The past weekend I had the opportunity to visit the Oxford County Cheese Trail thanks to Tourism Oxford and Ontario’s Southwest. If you know anything about me, you’ll know that I LOVE cheese and pretty much need to eat it every day. The two things that are always in my lunch bag are a block of cheese and hot sauce. So, when I had the opportunity to visit the Oxford County Cheese Trail, how could I say no? Check out all the fun stops below and watch the VLOG at the end of the post!
If you’re looking to visit Oxford County, I definitely suggest visiting the spots below. If you’re coming from the GTA, visit the spots as listed and it will be a breeze!
We stayed at the Elm Hurst Inn & Spa which is a beautiful hotel right off the 401 and conveniently located to all our stops that we had over the weekend. I’ve driven past the hotel so many times before but never got the chance to take a close look. We stayed in a beautiful room that overlooked the garden and took full advantage of the restaurant downstairs. Check out my VLOG video at the end of this post for a full room tour and if you go to the restaurant make sure you order the Cheese and Ale Soup!
The hotel is also known for weddings, there were two on the Friday we were there and 3 more on Saturday. When taking a tour around the hotel, I can definitely see why people book it for their weddings. The one reception room even has a pool table – I think that’s pretty sweet!
Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese
The first stop on our Oxford County Cheese Trail Tour was Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese. Know for their homemade cheese curds, this is one place you need to visit if you’re a cheese lover like myself (Note: Fridays they make the cheese curds). We received a tour of the cheese factory and I couldn’t believe all the timing that goes into making cheese as well as the process of how long it takes for some cheeses to be ready to sell. Another cool thing about the factory is that milk used for the cheese is produced next door. Also, their one cheese ‘Over Moon’ uses beer from another local business called Thames Brewery – more about them at the end of the post.
Old Bakery Cafe
The next day, our first stop was the Old Bakery Cafe. They are known for their Cajeta Latte which is a caramel latte but made with goats milk that is made locally. You can either get the latte hot or cold so of course, Adam got one and I got the other! They were both really good but if you have to choose opt for the hot latte! The Cafe is also STOCKED with amazing goodies and snacks. I was so full from breakfast or I would have devoured a few of the cookies.
You might think, why are you visiting a Foodland on a tour? Well, the local Foodland in Ingersoll is stocked with local dairy products. We picked up a few kinds of cheese including a spicy and regular Chihuahua which is described as a creamy Havarti mixed with a mild cheddar. Check out the VLOG for more on this stop!
For all my chocolate lovers out there, Chocolatea is the place for you. Cindy (the owner) has so many creative chocolates that you will have a hard time picking which ones to try. My personal favourites were the PB&J and Beer ones. She also has a massive selection of teas that will pair perfectly with your chocolates.
Ingersoll Cheese Museum
After lots of sampling, we were off to the Ingersoll Cheese Museum. Not only was this stop informative about the history of cheese in the area but we also learned about the history of the town. Did you know that Tomas Ingersoll was the father to Laura Secord? You’ll get the chance to look at a replica of the mammoth wheel of cheese that weighed 7300 pounds! In addition to the museum, there is also a cheese playground that was designed by children and put together by volunteers.
Louie’s Pizza and Pasta
I’m a HUGE fan of visiting restaurants that were featured on ‘You Got to Eat Here’ so when I saw this was on the itinerary, I was so excited. They are known for their ‘Big Ass Panzerotti’ and they are not joking. We were originally going to order a large…because when in Rome.. but I’m happy we didn’t. We ended up going with the small and that is big enough for two people. It was refreshing to find a restaurant that used all fresh ingredients and not frozen chicken or canned pineapple. I swear it makes a huge difference. Next time I go back I’m going to try the Mac n Cheese – the lady beside me ordered it was massive. I see a trend going happening at Louie’s Pizza and Pasta and I like it!
Leaping Deer Adventure Farm
Being a huge kid at heart, this was such a fun place to visit! The farm has a million things to do that could keep the whole family busy. This includes a corn maze, pumpkin picking, playground, games, pig races (yes pig races!), petting zoo, tractor rides and more. I think I could have spent all day here just wondering around. Be sure to check out the VLOG video below to see the baby animals and see which ones I got to hold.
In addition to the farm, The Leaping Deer Adventure Farm also has a bakery. Apparently, the bakery started off very small and just continues to grow (tip: look up when you walk in, you’ll see why!). We got to test out a few of the items in the cafe including the homemade onion rings and two different grilled cheeses. One was made with their homemade apple pie bread and the other with a homemade spicy bread. They are also known for their maple butter tarts so if you have a sweet tooth – try one!
Upper Thames Brewery
Last stop of our tour was the Upper Thames Brewery. Being a sucker for beer flights, this was another stop I was excited to visit. We tested out a few beers that included the blonde ale, wheat ale, and Sour Ale. I personally enjoyed the Blonde Ale (BackPaddle) and the Grapefruit flavoured beer, which was the sour one! It’s a MUST try! The brewery offers many cozy spots to sit and relax with friends (including a patio). It also has board games that anyone is welcome to use.
I also love the story behind the brewery as it’s 5 friends who thought that Oxford County needed a brewery, so they went ahead and created the Upper Thames Brewery in 2015. If you live the area keep an eye out for their Pizza and Beer Nights or their flight yoga.