Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Perfect Weekend in Kingston as reported in the Toronto Star

Perfect Weekend in Kingston: Markets, history and relaxation
Toronto Star
Military, markets and more Canadian history than you can imagine

KINGSTON, ONT. — The first capital of Canada is rich with history, as you know. These days, it’s also well stocked with credible restaurants, thanks to the efforts of the culinary forces in Prince Edward County, and also boasts unique experiences that are educational, reasonably priced and easy to reach. With some of the most beautiful scenery you can find within a short drive, a visit to Kingston and its surrounding area is always a temptation for Torontonians in summer. When you visit next time, take in some of the old and new.


6 p.m.


About 70 years ago, Vogue called the Hotel Belvedere “the only reasonable place to stay between Montreal and Toronto.” A lot has happened to the 19th-century mansion since then. For many years, it was a boarding house until Ian Walsh purchased and renovated it in 1986, turning the Belvedere into a 20-room boutique-style accommodation. In the past quarter-century, the Belvedere has returned to prominence. Its rooms feature immaculate hardwood floors (the ground-floor suite that was once the apartment of former owner Greta Webb has original pine), fine Victorian touches and comfortable beds. Your stay in Kingston should start here. Even though you will miss some modern amenities, such as room-darkening curtains, the Belvedere oozes history — and anglo-Canadian history at that — and that makes it worth the visit.

The hotel has antiques everywhere and was once site of a séance involving William Lyon Mackenzie King. It’s a 10-minute walk to Market Square, has complimentary WiFi and nightly room rates starting at $119 for a double bed, which includes breakfast of tea, coffee and English muffins. 141 King St. E. www.hotelbelvedere.com; 800-559-0584

8 p.m.


The menu at Casa was changed last year with more menu items added — including several pasta dishes — and prices reduced. The food is delicious, among the best Italian you’ll find in Ontario. Order the Gamberi Fra Diavolo (shrimp in a spicy tomato sauce) for $18 and you’ll be...

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For more from Adrian Brijbassi, visit his blog ( www.adrianbrijbassi.com) and follow on Twitter: @AdrianBrijbassi.

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