I am a strong believer in weekend in getaways. During the week I find that long work days, limited daylight and mediocre meals get the best of us. I make some pretty good dinners and we occasionally head out for a delicious date night, but there are a lot of rushed pack lunches and nights where we give in to the simplest of meals out of fatigue.
With this in mind I booked us into the Shaw Club Hotel and Spa in Niagara-on-the-Lake for a night in February as a Christmas gift.
I did the same thing last year, but booked us outside of the town and in the middle of the snowstorm. We made the best of it, but I knew an improved return trip was in order.
So this Friday we drove in on a balmy February afternoon and checked in to our hotel. We were immediately greeted with warm service and a tour of the main floor which includes the hotel's restaurant Zees and an oasis-like TV and computer room with coffee, hot chocolate and movies you can take to your room. The hotel also includes a gym and a spa. I should have visited the former and wish I could justify the latter but we didn't try out either.
Our gorgeous room welcomed us with a brownie, a greeting card, an impressive big screen TV, a modern bathroom with a TV installed in the mirror, bathrobes, and an ice bucket and wine glasses ready for our use.
There was a small note on the desk with the offer to stay another night for an extra $99. Since we knew an extra night would allow us to fully relax, we went for it.
I would love to tell you that I spent the weekend dining at various wineries and eating 6 course meals with wine pairings, but we ended up eating every single meal at Zees - with no complaints.
For dinner the first night we shared the filet mignon and foie gras along with the duck and quinoa. The filet mignon was perfect (although better the second night when ordered medium rare rather than medium), and I loved the duck, which I ordered rare. The meat was tougher than I expected, but still perfectly pink in the middle and beautifully paired with an orange sauce and light quinoa underneath. Our server was extremely accomodating with my gluten-allergy, and I enjoyed a customized pre-dinner bite of smoked salmon, as well as John's salted foie gras which was set aside for me.
Breakfast is included in your stay and consists of a beautiful platter of fresh fruit, house made compote, granola, plain yogurt infused with honey and vanilla bean and a fresh pastry. You can also have bottomless coffee and juice of your choice.
There is also a selection of hot breakfast items available at half cost such as a traditional breakfast, French toast, eggs benedict and an omelette stuffed with brie, bacon, mushrooms and truffle oil. Due to my gluten-allergy, the ever accomodating staff allowed me the decadent omelette at no cost so I wouldn't be stuck with only fruit and yogurt. We shared some fruit and yogurt on the side, John enjoyed the eggs benedict, I fell deeply in love with the melted brie in my omelette, and our bill came up to a whopping 8$ (we were only charged for half of John's meal since he ordered a hot breakfast). This is impressive considering a breakfast of this size and calibre would have come up to around $60 in any restaurant. Our breakfast fueled us through a stroll along the lake and through old town. I sampled enough fudge to keep me full until our evening aperitif- an Ice Cuvée ‘Rosé’ we picked up from Peller Estates. For around $35, this bubbly makes a perfect pre-dinner treat, and a great thing to have around for Valentine's Day next week! While we could have gone on the hunt for a better restaurant, we succumbed to Zees once more on our second night. You don't mess with perfection. Again we shared the steak, a pitcher of Trius wine, and I had the pear and proscuitto salad with blue cheese and figs. Along with John's foie gras, I was in heaven. I could eat this salad every day (especially for the small cost of $10). Every bite had beautiful crumbled blue cheese, a local, almost jerky-like proscuitto, sweet fruit and crushed candied pecans. I was in heaven.
When we were left another note in our room with the option to stay another night for $99 I would be lying to say I wasn't tempted. But alas, another work week awaits, so we'll just have to come back as soon as possible. Shaw Club 92 Picton Street Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON Toll Free: 1-800-511-7070 Phone: 905 468-5711
The Lowest Rate Guarantee is our promise to you that if you find a lower room rate on any other site*, Niagara's Finest Inns (NFI) will match it on the spot. (We booked through Booking.com)