Niagara-on-the-Lake has always been a go-to spot for us city dwellers who feel the desire to peel ourselves away from the chaos of the downtown core. Known internationally for its wine growing region, and locally for its excellent restaurants and breweries, the area speaks for itself as a getaway destination of choice. What is kind of unspoken, though, is the expectation of the quaint old town to be …well…quaint and old. Travellers my age will note that we are in a minority when it comes to the lead demographic in the area, but there are fresh winds blowing in Niagara; there is a spot so chic it looks like it has flown fresh out of a magazine spread AND they serve chicken and waffles for breakfast.
House29 is a fresh-faced new kid on the block. Instead of choosing between corporate and old timey, the two decor choices most favoured by high-end Niagara-on-the-Lake hotels, this vibrant bed and breakfast has opted for funky wallpaper, accent animal prints and purple velvet couches. Walking through the guest spaces will instantly make you feel like you are the lead talent onset of a Vogue shoot. I am going to throw cringe caution to the wind here and go out and say that this place is 10/10 Instagramable, and that is before you have even seen the breakfast plating!
Guest rooms are just as gorgeous as communal spaces (which of course are primed to be COVID safe). I had the honour of staying in The Aviary, a king suite fit for the queen I certainly am, and the biggest of the three rooms. The attention to detail in each room is truly touching; a fresh baked cookie waited patiently for me to devour it upon arrival, and hosts Dustin and Amanda already knew that I am a mixed drink enthusiast, so they created a special welcome cocktail for me! Within about thirty seconds of meeting them I had already informed them that I was moving in.
My bed was big enough to sleep an entire army, but luckily for me I had it all to myself and it was exceptionally comfortable, although it wasn’t the most luxurious thing about the room. That accolade is awarded to the heated marble bathroom floor. Nobody wants to tear themselves out of bed in the morning (especially one of House29 calibre), but a heated floor cushions that blow entirely. The shower was also a joy, as were the local premium cosmetics provided to guests. My room had a sitting area with a flat screen fully loaded with Netflix and the like for those who want a night in, but I didn’t turn mine on at all during my stay. Instead I used the sitting area as a comfortable space to sip my cocktails and write my memoir. Seriously.
OKAY breakfast. Buckle up…or…actually…maybe unbuckle and locate your stretchy pants, because you’re going to need them.
Dustin assured me that he wasn’t actually a trained chef and that he had previously been slogging through the corporate grind before he and his lovely wife Amanda chose to up sticks and become hoteliers. I don’t believe him. Take a look for yourself.
I have stayed at far too many “bed and breakfast” properties to know that the “breakfast” part is always an afterthought. Not here. At House29 breakfast is a main feature that will set you up for the whole day! I was lucky enough to be able to stay more than one night, so I was treated to a veritable array of goods! Each breakfast comes with an appetizer in the former of some kind of delicious baked good, my favourite of which was absolutely the homemade pop-tarts! The breakfast itself nearly defeated me, but hungrier folk should rest assured that they will be plenty satisfied by what they have on their plate. My favourite of the dishes (my goodness, what a choice!) was the eggs royale I was treated to on my second morning because I LOVE HOLLANDAISE enough to write it in capital letters. I truly do. I am happy to report that no egg served throughout my stay was presented with anything less than perfection.
A friend from the city came up to join me on the final day of my stay and she confirmed my suspicion that House29 was nothing short of magical. Even when I had to share my bed, I barely noticed there was anyone else in it! Oh, and she couldn’t stop raving about her chicken and waffle breakfast for the entire day. A roaring success!
House29 is located in the heart of Niagara-on-the-Lake and has room for guest parking. Owners Amanda and Dustin are very friendly and welcoming, and are very happy to give recommendations of what to do and where to go in the area to guests. For more information on House29 and to book, visit their website. Be sure to tell them I say hi when you end up staying, or perhaps I’ll see you there myself as I would LOVE to go back soon.