Crisp fall air, beautiful colours and the height of harvest season call for celebration in Oxford County this fall. Located where Highway 401 meets Highway 403, it’s just a short drive from Toronto and London and offers a perfect backdrop (and great eats!) for those looking for an overnight getaway.
Read on for our perfect two days in Oxford County this fall.
Day 1: Explore Farms, Woods and Treats
Stop 1: Thames River Melons’ Harvest Brunch Experience
Grab those rubber boots and start your day out in the fields at Thames River Melons with farmer and Registered Dietician, Alex Chesney. Alex will bring you to collect eggs and meet the chickens before heading out into the farm’s massive pick-your-own veggies patch.
Harvest your favourite vegetables in the field including leeks, beets, potatoes and more before heading back to the farm kitchen. Guided by Alex, you’ll make a delicious and simple frittata using what you harvested and oven roasted potatoes.
Finally, sit down for a long table brunch outside (or inside their new event space if the weather isn’t great). You’ll enjoy the fruits of your labour as well as delicious baked goods, fruits from the farm, local coffee and more.
Stop 2: Trillium Woods + Jakeman’s Maple Farm
Where: 454419 Trillium Line, Sweaburg, ON. (View Map); 454414 Trillium Line, Sweaburg, ON. (View Map) *Add Beachville if Sweaburg doesn’t work
Info: Trillium Woods is directly across the road from Jakeman’s Maple Farm, Jakeman’s is open Monday-Saturday
After that big brunch, you’re going to want to get up and walk around a little! Head to Sweaburg to go for a short, beautiful walk in Trillium Woods. This easy 1km loop is a flat walk through a mature bush full of developed trees including sugar maple, red oak, bitternut hickory, American beech and more. When the colours peek it’s a site to behold!
When you finish, head across the road to Jakeman’s Maple Farm to find a perfect road trip treat. Specializing in all things maple (you may have even see their taps while you were out for your walk!), you’ll find everything from syrup and maple popcorn to maple sugar, maple cotton candy and their signature ice wine maple syrup that tastes like blueberry pancakes.
Stop 3: Habitual Chocolate
Where: 389 Dundas St. Woodstock, ON. (View Map)
Info: Open Tuesday-Saturday
Chocolate lovers rejoice! Habitual Chocolate is all about bean to bar chocolate that really lets the flavours of the cacao beans shine. Swiss-Canadian chocolatier Philippe Lehner crafts his bars in shop with just three simple ingredients.
Similar to wine, you can taste the differences that the growing region of the beans has on the bar, bringing out natural flavours that resemble everything from banana to caramel notes.
Also in house, discover their selection of dipped fruit, handcrafted ice cream (they even have a pack with brie ice cream!) and select local goods.
Stop 4: Check into Chateau la Motte Guest House
Where: 210 Vansittart Ave. Woodstock, ON. (View Map)
Next up? Check into a luxurious stay at Chateau la Motte Guest House in the historic district of Woodstock. This bed and breakfast is located in a historic home once owned by inventor Thomas Carbide Wilson.
Standing out for its volcanic red brick and stunning slate roof, the inside is just as charming. Book their Couples Cheese and Charcuterie Treat package for an extra special stay. Then once you’re settled in, head out for dinner!
Stop 5: Dinner at SixThirtyNine
Where: 639 Peel St. Woodstock, ON. (View Map)
Info: Open for dinner Thursday-Saturday
Wind down your day at Oxford’s first FeastON certified restaurant, SixThirtyNine. This farm-to-table casual fine dining spot is a must-visit in Oxford County.
Chef Eric Boyar and his team craft traditional dishes with modern twists, always with local in mind. With a menu that changes with the season, you’ll love how fresh everything tastes. Past favourites have included seared rainbow trout, seared scallop with bacon agnolotti and buttermilk brined Berkshire pork loin.
For something a little special, consider booking a spot at The Chef’s Table so you can look over the kitchen as your plate comes together before your eyes! Interact with the chef, have a few special tastes along the way and of course, eat a great meal.
After enjoying a leisurely breakfast at Chateau la Motte and, packing up your things, it’s time to hit the road for day 2!
Stop 1: Early Bird Coffee’s Roasting Lab Experience
Where: 815 Julianna Drive, Woodstock, ON. (View Map)
Info: Café open daily, book roasting lab in advance by calling 519-532-3127, $35
Book yourself into Early Bird Coffee’s Roasting Lab Experience to kick off day two with a bang! In this experience, roaster Elio Caporicci will show you the science behind roasting a superior batch of coffee.
First, you’ll join Elio in a tasting of three of Early Bird’s signature roasts to get a sense of what beans from different regions and different roasting techniques do to a cup of coffee. Similar to the chocolate you ate yesterday, coffee is largely affected by temperatures, rainfalls and the altitude it was grown at. Pair that tasting up with some locally-made baked goods and Bob’s your uncle!
Next, select a roast of your choice as a group and watch as Elio roasts it and guides you step by step through the process. You’ll go home with your own bag of it and of course, a little more pep in your step than when you started!
Stop #2: The Oxford Hills Golf Club
Where: 324183 Mt. Elgin Road, Mount Elgin, ON. (View Map)
Info: Open daily
Next stop: The Oxford Hills Golf Club for a savoury and delicious lunch. If the weather is nice, grab a spot on their patio which overlooks the greens and a beautiful pond. If the weather is not so nice, pull up a stool to the bar. Either way, call ahead to make sure there’s room.
The clubhouse is well underway at this new golf course which will be opening in late fall 2021.
In the meantime, grab a seat at Theo’s, their on-site snack shack where they’re serving up delicious meals, freshly-prepared baked goods and local beer of course.
If you liked last night’s dinner, you’ll love this as the kitchen at Oxford Hills is also run by Chef Eric Boyar!
Stop #3: Red Dragon Dairy
Where: 383723 Salford Rd. RR#1, Salford, ON. (View Map)
Info: Open Tuesday-Sunday
Visit Oxford County’s newest cheese maker, Red Dragon Dairy! This beautiful, just-constructed cheese plant is located on a scenic back road and is known for their delicious sheep milk cheeses.
Pop inside the store to shop pecorinos, manchegos and fresh cheese curds as well as cream cheeses and more. Also in house? A selection of local groceries like coffee and chocolate, baked cheese cakes and treats of the UK as the owner, Ellis, is from Wales!
Pick up a cheese sampling platter and enjoy it out on the bistro set if the weather is nice!
Stop #4: Coyle’s Country Store and Binnendyk Orchards
Continue down Highway 19 to Ostrander where you’ll find an iconic Oxford stop and an orchard selling fresh apples right beside each other!
First, head into Coyle’s Country Store, an Oxford tradition for well over 100 years. Known for their house-roasted nuts and wide variety of confectionary items, they also care local cheeses, candy, preserves and a variety of homeware and house décor. Stop in for some road trip snacks or the perfect souvenir!
Right next door, Binnendyk Orchards grows a wide variety of apples and fall is the best time to check them out! Grab galas, honey crisp and more as you enjoy the freshest flavours of the season at this pre-picked apple spot.
We hope to see you again soon!
With that, your road trip is complete! We hope we get to see you again soon and in the meantime, feel free to sign up for our Oxford Insider newsletter for more great trip ideas.