In case you missed it, there’s been a changing of the guard at one of Orillia’s downtown gems.
September 2023 saw the grand opening of The Hog & Penny, the latest addition to the culinary family that includes Feast On®-certified Picnic Tapas and Wine and The Common Stove. These establishments have become culinary landmarks in Orillia, each contributing its unique flair to the vibrant food scene.
Diners can now seamlessly hop from The Common Stove’s cozy ambiance, where local ingredients take center stage, to the intimate setting of Picnic Tapas and Wine, a haven for Southern France & Northern Spain-inspired small plates and an extensive wine selection. Now, with The Hog & Penny in the mix, patrons can still expect all the traditional faves like pub pies, bangers and mash, and fish and chips… but guests can also enjoy some elevated takes – we’re talking Scotch egg and Welsh rarebit – because the extra flair is exactly what we’ve come to expect from the trio behind it all.
Meet the Team: Darcy, Simon, and Ben
Darcy MacDonell is an industry vet whose CV includes owning and operating Toronto’s FARMHOUSE tavern, and gigs as General Manager at Yorkvilles La Société and Oliver & Bonacini Cafe Grill in Blue Mountain and Oakville.
Simon MacRae headed up some of London, England’s finest establishments before arriving in Canada in 2018 to work as General Manager of The Chase. He then levelled up BlueBlood Steakhouse at Casa Loma into Toronto’s top Steakhouse. In 2020, he opened The Common Stove with Darcy, in 2021 winning the Chamber of Commerce’s Rebuilding Orillia Award.
Completing the trio is Chef Ben Kersley, who brought international education and experience with him to Toronto, meeting Darcy at FARMHOUSE.While working at the Common Stove in 2021, Ben was selected as one of KLM medias ‘Top 30 Under 30’ Hospitality Professional. Now a partner in the business, Chef is proud to bring an authentic British pub to Orillia.
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Winter Wonderland in Orillia
Orillia, with its charming streets and cozy atmosphere, transforms into a winter wonderland during the colder months. And what better way to warm up than with the comforting offerings from The Hog & Penny, The Common Stove, and Picnic Tapas and Wine?
Picture yourself indulging in some of The Hog & Penny’s after an afternoon exploring the quaint boutiques of downtown Orillia. Follow it up with a stroll through the historic streets adorned with twinkling lights, and you’ve got the recipe for a perfect winter evening.
Whether it’s bellying up to the Chef’s Counter at The Common Stove (12/10 recommend), the intimate ambiance of Picnic Tapas and Wine, or the inviting warmth of The Hog & Penny, these restaurants are not just serving food; they’re crafting experiences that make winter in Orillia truly magical.
As the snowflakes fall and the temperature drops, Orillia’s culinary trio is here to warm your hearts and satisfy your taste buds. So, bundle up and get ready for a delicious journey through this charming Ontario town!