Welcome to the Weekend Route your guide to one-of-a-kind eats, locations, and featured routes. This curated route for our weekend route adventurers features Margaritas, Markets, and Antiques in the Bay of Quinte Region. This route takes you from Colborne Ontario all the way to Milford PEC.
Our first stop along this loaded route is Colborne, Ontario, located along the outskirts of the Bay of Quinte Region. Growing up in the small town of Colborne was special, and as it is deep in the country a dinner out with family was relished. When my family did leave the countryside and venture into the heart of Colborne we consistently visited Vitos, so much so that Vitos has become a household name within our family. Vitos is a classic pizzeria with a menu full of homemade Italian meals. Although, we would not be able to call it the Margaritas, Markets, and Antiques route if I did not talk about their fantastic margaritas. Take your margarita and pizza on their gorgeous patio or enjoy it in the homey indoor eating area.
The next stop is Rutherford’s Farm & Roadside Market, a sprawling farm with more produce than imaginable. This family-owned farm started off as a humble homegrown apple stand at the end of their driveway. It has since expanded to hold a market building, a bakery, and a greenhouse where Dave, one of the owners, can be found. This market is an example of a perfect family market, not only do they have a wide assortment of products but they also have maintained their humble beginnings by keeping their roadside market open.
Marion’s Antiques is a quaint antique shop which is best known for its vintage home decor. The store is in a red barn and holds a variety of collectibles and antiques. Closed on Tuesdays but open every other day from 11-4, you are sure to find something old to upgrade your home and make new again.
The Margaritas, Markets, and Antiques route visits Brighton a quaint town filled with unique locations to visit. Our first stop is The Whistling Duck, the summery, lakeside restaurant, with a patio fit for a king. The Whistling Duck got his unique name from a murder case in the 1800s. HMS Speedy was the boat that sunk carrying a prisoner waiting to be prosecuted for murder, when the boat sunk the prisoner never got served with justice. “Whistling Duck” the man who died at the hands of the murderer never had his case closed, The Whistling duck restaurant honours the death of the victim and the fact that if the trial had happened and the ship had not sunk, Brighton would have been named the Capital of Upper Canada. The restaurant is a seafood restaurant and serves dishes such as their Lobster Club Sandwich, their Dusty Bender Burger, or their Pulled Pork Poutine. They are open 7 days a week and are located at 75 Harbour Street, Brighton, ON.
The next stop in picturesque Brighton is Codrington Farmer’s Market recently created market meant to fill the empty market niche in Brighton. The market has now established itself as the farmer’s market in Brighton. Their Public Library Branch is often brimming with customers, and the children love to paint pictures and work on crafts. With 6 vendors filling their market wholly run by volunteers. The market not only provides locally sourced products, but also provides food sampling, and live music. The market is located at 2992 County Rd 30, Codrington and is open 10am-1pm Sundays.
Marion’s Antiques is a large antique furniture store. The store resembles a large red barn and encapsulates an antique nostalgia that cannot be replicated anywhere else. This antique store is so unique and off-the-beaten-track that it does not have any social media, websites, or truly any information surrounding the store on the web. The store is typically open 11am-4pm excluding Tuesdays. The antique store regularly makes old new again by introducing new antique pieces around the clock. Visit Marion’s Antiques to discover rare furniture pieces designed to take your home and lifestyle to the next level.
Tomasso’s Italian Grille located in Quinte West, is the next stop along our Margaritas, Markets, and Antiques route. In the early 70s, the famed Jim’s pizzeria opened up its first location in Quinte West. Unfortunately, a couple of years later front street including the pizzeria suffered a fire destroying multiple businesses. While the original Jim’s pizzeria was lost the family’s love for food jumpstarted a larger menu and open seating concept in a new location, leading to the founding of Tomasso’s Italian Grille. Tomasso’s offers a wide variety of classic Italian dishes as well as an impressive drinks menu. Satisfy your taste buds with this family-run and owned grille with your favourite pasta dish and a classic margarita in their lovely restaurant.
Front Street Farmer’s Market is a spectacular market filled with local vendors catering to wants and needs you may not have even realized you had. When I think of a farmers market I typically envision pop-up shops only open on Sundays. The truth is, some people cannot make it to the market on a Sunday. Front Street Farmer’s Market is open both Saturdays and Wednesdays, making your trip to the market much more convenient with not only one day to visit a week! Choose from a variety of homegrown vegetables, custom crystals for all the witchy ones, or dog treats from the multiple vendors available at the market.
Quinte West has a wide variety of Antique stores but none quite as undiscoverable as “Antiques Mickey Herrington”. Mickey Herrington and his Antiques can provide you with rustic art, vintage furniture that seems as though it was pulled out of an old estate, and relics and artifacts surely previously owned by someone world-changing. The only catch; is you have to guess when they are open! Typically they are open on weekends but you will never know until you get there, as the hours are not definitely listed and are subject to change. This antique store is buried deep but that makes it all the more special and intriguing, why would you go to an antique store that has already been picked over?
While these next two locations may not be directly on our designated route if you are in the mood to venture off the path, they are definitely worth mentioning!
