Every other year, come April, we trek the three hours to Cambridge, Ontario, where we hole up in the deliciously indulgent Langdon Hall Country Hotel and Spa for just one night. Our excuse for the excess? Anniversary. Pass the champs, please.
This was my third visit to the property, which is a member of the Relais & Chateaux collection of boutique accommodations. Being just over a three hours drive from Detroit, I’m always surprised to find that most folks have never heard of it. The main house – atop a circular drive and where all guests arrive to check in – was built in 1898, although the estate now features 60 guest rooms (most of which also include wood-burning fire places stocked with chopped wood and matches).
In addition to the cozy, country atmosphere and gorgeous grounds, the hotel is also home to a five-diamond restaurant that hasn’t disappointed me yet, as well as an on-site spa. In the warmer months, an outdoor garden provides greens and herbs for the chef’s inspiration with a pool and lounge chaises tucked beside it. A few steps further, marked trails originate, criss-crossing the property’s 75 acres and making for ideal dog walks should you arrive with pets in tow.
Whenever I’ve stayed, I’ve booked the overnight package that includes a three-course dinner and breakfast the following morning. The food alone is worth the trip, and the service exceptional. (He had the venison, I had the beef loin … both were heavenly.) Here, everything is just a bit quieter and calmer than at home. And with checkout at noon, it made for the perfect leisurely morning. We *might* have taken a quick nap after breakfast. Because you can justify anything when you’re on an anniversary trip, right?
Before the reluctant drive home, we popped into downtown Cambridge, where there are quaint coffee shops (and a Saturday Farmer’s Market, if you’re an earlier riser than us). My favorite stop is the Cornerstone Fine Furnishings shop, which is a treasure trove of home finds. But we also ducked into the tiny The Art of Home store, where I picked up a whimsical rabbit-eared key hook to mount inside our front door.
Along our way home, we detoured toward downtown London, Ontario for a quick stroll through Covent Garden Market, a bright, indoor market featuring varying vendors for a quick bite and car break. I bought a few chocolate truffles (naturally) and Trevor grabbed a coffee for the remaining drive home, but not before we found patio seating at Waldo’s on King, where we each ordered a draft beer and snacked on mussels and grilled calamari.
Before long, we were gliding through the tunnel and back into Detroit. It was a quick trip, no doubt, but served as an ideal escape that we could squeeze in between the whir of work travel and family obligations.
If you’re looking for a relaxed weekend away, put this road trip on your list.
*Actual travel dates: April 2018
- Don’t forget your passport! We drive up toward Port Huron and take the Bluewater Bridge into Ontario for the most direct route. (P.S. If everyone in your vehicle has Global Entry and your cards on hand, you can use the Nexxus lane when coming back across the border into the U.S.!)
- If you’re interested in visiting the spa, book an appointment as soon as possible. Our stay was booked up by the time I got around to asking, unfortunately.
- Nab one of the many rooms with a wood-burning fireplace and don’t leave without making one! Even cool summer evenings are perfect for the coziness of an in-room fireplace.
- Staying two nights? You’ll definitely want to check out the Dining Room for a special meal (especially if you’ve booked the dinner-and-breakfast package!), but you can visit the small and cozy Wilks Bar the next evening for more casual bites and drinks.
- Get out and stroll the property’s trails, even in the chilly season. If you can, head into town to stroll the river and pop into the boutiques.