How to Bachelorette in PEC💐
By Lonelle Selbo | LIFE AU LAIT
A Good Times Guide to The Best County Hen Party, while being respectful of the people and places that make The County rad.
‘Hen Parties’ sound like the type of event that would go over really well in the country—but, despite our animal-friendly landscape, the modern-day bachelorette partay (you know) hasn’t always been the best fit for our rustic island scene. So, to make sure your last bash as a single lady is County-friendly, here’s a master guide to good, clean bachelorette fun, great stops for gal groups, and the intel to make sure your party fits in perfectly—wherever the celebration takes you in The County.
The County Commandments
When you’re planning your bachelorette in Prince Edward County, it’s important to remember that for at least two seasons of the year, The County is a destination mecca, overflowing with visitors. A lot of our wineries and restaurants skew small to mid-sized and our culture is pretty geared towards intimate groups.
But, before we dish on where to go and what to do—here are the three County Commandments of thumbs-up partying in PEC.
1. Call ahead. From wineries to restaurants to events and activities, check to see if they can accommodate your group. Ask about costs, cancellations, and entry details and book ahead or make reservations where possible.
2. Plan your route. The County is at least an hour’s drive from end-to-end and great experiences are located all over, but five hours of driving from place-to-place does not make for a good time!
3. Be thoughtful, kind and respectful wherever you go and The County will show you an amazing time.
THE WINE, THE BEER, THE CIDER
Wine Tours – The County is known for its wineries, breweries and cideries and if you’re going to be sampling the dranks, best to leave the driving to a friendly professional who can get you around The County, safe and sound. And fun fact – it may be easier for group bookings if you’re working with a tour company. So, ditch your keys and leave the driving to the lovely folks who can help get you and your gal pals from A to B. Here’s a round-up of how to do a Prince Edward County Wine / Beer / Spirits / Cider Tour – Without Driving.
Group Tastings – If you choose to DIY it and are looking for bachelorette-friendly wineries, breweries and cideries, check out:
The Grange of Prince Edward Vineyard and Estate Winery – which offers picnics to-go and has a dreamy barn tasting room for all the insta-worthy selfies.
By Chadsey’s Cairns Winery – is overlooking Lake Ontario, with the winery housed in a cluster of historic buildings next to a pioneer cemetery.
Casa Dea Estates Winery – where you’ll find authentic Italian cuisine, giant chess, bocce and a love lock gate.
Hinterland Wine Co. – Raise a toast here with all the bubbles! Sparkling wine by the glass. Don’t miss the Hinterland hens.
Morandin Wines – is a new family-owned craft winery producing small batch, estate-grown and bottled wine.
Rosehall Run Vineyards – Taste a wide selection of award-winning County wines. Locally sourced gourmet food products also available to go.
Three Dog Winery – bring your furry friend! Walk their trails then relax with a glass of Three Dog wine and pizza.
Broken Stone Winery – located on Closson Road, Broken Stone is a charming and fun stop on your tour.
Keint-he Winery & Vineyards – right across from Lake Ontario, you can’t go wrong with a stop at Keint-he. Find Guapo’s Cantina – Mexican cuisine – on site in the tasting room.
Sandbanks Estate Winery – a welcoming and fun atmosphere with outdoor tasting bars, a picnic area, daily vineyard tours and specialized tastings.
Karlo Estates Winery – The world’s first vegan-certified winery located in a c. 1805 barn and home to North America’s largest dry stone bridge.
Harwood Estate Vineyards -for the eco-conscious bachelorette, Harwood is a full-time solar-powered winery and has a car-charging station.
Lacey Estates Vineyard & Winery – enjoy a glass of wine on the porch, overlooking their newest vineyard.
Waupoos Estates Winery – waterfront winery with stunning views of Lake Ontario and an on-site restaurant.
Del-Gatto Estates – find new experiences, quality wines in an authentic and inviting European Italian atmosphere
County Cider Co. – specializing in mouth watering hard ciders. Enjoy a glass of cider, wine and a wood-fired pizza on the patio overlooking Lake Ontario.
Parsons’ Brewing Co. – Expansive beer garden, tasting room with alfresco dining.
Gillingham Brewing Company – Specialty hand-crafted, small batch brewery with tap room, merch and a patio.
There are a number of culinary gems in The County that would love to host your group—whether in their dining room or yours! As with most things in PEC, restaurants and chefs get booked up fast. Definitely book your outing well in advance. [HOT TIP: Some of these restaurants will prepare your order to go. Beach picnics are the best!]
If you’re feeling up to a night out with your group, there are a handful of restaurants that will accommodate bachelorette parties.
In Picton, check out The Vic Café – a modern diner loved by meat-lovers, vegans, vegetarians and sensitive dieters alike; The County Canteen – great food, wine, entertainment and 24 beers on tap; Parsons’ Brewing Co – farm-brewery with alfresco dining.
On the way to Sandbanks, check out Sand & Pearl – roadside seafood restaurant specializing in fresh shucked oysters.
In Bloomfield, check out Flame + Smith – they believe that food cooked over a fire tastes better, is more exciting and inspiring to work with and brings people together. Or Bloomfield Public House – neighbourhood hotspot with seasonal, market cuisine.
DAY TIME | FUN TIMES
We go out while the sun is up and get home before midnight. Wake up early and head to the beach – North Beach Provincial Park or Sandbanks Provincial Park [note: PEC beaches are the most beautiful, pristine, and spectacular for swimming, sunbathing, walks and picnics, so have the best time ever—but please remember (as with all of Ontario’s provincial parks) no alcohol is allowed.]
If you’re looking for more of a ‘get the blood flowing’ kinda bachelorette, consider a few options to get you up and moving, like a yoga class, SUP, hiking, local events or shopping, where you can find vintage threads, cool clothing, mid-century antiques, chic garden gear, books and home goods. Shop the main streets of Picton, Bloomfield or Wellington on foot, or pack up the car and hit the road for antique finds. Finish the day with mani-pedis. Eat, drink and enjoy while being respectful of the people and places you meet along the way.
DRINKS | NIGHTLIFE
The County is a good time, but it’s not really a late night, drink-too-much-and-wobble-home sort of scene. Sure, there are a few spots that keep it going past 10pm (read: The Hayloft Dancehall)—but even they don’t go much past midnight, so if you want to keep partying into the wee hours, look into amenities available for rent, like mobile saunas, or just sitting, sipping, sharing with your girls! And if you’re looking for a late(ish) nightcap, head to The June Motel or The County Canteen, both in Picton.
Getting around is a thing here. There’s no Uber, no buses, and our three cab companies – Cronkie’s Cab Co., Terri’s Taxi, and The Taxi Guy – are capital B Busy in the high season. But don’t worry—you’ll be totally fine as long as you plan ahead. If you’re doing a wine tour, this is especially important. Do designate a driver from your group or organize transportation in advance. And DON’T think you’ll be okay to drive inebriated just because you’re out in the country—we’re super happy to report that the OPP are very on top of it.
To recap – eat good food, drink good drinks, have fun with your pals and do your part to preserve that local feel by respecting the people and places that call The County home.