Fawn Over Market located in Carrying Place is the ideal marketplace. This market offers fresh produce, provisions, prepared meals, and take-out; from Thursday through to Sunday. Alexandra Feswick the owner of Fawn Over Market moved to Carrying Place and noticed there was a lack of health-based local grocery stores, she opted to take matters into her own hands and fill this niche. With the help of her carpenter husband and her talent for painting, they refurbished an old butcher’s shop and convenience store into the lavish market it is today. They offer daily featured dinners, each one as tasty as the last. Personal favourites include; their Whole Roasted Chicken or their Moussaka with Greek salad.
This next stop is somewhat of a jack of all trades, I truly do not believe it can fall under any one category. For this reason, I have decided to label this business as market/ antiques/ collectibles. The County Emporium is a women-owned rustic business. Customers have described this small business as one of the most welcoming places they have entered. The emporium offers local preserves and collectibles while also delving into antique or retro collectibles. The emporium is located inside a glamorous refurbished church, though it still carries its rustic charm. The County Emporium is a welcoming business that I recommend you visit if you are looking for local collectibles.
Located in Carrying Place as well is Hoss’s Diner! While it may not sell Margaritas it has something lacking in other restaurants; antiques. Hoss’s Diner is a retro diner that is known for their classic burgers and draft beer. The diner is decorated with 70s memorabilia, including a life size cutout of Elvis Presley. Their checkered floors and vintage posters tie this diner together and truly provide and authentic experience. Order their Famous HOSS Burger or their Foot-Long Hoss Dog with a side of draft beer!
Our next stop along this BOQ route is Belleville. My first recommendation in terms of margaritas is The Lark: Food + Drink. Their majestic cocktail menu may have you reaching for one of their unique drinks but as per the route you have chosen, it would only be right if you asked for a margarita! Their Barrel-Aged Margarita is made with Altos Tequila, Grand Mariner, and Lime Lillet. Their slogan encompasses the nature of their drinks; “Inspired by classic. Crafted with Love. No Sugar Syrups. Made Right.” If you are drinking, we must remind you to drink on a full stomach. Luckily for you, The Lark has the perfect dishes to match your drink of choice. My personal favourite is; The Brown Butter Gnocchi, give it a try and then reach out to me at email@example.com, do we match in flavour pallets?
If you are looking for an authentic margarita, Chilangos Belleville is sure to be your new favourite restaurant. Chilangos is owned by Marlem Power and Abraham Ramos, who immigrated to Canada from Mexico City, naming Chilangos after a person born in Mexico City. Chilangos offers the best food of Mexico City without having to leave the comfort of Belleville. Try their Jarrito Margarita, or their Hibiscus Margarita, or yet their Tamarindo Margarita; the possibilities are endless. Would you like it on ice or frozen? Try one of their “From the Abuela’s Kitchen” entrees, and we promise you won’t regret it. Currently Chilangos is closed indefinitely after suffering damages to their property after a large storm, continue to check back in with Chilangos so you can support this lovely local business.
Capers is a restaurant situated downtown Belleville which offers seasonal meat and fish entrees and main dishes. Their drink menu atop of their craft beer options is enough to make a trip to this high end restaurant. With outdoor sidewalk seating soak in the summer sun with a fresh catch meal, and feel as though you are on a sophisticated vacation. Capers uses only the freshest sustainable products when crafting their menu. On Fridays savour this classy setting while enjoying live music performances!
Belleville’s farmers market has dominated downtown Belleville since 1816, the Belleville Historic Market Square is renowned for it. The market is always full of life and local artisans, crafters, and farmers decorate the inside of the market consistently. The market is open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 8am-5pm. Vendors such as Blank Slate Farm are known for their eco-friendly, chemical-free, fresh produce. Dare I say they are wiping the “slate” clean when it comes to the harmful farming trends we see often. Or check out Naylor Emu Farm if you are interested in exploring emu meat, emu oils, and emu soaps. Belleville’s farmers market is a great option for those looking to live like a local in Belleville.
Our next stop along the antique portion of our route is Boretski Gallery. This stop is for the fashion moguls, this gallery holds vintage collections of clothing dating back to the 1920s. This store opened in 2003 wishing to put the art back into shopping and clothing. Lose yourself in the endless racks of period fashion and remember there is beauty in clothes not just in the person that wears them. The store encompasses daytime and nighttime fashion while sometimes mixing modern and vintage pieces. The store also offers to refurbish your own vintage pieces. This store is an immersive experience and I recommend it to those who love fashion and its history.
Our next antique spot in Belleville is Funk & Gruven A to Z. This antique business has been open for the last 23 years and therefore have developed an established clientele and a collection of the best vintage pieces. People come out of province for Funk & Gruven antiques, browse a collection of antique furniture, vintage decorations, and beautiful art pieces. Check out their online marketplace for a sneak peek of what is to come in store!
