Lake on the Mountain was probably one of our first loves of The County. It easily boasts the most beautiful panoramic view in the region; it is located just 10 minutes from Picton and it's just another 10 minutes from there to other popular area attractions including Fifth Town Artisan Cheese, Devil’s Wishbone Winery, and The County Cider Company in Waupoos - just to name a few.
The lovely and amazing staff serve delicious rustic comfort food at the Inn’s restaurant and it has always been such a warm and inviting place. Across from the Inn is the incredible The Miller House where you can sit and sip wine or beer over a charcuterie platter and take in the stunning view, while watching the Glenora Ferry haul cars back-and-forth across the water. That has always been a favourite pastime of mine, and I also love being ON the ferry – but that is a whole other post! Speaking of Glenora – the fine folks at Lake on the Mountain Inn also produce their own fantastic craft beers at their brewery located in Glenora, just a stones throw away from The Inn and steps from the docks of the ferry.
The Inn has been in Chretien family hands for over 25 years (Gilles and Joan are seated in the cartoon enjoying beverages at The Miller House!) and the restaurant operations are lovingly managed by their daughter Danielle (standing top left in cartoon) who from my perception, has always been the face of the business. No matter how packed the place is, which it typically always is during the summer months, she will always greet you with her calm demeanor and an infectious smile.
For history buffs, the gorgeous old stone building that now houses the restaurant at the Inn was built circa 1796 and was once owned by Peter Van Alstine, one of the first of the Loyalists to land on these shores. At that time, the building was run as a general store and the building across the street (now known as The Miller House) was built for one his employees who ran his grist mill that sat immediately below at the foot of the escarpment in Glenora. And, the lake itself is cloaked in mystery as a geographical wonder as it has a constant flow of clean, fresh water with no apparent source, and in turn, the mystery of the lake spawned great folklore.
Here is why this establishment is so special to me:
It is warm and inviting, they have a roaring fire when the weather is on the cool side, the staff are fantastic and their tourtiere (secret Chretien family recipe!) with their homemade chili sauce and their strawberry salad with their own poppy seed dressing is one of my most favourite comfort foods EVER. Each year before they close for the season, I buy 5-6 bottles of that very dressing as well as a jar or two of their chili sauce so we can get through the long winter season without them!
This really has to be my favourite place in PEC. In my mind, there is no other view that can compare - it is just breath taking. The patio is gorgeous and they serve wonderful charcuterie platters and an interesting assortment of toasts and flambés. My go-to choices are the "Local Platter" (charcuterie platter with artisan cheese, and an AMAZING bacon marmalade) as well as their "Ridge Road Asparagus Pesto Toast" with shaved Manchego cheese. They also serve an assortment of local wines and some of their own delicious brews including my favourite, Country Brown. The staff is fantastic, and although this spot is hugely popular, you really never have to wait very long for a table. They are incredibly efficient, service is fast but you never ever feel like you are being rushed out. If you are lucky – you might get a table right on the edge of the escarpment. I STILL get up to take photographs of the view every time I go. I just can’t get enough of it.
Due to the huge demand for their craft brews, they opened this brewery in recent years and it is a welcome addition to their growing empire :). Their brew master is Ryan (top right in the cartoon!), and there is always an amazing selection on tap. I’m not a huge beer drinker myself, but when I do partake - I prefer dark beers and I just LOVE, love their Country Brown – it is smooth and delicious. We also tried a really interesting stout there not too long ago that had notes of peanut butter in it (seriously, they used peanut butter in the process and it was fantastic!). The brewery is located just a few minutes down the road from the Inn and just steps away from the Glenora Ferry. You should stop by and do a flight so you can sample what they have on offer.
Not only will you likely leave Lake on the Mountain armed with a fully belly and some gorgeous photos that will overwhelm your senses AND your personal Instagram feed, but you can also purchase some of their goods to take home. I mentioned that we always have rations of their poppy seed dressing and chili sauce stocked in our cupboards – but fairly soon, you will be able to take home some of their bacon marmalade too (OMG!!) and other products, both local and imported, so you can wow your guests back home by creating your own delicious charcuterie and cheese plates. They are just now putting on the finishing touches of their “petit marche” in The Miller House, so, once armed with a few of their tasty treats and beer that you will want to purchase from their brewery, the only thing lacking back home will be the stunning view :)
Lake on the Mountain is considered a provincial park and it is for sure something not to be missed when you visit The County. To me, Lake on the Mountain Inn is really more of a provincial treasure. And for us, it is one of the most highly anticipated season openers in the region each spring, and one of the saddest days of the year is when they close it down for the winter season.
You really must do yourself a favour and take the time to visit their restaurants and brewery and experience their warm hospitality and to take in the gorgeous view. It is such a lovely experience and one that you can't possibly regret.
264 County Road 7 (AKA, Lake on the Mountain Road)
11369 Loyalist Parkway, Glenora