and a tantalizing dinner whilst being serenaded by three hilarious ladies. Definitely a memory that will not be forgotten!
Culinary pursuits in Stratford know no end. From farm fresh cheese and meats to decadent bacon and ale trails, there’s so much to eat that food lovers better pack some fat pants. Do I dare mention… there’s a chocolate and maple trail here as well?
The trails are great because a purchased ‘passport’ allows you to swing by a couple spots and get a sample offering at each, depending on your preferences. Restaurants like Mercer and lively hangouts like Monforte, will give you the perfect taste of what Stratford has to offer and take your taste buds on quite the culinary journey.
Stratford is a very laid back and walkable city and if you’re looking for some activities, there’s no better way to wind down a weekend than with a guided tour of Stratford. We thoroughly enjoyed our Avon Bicycle and Boat tours which gave us an historical overview of the people behind the city and allowed us to burn off some of the calories we’d pilled during our two night stay.
With an ice cream cone in hand we wound down the weekend with a romantic self-guided paddle down the Avon River where we glided alongside the famous Swans of Stratford. What a beautiful way to end a kid-less weekend and keep the flames burning. Don’t you agree?
Do you have any romantic escapes planned for this fall?
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