Even the name is refreshing; Bermuda PEC, our first stop in Bloomfield, PEC. This restaurant is tangy and exotic. Their menu puts a healthy twist on Taco Bell favourites; like the crunch wrap supreme. Bermuda PEC’s cocktail menu transports you to the open bar at your favourite beach resort; except better! Choosing a dish on their menu is not easy when there are a million different toppings and combinations ready for you to try. Their fries can be topped with queso, hot peppers, and more upon request; pair it with a spicy margarita and their best-selling Buffalo Fried Chicken Sandwich! I can’t stress it enough, take your vacation to the next level with Bermuda PEC.
You would think that as someone who writes blogs for a living and finds the best locations for our adventure club members to visit, I would be a professional in categorizing locations. That’s the problem with our next location it doubles as a local market and a delicious restaurant. Bloomfield Public House is not only a tasteful eatery but a wide market providing you with local goodies and produce. I recommend their Shrimp Roll paired with fries if you are feeling conservative, but if you truly want to delve into PEC life try their daily Farm Feature. This dish features a local farm-oriented dish, using only its’ ingredients. Bloomfield Public House carries fresh produce along its shelves along with artisanal treats. Visit this market…restaurant on your trip to Bloomfield PEC.
Don’t let the name scare you from entering this establishment, “Dead People’s Stuff Antiques”, is a phenomenal stop for fulfilling your antique dreams. This antique store provides garden treasures, country pine furniture, and loads of oddities and knick-knacks. This family business began small, their humble beginnings started at local flea markets and eventually branched to travelling antique shows. Now a flourishing company, Dead People’s Antiques have found its forever home within the quaint town of Bloomfield. Open Friday-Sunday, 11ish to 4ish, do not pass up on this eerie location. You never know what you are going to find; maybe a genie in a vintage bottle?
Welcome to Wellington, PEC where yet again your first stop will be accompanied by a margarita. When in Wellington visit La Condesa for authentic Mexican cuisine. La Condesa sources most of its products from local farmers and is focused on providing you with a clean, fresh, satisfying meal. The inside of the restaurant is accented with fuchsia, and little paintings and decals represent the lush culture of Mexico. Fan favourite menu dishes are the Ceviche Tostadas and the Pollo Asado Taco. As for margaritas, decide between a classic margarita or their mazunte margarita; or be responsible and get both!
Wellington’s Farmer’s Market mission statement states “We’re planting the seed of a brighter tomorrow today!”. They urge you to join their PEC community and shop locally at their market. This farmers market is located at the Eddie hotel and farm. This location is out of a fairytale, the hotel or “manor” reminds me of a location that could be featured in a Jane Austen movie adaptation. The market is open 8am-1pm Saturdays rain or shine.
County Rust is our next stop on this BOQ trip. This antique store is tucked away in Wellington and is known by locals for its gorgeous silverware and aged furniture. Each antique within this store has a lush history and you can tell by the unique craftsmanship of each piece. The store itself is nestled behind a house in a barn. The cluttered yet organized feel of the store makes you feel right at home among the trinkets and cottage decor.
Picton is the second to last stop along the Margaritas, Markets, and Antiques BOQ route. You know the drill by now, our margarita stop in this town is Bocado Restaurant. This special restaurant, like all new modern homes, has an open concept kitchen. Watch the chefs prepare, plate, and mix your drinks near your table. This restaurant is Spanish inspired and its’ menu is fit for a king. Try something off their Tapas Del Bar to start and then a Grande, to share with your family. Their house margarita is a Margarita Verde, made with tequila, green chartreuse, shishito, lime, and herbs. This high-end martini and lavish meals are more than enough reason to visit Bocado Restaurant.
As we near the end I have realized that it cannot truly be a waterfront route without including a fish market. The Blue Sail- Seafood Market & Restaurant, is a perfect stop to grab a fresh meal while shopping for all your fishy favourites. The market portion of this location is open Thursdays (12pm-6pm), Fridays & Saturdays (11am-6pm), and Sunday (12pm-3pm). With close 50 different types of seafood available for purchase through the market, it is sure you won’t be leaving without a full fish net. While you’re there, their delicious dishes may just reel you in. Try their daily special, “Today’s catch”, or their Seafood Risotto. We guarantee this stop will be the biggest catch of the day with your family and friends!
Wooden Wishe is a hidden treasure, where you are sure to find a treasure of your own. This quaint antique store is known by loyal customers for its wide variety of old coins. This antique store stands out to me for its collection of vintage and rare books. They have a bountiful collection of vintage sand dollars. This stop is open from Monday to Sunday (10am-8pm). Stop wishing upon a star for the perfect antique find and simply stop at Wooden Wishe.
Our last stop is Milford, and our last business is Honey Pie Hives and Herbals, a bee market, this small business takes inspiration from honey bees and the flowers they pollinate. These flowers can be used to create herbal essence products and natural healthful products. This year they are celebrating 22 years of business, join them for this special celebration. Purchase honey, soap, lotion, lip balm, herbal blends, teas, mead, and much more. Situated within a new Barnhouse this authentic, environment-conscious, business is one you do not want to miss.
For lots more off-the-beaten-track experiences, one-of-a-kind eats, and hidden gems only locals know about check out the BOQ’s Margaritas, Markets and Antiques Route.
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