Canada isn’t necessarily the first place that comes to mind when one thinks of a short break destination. We’re certain that it should be though. For this year it’s all about uncovering the culinary, cultural and quintessentially Canadian delights that lie at the gateway to this vast and vibrant country. What’s more, the flight time from London to Toronto is pretty much exactly the same as London to New York, so there’s no excuse not to stray away from the crowds next time you’re planning a long weekend across the pond.
As your private driver pulls away from Toronto International and into view of the majestic Toronto skyline you’re certain to experience one of those “wow” moments. The CN tower will hold your gaze as you journey ever closer. Stepping out of your car as you arrive at your luxury hotel (for more information on our luxury properties in Toronto, click here), you’ll be met with that thick, electric urban air; the best cities are the cities in which you can almost feel the life around you.
Settle in quick, as your first stop at the historic St. Lawrence Market is definitely one you’ll want to savor. One of the best markets in the world, St. Lawrence has been thriving for over 200 years. Your personal tour of the hundreds of specialty vendors will introduce you to the vibrant scents and smells of Toronto’s culinary scene. Make sure you stop by the Carousel Bakery and try the famous Peameal bacon sandwich (which has had world famous chefs raving) or head over to the Stonemill and sample some baked-from-scratch fresh bread; you may have a hard time choosing however, as they bake over 40 different types.Read more
SAVOUR THE SIGHTS
This morning you’ll be getting a little closer to the skyline that you’ve been marvelling at. We’ve arranged for you to take to the skies on a private helicopter tour above the gorgeous city of Toronto. Gaze down as bustling urbanites fill the streets surrounding the magnificent Royal Ontario Museum and the picturesque Inner Harbour, or gaze across the horizon and observe the splendour of the CN Tower and the Aura to name but a few of the cityscape’s highlights.
After touching back down, prepare to experience some of Toronto’s best kept culinary secrets courtesy of your very own private tour. You’ll be visiting local restaurants, hidden gems and independent eateries that only the most informed of locals frequent. Spend your time checking out the hippest restaurants in the up-and-coming location of Dundas west, featuring Asian-European cuisine, Middle Eastern delights and some of the meatiest menus in town. The vegetarians and vegans amongst you can rest easy however, as we’ve also prepared a tour suitable for your taste buds. Far from a simple salad, Toronto’s eateries boast some of the most creative and tasty vegan dishes around.
Journey out of the city and toward the historic and charming town of Niagara-on-the-lake. You’ll spend wonderful hours seeing this quaint location from the land, water and air so don’t worry if you can’t take it all in straight away. You’ve been wined and dined non-stop since touching down, so our next activity will give you the opportunity to (leisurely) burn off some of those meals. Kayaking on the Niagara River is a great way to soak in the beautiful nature that envelops Niagara-on-the-lake; drift on expansive waterways past pine and forests and catch glimpses of the old town from your vessel.
You might’ve guessed it, but you’re incredibly close to Niagara Falls. Switch perspective from the shores of the river to the skies above as your private helicopter tour takes you over the same rivers you’ve just spent the afternoon on and towards the magnificent waterfalls. Your gaze will surely be fixed out of the window as you pass over the pastoral greens of Queen Victoria Park and jaws will drop as you being to follow the curve of the Horseshoe Falls; one of the three waterfalls that makes up the Niagara Falls collection. Watch as the sun reflects off the surface of the falls and the rushing waters plunge, creating a mesmeric mist that ships disappear into and emerge from.
PERFECT PAIRING AND WONDROUS WANDERINGS
Niagara-on-the-lake also happens to be prime wine territory, so another day trip out of the city will see you embarking on a private visit to some of the most acclaimed vineyards on offer. You’ll visit four award winning wineries as your personal guides explain to you the delicate and meticulous process of bottling top-class wine. You’ll also be invited to sample no less than 12 palatable glasses, including Ice wine; a luxury dessert wine that is made from grapes that have been frozen whilst still sitting on the vine. Before you cross that territory from merry to ‘well-oiled’ shall we say, you’ll be whisked away for a gourmet lunch at the Riverbed Inn; an elegant restaurant that practices a farm to table philosophy and executes its seasonal menu with panache.
You’ve sampled some award winning wines in the creation process and no doubt had a few accompanying glasses at your gourmet luncheon; so the next step is to learn all about wine and food pairing as we send you off on a private winery cooking lesson. Learn how to whip up impressive dishes using locally sourced ingredients as you get some inside information on which wines best accompany which dishes. You’re sure to leave with some sommelier knowledge that will impressive even the most knowledgeable wine connoisseur.
You, of course, exercised an enviable amount of control around all that wine yesterday, but if your head is still a little fuzzy, then the hiking trails of Niagara Park have the brisk, fresh air that will clear any lingering cobwebs. 15km of hiking trails through six different nature areas offer wanderers the chance to gaze upon some of the rarest flora, fauna and wildlife Canada. Weave your own way through the welcoming wilderness or take advantage of the guided tour we’ve laid on for you through the stunning Niagara Glen; a designated nature reserve since 1992.
Finished your walk and feeling famished? We thought so. Unwind in cool breezes on the patio of Zees Grill as you await your perfectly cooked steak or an immaculately grilled swordfish. Executive chef Matt Tattrie has crafted a sumptuous and seasonal menu consisting of elegant refined comfort food and culinary classics.
BACK TO THE CITY
On your final day in the city, head out for a few hours of exquisite storeping at Yorkville Village and Holt Renfrew where you’ll find all of our favorite designer boutiques. Then, as evening comes closer, head back up to the skies for a final dinner in the elegant Restaurant Canoe. Said to be one of Canada’s best, Canoe boasts breath-taking views to match its mouth-watering menu. Situated on the 54th floor of Toronto’s massive TD bank tower, Executive Chef John Horne’s luxurious menu is a modern take on regional Canadian cuisine. We’d recommend the wild boar chop or the organic salmon sourced straight from British Colombia, though there is sure to be something to suit your tastes on this versatile blackboard.
Post-dinner, we’ll have you booked in to see a show of your choice at one of Toronto’s many theaters. A truly creative city, the offering here is varied and award-winning, and no matter when you go, we’ll be able to ensure your time in Toronto ends on a theatrical high…