This is part of my Summer Reads 2018 series where I’ll be reviewing a series of “not just cookbooks”.
Ontario’s Prince Edward County is what you would call an “it” destination these days (hey, Vogue said so!) so writer Chris Johns and photographer Johnny C.Y. Lam ‘s A Taste of Prince Edward County: A Guide to People, Places & Food of Ontario’s Favourite Getaway is a timely publication and the perfect pick if you’re (thinking about) heading to the County this summer. More than just a guide book, you’ll also find recipes from local chefs, profiles of local tastemakers and also a little bit of history.
Johns is a respected food and travel writers whose writing has appeared in en Route, The Globe and Mail, Wallpaper, Toronto Life as well as many international publications. He co-authored (with Derek Dammann) True North, a cookbook celebrating the food, traditions, and fascinating history of Canadian cuisine and had co-authored the upcoming The Last Schmaltz (October 2018) with Anthony Rose. Lam’s photography is stunning and brings this “travel guide” to the next level.
From the publisher:
Prince Edward County’s reputation as a picturesque region of award-winning wineries, quaint and eclectic hotels, rustic restaurants and fine dining establishments makes it the perfect getaway destination. Within driving distance of Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal, the county is an ideal place both for city slickers to escape and unwind, and for locals to relish and preserve the region’s history and farmlands.
This comprehensive, elegant guide covers hotels, restaurants, wineries, local attractions, and much more, along with itinerary suggestions showcasing the best of what Prince Edward County has to offer. With profiles of key people behind some of the county’s most beloved establishments, this book goes beyond typical guidebook territory. A Taste of Prince Edward County also includes a selection of recipes and wine pairings from chefs and restaurateurs based in the area, all inspired by the culinary bounty PEC has to offer. And with his signature warmth and humour, food and travel writer Chris Johns teams up with local county photographer Johnny C. Y. Lam to provide readers with a stunningly beautiful insider’s look into one of the top travel destinations in Canada.
The book is divided into different sections: Hotels, Restaurants, Wineries, Breweries & Cideries, Attractions (natural and man made), and Farm Stands and Farmers’ Markets and also includes Suggested Itineraries and Recipes. There are lots of resources included in the back of the book too – tourism board info, directions, a calendar of events as well as a list of further reading for those interested in the history of the area. It’s a pretty comprehensive guide that will serve both first time visitors to the County as well as people like me, who have been a few times but who tend to stick to the same destinations each time.
We took the book with us on a recent weekend trip to the County and used it as our guide (we were on a kind of antiques crawl and the book proved super useful at pointing us in the right direction of a few really special places that I’d not heard of before). We didn’t have too many plans, rather we drove around and stopped in places that looked interesting (or tasty!) and having the book in the car was great because I could read up on the area we were driving through to see if there were places we needed to keep an eye out for. Discovered quite a few thanks to the book!
It’s a really gorgeous book to look at (just as at home on your coffee table as it is in your luggage) and the stories are really interesting to read. I actually read the book from start to finish over the course of a couple of afternoons sitting on the patio looking out on the lake – it reads like a book of short stories. Of course, while you’re reading, you’re most likely marking most of the pages with Post it notes as places you need to check out! We loved having this on hand and will travel with it again when we head to the County in the fall. Highly recommended as a good read but also a good companion as you discover the County!
(Of course, as with any travel guide, it’s always best to call ahead or check details (opening times etc…) online as things in the travel industry change so quickly)
Please note: This post contains product links from Amazon and The Book Depository which are affiliate links, meaning if you click over and purchase something, I will receive a very small percentage of the purchase price (at no extra cost to you). Thank you in advance!
Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher. I was not asked to review this book, nor am I receiving compensation for doing do. All opinions my own.
MY BOOK! In the French kitchen with kids releases July 31, 2018! Click here for pre-order details!